Archive for the ‘Ahmad’ Category

Nobody asked me, but

February 9, 2008

We won the Super Bowl. We have been savoring this win for almost a week now. Everything is wonderful. There are no worts on this team. Or are there? Eli gets a free pass, I know, I know, I promise not to do the 56 game rip when he had a 74 QB rating and could not play consistent quarters let alone consistent games, playoffs et al…

What I speak to now is, before anyone anoints Gilbride, I have a few bones to pick. (1) What is this under-use of the TE? First it was Shockey, now it is Boss. At least your malfeasance is non-discrimatory. (2) And why is it that you never took Bradshaw out of mothballs? One again 9 carries for Bradshaw for 5 yds/per, Jacobs 14 carries for 42 yards… 3 yds/per. Hmm, like has been said before, in a game of inches, we see the difference in feet and yards. (3) On the subject of Bradshaw, ya think we might just have gotten LUCKY when a slow and lumbering Jacobs makes it back to the line of scrimmage and barely gets that first down on 4th and 1? Why not use Bradshaw so he can kick out if necessary- in fact a kick out and we get 10-20 yards or possibly a TD. (4) I heard some math- that 90% of the run calls were between the tackles…. what is UP with that? We knew that the NE linebackers had one weakness, slowing speed due to age. We practically played into their hands.

THE GAME DID NOT HAVE TO BE SO TORTUOUSLY CLOSE.

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Coughlin spoke w Francesa today

February 8, 2008

Coughlin mentioned two rookie “unheralded” plays… (1) when McQuarters fumbles away one of those late punt returns vs the Packers, one guy from GB is trying to pick it up and flubs, and it is Michael Johnson who pops it out of there so that Hixon can recover. (2) In the Super Bowl, when Ahmad Bradshaw fumbles, he gets back his own fumble with cool resourcefulness.

When the subject of Tuck came up, Coughlin praised Tuck immensely and pointed out that last year when he got injured, the team really missed him and Michael Strahan.

Separately, nothing to do with this interview, they have an 18 minute version of Super Bowl highlights on NFL Films, and they showed that on the very first play of the game- a kickoff to Hixon, he only gets to ~near the 20 yard line. Hixon was face masked for SECONDS and it would have been 15 yards.

What others are saying about Bradshaw

February 2, 2008


Mike Vrabel: “He is a great back and he is one of those guys who is gaining confidence each time he carries the ball. Bill (Belichick) loves him. He shows film of him, he gets his helmet knocked off and runs through three guys and says: ‘That’s a pretty good 6-yard run.’ He’s right.”

Junior Seau: “He’s not showing all his game. He’s got a great upside. He hasn’t played a full season. There’s more to his game than you think. He’s going to be a great player.”

Bill Belichick: Bradshaw is a “key player to stop. He gives them a spark when he touches the ball. He has good quickness, he has good power, good vision. He’s a good cutback runner. He made a huge play there in the draw play against Green Bay. I know it got called back, but they had him for no gain, he broke a couple tackles, used his quickness to break out of there and went the distance – 50 yards or whatever it was. Bradshaw is a good back. … He’s a threat to go anywhere on the field.”

Jim Brown, Hall of Fame RB: “(Bradshaw) could be the guy who decides the game.”

Ronde Barber: “That kid is going to be great. We kept on hitting him and pounding him and he kept going forward, fighting for yards.”

Reggie Torbor: “It might sound crazy, but in some spots, he’s harder to tackle than Brandon (Jacobs).”

For the Giants and Bradshaw, the Future is NOW. Speed kills. Use it or lose it. Get this guy the ball as much as possible and win the game.

Analysis of Super Bowl XLII

January 30, 2008

There are going to be many battles within this war on Sunday night.

WHEN THE GIANTS HAVE THE BALL:
1) Burress vs Samuel/Hobbs. There are two reasons why Plax opened his mouth with “23-17.” One is because he has S*** for brains. The second is that he is genuinely pumped to be in this game and feeling about as well as he has felt in a long time. He has a 7″ height advantage on these guys, played well against them before and he clearly has an.. EDGE NYG.
2) Steve Smith vs Randall Gay. I would normally say Gay has the advantage, but Smith is getting better every game and one would think he will make plays.
3) Giant OL vs Patriots DL. Wilfork is very important to this team, but the Giants have demonstrated time and again the ability to control the line of scrimmage. Pickup of Vrabel on the blitz is imperative… this is how they get to the passer. EDGE NYG.
4) Jacobs/Bradshaw vs Seau/Bruschi/Vrabel. Ability vs Experience. Jacobs has shown a tendency to fumble the ball after a layoff.. please protect the ball. Bradshaw’s speed is a HUGE advantage over this aging group of experienced veterans if the Giants are smart enough to leverage it often. EDGE NYG.
5)Manning vs Belichick. Belichick is smart and will not let Manning sit back there with time. He will mix up coverages a lot more than the Packers did, and do his best to confuse and fluster Eli. The old Eli would not be up to the task. The new Eli has shown he is because Gilbride has smartly mixed up playcalling (when they are not ahead in Q4) and made the game shorter so that Manning is not back there so long that he can have that turnover. Manning does best with LESS time and MORE reflex. He is best when he has to throw to a spot before the WR is there. I see no reason why Gilbride will change this- it is a quicker game and Manning does best in it. The edge will go to Belichick in deference to his myriad # of SB successes, but Manning can control this outcome if he keeps doing what has gotten him here. EDGE PATS.
6) Giants offense vs Patriots defense summary- Bradshaw and Burress have the distinct advantage that must be leveraged. If the running game gets on track, then Manning’s play action becomes lethal too. EDGE NYG.

WHEN THE PATRIOTS HAVE THE BALL:
1) Moss vs Webster/double team- Any need for discussion? The Giants need to be physical and force him inside. Webster has improved but this is in need of help(doubling) and that means EDGE PATS.
2) Welker vs Ross- The Giants must be very physical here and do the 1991 Super Bowl ‘Andre Reed redux’ by kicking the living snot out of this player. He lives near the line of scrimmage on short stuff, so you have to pound him and disrupt the timing. Welker likes coming back to the ball (as all good WRs must do), and then he curls around to break the first defender’s tackle. It was really helpful that the Giants saw this guy already, because they know all about how he kills teams. EDGE PATS.
3) Pats OL vs Giants DL- Earth to Osi Umenyiora, Earth to Osi Umenyiora, come in please?!!! It is time for us to see Umenyiora make an impact. I know he is getting doubled, but he often gets singled too by Light, so GET TO BRADY please and cause havoc. This is the most pivotal matchup of the game. When Flozell Adams buckled in Q3 of the Dallas game, the Giants went from needing a miracle to win to getting that miracle and winning. Good pitching beats good hitting, good OLs beat good DLs. Strahan is going to play the game of his life. Will Umenyiora? I think not. The only hope for the Giants is Tuck on mismatches with a Guard. EDGE PATS.
4) Maroney/Faulk vs Pierce/Mitchell/Torbor. Maroney was held in check, but Faulk never is. Faulk must be blanketed or else he will kill you on those 3rd down conversions. EDGE PATS.
5) Brady vs Spagnuolo. Thank goodness for Spags. Otherwise this would not even be a contest and I would not be wasting my time typing this entire analysis. Brady is there with Montana and the great ones of all time. Spags and this Giant defense have seen Brady-Garcia-Romo-Favre the past 4 games, so the good news for the Giants is that they are not getting a shock to the system. Spags will put as much pressure on Brady as possible and Brady will still win. EDGE PATS.
6) Patriots offense vs Giants defense summary- The trick to beating the Patriots is to bend but not break here. They are going to score points. They just cannot score 35-40 points. EDGE PATS.

SPECIAL TEAMS:
Tynes benefited greatly from making that big 47 yarder. Confidence is everything. Hixon and the kickoff unit put a great deal of pressure on the opposing team and they just get better and better every game. EDGE NYG.

COACHING:
Edge Belichick, EDGE PATS.

GAME SUMMARY:
Objectively speaking, the edge that the Giants offense has over the Patriots defense is not as great as the edge of the Patriots offense over the Giants defense. Specials will give the Giants a shorter field than the Patriots, but will that be enough? My two keys to the game are: 1) GILBRIDE MUST ATTACK EARLY AND OFTEN AND KEEP PUTTING PRESSURE ON THE PATRIOTS DEFENSE FOR 60 MINUTES.. NOT FOR ONLY 50:33 .. NOT THE LETUP WE SAW IN W17 WHEN WE HAD A LEAD. 2) UMENYIORA MUST GET TO BRADY. I will go out on a limb and say that if either of these two things happen the Giants will win the game. I do not think that that happens because I have seen Umenyiora mostly quiet vs the better Offensive Tackles these past 4 games, and I have not seen Gilbride use Bradshaw as much as he needs to and use the offense in the 4th quarter (unless they are behind).

It is there for the taking for the Giants. How badly do they want it? No one gives you anything. Championships are won, championships are not not lost. There is an opening here for the Giants to be physical and win, but everything must go right. You must be bold and not be afraid to lose. I have my doubts about what the playcalling will be like in Q4. We know that if you fall behind vs the Patriots it is going to be hard to win, so what if the Giants actually have a lead in Q4? Do you want a 3-4 pt lead vs Brady in Q4 and have Gilbride put the brakes on and think that R-R-P-K is going to win you a Super Bowl? He needs to understand that the only way you are going to deny Brady a chance to win is with you running out the clock, and that means keeping up the attack offense, getting first downs and keeping the ball until the game is OVER. How much respect do you have for Mr. Brady, Mr. Gilbride? No lead is safe, and if the Giants did not understand that from playing him already, then we deserve to lose. But if the Giants are able to realize that the best defense vs Brady is an offense that stays on the field ALL the time, then we do have a very realistic chance.

Bill Belichick gets it

January 27, 2008

From Today’s NY POST: “Patriots coach Bill Belichick mentioned rookie RB Ahmad Bradshaw as a key player to stop, which is quite remarkable considering Bradshaw barely played at all until the 15th game of the season.”
This blog has had a fairly consistent message for a number of weeks now- (1) get the ball to Bradshaw as much as possible, and (2) get him on the field because he stretches defenses and enables THE GIANTS to dictate the terms of engagement. In August, despite a sloppy preseason, we spotted something to get excited about- a rookie named Ahmad Bradshaw. He fumbled in W2 on a kickoff and was sent to the doghouse. He came back in W16 versus the Bills when Jacobs was hurt, and the team has not been the same since. His minutes have risen. TOO SLOWLY. Gilbride, the great misuser of talent, is waiting for years from now to use him? If Jacobs did not get hurt we would not even know if Bradshaw existed! (He was not even dressed for a number of games in midseason.)

THE FUTURE IS NOW! Next season this budding star RB could tear his ACL and his career is over, a footnote in Giants history, a trivia question in the back of a sports almanac. WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP NOW WITH BRADSHAW.

BUCK AND AIKMAN ASKED ALOUD FOR THE WORLD TO HEAR IN H2 OF THE PACKER NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME- WHY ARE THE GIANTS NOT GIVING MORE TIME TO BRADSHAW?

AND NOW WE HAVE BILL BELICHICK SAYING THAT BRADSHAW IS A “KEY PLAYER TO STOP.”

The Giants understand that you need to pitch a perfect game to beat the Patriots. The Giants have that perfect game, and it means maximizing your talents and playing Bradshaw as much as possible. This means playing Jacobs too, but it means 20+ touches for Bradshaw. Even when Bradshaw is on the field and not getting the ball, he is doing his work, pressing the Patriot defense to cover much more of the field due to his threat. BILL BELICHICK GETS IT. WHY DOESN’T COUGHLIN AND GILBRIDE?

Keep it simple- dictate the terms and win the game by playing Bradshaw.

Money Drive On Film, Banks on the Packers

January 19, 2008

Meat and Potatoes. We are going to run the ball. We know you know that we are going to run the ball. You try to stop us. This guy adds 1-2 yards per carry in value in a game that will come down to inches. That is called edge.

Here is a link to Carl Banks dissecting film of the Packers. Note how Banks (in the second play, a run) talks about going “fast and forward” and going “vertical” when running through the Packer DL and LBs. In the play chosen, the FB does not do a good enough job on the block. But if Hedgecock can seal the LB off, who do you think is getting through that hole faster, Jacobs or Bradshaw?

Two different ways to win on Sunday

January 19, 2008

Plan A for Winning on Sunday:

1) Plaxico Burress needs to help this offense in a big way, bum ankle or no bum ankle
2) Manning needs to protect the ball well
3) The pass rush needs to get a lot of heat on Favre
4) Between Madison and Ross (both will play) they have to be able to play decently
5) Special teams need to dominate the weaker specials of GB

Plan B for Winning on Sunday:

1) Get the ball to Bradshaw
2) The rest of the team executes reasonably well

Plan A is a much bigger challenge. It means Ross, Madison and Burress need to contribute meaningfully and I do not think/know if that happens. If the last three games are any indication (a) Manning seems to understand the urgency (b) Manning seems to play better vs better teams (c) the carryover of good play will help him. The Packers have a very good offensive line and that tends to neutralize a good defensive line… just as last week, I have my doubts that our line can get pressure on Favre. I believe our specials will play better than the Packers, but I do not think you can expect any large advantage here.

Plan B is the simple way to win. It lets the edge of Bradshaw’s speed and power take over this game. Our defense is hurt. It is going to give up points, more than the 17 miracle points it only allowed to the Cowboys (barring horrendous conditions causing turnovers etc..). Bet on that. So you need to make sure your offense scores a lot and keeps the Packer offense off the field. By now you should have gotten the message of this blog- Bradshaw is the key to the Giants’ chances for going over the top and securing this win.
We can win this game w/o Bradshaw getting a lot of playing time. But everything else is going to have to go very right. And if the Packers execute well they can kill us too this way. But this is the passive Giants, the team that tries to win by methodical step by step progression, waiting for something good or bad to happen. If Burress is healthy and Manning is playing well, the two of them can take over a game, 100%. But without that, who is your guy to assert our team’s will on them? The answer is #44. It does not have to be a complicated formula. Let him take over the game.

Latest weather forecast

January 18, 2008

Temp -5 to -10 below zero (this is colder than the NWS, which is still above zero)
Light winds 5-10mph
-16 to -25 windchill
No precip expected, though a few snow showers cannot be totally ruled out

Phil Simms on NYG-GB Part 1

January 18, 2008

I always like listening to what Phil Simms has to offer, because he is about as honest and objective as any professional out there. He is also very smart too. He asks great questions, he sees the game through a good lense. Last weekend, for example, he thought the Cowboys-Giants game was too close to call, that it would go down to the end, and he did not know who would win. He felt the Giants could win, but would not definitively go that far. That forecast was probably as accurate as anything I heard.

People may say he is biased as a former Giant, but he certainly handles his announcing skills at games he covers slightly more balanced than other QB announcers I listen to. He caught some heat last weekend from a guy named Eggars. Same bs from people who do not listen to him enough to appreciate the value of his commentary and the length Simms goes to protect his integrity.

I will wait for Sunday to hear his comments on Westwood One’s radio show with Francesa (~945AM EST), but prelim remarks are sampled by Serby.

“You’re big and you’re physical and you can run the football and you can rush the passer probably better than anybody in the NFL,” Simms said. “What is there to complain about? You gotta like your chances.”

The tone of his message on Sunday morning will be the most significant element. How forceful he is with his opinion will tell us a lot.

PLAY BRADSHAW AND WIN THE GAME

January 17, 2008

This is very simple. Start Bradshaw and you win the game. Until that last “prevent offense” possession, Bradshaw was in for exactly TWO series. The Giants scored on BOTH series. So Bradshaw was in for 2 series when the team scored 14 points and Jacobs was in for 4 series where they scored once (the opening drive). Bradshaw completely opens up the offense to going inside, outside, dynamic passing (remember, it was a pass to Bradshaw finished up at the 1 yd line that set up the go ahead score). Play Bradshaw and win the game.
It is going to be single digits Sunday. Wind chills will be sub zero. No, NOT ICE BOWL conditions, but enough to make your team run the ball to win the game. Keep Manning’s throws down to a manageable “changeup” and put the ball in Bradshaw’s hands as much as possible.

Right now in Green Bay they are in love with their defense. They think they are in very good shape because they stopped Seattle. Seattle had no running game. Bradshaw changes our running game from good to GREAT.

Bradshaw enables you to do so much more with the ball than Jacobs. Jacobs has had a very fine season, but he is playing hurt, and has lost a half step from the wear and tear of multiple injuries. BRADSHAW ENABLES YOU TO BOUNCE PLAYS FROM INSIDE TO OUTSIDE. He will sustain drives by getting first downs and positive yardage out of plays where they were initially stuffed for no gain because of 8 men in the box. Bradshaw ran for a TD when there were 8-9 men in the box in Buffalo because he is so fast that he can break through the secondary if the Packers are not careful. EMPOWER THE OFFENSE. Take the game to them. Win the game on YOUR terms. You can be passive and predictable. Or you can be dynamic and unpredictable. Get the ball to Bradshaw and win the game.

Serby on Bradshaw 1/7/2008

The team that goes out and grabs the game is the one that wins this. No one gets handed a championship. If the Giants want to elevate their game to one which puts them not only past the Packers but past the (the slower and aging defense of the) Patriots also, you have to shoot the moon and play your rocket fuel. Go for it all. Do not leave anything behind. Leave it all out there on the field and WIN the game instead of asking questions on Monday morning about what could have been.