Archive for the ‘Brandon Jacobs’ Category

Locker Room Voice

May 28, 2009

Q: Who is the voice of the Giants?

a) Antonio Pierce
b) Justin Tuck
c) Brandon Jacobs
d) Shaun O’Hara
e) Eli Manning

Well, this one is debatable. On any given day it may actually be any one of these people. Pierce is the spokesperson and onfield leader of the defense. Thomas George of NFL.com puts his vote here with AP.

But Pierce became noticably more quiet after gun-gate. And his unspectacular play has been less than leader-like. Jacobs is certainly the alpha male right now, the emotional pregame huddle guy who this blogger believes gets the nod.
Tuck is the young Pro Bowler who is speaking out more.

Don’t sell Eli completely short, as he is gaining in seniority. ALL of his WRs, TEs and RBs have less experience than him. And only O’Hara and McKenzie have more years.

Without getting too nostalgic, Strahan was THE voice. But that is the past. Given how short the career life of a RB is, combined with Pierce having seen his best days, and Tuck could become THE voice quicker than any of us think.

Is this discussion window dressing? Leadership is critical for championships. Strahan joked how old he was, still playing football in 2007. Yet he was the one who was stomping them out in the pregame huddle. There is never enough good leadership in the lockerroom, sidelines or on the field.

Around the league…

Giants Sign Jacobs to 4 Year Deal

February 26, 2009

Giants and Jacobs get deal done for 4 years. Good work Reese and Jacobs. Details of how much is guaranteed for the injury-prone RB will determine how well it was crafted for both sides, but it is still a positive for both sides.

Volatility is your friend

February 21, 2009

This week when Brad Van Pelt passed away, there were all kinds of stories that surfaced. One of my favorites was naturally an intersection between him and Goerge Young.

As the story goes, it is early 2004, and Van Pelt has had a very good season. He comes into George Young’s office to plead his case for a raise, without his agent. George Young politely agrees with EVERY point that Van Pelt brings up, openly acknowledging and recognizing the 5-time Pro Bowler’s significant contributions. He concedes every point! But then, in typical GBY fashion, he lowers the boom on Van Pelt: “Brad, you’re right. You are one of the top three outside linebackers in the league. But we were 3-12-1 with you last year. I think we could have done that without you.”

Last night, Bob pointed out correctly how good the Giants were with Derrick Ward. Facts are facts and Ward is a 1000 yard runner. So why the heck do you want to lose that?

The answer is simple: VOLATILITY. When you win and are the Super Bowl Champs, you want the status quo. When you are any of the other 31 teams out there that fell short, it does not matter whether you were a game away or 3-12-1, you LOST. But you can only lose once each season, which means you take your chances. The Giants cannot afford to allocate significant resources to Ward, who will be 29 years old come September. Granted, Ward does not have the mileage of other 29 year old RBs. He certainly was a big reason why we beat the Panthers, our only win in the last 5 games of the season. On paper it does not seem to make sense that you could let a 1000 yard runner go. But as a GM this is still not the place where you want to invest your cap dollars. You want it to go where the resources are needed. You commit to Jacobs, which they did. You already have Bradshaw and Ware, cheap and young. You need to leverage what is left elsewhere on the roster. LB, DL, OT.

This is the opportunity to see what #44 has. We may be wrong about him, but you’ll never know if you don’t try. Bradshaw deserved that much after what he did in 2007. Let’s not forget what other professionals in this league were saying about him. I still do not understand why he did not get more opportunities in 2008, other than watching the idiocy of Gilbrown, a dead horse I do not choose to beat on anymore. The word is he was hurt for stretches this season. That is part of our collective confusion on the subject, given his presence on kickoffs (another insanity, pls use Hixon for this). So let’s simply see what we have here and end the debate. Maybe it forces Gilbrown to adapt to #44 instead of #44 adapting to Gilbrown. Maybe, just MAYBE, it is the way for Jerry Reese to say to the Giants coaching staff that you have no choice now but to see what we have in #44. Let volatility be your friend. Shake it up. Roll the dice. You can only lose once. Championships last forever.

Reese tags Jacobs

February 14, 2009

The Giants put the franchise tag on Brandon Jacobs. Not sure if you remember, but we noted when Charlie Casserly of CBS first suggested it as a possibility. Logical. Jacobs is injury-prone. So you insure that you get his services in his prime without giving him the store so that he is gone from football after 2 years of a 6 year deal. Jacobs may not be happy not getting a long term deal, but he’ll get paid well this season and the Giants may use it as leverage to extend the deal with incentives instead of simply an enormous signing bonus.

Jacobs’ transformation up the leadership ladder was tied to Strahan’s retirement. Strahan was the emotional leader of the team. He had the voice that everyone looked to. Jacobs filled the void and the players responded to him. It wasn’t #27’s fault the Giants fell to the Eagles. He led them and they came into that game with the intensity needed. You can talk all you want about his pounding opposing defenses, but to me the indispensible part of Jacobs is the man who the players gather around before the game. He has also matured.. got smacked in the head by his mother for showboating after TDs and showing up opposing players.

Note the details about the CBA, and how the Giants may be able to get Jacobs next season as well if the contract is not renegotiated beforehand. Right now everyone is saying the right things, that everyone wants a deal done. Jacobs wants his years and bonus, the Giants want the incentives. Jacobs better realize that 2010 is a dead year too and make some concessions, because otherwise this deal is not going to happen.

Motown blogs..

January 30, 2009

Jacobs commented today regarding coulda, woulda, shoulda:

“If we have Plax on our team, we go 15-1 and we win the Super Bowl. I’m not afraid to say that and I’ll say it to anybody on any team,” Jacobs said. “We had a different identity with him and we didn’t have enough time to change our identity to be effective at what we wanted to do – try to play a team differently. Teams – I’m not going to say stopped the run – but they did a little better each week because they had that eighth guy in the box.”

Jacobs suggested it was much too late in the season to adjust to life without Burress on the field. When asked if the Giants need to make a move next season to replace Burress if he’s not back, Jacobs replied, “I’m not going to say I think we should (because) then we would have our identity at the beginning of the season and not have to find a new identity late in the season. That’s kind of hard. If we know he’s not there, we set our identity to what we’re going to be all season long instead of trying to change it.”

Again this is damning to the coaching staff…..can’t make adjustments due to the loss of one player! Just hope his teammates aren’t as gullible as he is. I guess there is a reason he has that running style and how it has affected his mental acuity.

I am frustrated more by the fact that it looks more and more like we will go through what we went through after they choked against SF in the playoffs…..wasted a year to change.

Ultimatenyg here: Finding a new identity???!!!??? The point is that this is precisely what coaches have to do all year, to ADJUST to changes, changing defenses, emergence of personnel, loss of personnel to injury. Coughlin and Gilbrown both get an F for not adjusting to the week 14 wakeup call they got. Problem was that instead of waking up they hit the snooze button. (Okay that was not my line, I borrowed it from someone else, but I liked it too much.) If I understand it correctly, you build your identity early in the season and then you play that hand? No adjustments? The adjustments were simple and straightforward enough, we talked about them ad nauseum, no need to mention them for the SEVENTEENTH time. Motown’s parallel to 2002 and SF is very interesting.

Separately, Simms likes the Steelers on Sunday. “Their speed (on defense) will catch the Arizona Cardinals by surprise.”

That bitter taste, a day after

January 12, 2009

Short version: A day later, 1-Gilbrown still browns, 2-underachievement should never be “accepted,” 3-this loss will be right up there with Flipper Anderson, 4-the loss had little to do with the defense, 5-the Giants played with intensity and 6-Eli Manning will be judged by his record.

Longer version: The intragame comments, postgame comments, email and phone conversations were flooded with unflattering remarks about Gilbrown. Everyone kept on bringing up the series where it was 1st and 5 later in the game. That was certainly one of the more egregious moments. Wonder articulated it simply: the offense need(ed) to have a rhythm. For lack of a better word, it is converting 3rd downs. When your QB is having problems, you need to use the slant and shorter passes to make his job easier, give him more confidence. But we have talked about this EXACT same issue immediately after W14. So why the surprise? “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” WHO WAS FOOLED BY WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?! “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” We are disappointed (to put it mildly) that our coaches made the same mistakes again. A rhythm was established in the Carolina game, and it was quickly lost. Was Gilbride getting “cute?” I think it is more about him being clueless.

These kinds of games are killers because of the simple fact the team beat itself. Everyone who understands football knows that there was more than enough on this team to win a championship. Watching the season end in this manner is particularly nasty. I am grateful that there are at least a few sane people out in cyberworld who have afforded us the luxury of knowing that we are not the ones who are mad. And when I spoke with Wonder, he independently remarked about “your buddy Gilbride.” It was Wonder who said that he was one of the three MVPs of the game for the Eagles, I had to borrow that. Gilbrown= underachievement.

The 5 stages of grief may call for “acceptance,” but we as fans do not have to accept underachievement. It is up to Coughlin, not Reese, to cut Gilbrown loose. We have heard about GMs who ask for assistants to get let go, but I do not believe the Giants ever operated this way. So Coughlin is the one who is responsible in Reese’s eyes, and if it doesn’t get fixed at a certain point, Reese would have a problem with Coughlin, not with one of his assistants. As we all know, Reese is VERY smart. I am sure he knows exactly what is going on. He’ll be hearing excuses from the coaches, but he was not born yesterday either. He knows that the Giants loss was just as UNACCEPTABLE as the Titan loss 1 day prior.

Some of the remarks about the defense causing problems in the loss were imo incidental. THE DEFENSE PLAYED WELL ENOUGH TO WIN. Gilbride’s unit did not get it done and SCORED THREE POINTS ALL GAME. The Giants defense gave up 16. Deduct 2 points for the safety, 3 points on the Robbins INT, and all they did was give up 11 points. This game was NOT on the defense.

As for Jacobs’ remarks about not having the same intensity as the Eagles, I completely disagree. In the first half, all I saw was the Giants defense playing with fire, giving up 3 points the entire half, and the offense simply falling (Manning INT) apart and not finishing drives. The Giants had plenty of intensity, more than enough to win. If you want to argue that Manning did not play with “intensity,” I won’t argue with that, but since when he has ever showed ‘any’ intensity ever? He always plays at the same speed, whether it was last year’s playoffs or this year’s playoffs. Speaking of Manning..

I was struck by a rather accurate assessment made by Cris Carter of ESPN on Eli Manning. Carter said that Eli Manning was going to have deal with the fallout from this loss along with his big win last season. Essentially, what he is saying is that the Joe Montanas of the world did not play down and bring their teams to defeat in BIG PLAYOFF games. This is just a reminder that you are what your record is, and he is going to be remembered for having left plenty on the table in the 2008 season.

Eagles 23 Giants 11

January 11, 2009

First off, congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles. They played hard and were able to capitalize on the opportunity.

The MVP of the Eagles today was shared by three people: Eli Manning, John Carney and Kevin Gilbrown. While I will not take anything away from the Eagles, THE GIANTS BEAT THEMSELVES TODAY. Like we said this week, there will be no excuses if this team loses because they were afforded all the opportunities with advanced warning of how the game would play out. Indeed, there were no surprises! The only surprise, which really should not be one, is how cranially-challenged Kevin Gilbrown really is. But we will get to that in a bit.

1) I have said it here after we won Super Bowl XLII–> Eli Manning has a free pass for life. He won me, he won you, he won all the Giants a championship. So I will not serve him up and skewer the guy. I have no animosity or anger at #10. It was what it was for him. He played very poorly today. His longest pass, a connection to Hixon, was another backfooted prayer that happened to be fortunate enough to randomly hit Hixon. A broken clock is right twice a day, and that was Eli, who was guessing with his throws all afternoon and came up inaccurate too often in too BIG a game. Jim Johnson told the FOX TV crew that he was putting it on Eli by committing to stopping the run. ELI DID NOT ANSWER. If Eli answers the Giants win. If Eli does not answer, the Giants lose. It is not that complicated. When you think back to the “pick 6” by Manning throwing off his back foot into the wind in Q1 to Samuel, Manning effectively did not contribute ANYTHING offensively. 6 of the 9 points were set up by a Bradshaw kickoff runback and a Robbins INT. Technically speaking, that makes Eli essentially NEGATIVE FOUR POINTS WHILE OUT ON THE FIELD.

But Eli had some help in this crime of the Giants being beaten by themselves. He did not have any help from the dartboard poster child of this New York Giants blog..

2) Kevin Gilbrown. For those of you who do not know, we have been calling Mr. Gilbride “Gilbrown” because ‘brown’ is short for Dave Brown, the official curse word of the 2008 season here at ultimatenyg. Gilbrown was brown today. In such a big and horrendous way. All you have to do is go back to Carl Banks’ discussion on WFAN which we painstakingly detailed 5 days ago. Banks spelled it out- the playcalling was hampering the team. The red zone inefficiency (0 for 3) and 3rd down inconsistency (3 for 13) was going to come back to bite you in the playoffs if you were in the wrong place (tight game) at the wrong time (ie Eli Manning playing poorly). We discussed in detail many weeks ago that what is needed as the antidote for opposing teams committing to stopping the run (WITH BURRESS NO LONGER ON THE ROSTER) is to do the following:

a) run flares to the RBs
b) run screens to the RBs
c) run delayed TE screens
d) draw plays
e) play action
f) quick slants

WHERE WERE THESE PLAYS TODAY? There wasn’t a single screen. THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE SLANT!! So when your team is in the red zone 3x and comes away with 9 points, it is going to be a killer.

3) John Carney. This one is on the coaching staff, actually, squarely on Tom Coughlin. If there is one thing everyone knew, it is was that the 40something Carney did not have a long leg. So Coughlin is smart in activating Tynes for kickoffs, but why not use Tynes for the long FGs that Carney cannot make? Yes, they were with the wind, but you use Tynes because it was Carney who missed the LONG ONE two weeks ago vs Minnesota. This is not Monday AM QB. We have been asking (more than few times this season) for both FG kickers to be dressed for these reasons. Carney missing these FGs is more a symptom of the Manning problem/Gilbrown disease than anything else.

The rest of these items are subplots to the loss:
4) Matthias Kiwanuka was invisible later in the season and was once again unable to make the impact we needed.
5) The DL lack of push up the middle from Robbins and Cofield in pass rush was clearly a problem, especially after some early (Q1) effectiveness disappeared.
6) Jacobs running wide (getting strung out way too many times for no impact and NO POUNDING) and not north/south was a symptom of the Gilbride disease.
7) Bradshaw’s # was not called a single time all game. Egregious misuse of personnel. At a certain point you have to accept the fact that Bradshaw can break a big play, and he got ZERO touches. 0.0. Those plays mentioned about were a perfect way to put him out there in space to utilize his skills. It was absent. Instead, all we got was one pass (ALL GAME!) to Ward in the flat that Ward dropped.
8) Boss got a lot more balls thrown to him, but Manning missed him also on 3 occasions that I can recall.
9) Manning needs to learn to throw a tight spiral beginning NOW. In the offseason. Simms changed his mechanics to make the Meadowlands in Nov/Dec/Jan an advantage. Until he does so, you can easily argue that it is a DISADVANTAGE to be playing at home. Indeed, what is Manning’s playoff record at the Meadowlands? 0-2 I believe.
10) I am tired of watching LBers chasing RBs. Spags had more safeties on them this game, and it worked, but Spags will be gone soon and these slow LBers will not. Pls draft FAST LBers by committing stronger resources (high picks) toward this position.

There are so many other items that could be discussed in this recap, but it will have to wait for coming days. After all, we now have plenty of time in the offseason to examine the responses needed. Certainly, it was not the Giants coaching staff’s fault that Plaxico Burress essentially undermined this season. But it was the Giants coaching staff’s fault that proper adjustments were not made to put the Giants in the best position to win. Gilbrown and (ultimately) Coughlin will have to deal with that. One of the things said here back in September and October when the Giants were kicking major brown on opposing teams was that the offense and the team were winning DESPITE GILBROWN, not because of him. When Burress was lost, this put more pressure on Gilbrown to work with less and adapt to the new hand being dealt. He was not equal to the task.

Ultimatenyg is a home to many people who are passionate about football and the New York Giants. I will put on a new hat right now: Ultimatenyg Grief Counselor. We have had a death in the family, a Giant death. The 2008 Giants season. So that you can manage this painful process, I offer you a personal journey through this bitter and painful period. The 5 stages of grief are:

1) Denial– I cannot believe we lost and are out of the playoffs. What happened?! Was this a bad dream? Someone wake me up from this bad dream and tell me it wasn’t real.

2) Anger- That Motherbrowner Gilbrown. I hate him.

3) Bargaining- If I promise to be good and not send a letter bomb to Kevin Gilbrown, will the Giants be nice enough to release him?!

4) Depression– Sorry, not there yet. In a few days when I have to deal with the thought that the Eagles and Cardinals are playing for the NFC Championship, I will start to get nauseous and depressed.

5) Acceptance– The Giants were given plenty of advanced warning about what they needed to do back in W14 in order to win. They did not take advantage of their enormous opportunity and they have to learn from this if they want to win next season. Losing guys like Strahan, Umenyiora and Burress are body blows that are hard to come back from, so let’s regroup for the draft and win it all in next season.

Thanks everyone for a great year.

Eagles, Giants, and the NFL

January 8, 2009

1) Not a complete surprise that a ny giants blog would have ~80% of its respondents lining up to vote for them to win the Super Bowl. But how biased is this group? The online odds to win the Super Bowl paint a different picture, one where essentially the Steelers, Panthers and Giants are viewed almost equally. Considering how the Giants are the favorite, it should not be so unreasonable for the sample to be skewed. There is also a little bit of that battle for respect still working here- the variance between 7 of the 8 teams is very small. The Giants are only ~twice as likely to win the Super Bowl as the 7th best team. It’s bunched up- at least that is what the money says, not what we say.

2) The Browns hired Mangini. What am I missing? Maybe I can coach for 30 mins a game too and get a job.

3) Everyone loves Gilbrown. This guy can’t buy an interview, let alone a head coaching job. But others think he is such a great coordinator, why don’t they buy a franchise and give him the keys. It isn’t happening. I certainly hope he does a good job with the offense this Sunday, but it is very clear AROUND THE LEAGUE that the Giants are where they are because of Reese, Coughlin and Spagnuolo. They win despite Gilbride, not because of him. How many times do you hear defensive players praising Spags? All the time. How many times have you heard the offensive players (going out of their way) lauding Gilbride? Almost never. I’ll tell you why- because they are in the huddle and they know first hand how Manning is busy changing out of the playcall- CORRECTLY- because Gilguy has them in the wrong set. I’ll be more than happy to sing his praises if he calls a good game, and we certainly have this season on more than a few occasions. But let’s not kid ourselves- the silence with this guy’s consideration for a HC job is DEAFENING. How many draft choices do we need to give away to have someone take him off our hands?

4) What kind of owner is there to fire his head coach who had a winning record, clearly making a statement that he was committed to winning a championship, then disappears for the interviews with candidates the week after? That never happened with the Maras, because they are football people. Even though the GM was in charge of the hiring, they were on the front lines all the time. Could you imagine Well Mara being out of the country while his team just fired its coach? Away on business? Football WAS Mara’s business. I cannot speak at all to whether Johnson’s presence had anything to do with Cowher saying no, but how can you blame him? All he knew was the Rooneys, another football BUSINESS. It starts from the top. Brown rolls downhill.

5) I am tired of the analysis of this Eagles Giants game. Let’s fast forward to Sunday already so we can play the game.

6) 20-25 MPH winds forecast from the Ultimatenyg Meteorologist. He was 15-25MPH on Tuesday, so this looks pretty firm.

7) Simms on Showtime: “Tennessee won’t be favored if they face the Giants (in the Super Bowl). I believe the Giants will be the favorite no matter how they play in the playoffs and regardless of who they face in the Super Bowl.” His pick in the game this weekend- The New York Football Giants. Phil also takes the Panthers and the Titans, but cannot select in the SD/PIT game because he is announcing for that one.

8) Jacobs as good and healthy as he has been since he hurt himself in W3. “You can hear him,” Snee said. “He’s very vocal and he’s enthusiastic. He came in Monday in here and he was rip-roaring and yelling. I said to Brandon, ‘We don’t play until Sunday at one,’ and he looked at me like I was crazy. He’s fired up and I love it.”

9) Time to cut the low hanging fruit from the sickly Cowboy tree- Pacman Jones is gone. Is there anyone on the team that was more representative of how we all (including myself) saw this massive assemblage of #1 draft pick talent, and how it did not come together? Jones killed the Giants when he was at TENN, but not here.

Bring’em On- NO EXCUSES

January 5, 2009

Now that we have reached the beginning of the playoffs, you can post your selection of who will win Super Bowl XLIII on the right column of the blog –>

LET’S GO- BRING ON THE EAGLES!

If the Gmen lose, they do not deserve to be Super Bowl Champions. Why? Because we saw the Eagles’ hand already. Twice. And if you count the same lessons that Gilbrown had to learn yet again vs the Cowboys, three times. There should be few (if ANY) surprises. You have to know about 90%-95% of what they are going to try to do to stop you.

The Giants will play better.. A LOT BETTER than W14. And if they get torched by Westbrook on that checkdown/screen by a LBer getting beat instead of a Safety, then we deserve our fate. As long as the Giants have learned ANYTHING from that W14 matchup, the Gmen will be fine and will win this game. The Eagles have no real running game. I’d be in nickel all day, and dime on 3rd down. The Vikings w/o Pat Williams had no push up the middle, so McNabb had all day. Pls Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield, get that push and we will be fine. Kiwi and Tuck, contain that pocket.

The offense has new rhythm now that it did not have 4 weeks ago, and if Gilbrown is moronic enough to not realize that (a) the Eagle undersized defensive line needs a steady diet of Jacobs and (b) the looks they will give us mean BOSS to move the sticks/red zone, then we deserve our fate. Since major adjustments are not anticipated, the Giants should be able to outphysical this team and win.

Look back to W14’s loss. Remember that the Eagles had the 10 days of rest and were jacked. Now we have the rest and we are the team that will be jacked. Remember the missed blocks? The dropped balls? The Giants were flat that day and they will be much more focused this time.

The people who make the comparisons to the Giants ’07 and Steelers ’05 for what the Eagles ’08 allegedly look like are missing a key DIFFERENCE. The Gmen were 8-1 at this point as ROAD WARRIORS. The Steelers were 7-2 at this point as ROAD WARRIORS. The Eagles? They are 4-4-1, having beaten SF, SEA, NYG (*which we have discussed above and know all about), and MINN. Road warriors they ain’t. They will be 4-5-1 and sent for early January golf after this coming Sunday.

No excuses. Unmask this team right here, right now. They caught us snoozing in W14, but this time it counts, 100% focus, 100% win.

The Giants are -4. The Giants will win and cover.

Brandon Jacobs Day

December 26, 2008

Some very good links to check out, highly recommended Brandon Jacobs-NY Giants history.

The Journey of Brandon Jacobs. Interesting how some of the pieces of the puzzle come together.. all of a sudden a lot of the trash-talking in between plays seemed to disappear in the middle of the season, and now we know why. And now, if you notice, he is actually patting guys on the helmet after the play is over. This guy is easy to root for.

Marvelous, one of the original email group predecessors of the Ultimatenyg New York Giants Blog, was quick to point out what always struck him about getting Jacobs in 2005. “I have NEVER forgotten the words of our GM when asked how he felt his draft selections went… the KEY to this draft was getting Jacobs down there.”

The player I got the most excited over in two days was Brandon Jacobs,” Accorsi said. “The biggest worry that I had is that any time you have a chance to sleep on it and start looking at the board, size and speed usually catches people’s eyes. I was worried sick he was going to get picked.”

Accorsi was referring the resumption of the Draft on Day 2, when everyone could reexamine who was left on the board. Accorsi was nervous to the point of paranoia about someone drafting his nugget before him.

And a quick FYI to the Broncos.. Brandon Jacobs remembers you passing him in the 3rd Round for Maurice Clarett, so you better hope that he is not with the Giants next year because the Giants face you in 2009 and Jacobs has not forgotten.