Archive for the ‘Brian Westbrook’ Category

Misc

July 28, 2009

1) 5 days till camp, 6 days till first practice.

2) Morgenthau wants as many as two years from Plax.

3) The NY Post says Pierce is ‘still on the hook‘ for his involvement in the Plax mess.

4) Vick has been reinstated, and Myers thinks he will become a Redskin.

5) Westbrook out until mid August. He went under the knife June 5th.

6) The Giants top 3 picks have not yet signed. Here is a link to keep track of all of the first round signings.

7) ESPN’s lack of coverage of Roethlisberger’s civil rape case and Marvin Harrison alleged gun shootings?!!! The parade continues.

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Brian Westbrook gets the knife today

June 5, 2009

Trivia question: Brian Westbrook is 29 years old. How many seasons has he started all 16 games for the team? Answer- NONE. And we just found out a few days ago that Westbrook will be having his second surgery of the offseason TODAY. He had arthroscopic knee surgery earlier in the offseason, and now ankle surgery to clean out bone spurs. This is not going to help him stay on the field in 2009 because his offseason preparation is going to be impaired. Westbrook is a great player who absolutely kills the Giants when he is healthy. But the good news for the Giants is that he cannot stay healthy for very long.

Deja Blue All Over Again

January 9, 2009

I am at peace. I have serenity within my Giant madness…

So many things about this game are IDENTICAL. THE GIANTS GET A DO OVER.

This is a total gift, having seen them in the exact same conditions. We get to turn back time and play the exact same game over again and prove that W14 was a bad day at the office, that THIS Sunday is the real Giants. This game is a gift. If we waste the gift, nobody to look at except ourselves. And since the Gmen are the better team they will take advantage of this gift and win.

The wind means it will be a tighter game, less points likely. No bet, the gmen could win a bleeder as much as they could win big. Could be Giants 13-10. The wind means Eli will only be able to burn them deep/stretch the field when they load the box in 2 out of 4 quarters. It shortens the game, just like W14. But Jacobs will be back and he will be bad, they’ll need 8, prob 9 to stop him, so Eli will have opptys. In the wind, you simply have to do the things we talked about ad infinitum. If my friend Gilbrown has learned ANYTHING from W14, he should be fine. and we should kick their brown. W/o the wind I really felt good about the outcome, with the wind, I feel we will have some struggling moments but should come out on top nonetheless. The giants are the better team… The Giants had the same exact opponent in the same exact stadium with the same exact manpower loss (Burress) and the same exact weather conditions…. ya think they could learn about what they did wrong and what they need to correct? OF COURSE.

NO EXCUSES, it is ALL on the Giants and their coaches for not getting it done if they somehow fall short. They will get it done, I have enough confidence in all of them, and in this spot, I do have (barely) enough confidence in Gilbrown because he had 5 weeks to figure it all out. If he does not get it now, then shame on him. But with the better skilled players, Spags will certainly figure out ways (esp with Cofield and Pierce and Robbins (and Tuck?!) healthier) to stop McNabb and Westbrook.

A shout out to Ron, who points out that “McNabb is most dangerous when he runs outside on 2nd down and gets his 8 or 9 yards rushing to set up a short 3rd down play..and since he has turned his game around after the benching he has been doing that every game.”

Reread the postgame of the Eagles in W14 for some perspective on what was learned. Wake up and smell the Bradshaw. There are so many ways to improve from the last game we played vs this team. It is all there for them to figure out. Rest easy, Giants fans. The element of surprise is essentially gone. Coughlin is always stressing preparation. They should be prepared and the the Giants will win. Bring it! Next stop, NFC Championship.

Eagles 23 Giants 0

December 7, 2008

Overall- Look at the score above, that is the true score, the true story. The FG block at the end of H1 and garbage time TD at the end of the game should not cover up the fact that our offense scored ZERO points folks. 0.0 In the last few years this blog has made only a few predictions/point spread outcomes, but this morning’s was spot on.

Feel free to skip straight to The Ugly below, if you want to read anything that is significantly on the margin.

The Good:

1) It is one loss, enables the team to get a wake up call and correct some things. No damage from this one loss in terms of getting the bye, in terms of still getting home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Bad:

2) Let’s remember that Dallas limped into the playoffs with homefield advantage in the playoffs last season, and a lot of good that did them. They were one and done, so there were lots of things that went wrong today that cannot continue…

3) The pass drops. These are the fundamentals, blocking and tackling, catching passes. If your receivers are going to drop balls it does not matter if you have the greatest OL or a passer putting it on the money. I lost track of all the guilty parties to this sin, and if I have the energy/time to go back this evening and watch the tape, I will come back here and edit in the names and numbers, but it was not pretty.

4) No pass rush on McNabb. See comments from NYG 36 Eagles 31 post.

5) POCKET CONTAIN ON McNABB was NOT THERE. Where have you gone Michael Strahan, our lack of pocket contain turns its lonely eyes to you.

6) Defensive coverage of Westbrook and the TE. Our linebackers are not our strong suit, and this is where they can get exposed. Westbrook 1 on 1 vs any LBer when healthy? It is going to be a field day for him. He is one of the best players in the entire NFL when healthy.. we forget (well, to be fair, not this blog, who mentions a healthy/Westbrook whenever we face the Eagles) this because we have not gotten a 100% Westbrook in quite a while. Believe it or not, as Andrew (see one of the very last comments in the prev post) states, the defense overall played okay enough for us to still have a chance despite all of the transgressions mentioned. It gave up many third down conversions, but its play would normally keep the team in the game.

THE UGLY:

7) Gilbride made many mistakes this game and his largest one was not playing within the field conditions. THE WIND CHANGED THE ENTIRE COMPLEXION OF HOW AN OFFENSE COULD RUN ITS GAMEPLAN. So Gilbride’s playcalling was mostly weak. The Giants went against the wind in Q1 and Q4. Manning could not throw the ball downfield, yes, it was not an accident that Gilbride made a great playcall on the very first play he had the wind, airing it out for Hixon. And yes, it is not Gilbride’s fault for dropping the ball. But where Gilbride goes awry is precisely where the Eagles did well… THE SHORT PASSING GAME. Where were the screens to RBs? Where were the checkdowns to your RB? Where was the QB scramble? Where were the RB slip screens? Where were the 5-7 yard slants to WRs to give them a little more confidence in not dropping the ball? How many balls were thrown out of the backfield to Ward and Bradshaw?

A guy like Westbrook is great on a day like today because he is great in small ball. And when the wind is what it is, small ball is not a good idea, it is a NECESSITY. The closest thing to Westbrook that the Giants have is Ahmad Bradshaw. Yes, this NY giants football blog is home of the Bradshawlics, we are completely biased and we fully admit that. But this game CRIED OUT for his EXTENSIVE USE. You have a tool box loaded with tools, use them! When you look at how the Eagles got their yardage today, they:

a) dinked and dunked to their TE coming out of the backfield AFTER blocking (that is a checkdown, folks) for a chunk of those 44 yards
b) hit Westbrook on checkdowns for 72 yards
c) McNabb scrambled for 20 yards.

That is a total of ~120 yards on bs, which was is over 1/3rd of their yardage on the day. That moves the chains and makes them control the ball, especially in spots where the wind was against them. WE TOUCHED THE BALL FOR EXACTLY ONE TIME IN Q3 WHEN WE HAD THE WIND. So the Eagles did precisely what we did not do. (And please do not forget how it keeps the defense on the field and demoralizes them, they do everything they need to do except stop them.)

We have been the nitpickers when ripping Gilbride, when asking for Eli Manning to run ONCE per game to keep the defense honest, when asking for them to use Bradshaw’s speed in the short pass out of the backfield, when asking for Manning and the RBs to practice those plays more so that the ball does not end up at the player’s foot instead of in his chest. Maybe these things become more important when the weather gets tougher. Maybe these things become more important when Hixon replaces Burress on a full time basis. Better to have this wakeup call now and let necessity be the mother of invention for Gilbride in W14 instead of Jan 10th-11th.

Summary: The Eagles came to play, the Giants were flat, not as sharp, but there is a lot to improve on, a lot to learn from. Better now than the Patriots in the Super Bowl or the Cowboys in the Divisional playoff round. Plenty of time to correct mistakes. It was not our day, but we will come back much stronger, assuming the normal adjustments are made and they come back hugrier, which I fully expect.

Phil Simms Week 11

November 16, 2008

Simms on the NFL and the Gmen this weekend…

1) The Tennessee-Bears game last week illustrates what a team has to do when the opponent loads up to stop your running game… it is radical… it is novel… are you sitting down?… answer: you have to pass the ball! The Bears committed to stopping the Tenn running game, they did, and then Collins started to pass the ball and he beat them that way. He was accurate, his WRs beat single coverage, ~280 yards of passing later the Titans had dismantled the Bears. Next. (This Gilbrown public service warning advisory was brought to you by Ultimatenyg.)

2) Jets-Pats, Casell was spectacular on that last drive. Only a few QBs in the league can make that throw to Moss at the end of regulation, he did. Moss catch brilliant too. Re Jets, the Jets offense is designed well. Favre gets rid of the football, quick 6-7 yd passes, screens… “Brett Favre is one of the best (at those types of passes) I’ve ever seen.” Can the Jets take a run at everything (AFC, Super Bowl)? YES THEY CAN. They can stop the run, they have that good short passing game. Their schedule is easy/manageable. They even can give Tenn lots of problems next week because they match up well against them (run defense in particular vs the Tenn run, but alos their offense vs Tenn too).

3) Giants-Eagles, the Eagles are so far behind the Giants from a talent perspective. Westbrook is their guy and he was not 100%. The Eagles coaches get ripped but it is not fair or accurate, because the Eagles coaches did a masterful job of keeping their team in the game with this Giants team… the Eagles coaches got more out of their players.

4) Giants-Ravens, Francesa made good note of the wind that Flacco will be introduced to today. Back to Simms, with the exception of Ed Reed, the Ravens secondary is (paraphrased) mediocre, nothing particularly good. McAllister is not the same anymore, he can be had. With the Ravens’ words, they say they are committed to stopping the run today. But you can throw the ball down the field against this team. Even against Houston last week, the Ravens still gave 3-4 big pass plays. The Ravens can and will be had on the pass. As for the Giants running the ball, there will be some moments during the game that the Giants will be able to run the ball. Why? Because the Giants running game “is just that good.” (Summary: Simms implied that if the Giants offense does what it needs to do, it will come out on top.)

5) Arizona WRs are excellent.

6) Larry Johnson, Jeremy Shockey, these players find out that if they mouth off, the team will simply move on without them, they’ll find someone else to get the touches and get it done. The team marches on.

7) Boys-Skins, Romo will be able to counter some of the Skins’ novel pass coverages used in their first meeting earlier this year, but Simms believes the Skins will nonetheless come out on top in this game.

The Giants, the Eagles and the secondary

November 6, 2008

1) Hall was cut. Everyone with half a brain will wait for him to clear waivers and become a free agent before talking to him. After that it could get a little interesting. If the Giants could do an Arrington-type of contract which is heavy on the incentives and light on the commitment, it would make sense. Remember that (a) with nickel and dime packages on the field so often, you can never have enough good corners (b) Dockery (nickel) and Butler (S) got hurt this past weekend.

Just got off the phone with Wonder, and he is outspoken as ever…

2) Wonder: Cowboys or Pats will end up with Hall. Giants should go for him. They need A LOT of help at Secondary. “THE GIANTS SECONDARY S***S.” We saw from Cleveland that when the pass rush is not there, the Giants secondary gets abused by any reasonable QB. Aaron Ross is woeful. (I got Wonder to concede that..) Webster is playing ok. I think that Hall will end up in New England.

3) Wonder on the Giants: Because the Giants secondary is bad, the way to beat their defense is you have to max protect and give a few of your options the oppty to challenge them. You must negate that Giants DL in order to have a chance. Run flares, screens, play action. Despite this weakness in their secondary, the Giants are still the most well-balanced team and they will be favored in a Tenn-Giants Super Bowl because even if the good Tenn OL thwarted the pass rush, they don’t have the passing options (only Mason) to hurt the Giants. The Eagles (on the other hand) have Curtis back, DeSean Jackson and Westbrook out of the backfield, that is a problem for the Giants. This is why the Eagles are my #2 NFC team next to the Giants. Even if the Eagles lose to the Giants they are definitely making the playoffs. McNabb is playing well, you better rush him, hit him and disrupt him or else he is going to do well Sun night. (The Skins would be nowhere except for the weak second half schedule they have.)

4) The Eagles know the gmen well. They will run blitz, they will pass blitz, they will force Eli to beat them. Eli will have receivers singled up and will have to find them. If the Eagles have 8 men in the box it will be up to the Giants to throw first and run second. This is NOT the Bengals where you can run against 8 men in the box, wake up with 5 mins left and charge down the field to get a score for a win.

5) What works really well against run blitz and pass blitz? SCREEN PASS TO WARD AND BRADSHAW. It won’t be Bradshaw because Gilbride has him buried in the depth chart, but Ward has improved a lot in his pass catching (still not as good or as fast as #44) to be a threat.

6) Tyree was put on season-ending IR.

That seismic shift you felt on Sunday..

October 7, 2008

.. in the NFC East was the Redskins beating the Eagles on the road. Stunning. Although it can be easily explained: Westbrook is the X-factor for that team. He’s healthy, the team wins. He goes down and the team loses. It explains a great deal of their inconsistency as a team. What is so hard to track is that he often plays hurt or (like yesterday) starts and then gets hurt. Over the past 5 years, when healthy, Brian Westbrook has been one of the 5 most valuable players on offense in the league.

FALLOUT: with the Redskins (a) having played all 3 road games (b) 4-1 (c) having a weak schedule ahead, getting in the playoffs looks very manageable for them. Winning the entire division is within reach too unless they lose to the Giants at home later this year (and the Giants continue their winning ways). This is a game of musical chairs where there will be three there and 4 teams. The Eagles at 2-3 are not done by any stretch. The last 4 opponents they have played have a combined 15-5 record, so the fact that they blew 3 of these games does not mean they are finished in any way. It just means that they have an enormous amount of pressure in their remaining divisional games to go at least 2-2, if not 3-1. If they go 1-3, imagining them catching up to the other 3 teams is hard. It would mean they would need to blank the rest of their schedule and go 10-6. We said this earlier this season, it will take 10 wins to get into the playoffs from the NFC.

Eagles lose

September 29, 2008

Eagles settle for FG after gtg to red zone earlier in Q4, 21-20. Bears get FG to make game 24-20.

Eagles get the ball for what will end up being the last shot at winning the game. They drive the ball down to the Bears 4, 1st and goal. 2nd and goal at the 1. Stopped 3 more times. Score holds up. Eagles 2-2.

With the Eagles and Cowboys both losing this weekend, it is a reminder that the NFL stands for Not For Long. The Bears offense is never going to scare anybody, so you have to be purposeful and get your points where you can with that Bear defense. If Tommie Harris is healthy that entire team becomes much tougher. The game was winnable for the Eagles, but obvly that was not enough- you have to convert your chances and play 60 minutes vs that team. (Duh, the obvious implied, that the Eagles without Westbrook are a completely different team.)

The Giants don’t face the Bears this year, but the lessons are there. There just is not that much difference between ANYONE in the NFL. If you want to win you better play 60 minutes. I think the Skins got extremely lucky, because I did NOT see them play 60 minutes, and yet they still managed to hold on. Let’s remember the Giants won their last 9 games last year by the following margins: 3, 6, 5, 3, 17, 10, 3, 4, 3. There was plenty of mental toughness alongside of the physical will, as all of those wins were on the road. (Good thing, as we did not win any at home. Scary.) The Giants play with an urgency on the road that they do not have at home. The offense does not attack all game when they are at home. That will need to change. The Giants are in better position now to stretch their lead before the schedule gets tougher. If they play with urgency and remain healthy they will be very competitive. We saw some warts this weekend from teams like the Eagles and Cowboys. The Giants had a few warts as well vs the Bengals but escaped. Right now there is an opportunity for ~ 8-10 teams to step up and grab this championship. The Giants are in the mix. That’s all you can hope for thus far.