Archive for the ‘David Diehl’ Category

Pre-camp ideas and things to watch for

July 24, 2008

1) Safety? Butler. Johnson. Knight. Phillips. Pick 2. At this point people are saying that Knight and Phillips have the best shot to be the starters this season, but this position is WIDE OPEN. I hope there is enough depth so that Butler is cut. But in a strange way, I would not be surprised if he started! This is because all 4 are imperfect. They each have strengths and weaknesses.

Butler (see previous post’s remarks from Spags) is a good tackler who knows the system but is freaking slow.

Johnson is entering his sophomore year and he should rate to grow with a nice jump in comfort in Spags’ system. He has the starts (5) from last year to put him incontention for a lot of playing time.

Knight is the veteran with experience, intelligence and strong run stopping skills in the box. But he is weak in coverage and is new to the system.

Phillips is the classic wild card. Rookie #1 pick who everyone will be watching. The level of his play in camp and this season will not only dictate how strong we are at this position but how strong the entire defense is and by that comclusion how well the entire team plays. Remember that when rookie #1 Aaron Ross got inserted into the starting lineup (literally H2 of the Redksins game in W3), the tone of the defense accelerated and the team never looked back. So if Phillips hits the ground running, his presence can be felt QUICKLY.

2) ELI MANNING. Weakest link? Star QB who overshadowed the performances of 4 straight Pro Bowl QBs en route to the Super Bowl? If new Eli is with us in 2008 this team will be a bear. Eli has been talking exactly like what you want to be hearing this offseason- knowing full well about the games where he was weakest link and that he can do a lot to improve to get the team to be ultracompetitive this year. Eli never got too high and that works to his advantage in not coming crashing down to earth. Eli is not resting on his laurels.

3) Do we have any speed at LB?

4) Does Diehl’s play at LT improve? We cannot afford to have the 2nd highest sacks allowed and expect (playoff) competitiveness this season again.

5) Can we get Woodson or Carr to become a credible backup? If I know the Giants they will probably cut Wright in deference to the promise/pedgiree of newest arrivals. Otherwise it would mean an immediate admission of error in the draft pick or reclamation project.

6) Do the rookies of 2007 ascend and make the dramatic impact in 2008 we are hoping for? This holds so much promise for the team.

7) How does the team shut down the run w/o Strahan?

Giants sign OT Shane Olivea

July 15, 2008

Giants signed OT Shame Olivea. Once again, it is not what is said but what is NOT said. What is not said is:
1) the Giants are not sold on Koets and Whimper.
2) the Giants were not (in hindsight) happy with themselves for not drafting a single Offensive Lineman and they desperately need some competition in camp.

It is simple numbers: a team carries 8-9 OLinemen on a 50 man squad (and when they dress 45 they usually only dress 7 OL). So when the team has guys like Brandon Torrey, Dylan Thiry, Kevin Boothe, Na’Shan Goddard, Andrew Bain and Digger Bujnoch, it is saying we need a little more competition than this. If one of them wins a job it is a lot. This is what camp is really about- the survival of maybe one of these guys on the final roster.

IMPROVEMENT ON OFFENSE

May 27, 2008

Yesterday we noted the story of Tavaris Jackson eyeing the Giants game vs the Vikes last year as evidence of how his team could climb the mountain. The response here is that the Giants know they can improve in many areas… if they do they can EASILY repeat. Here is some LOW HANGING FRUIT FOR HOW TO IMPROVE ON OFFENSE:

1) NEW ELI HAS TO STAY. That 41-17 monstrosity that Jackson refers to is Old Eli at his worst. The Super Bowl run is NEW ELI at his best. At this moment in time you have to think we have New Eli coming back in ’08. That would be an immediate and HUGE improvement over ’07, because Manning was awol for more than a few of these games, and certainly awol for many halves of games. The frightening thing is that if we do indeed have New Eli for good, he will put so much pressure on opposing offenses to score more points vs our defense that it will have incredibly positive effects all around. THE GIANTS WILL BE IN THE TITLE MIX IF NEW ELI IS WITH US IN 2008 AND NOTHING ELSE IMPROVES.
2) CAN DAVID DIEHL IMPROVE AT LT? This is the player who is the weakest link on the starting team right now. Tell me he improves, that he drops from 13.5 sacks allowed to something like 8 or 9 and I know we can be in very good shape. Every sack is going to range from a drive killer to a turnover, so if this liability is shored up 2008 can be bright.
3) MORE BRADSHAW. The rookie is not a rookie anymore. In camp he is going to get even more experience in the offense and will learn even more about blitz pickups. This is not a complicated game. The more snaps he is on the field and the more touches he gets, the better this team will be.
4) MORE AND BETTER PASS CATCHING BY RUNNING BACKS. Please stop throwing RB dumpoff passes into the ground Eli! If you want to talk about how the Giants can improve, look no further than the RB passing game. There was so much left ‘on the field.’ This offense can become a juggernaut if/when this element is able to click. And get the ball here to Bradshaw, he is electric in space.
5) TWO TIGHT END SET. Shockey is still a Giant and that is logical if no team is willing to pay what he is legitimately worth. So use him with Boss and punish teams with this set. It provides matchup nightmares galore. Imagine the dropped passes to Matthews becoming catches to Boss.
6) BURRESS AND SMITH HEALTHY AT THE SAME TIME? There will always be injuries, so 2008 will offer subtraction elsewhere. The prospect of having these two healthy at the same time will make for large problems for the opposing defense.

defensive improvements tomorrow

Strahan speculation, Diehl contract extension

May 7, 2008

Here comes the parade of players wanting contract extensions, including Snee and Burress mentioned. Diehl deserves an extension because he was getting Guard money for Tackle time. Also, with no OLinemen drafted and Whimper the only remote possibility of threatening his job security, Reese has to pay the man. Not mentioned was Umenyiora; thankfully he is not going to hold out but he will still want to get an extension.

Do you start in your first game as a rookie?

May 5, 2008

With the exception of QB, ultimatenyg believes that the question a franchise should ask itself when picking that first rounder is- WILL THIS PLAYER START GAME ONE AS A ROOKIE? Some players are shot out like a cannon. They enter into the league and instead of fighting for a roster spot or playing time, they start game 1. And then they never leave. If it takes time to get settled into the league and a rookie takes a few games or a full season to break into the starting rotation, that is not a stain. No shame. But your #1 pick is different. This is one of the ~32 best players in the country by your own evaluation. Considering there are almost 1700 players on the roster for NFL teams, if you cannot find a player that can break in as a starter, then something is probably wrong. (DE is a second position next to QB that is extremely difficult for 22 year olds to physically manage, thereby making drafting one in the first round a true test of whether the choice is merited.)

This is not an ironclad rule. Matthias Kiwanuka is a good example of a very good pick at #32 in the first round. At DE, he was not expected to supplant two players (Umenyiora and Strahan) who went to the Pro Bowl the preceding year.

Here is a list of starters in Game 1 of their rookie season for the New York Giants in the past ten years.
2006 Cofield
2004 Wilson
2003 Diehl
2002 Shockey
(If you can comment on a player I may have missed, appreciated. My database does not give granularity, so a mistake is possible here.)

The point is that guys like Ronnie Lott and Lawrence Taylor, two notables who started their first game as a Pro and never left, cannot be held back. They move at a different speed and the pro game almost adjusts to them and not the other way around. Shockey was the same way, knocking over bodies in 2002’s preseason like bowling pins en route to an easy Pro Bowl selection. (…which is why I still maintain to this day that he is a resource which is woefully mismanaged.)

Will Kenny Phillips start for the Giants in Game 1? This will go a long way to determining whether he is a good pick for the Giants. The Giants have the following coming to camp at this position:
1) Butler- a starter noted for his efficient tackling but slow speed
2) Johnson- a #7 rounder who started a handful of games as a rookie after others got hurt, plays with aggressiveness (a polite way of saying that he is playing hard but does not necessarily make all the right decisions yet)
3) Knight- a smart veteran who plays strong up at the line yet (because of age) can get beat by a TE in coverage

The logic is that this is not a particularly deep set of incumbents. If Phillips is any good he should be starting against Washington on Thursday night in the Meadowlands.

New York Giants draft: where is the competition ABSENT?

April 30, 2008

This morning Paul Schwartz of the Post writes about how Sinorice Moss, Jared Lorenzen and James Butler are going to feel some heat this summer from draft picks made this past weekend (Manningham, Woodson and Phillips respectively). Reese is always preaching competition in camp to make players better and make the team better.

Why do I continue to complain and ask for a LT? Because Diehl gave up the second most sacks in the league last year.

The Giants did not draft ANY Offensive Linemen. None. Add that no (veteran) free agents were signed either (the Giants only signed two), and essentially there is no competition here. The Giants will talk about how Guy Whimper will be in the mix, but how many of you think that is going to shake any trees? How many of you have the Super Bowl on tape, DVR or Tivo? Do yourself a favor and watch the game again. Watch the second quarter when Manning gets sacked and fumbles the ball. Watch the last drive. It is scary. Diehl is going to get Manning killed.

Reese says that Diehl is improving all the time. I agree. Diehl has improved. But not enough to play one of the most elite positions on the field, LT. Yes, Diehl did play LT well enough for us to win the Super Bowl. But you can bet your bottom dollar that the tapes of the Super Bowl Champion are being dissected right now and the competition sees a huge opening. You can make a Tackle into a Guard but you cannot make a Guard into a Tackle. Reese is betting that Diehl will improve some more during training camp. Granted, this will be his second camp at LT and he will be able to get incrementally a little more efficient. But David Diehl is the weakest link on this offense and his weakness in pass protection is a major liability.

The Offensive Line

March 20, 2008

NY Giants RT Kareem McKenzie has been one of those cogs that differentiated the Coughlin regime from the Fassel regime.

Jim Fassel relied on the tremendous talents of Jim “Mouse” McNally, who took UFAs and made them into good linemen. The problem was that while these (cheap, value) guys would save Accorsi precious dollars for the cap, they were not going to be the answer at crunch time vs the best teams.

Coughlin and the front office have crafted an OL with a high second rounder in Snee (26), strong free agent pickups in O’Hara (30, Browns) and McKenzie(28, Jets), and McNally holdovers Diehl (27) and Seubert (28). What seems to make the line work is that all the guys can put together 15-16 starts per season, assuming there is no big injury (like the Seubert leg in ’03). All of these guys have played with one another for three consecutive years, a rarity in the NFL. Continuity and durability. The Giants can get a LT for more depth/speed, but there is no reason this unit cannot get better. They are all in their prime. Other teams are trying to copy the Giant blueprint for success and most of them are far off on building this kind of continuity.

Why Diehl needs to move back to Guard

March 6, 2008

1) Diehl was second in the NFL with 13.5 sacks allowed in 2007.

2) In the Super Bowl, Diehl was beat by Adalius Thomas repeatedly. Remember the sack, strip and fumble of Manning that is later batted by Bradshaw? That was Thomas beating Diehl.

3) The Super Bowl’s winning drive…

1st and 10 (2:09) Thomas bull rushes Diehl into Manning, forcing a back foot throw to Burress incomplete.

3rd and 10 (1:59) Thomas bull rushes Diehl into Manning, forcing a back foot throw, Toomer complete 1 yd from first down. (Jacobs converts next play on handoff for 2 yds.)

1st and 10 (1:28) Thomas goes around Diehl. Manning runs right across line of scrimmage. Thomas tackles Manning after a 5 yard gain. Eli was almost stripped of the ball from behind on the tackle by Thomas.

3rd and 5 (1:15) Thomas again goes right around Diehl. The Great Escape by Manning. The Miracle in the Desert, The Catch in the Hat, David and Eliath.

1st and 10 (0:59) Thomas throws Diehl aside for a 1 yard sack of Manning. (His second sack of game, Patriots had three total on night.)

2nd and 11 (0:51) Thomas pushes Diehl into Manning as the ball is let go. Almost an INT by Meriweather.

(3rd and 11 to Smith, and then TD to Burress)

Diehl is a great part of this team. He plays every game, he can play every position, but he is NOT a full-time tackle. This draft is heavy on Offensive Tackles. Get one, slide Diehl back to Guard, add depth everywhere on the line. The only reason not to do this is to believe that Guy Whimper is the answer at LT.. so far we have not seen enough evidence of that.