Archive for the ‘Gerris Wilkinson’ Category

Carl Banks comments on the Giants

September 13, 2009

Carl Banks was on WFAN Friday with Roberts and Benigno. Go to the middle (~55% or 60% of the way through) of the audio clip to start listening to the section on the Giants.

Quick summary: Giants should be a playoff team, the back 7 of the defense has the question marks and the upside to determine the fate, good or bad, with the team.

Banks believes the WR issues are overblown. He specifically singled out Nicks and Manningham as having breakout potential.

On Hakeem Nicks: “He’s a fighter now. I like the way he fights back and makes tough plays.”

On Mario Manningam: “Mario Manningham is a guy who Eli Manning HAS to get adjusted to… If you watch Ocho Cinco- the best route runner in football. He gets in and out of cuts great. This Mario Manningham has the potential to be that because he is in and out of his breaks. He is ..starting to run crisp routes, but he’s got quick feet and he runs a screen or an out cut.. ELI HAS TO TRUST THAT THIS KID IS GOING TO BE OUT OF IT. He’s got to throw the ball, can’t wait, because he’ll be behind him.”

On the Linebackers, very positive remarks on Wilkinson IF he can stay on the field. Wilkinson can play all three LBer positions and is MORE ATHLETIC, smart. Especially with Boley still out, who do you want covering the TE or the RB in passing situations? Carl Banks trusts Wilkinson’s speed. The LBers are younger, but they are better than last year.

Xtian correctly remarks that technically speaking, yes, the LBers are not ‘younger’ with Clark and Pierce out there. The assumption here is that Clark is a placeholder and Pierce is slowing down (especially as each season continues).. the very near future of the LBers will be looking something like Sintim/Boley/Wilkinson/Kehl. The Giants need this move toward the younger and less experienced LBers because they have more range.

Patriots 38 NYG 27

September 4, 2009

The Giants were up 21-0 in Q1 and they lost 38-27. So what does that tell you? Once the Giants 1st string units were out, it got ugly. There was no depth on defense. A lot of the players left out there will not make the team.

On the bright side, the first string Giants offense operated efficiently vs the second string Patriots. Manning hooked up with Boss for 44 yards. Moss collected 2 TDs. Nicks made a nice adjustment to the ball and then scored. Pretty. Bradshaw had a blitz pickup to enable that TD.

Nicks went out in Q3 with a hip flexor injury. Did not see the play, not sure how serious it is. Nicks said he was fine after the game was over.

Manningham looked good again. He gets separation play after play. On one play he runs an inside slant, the ball is thrown behind him by Carr, he makes a great catch and gets tackled for a 9 yard gain. When Montana hits Rice on the same exact play it is in stride and you tack on another 10 or 20 yards. It’s preseason and this is starting to get redundant already. Manningham gets separation when he makes his break. And because he does it so quickly, Carl Banks is practically drooling. He starts commenting how these Giants WRs are all very different, each one having different skill sets. TRANSLATED: Manningham has natural ability to get free in his route because he is so fast on the break, so if you are the QB you better know it is HIM you are throwing to because everyone else is in one spot and Manningham is already in the center of the field. On one play Manningham gets a 35 yard pass reception, goes back out on the very next play and splits two defenders with a step on each of them for another bomb but it is overthrown. Tom Brady or Peyton Manning would be having pitch and catch with this guy all day long. I do not want to hear how we do not have Wide Receivers. Manningham is a Wide Receiver.

Quick extras from the game:
-Wilkinson, Travonti Johnson and Terrell Thomas had nice open field tackles before the 8th stringers led the swiss cheese assault on our senses
-Woodson and Bomar both threw picks, the first gave the Pats 6 and the second cost us 6. But I’ll still take Bomar because he is spry, “flicks” the ball out so fast, give him time. If the Giants put him on the practice squad it is a mistake because someone will pick him up. Reese is smarter than that.
-another uncovered punt that is allowed to fall in with terrible field position
-poor kickoff coverage

Summary- first team Offense and Defense (2 sacks) did fine vs the Pats scrubs, scrubs NYG defense did miserably.

Box Buster Recipe #5:
Step 1> Manningham needs to play
Step 2> Manning needs to get his timing with him
Step 3> Other teams will get roasted if they leave Manningham alone one on one

Paul Dottino gives color on Giants Training Camp

August 13, 2009

Paul Dottino spoke with John Schmeelk of and gave 16 minutes of video commentary on numerous player/unit developments at camp.

Although we strongly recommend that you listen for yourself, here are some quick takeaways:

1) Defensive Line – “having a terrific summer”
2) Bryan Kehl – biggest surprise is his leadership
3) Ramses Barden – “great hands, two spectacular catches today, I think this guy is going to be really special. Old time folks will remember Harold Carmichael of the Eagles. He kind of reminds me of him.”
4) Derek Hagan – “great camp here in Albany”
5) Danny Ware – “I think he is terrific; he’s got the hands, strength, maturity”

1) Gerris Wilkinson– It was what Dottino did NOT say. Time is running out.
2) Center depth behind O’Hara

1) “5-1-5” Defense
2) William Beatty is “intriguing”… “he will eventually be a starter in this league.”

Ultimatenyg comments: VERY pleased with early encouraging words from both Dottino and Schmeelk on Kehl. Kehl’s draft comments a year ago alluded to ballsmarts and leadership. Beggars can’t be choosers, so we’ll take a LBer making progress from anywhere we can get it. Kehl’s speed was never anything to get excited about. WE NEED SPEED. That was what the promise of Wilkinson was about. That was what the Boley free agent signing was all about. But make no mistake, if we can have Boley, chip-on-his-shoulder Pierce and Kehl out there playing good football together, then this will be a positive development. So much more information will come from the first few preseason games.

Just because Barden is making some very good catches in camp does not mean he will be making an impact this year. We were reminded by the Beckum comments on Monday’s post – if a rookie wants to get on the field he NEEDS to take care of his blocking assignment, not to mention getting past the jam at the line of scrimmage. So while we hope to see Barden see snaps in the red zone, we are cautious to glean too much from the practice catches themselves. In the preseason games, look for how well (quickly) Barden gets separation at the line from his defender, NOT for whether or not he makes the catch. But we’ll end this Barden note on a positive by saying that ANY comparison of a rookie to Harold Carmichael is a GREAT uptick. Good good stuff.

Separately, Q&A with Ahmad Bradshaw noted how the injury not discussed last season was his calf, which slowed him down. He was missing a gear. Wait. Let’s repeat that. He was missing a gear! Good thing we had him out there running back kickoffs instead of Hixon. $%^&*(#@! If we can see more open field speed from #44, all the better.

NFLN previews the Giants

July 20, 2009

NFLN video link previews the Giants for 2009.

Jamie Dukes smartly downplays the issues at WR. Between all of the talent they have, there is no reason why they cannot get it done this year. If they do not, it is either because of injuries, Gilbride or a combination of both. Moss is playing better, Manningham is playing better, Boss needs lots more touches, Nicks looks like he make a significant rookie contribution, and Hixon and Smith have already proven (when healthy) they have the game.

What is missing is a serious discussion of two items.

1) LBer. The injury to Boley sets this unit right back to 2008. Where is the speed? Where are the impact plays? Where is Pierce after midyear when he slows down? Sintim pulled a hamstring in OTAs, so he better be very healthy and very active in camp. Kehl? Waiting for GodotWilkinson?

2) Lack of depth at Safety. Knight and Butler are gone. Johnson and Phillips should be fine. But this unit always had rotation, and now there is CC Brown and that is about it folks. If they stay healthy, okay. If they do not, trouble.

And as a footnote Giants fans, if #10 can play at a consistently high level for an entire season, the Giants can collect a title ‘EASY.’ In 2007 Manning played at that consistently high level for 5 consecutive games. It was the right 5 games. So let’s start putting some pressure on Eli Moneybag$. When he signs that contract to be the highest paid player in the NFL, he better know the responsibility needs to be there. Jerry Reese said so.

New York Giants 16 Washington Redskins 7

September 5, 2008

Meat and potatoes win. Yes Wonder, the Redskins stink. They are learning a new system, their offense is woeful and they have a lot of injuries. Their two minute offense wouldn’t scare a college team. It is not who you play but when you play them. They will get a lot better- every team improves from W1 to W17.

Offense: Manning was not present for all 4 quarters, but he looked good. He used the pump fake and looked off the safety on more than a few occasions, which was vg. Burress was excellent. Steve Smith picked up right where he left off with his terrific 3rd down possession catches which kept moving the sticks. Jacobs was punishing… he always looks good at the beginning of the season when he has fresh legs. Ward looked very good too… and as good as we have ever seen him catching the ball out of the backfield. When Jacobs has fresh legs it is hard to argue for Bradshaw. With the exception of a pass or two out of the backfield that screamed for #44, any of the three of them could get this job done. John Madden was having a lovefest with the offensive line.. I was surprised he did not suit up to join them down there. Great play call by Gilbride on the naked bootleg at the 1 yard line. As we mentioned in preseason, Manning should run ONCE per game just to keep the defense off-balance.

Defense: the DL was fantabulous. Pick a lineman, they all played great. I saw #21 all over the field. He made a great play to stop a first down by making an open field tackle of rookie Devin Thomas just short of the sticks. Webster played very well. Alford got called for a big 15 yarder which was horsebleep. They say it is a rules change but Alford totally missed his face mask anyway. Ross looked bad on the Moss TD, but he may have been in zone, so I won’t judge that one too harshly. (The real culprit on that drive was…

Specials: Not good, folks. No hang time on kickoffs gives them good field position. Carney will work until Tynes can come back. Costly roughing the kicker by McDougle was a turnover insanity.

The Giants had to win this game, they did win, NEXT. The first 4 weeks are exactly like this, schtick dreck competition where the gmen must get their business done. The Giants benefit from this 10 day layover because everyone makes mistakes in W1, the Giants get to iron them out after a win and become a better team. Wilkinson and Kehl got a lot of playing time and looked fine with the exception of each taking a bad penalty… the coaches will take a scalpel to each of these guys if they keep making boneheaded mistakes like those. (Kehl had the illegal block on kickoff, Wilkinson had the unnecessary roughness.)

Beat writers for the New York Giants

August 5, 2008

Tom Rock answers 5 questions about the Gmen. Ultimatenyg follows.

With all due respect, Mr. Rock, you ain’t no Neil Best, and you certainly are not Arthur Staple.

Question 1: What is the biggest concern for the Giants heading into this year?

Rock- Strahan’s presence off the field.
Ultimatenyg- LINEBACKER. Pierce’s wheels keep coming off by the end of the season, Kiwi is making progress but is going to get picked on by Dallas et al, Wilkinson was supposed to be the de facto starter at WL and he is first getting cleared to practice.. and last but not least, with Strahan missing ON the field we no longer have half the field shut down for the run, making LB that much more important.

Question 2: What is the most recent news on Plaxico Burress? Has he practiced yet? Is he injured, or unhappy with his contract?
Rock did fine here. It is always the money, and Rock hit that one.

Question 3: What were the Giants’ offseason (gains and) losses?Rock- Strahan and Shockey.
Ultimatenyg- This is where I went nuts. Ever hear of a guy named Gibril Wilson? Shockey was already wasted by Gilbride. At 36, Strahan was not a complete surprise. Not to mention 26 year old Gibril Wilson here was insane… the Giants (rightly so) obsessed about this position, bringing Dahl back in, keeping the slo-mo Butler, bringing in Sammy Knight, drafting Safety with the #1 pick. ALL because Wilson left.

Question 4: What is the team’s biggest strength going into the 2008 season?
Rock- WR, and the diversity of their running game.
Ultimatenyg- WR? C’mon. This shows no knowledge of football, because even if you had Jerry Rice and Randy Moss, WR is still NOT a critical part of football. As evidence, the weaker secondary of the Giants took Randy Moss out of the Super Bowl last year. WR is not an impact position, so even if it is a strength, it is not relevant enough to be considered the TEAM’S biggest strength. Plaxico Burress played on one leg, Toomer caught some nice passes, Tyree made a miracle catch, Smith made some big grabs, and STILL WR is not what won the Giants the Super Bowl. This game is won and lost in the trenches. The offensive and defensive lines of scrimmage. So clearly the answer still has to be the defensive line of the NY Giants, because even with the loss of the almighty Strahan, you have Kiwi blitzing like the closet lineman he is, you will have Tuck starting, Osi, Robbins and Tollefson having an allegedly good camp, 2nd and 3rd year interior linemen Alford and Cofield ready to bring it up a notch.

Question 5: What is the best and worst part about covering training camp in Albany? Is this the worst time of year to be an NFL beat writer?
Rock- The best part is not having to cover the Favre angle every day. Covering Free Agency is hard and covering the team after 10 days of camp is hardest because the obvious stories have been written.
Ultimatenyg- The worst part is asking Pierce where the next Giants leader is going to be. The second worst part is having to ask Coughlin about every bleeping bowel movement of Plaxico Burress. The best part is not having to read your own drivel. The worst time of year for a beat writer is anytime you wait 5 hours for an interview that ends up being a no-show.

No offense to Rock, but the Ultimate-nyg favorite beat writers are:
1. Schwartz
2. Garafolo
3. DiTrani
4. Vacchiano
5. Staple (Yankees? Giants?)

They all sell their soul for access, but at least they know what the score is with that jerk Hanlon.

New York Giants Training Camp Day #2

July 27, 2008

New York Giants Training Camp Report Day #2

items of note>
1) competition at Safety going exactly as anticipated with Johnson and Butler fending off Phillips and Knight early on because of their familiarity with the system, but the latter doing well and projecting a very tight race for starting jobs
2) Manning threw a lot of picks
3) McQuarters, Pierce, Tollefson, Webster and Thomas all mentioned for individual plays
4) Kiwinuka mentioned for sliding in at DE. Can you say 5-1-5 nickel? Now that is a TRUE double nickel. Coughlin went out of his way to praise his attitude and work ethic.
5) Hixon played well on offense. He is taking advantage of the extra time coming from Burress being inactive.
6) With Clark and Wilkinson limited, Kehl and Blackburn getting a lot of work.

Moss on the bubble… this time for real
Coughlin says Burress IS hurting, ankle is sore
Nate Robinson was cut
Jessie Armstead is a volunteer coach
Derek Brown (!) sighting
Asante Samuel strained his hamstring in Eagles camp


May 28, 2008

1) Get Kiwanuka back on defensive line. Yes, we hear from LBs coach Sheridan last week that Kiwanuka is making very good improvement at LB, but I for one certainly do not see it.
3) SIGN STRAHAN. For enough money he’ll even sell peanuts during halftime.
4) Find an answer to the TE in coverage. Is this Kenny Phillips? Or one our new rookie LBers? Wilkinson is weakside, so that is not the answer. I guess this circles back to Kiwanuka, but until we see him handle this assignment with confidence the gmen are vulnerable here.

I have to confess that watching Spagnoulo last season was a privilege. My only knocks on the defense are more related to personnel (lack of speed at LB) than anything else. With the Giants having drafted 4 players at S, CB and LB in the first 5 rounds, one would hope that these additions will give us some potential/speed in space. The Giants certainly did not underachieve at defense in 2007. The lowest common denominator is a comparision between Spagnuolo and Gilbride. It is on the shoulders of the offense to absorb more of the improvement.

Defensive Coaches outtakes

May 23, 2008

Waufle on Strahan: “I called him last week and I told him, ‘I’ve been doing these cutups and I have made this phone call to you already and I have said that you had one heck of a season.’ And I said, ‘I’m going to tell you again’ Because he really did, he played really well, especially at the end. What a way to finish it.”

Waufle on Umenyiora: “Osi has really improved on is his run defense. He is very consistent at it. In fact, I was showing the rookies a particular alignment today which Osi plays. He is playing really well.”

Q: How do you feel about the potential replacements for (weakside linebacker) Kawika Mitchell (who signed with Buffalo as a free agent)? Is Gerris Wilkinson the number one prospect?

Sheridan: “I think going into the spring practices he will be, just because he is coming back and Danny Clark (signed on March 13) is coming from outside. I think both of them understand that the position is wide open and (fourth-round draft choice) Bryan Kehl would be considered in the mix, too. We are not going to necessarily pigeonhole Bryan as a SAM or a WILL, so I think he will do some of both in the spring and if he can make a splash he will be considered as well.”

Q: How is Mathias Kiwanuka (who fractured his left fibula in Detroit on Nov. 18) coming along?

Sheridan: “I anticipate him taking all of the reps in the spring. I think he is fully ready to go and very anxious to do it.

Re Kiwanuka at LB: “I think he will be much, much further along. I think when he got hurt he had showed so much improvement every week and I think he would have continued to go and get better had he not gotten hurt and been able to play for the rest of the season. I think he is a lot more confident in the schemes and the Xs and Os. He will continue to just get better with becoming familiar with playing the position and the pass coverages. I anticipate him being an excellent player.”

Sheridan on Goff and Kehl: “I did like both of them going into the draft. I had evaluated both guys and I had gone to Jon Goff’s senior workout at Vanderbilt. They are both big. They are all of 6-2 plus, almost 6-3, they are both 240 lbs. So just walking in the door they are great size guys and both of them are really smart. Maybe you hear that all the time and you think it is trite, but it is so much easier to win with guys that are really smart, and they are. We interviewed them both at the combine and watching film with them, and they know football, they can talk football, they can explain football, and in the short time that I have had to visit with them and meet them here they understand exactly what we are installing. They can reiterate back to me what I just told them five minutes ago, they understand when we go and do some walk-thrus and jog-thrus, and even in the rookie mini camp they did a great job. They are really smart guys.”

Giunta on Webster: “Yes, very confident, very confident that he will continue to develop and get better and better.

Giunta on another year for McQuarters and Madison: “Oh yeah, absolutely. Those guys both have stuff left in the tank.”

Q: Is Kenny Phillips a guy who is as NFL ready as one can be?

Merritt: “Yes. Kenny came out early as a junior. But this kid, in the classroom, has shown unbelievable recall for the defense. We put in things early in the mini-camp and he is able to recall it back to me a week or two later. Safeties are the quarterbacks of the defense, they control all the coverage, they get them in and out of checks, and this kid was able to recall a lot of the information and things that we had spoken about weeks before. As far as his smarts and his intellect I am very, very excited about that. Now there is some stuff as far as on the field that I will work with him with as far as understanding angles and how he approaches certain routes and things like that, but that is my job as a coach. As far as his God-given ability mentally the kid is very good.”

Q: In a perfect world does Sammy Knight play the strong safety and Kenny Phillips play the free?

Merritt: “Don’t disregard Michael Johnson and James Butler because Michael Johnson started for us last year a couple of games and James Butler started for us a majority of the season. Other than his hamstring injury James Butler came out of the Super Bowl as the starting strong safety, and that is what is going to happen this year. Right now no matter what happens (going into the OTA’s and mini-camp) James Butler is the starting strong safety with Michael Johnson right now being the starting free safety. What I am doing with the guys here this spring is I am playing left and right safety. Sammy Knight is going to have to learn how to play free safety just as well as strong safety. That way they are able to learn the entire defense. Once the season comes along we will start to weed it out and put the guys in their position, but right now we would like for these guys to learn it all; both positions.”