Archive for the ‘Kevin Gilbride’ Category

NY Giants 33 Dallas 31

September 21, 2009

This was a great win, warts and all. Yes, there are a multitude of problems that need fixing, but there were MANY positives gained from this victory. We have been saying since the middle of preseason that the defense needed time to come together- they are buying time with wins. Phil Simms said before the game that the Giants defense gives up the big play and that that would cost us the game. Well, he was right, but he did not know that the Giants would have a +4 turnover ratio. Dallas beat themselves with those turnovers, so DO NOT try giving back this win with all the warts we had. Collect a nice win, move on to next week, fix the problems, get PEOPLE BACK HEALTHY and improve the defense.

The GOOD
1) The Giants have their #1 Wide Receiver, his name is Mario Manningham (10 catches for 150 yds) and to quote Al Michaels, he is their “budding star.” Look over to the right side of the blog and give yourselves a pat on the back- you saw Mario Manningham as the breakout WR for the Giants this year, LONG BEFORE ANYONE ELSE. (Okay, let’s throw a bone to Peter King, he was there too.)
2) Eli Manning (330 yds, 2 TDs) was tremendous. Cool as a cucumber in the 2 minute offense. Evaded pressure with poise in the pocket all night. He did it all.
3) Steve Smith (10 catches for 134 yds) is the Rock of Gibraltar. You can lean on him, clutch, reliable, money. Did you see that move he put on Scandrick for the TD? He left him in a different zip code.
4) The Bruce Johnson INT for a TD is how you win on the road. Make impact plays and make the home team pay for their mistakes. That was a huge lift for the team because this game could have been a rout early, the way that Dallas was dominating. Antonio Pierce is slowing down on defense but he changed the defense when Romo audibled and that set up Johnson.
5) Pass protection was good. Wonder and I disagree on this one. Wonder felt the protection was not good and that Eli Manning’s pocket presence did it all, that there were plenty of times Dallas guys were getting through. There were no sacks, that is GOOD enough for us.
6) PLUS FOUR TURNOVER RATIO.
7) Ahmad Bradshaw was a jack of all trades. Picked up blitzes, pushed the pile, got respectable yardage when Jacobs was having trouble.
8) The defensive secondary did enough things well to be on the other side of Romo going for 13 for 29 with 3 INTs. Romo may have been tied with Eli for the Giants MVP, but the DBs played well in pass coverage. Phillips was playing hurt or else this unit will look better in run coverage. We could have used Gibril Wilson out there to clean up all of the run defense mistakes.

The Bad
1) OL run blocking did not get the surge. Wonder asks aloud if these guys have lost something from last year. Jacobs likes getting the handoff about 28 yards behind the line of scrimmage so that he can have a running start and a head of steam, but the problem is that he was getting greeted at the line of scrimmage too often and the plays look too slow-devloping.
2) Kickoff returns
3) Kickoff coverage

The Ugly (aka “warts”)
1) RUN DEFENSE was GASHED repeatedly. The DL was blown off the ball, Osi overpursued (creating wide gaps), our LBers are too slow. Boley was gassed and was out there far longer than he should have been, considering it was his first game back. Yes, it was hot and hurt both DLs, but there is no excuse for 251 yards. Would we have been aided by rotation with Tuck and Canty? Yes. But it has to improve.
2) This game, like the Redskins game, could have been over much earlier in the evening if the Red Zone offense could do better that 0 for 3 for 2 FGs.
3) Gilbride did not call Kevin Boss’s number ONCE in the red zone. Instead, in this mission critical area, we get balls thrown to Hedgecock and pitchouts to Bradshaw
(See Rule #5, AGAIN!). Brilliant. NOT.
4) If Tuck’s injury is serious.

Yes, the Giants were dominated at the line of scrimmage. When you have difficulties running the ball AND you give up 251 yards at the point of attack, you will not survive for very long if that does not get straightened out.

We have been complaining about the inadequacies of Kevin Gilbride for over a year now, but it has gotten so bad that even Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth now are talking about it on National TV.

Re kickoffs, each team was getting a runback of ~22 yards per kick. But their kicker makes us start from 2 yards inside the endzone while ours (thanks to Tynes’ weak leg) makes our coverage of kicks start from the +10 yard line. So we get out to the 20 and they are at the 32. Bad.

With all of this, the game is still in the WIN column. GOOD FOR THE GIANTS. COLLECT THE “W” and move on to the next game. Thankfully the playoffs do not start for another 16 weeks, so there is PLENTY OF TIME TO IMPROVE. We need time to heal. We need time for Boley to get his legs. We need time for Canty, Ross, Dockery and Sintim to get back. This win was well deserved and well earned in a great fight. The most exciting part of the game is watching Mario Manningham grow up before our very eyes. This has very good long term implications for the team.

They’ll walk through a wall for you

September 15, 2009

1) We talk about how the difference between teams #1 thru #26 in the NFL is not very large. Intangibles like coaching and emotion can make a #26 play like a #1 and we have numerous examples of coaches who turn good teams into underachievers in crunch time (think Marty Schottenheimer, Wade Phillips). It is only Week 1, it does not mean anything YET long term, but they are playing for Rex Ryan so far.

2) Wonder and I discussed the red zone problems. Everyone knows this is not a new problem. Remember the Steelers game last season? 1 for 6 in the red zone, the lone success at the end of the game on.. PLAY ACTION?! The Giants were 0 for 3 on Sunday vs the Skins. SAME STORY.

So what is going on? When the Giants are down by the goal line in 3rd and 1 from the 1 or thereabouts, Wonder reminds us of Marino to Bruce Hardy. The Dolphins would play action OFTEN. Fake handoff into the line.. Marino would hit one of his plethora of putrid and slow Tight Ends in the back of the end zone for a (usually) wide open TD. The Dolphins LIVED on this. And it made their run attempts more effective because it created doubt in the minds of the opponent about what they were going to see.

Part of the problem here is (my apologies for being redundant) predictability. You are not making the job of the OL any easier by using play action infrequently. Wonder swings to the other side of the coin… USE IT OFTEN. PRACTICE IT OFTEN. PLAYERS LOVE ROUTINE. They get comfortable executing it and they want to do it. It should be a staple of your offense, not an exception. Use play action with Nicks, Smith and Boss. And you benefit Eli too, because he needs to be comfortable executing this OFTEN. Wonder is so right about this.. Eli gets very good when he is comfortable back there. You can see a player like him who is long on smarts being every bit as effective as any other QB with this kind of play.

Manning offered this on the topic of 3rd and short: “Coach talked a little bit about it today – we just assume that on third and short we are going to be able to run and be able to get it. We have to throw the ball a little bit more possibly in some of those situations. But down there, we’re a team that is going to be physical, we have a big back, and we should be able to get that surge and should get a first down in those situations.”

3) As for short yardage woes of the Giants to run for 1 yard, be it red zone or otherwise, Wonder suspects it is scheme. Where is the design trap? He puts half the blame on the OL and the other half on Gilbride. He does not put the blame on the RB.

3a) When I asked him about the (Rule #5) pitchout in the red zone, he completely agreed, but noted one minor exception which actually bolsters the rule even more. He said the one time it actually works is when you have a two back set, you fake handoff the ball to Jacobs going right and then very quickly pitchout to Bradshaw on the left side. Everyone including the safety are frozen on the right side and the other RB can usually walk into the end zone. Fwiw, the Giants do not have Jacobs and Bradshaw in a 2 back set.

4) I was ribbing Wonder on Manningham; he is not conceding that one so quickly. But he did tip his hat to Corey Webster. “Impressive” job on Moss.

5) Injury update: “Coughlin said rookie wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot) and running back Danny Ware (dislocated elbow) will probably be sidelined a minimum of two weeks and then be evaluated week-by- week.”

6) The Gatorade bath of Sheridan at the end of the game was good to see. Pierce: “He (Sheridan) was deserving of it. (He) called a great game and we went out and executed well.”

7) The fake FG that the Skins scored a TD was Coughlin’s fault. He called for an all-out block.

Some interesting comments from Gilbride

June 22, 2009

Gilbride spoke with the media Thursday after minicamp was over.

He had some cautiously positive spin on where the team is.

He singled out 4 players by name:

Bradshaw and Ware– “..we feel pretty good about some of the guys that have been given a chance to step up, whether it is Ahmad Bradshaw at running back or Danny Ware.”
WRs– “so many young receivers look good”
Manningham– “he’s showing some things that we thought he could do which we never saw last year, now all of a sudden he’s doing it”
Beckum– “you miss this whole time, it certainly sets him back and you don’t want to say he can’t do it, but he will be one of the unusual ones if he can”

It is very good info on the margin to hear that Manningham had a good minicamp. It means he is getting an understanding of the offense, and will be in a position to start playing instead of thinking. We keep hearing this from the coaches and the players… how when you are rookie the playbook is so immense that you are too busy just trying to learn the plays and not screw up your assignment instead of going out there and hitting the ground running. This is why each season you have to pay attention to which rookies are doing well early- it means these guys are keepers. Guys like Gibril Wilson and David Diehl, fifth rounders who came in, started their first rookie game… they can have very nice careers. These are the exception, the notable exceptions, but it gets you excited. So when we hear that Manningham is doing much better, that Nicks is doing well, that Bomar has a great release… it means these players have half a chance of doing something. And when Beckum is in the trainer’s room as a rookie, he needs to make sure he is healthy for ALL of training camp because he is already behind.

Crime of omission

June 3, 2009

Sal Paolantonio of ESPN writes an NFC East blog entry on Eli Manning and the Giants receiving options.

Which name is missing from this analysis?

KEVIN BOSS!

Not a word on his motherbrowning TE, all 6’6″ and 270 lbs. of him! Yes, technically speaking, Boss is a TE, and not a WR. WHO CARES?! Win games. Go tell that to the Atlanta Falcons, who gave up a #2 for Tony Gonzalez, who “only” caught for 1000 yards and beat out approximately 6×32-9= ~183 other WRs in this league. (Not to mention the other 60 or so TEs too!) USE YOUR TE.

Trust us, we still have scars from a decade of Howard Cross killing our offense because of its INABILITY to have a TE as a weapon to pull away that SS. Kevin Boss has all that is necessary for 800+ yards from scrimmage. You think THAT can help Manning and this offense move the ball more consistently and get an identity?!! We just better hope Boss is more on the radar of Gilbrown than that of Paolantonio.

Gilbride speaks to Giants.com

May 30, 2009

Our fearless offensive offensive coordinator sat down with John Schmeelk of Giants.com for a video interview

Giants.com:”Six out of the seven first picks are all on your side of the ball. That must have been pretty exciting for you!?!”

Kevin Gilbride:”It definitely is exciting, but maybe it’s an indictment of where we were at the end of last year…”

To be fair to Gilbride, the Giants picked up Canty, Boley, Bernard and Brown in free agency, so we were not surprised that Reese was going to put more draft picks on the offensive side of the ball. But all humor is based in truth, and Gilbride KNOWS he has to answer the critics. Coughlin knows as well.

There will be pressure to get Nicks involved this year. And there will be a lot of pressure on Moss, Manningham, Hixon and Tyree to produce. As evidenced by Gilbride’s admission, Steve Smith is the only player who is in a fairly clear position of having a sizeable role before camp starts.

When Gilbride discussed the RBs, it was clear that Ahmad Bradshaw was not going to get anything handed to him. Good. We may be the Bradshawlics, but Bradshaw needs to work for everything he gets, and that includes protecting the ball and earning those carries. If he takes care of business, he should earn that coveted #2 backup spot behind Jacobs and deliver dividends for the Giants. It will be his third year. No excuses.

The Vitriol of Ultimatenyg

May 15, 2009

Yesterday’s NY Giants blog installment was an opportunity for us to poke fun at the offensive coordinator. Some regulars agreed, some did not. Good debate. Xtian always makes remarks which I appreciate, because we agree and agree to disagree, but we always know we are constructive. And since we learn from one another in the forum, it is all good.

One remark from xtian needed a little more time for response: “ny fans always have some guy to pile on–kg… kg is not as horrendous an oc as you state.

Of course Gilbride is not horrendous. He probably works harder than all of us and does plenty of good things. Our point all along has been that he costs the Giants in many ways, and for that, we are better served with someone new. To that general idea of the folks here actually having a say in GM affairs, xtian adds: “a more measured jerry reese response is deserved and gets better results in the long run. thank god you guys aren’t the giants gm.”

For starters, I do not believe I have ever seen the Giants GM order a head coach to fire any of his assistants. It is likely handled in a much different manner.

Secondly, In terms of this blogger’s track record on commenting about NY Giants GM affairs, perhaps we are a little less off the mark than one would think. Do not let the vitriol and slapstick of the last post confuse the point. Our lack of confidence in Gilbride’s ability to get the most out of his players and leverage their talent is well known. (Contrast that with Spags.) But our seriousness in having the best wishes of this team needs to be understood…

The time was November 2002. Just as I was capable of a rant against Kevin Gilbride today, I was equally if not more insistent that Fassel was not the man to get us a title. The Giants had just lost to the expansion Texans, a typical hallmark of Fassel not handling prosperity. Fassel could not handle a lead (his 1997 loss to the Vikings in the playoffs foreshadowed much larger implosions to come) and he could not handle a winning season (in 7 years he never was able to put together 2 winning seasons). So I wrote Ernie Accorsi a letter. Spelling out his deficiencies, I urged Accorsi to let Fassel go after 6 seasons because I did not believe he had what was necessary for the team to go all the way.

Nov 29, 2002
Dear Mr. Furman:

Thank you for your letter. I’m not sure that during my time with the New York Giants I have received a letter like yours. It was so genuine, so well and intelligently written, so perfectly expressed that I couldn’t help but absorb the points you made. I can assure you that we share many of your thoughts. I was mortified last week to see this wonderful franchise so embarrassed. But, as you wrote, the problems have been apparent for a long time.

Thank you for taking the time and caring enough about the Giants to write such a thoughtful letter. We heard every word you said.

Sincerely,
Ernie Accorsi

Literally one game later, the Giants snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with another Fassel Prevent gem against Tennessee, only to be outdone by the benchmark of all ‘prevent’ implosions, the SF playoff loss. It took another year, two more classic ‘prevent’ implosions (vs Dallas on Monday night and a PHL Westbrook punt return) for the players to lose complete confidence in their coach, losing the last 8 games of the season.

We may not get everything, but we get enough to know when a coach is underperforming.

Q&A with Kevin Gilgarbage- You Gotta Have Hope!

May 14, 2009

A few days ago Kevin Gilbride sat down with reporters for an interview. Ultimatenyg comments in red.

Q: How do you feel about receivers?

A: Good. It is hard to get a gauge this early for a couple of reasons. One, they are just learning what it is you expect of them; your system, your technique, fundamentals that we ask them to employ. And two, you are not really sure of the quality of opposition they going against. We will get a much better feel in another two weeks when they start going against the varsity – I think we have pretty good corners. We will get a pretty good assessment of how far along they are.

Q: When you look at the whole group of receivers – Jerry Reese talked before the draft about the level of panic outside your organization — people kept saying you have to go get this guy or that guy. What is your assessment of what you have been left with Plaxico and Amani gone?

A: Losing Plax was huge. He is a special talent. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that I was incapable of adjusting. So the difference in the club was discernible to anyone who watched us. The ‘panic outside’ was because they knew it was me driving the bus. Hell, I’d be panicked too. Why do you think Reese got me three new kids?! I don’t know if you replace a guy like Burress. But hopefully, collectively, we have enough quality young players. We believe we do. We are looking forward to seeing some guys step into some roles that maybe they haven’t had to play before and see how they perform. I think we feel good about the guys we have. I think we are optimistic about the guys we have added, but you never know until you have to go out and do it. Oh, by the way, I won’t utter that word Amani in this entire interview because he called me out for my deficiencies.

Q: Do you think that you have a number one type of receiver there? Do you have a need?

A: I think everybody is always looking for what. And in a perfect world you have more than a number one, you have two or three guys that you think are special, that anytime somebody matches up one on one that he is going to win that battle. If you only have one, usually that is not enough because they can roll to that and put another guy over there and take the guy out. So that is what made Plaxico. You guys used to constantly ask that question, …..number this or number that? I said, that is fine, his contributions are still very, very significant because we were able to run the ball much more easily. And that enables the other guys to have some success. So you have to have a couple of guys that win. If only one guy can win against one on one coverage, that is not enough to bail out my sorry butt, because they will take that guy away from you. But I think there are some things we can look at. I think Domenik when he was healthy early on showed some flashes. He has to do it on a consistent basis. But he certainly showed some – a couple of games where he played terrific. And we never really gave Steve Smith a chance to play outside because I routinely waste my resources. We used him as an inside guy where he is terrific. But I think he has earned the right to compete as an outside guy, too. And then we are anxious to see what Sinorice and Mario are going to do. And you have your fingers crossed that one of those guys will step up. I think they are working hard and doing all of the things that they can. This OTA, mini-camp, will be very, very important to them and therefore, to us – how they come along. And then of course training camp will be the next stage in the preparation and then you are waiting to see what these young guys can do.

Q: There are a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘hopes.’

A Yeah, no question. But that is the way it is every year when you got me as your offensive coordinator. Because you never know if an established guy gets hurt, what are you going to do? I can’t make adjustments, so when guys get hurt we are stuck. You never know what is going to happen.

Q: You need guys who you ‘hope’ can, but usually you are ‘hoping’ with the third and fourth and fifth guys, right – not one or two?

A: Again, I think Plax is a big loss. And that one is hard to replace because I need excuses for why we fell flat on our faces with the best offensive line in football, a terrific TE with great hands, a 5th year Pro Bowl QB, a plethora of running backs, and good enough WRs that I simply had running the wrong routes. I don’t think that you can. There are not many 6-6 guys that can run and adjust to the ball the way he does. The other stuff we cannot handle.

Q: Q: So right now would you say that Hixon is your X and Smith is your Z?

A: Well, we are going to give them all a shot. But to start with, the first day of OTAs, that is the way it will start, yeah.

Q: In nickel, would you want to keep Steve outside…..?

A: Both inside.

Re: third receiver

A: Yes. The third wide will be very, very important.

Q: Have you started giving any thought to where Beckum fits in or how you use him?

A: Yeah, he is kind of easy. He is like a slot. We will put him in there. I don’t know that he is big enough to be an every-down point of attack tight end. In fact I know he is not big enough to be an every down point of attack. …….He has exceptional quicks and athleticism when you look at what he showed on film. So he is more of a glorified slot. I don’t know if that is the term that you want to use. When you look at some people and you are playing your best 11, sometimes your best 11 is a fullback and tailback and a tight end, two wides. Some people – Indianapolis, for example – on first and second down have made a living for years having that second guy instead of being in a fullback position, be a detached kind of Dallas Clark. But I would not know what to do with a Dallas Clark because I wouldn’t know a TE if he bit me in the a**. I’m not comparing him to Dallas Clark, but you hope that he will grow into that kind of role for us and then you are fighting to make some decisions of how the hell I get that position the ball. Do you go with a fullback? Do you go with what we call a B-tight end, the second tight, a detached tight end, or is three-wides your best personnel grouping? So all of that starts to overwhelm my limited abilities as we go through training camp and in the preseason. As you guys know we will do certain things this next month. Then in training camp you will see some other things and then the preseason you hope you see some other things. And you hope they are always the positive. When you’ve got me on the sidelines, HOPE is important. ……. You see him develop, you see him grow and feeling good about it and then once the season starts, then you have to take the most important step of all. But I think he can do it. It looks like he can. But you don’t know until he shows it.

Q: You talked about your best 11. We are talking about how much you lost by losing Plaxico. But do you feel like while you have lost that, you may have gained some flexibility in this offense with guys that can play in a bunch of different places? Is that fair to say?

A: I don’t. If I admit that, then I admit I am the weakest link in this offense, so I don’t. It is almost apples and oranges. You would like to always add as many parts to the puzzle as you can, but you still like to have a stud – one guy that you feel, “Hey, anytime he goes one on one…” And the other teams obviously knew it – and they were afraid to give us that opportunity very often. You see, I am a puncher, not a boxer, I need that stud or else I am screwed. I cannot box with all of these extra parts. But I do think we have added some parts; I do think that. How quickly it is going to play out is going to be interesting to see but it is also going to be very important that progress be fairly rapid. It is completely different but it is the same. (Hey, ya like that little ditty? I have the IQ of Yogi too!) You look at all of us in our playoff run on the Super Bowl year; I kept saying people don’t realize Steve Smith coming back was a significant role that was for us that he had to play. And all of a sudden he did. Now he didn’t play the whole year – from the Green Bay first series on – but he was a major part of the things. We still had other guys do their thing, but the thing that we needed from his position, he did. So I’m hoping these young guys — when I say ‘young guys’ I’m not just referring to the two draft choices (I count Hakeem and Ramses because I already plan on wasting that Beckum kid… tell me, what position does he play?), I’m definitely referring to see what Mario can do and Sinorice – this will be kind of his big chance. He will start off in the three wides. He will be the starter. So now you just hope, because with me you need a lot of hope – I know he will hope, for sure – that he flourishes and does well. I know we are hoping that somebody does and I have no reason to think it won’t be him.

At this point in the interview, Kevin breaks out into the spotlight onstage, starts singing Heart from the play “Damn Yankees”

You gotta have hope
Musn’t sit around and mope
Nothin’s half as bad as it may appear
Wait’ll next year and hope

Q: Do you have a preference as to how it is broken down because you don’t have Derrick Ward’s 1000 in that one body any more, whether it is Danny Ware or Bradshaw or the new kid, Brown. How do you mathematically break that down right now?

A: I don’t because all I really care about is that somehow, someway, in one form or another, we move the ball. Can’t you figure it out by now that I do not know how to leverage the specific strengths of each ball carrier? That I don’t use Bradshaw on screens or flares, that I like running Brandon East-West vs Philly so that the 12 men in the box can string him out for a loss? We have shown some ability to do that on a consistent basis. The more balance you have, the better off you are. I believe in balance to the point of predictability. I don’t think anyone would argue with that. And by balance I don’t necessarily mean the way most people portray it or most people interpret it is that you are 50% run, 50% pass. I just mean we are good enough that if you are overplaying the pass we can run with consistency, or vice versa. The opposite of that is when you are loaded up against the run and we have one on one chances that we are good enough to win outside. Do you have that kind of ability, and to me that kind of balance. I think we do but certainly at the end last year we weren’t as consistent as we would like in that Dallas game (where I could not dial up more than one screen all night to beat all their pressure), that Philly game (where I could not throw a short pass, a flare, a slant, a screen to save myself) and then we were very good in the Carolina game. And really in the Minnesota game we were fine. But we didn’t do it again in the playoff game because I wasted the do-over from Week 14. So it always leaves you a little bit unnerved because you didn’t finish the way you would like to. But as I look at the guys – Domenik will be healthy again, we are going to give Steve a chance to play an expanded role with the additional new bodies from the receivers to Beckum and the other guys. I can’t help but think that we have enough parts that some way, somehow, we will find a way to move the ball the way we need to again like we did last year. Don’t ya just love my new plan? Mix in one part some way, one part somehow, and two parts hope.

Q: With the running game, because your O-line has been so successful and is still intact, it kind of makes it easier for these new backs, whether it is Ware or Brown, to work in, correct?

A: Yeah, the fact that you have five guys that have been playing together is certainly a positive. But as you saw last year, if you don’t have those other parts to it, then no one guy can do it with me at the helm. In other words, you have the greatest quarterback in the world, if he can’t stand up and throw, or he doesn’t have a coach with a clue, he can’t perform. So the same thing – I think our running backs help our line just as I think our line helps our running backs. I also know the ability to force defenses to defend the pass also contributed very, very importantly to the success we have had running. So it kind of all plays in. It sounds like it is more — it is not complicated but it is important to have the ability (which I lack) that they can’t just gang up on one thing and you are left defenseless. I don’t think we are going to be that way. I think we will have enough weapons. I’m anxious to see who is going to do what in a way that you feel confident about. (Ultimatenyg-So am I). But I think there are enough parts, which is what you guys were asking about. I think there are.

Q: What makes you think Sinorice Moss will flourish?

A: Because I think last year he had his best year and again, I said to him a couple of times at the end, “We are sitting you down but it is not because you are not contributing.” Because I think he was playing pretty good football. And every time we threw him the ball – I may be off by one – but I think every throw we made to him, he made; he made the catch. So we rewarded this success with less touches. There is a place for his speed and his quicks that I thought he did a much better job last year. And he always, for a little guy, gets after people blocking, which helps in the running game; he does those things. So I think his confidence is a little bit improved. I think our confidence in him is a little bit expanded. So I think it is reasonable to think that he can maybe take one more step forward as he did last year and become a guy that gets a chance to play. Last year it really just came down to the kicking game. We wound up just sitting him down because he wasn’t contributing as much as some other guys were on special teams. (Ultimatenyg-WTF? Heeelllpppp!)

Q: Smith has often said that he can play wide and get deep.

A: Oh yeah, I have no question that he said that.

Q: Did he show that in college and does his size mitigate against what you want from that position?

A: In a perfect world you would always like to have a 6-3, 6-4, 4.4 guy. How many guys are there like that? Not many. At Houston I had Buddy try to punch some sense into me. Steve is a little bit unique. Now he has very good body control, he has got great quicks. He has good speed. I wouldn’t say it is as good as he thinks he has, but he has good speed. But he just has a knack, he just has a way of making plays. And so I’m not going to say he can’t do it because quite honestly everything we have asked him to do, he has done. So he is going to get a shot; he is going to get a chance to be that guy.

Q: Do he and Manning have a feel for each other?

A: Yeah, he gets open so Eli feels very good about throwing him the ball. It is not real sophisticated, which is good for me. He is hard to cover, he is difficult to cover. He gets open. He does the right thing. He is courageous. He will make the tough catches inside. He is a quarterback friendly guy as a receiver. He is a guy you know is going to do the right thing. And the odds are pretty good that he is going to get himself some separation and give you a chance to complete the pass if you throw it accurately to him. In that sense, yeah, I guess they do have a good rapport.

Q: Eli had talked last year quite a bit in the offseason about getting the longer passes as part of the offense. It worked in spots but not in others. Is that still a point of emphasis?

A: It always is every year. The long pass or the short pass/long run has not been something — we are actually better at the long pass than we are at the short pass/long run. That is an area that we would like get a lot better in. We are hoping (ya gotta have hope!) some of those young guys will do that. Certainly Mario, when he was in college, looked like that kind of guy. Hakeem looks like he is that kind of guy. So hopefully (ya gotta have hope!) we have added a few more to that type of receiver that does that. It is – as you guys all know – I’m not telling something you don’t know, throwing the long pass is not just the receiver. You have to protect long enough to throw the long pass and sometimes it is other factors that are involved. When you get to late November or December here it is a little tougher to throw the ball condition wise. So there are a lot of things we should do, but don’t, like throwing flares, screens, slants, dumpoffs. But is that a goal? No question. Is it something that we feel like we need to get better at? Absolutely, absolutely.

Toomer Part II

April 2, 2009

It is not every day that you get an ex-player to share some insight on what is actually going on INSIDE. Add the fact that it is Amani Toomer and you have something worth listening to. How many times in Toomer’s career did he show up a player or a coach? Before this, in 13 years, I cannot recall a single time.

January 28th: “They try to rely on the offensive line. And I think our offensive line is great, but they’re great when we mix it up.”

March 31st: “We practiced and prepared well. But we tried to beat them the same way we did the first time. We overemphasized things from the first time. We stayed the same. They adjusted. The rest is what happened. A shame.”

They’re great when we mix it up. Translation- you can have 5 great linemen going to the pro bowl but you cannot be predictable. Kevin Gilbride does not understand this.

October 28th: “Gilbride hinders the team. There is obviously something to lining up and punching someone in the mouth, but much like a fighter, there is a difference between a puncher and a boxer. A boxer can beat a puncher with strategy and technique. And it is much better to be a boxer and not always a puncher.”

Shout out to Rob, who gets the kudos for articulating how Gilbrown is the puncher, not the boxer. Banks gave us the corroboration. Toomer left nothing for debate.

Wonder comments on Burress and Cutler, TOOMER COMMENTS TOO

April 1, 2009

Three items today, do not miss Toomer’s comments at the end.

First, Wonder commented on the 2 big news items:
1) Plaxico Burress court appearance delayed until June 15th. (More on this article below, see “Toomer.”)
2) Jay Cutler and the Broncos are getting a divorce

On Burress… Either the Giants want Burress back or not, but EITHER WAY they have to
(a) get the moron atty and moron Burress to accept ~90 days of jail, (get him some cable tv, jokes Wonder), 45 of it will be in a halfway/his own house etc. and he’ll be out
(b) work with the NFL right now and arrange for a deal with Goodell, contingent upon Burress negotiating w courts above, where the Giants suspension at the end of the 2008 season (5 games + Playoffs) is recognized by the NFL as time served.
Both of those things must be done IN ANY SCENARIO.

>>>If you want Burress back, all these things are finished and he is ready for camp.

>>>If you do not want Burress back, all the bs is cleared away, and NOW YOU CAN TRADE HIM for a #2. There are more than a few teams that will want him.

Wonder is irate at the atty- he had 4 months to do a deal and did not, what kind of bullbrown is that?! Time is money for a 31 year old WR who needs to be playing in 2009. This delay could cost his client millions. (Yes, he could do delayed service of time in next year’s offseason, but that does not clear the deck for a trade.)

On Cutler, Wonder expects Denver to have a deal done in 48 hours. He is too hot a commodity and everyone will be trying to deal for him, so Denver will get a good price. CUTLER IS WORTH EVERY PENNY. How many times does a Pro Bowl QB with a rocket arm and TWENTY FIVE YEARS OLD COME ALONG?!!! Assuming you have a QB wish, he is worth it to get him. Yes, Wonder knows about the things being said about him not being a great teammate, but it is not a big enough issue. For the Jets, who have guys like Jenkins, Jones and Faneca in the lockerroom, he’d be fine. Add Rex Ryan, and it is no problem.

Wonder’s proposed trade: Jets give up David Harris (who Mangini loves) to Cleveland, a #1 to Denver, Cleveland gives up Derek Anderson, Jets get Cutler. Denver gets a Pro Bowl QB plus a #1. Cleveland gets a stud LBer and no longer has a QB controversy, the Jets get a franchise QB.

Other teams that could/should be strongly interested: TB, Chi and Minn. Minn just got Sage Rosenfels, but ship him off to Denver along with your backup RB Chester Taylor (Denver needs a RB) and a #1 in a deal for Cutler. TB does not have anything strong enough to offer for Cutler other than draft picks. Chi can get a deal done by throwing in Kyle Orton, Olsen and a #1.

The team that wants Cutler most will get it done quickly. Wonder reminds us that Bart Scott, one of the most coveted LBers in free agency, was sought after by more than a few teams waiting to talk to him. The Jets literally flew down to his house, called him up and asked him to take his dogs away, that they were in the driveway at 12:15AM after free agency had just begun. He packed his bags, went to visit the Jets and the deal was done. So if you want Cutler, pull the trigger or someone else will.

Lastly, Amani Toomer. See link from top. Ya think we would overlook his parting shot at the Giants for how they browned up in the playoff game vs the Eagles?!!! Not a chance.

Toomer said he will never believe that the Giants were not good enough to win a second straight championship last season. “We beat Philly in the regular season, lost to them in the regular season, and for some reason we overlooked them in the playoffs,” Toomer said. “We practiced and prepared well. But we tried to beat them the same way we did the first time. We overemphasized things from the first time. We stayed the same. They adjusted. The rest is what happened. A shame.

This is piece of evidence number 38 that Gilbrown (and Coughlin) was the root of all incompetence here. Now we have a player SPELLING OUT WHAT WE HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR AN ENTIRE SEASON. Gilbrown does not make the adjustments, and when we win it is often despite him. He had a freaking do-over and still blew it. It took one of his FORMER players to finally tell the truth. Carl Banks was nice enough to validate our thoughts, but Toomer closes the door on any remaining debate. Remember that Toomer did not say a word about Manning’s bad day at the office. HE SPECIFICALLY TARGETED THE FLAWED OFFENSIVE GAMEPLAN. So when anyone tells you it was Burress being hurt or Manning playing poorly, please calmly explain to them that GILBROWN IS THE WEAKEST LINK.

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.