Archive for the ‘Mathias Kiwanuka’ Category

More camp

August 14, 2009

We’re not going to wax nostalgic and romanticize with the Giants IN CAMP.. onto another post…

Vick signed with the Eagles. Why is it that trouble seems to always find a Weigh Station at the NFC East? Very smart by the Eagles to give this guy a ONE year deal. He is not the alpha male, he is a player trying to help his team, and (pun intended) he is on a short leash. It is not entirely clear how much playing time he will get in 2009, given his need to get in game-playing condition, his need to learn the playbook, the suspension issues etc..

Positive comments from Coughlin on Sintim. “Working with the 1’s.” Not so positive remarks on the offense as a whole. Is it me, or is ALMOST EVERY YEAR the defense ahead of the offense?

Kiwanuka– to be fair, this season he has the luxury of training camp AT HIS POSITION. So we like the upside. He’s been able to make an impact. It has not been consistent. But this year he’ll be busy. Sheridan is going to enable him to get good matchups on pass rushing, so we see no reason why he can’t have a very good year. Coughlin had some very good things to say about him.

At this point Hagan seems to have an inside track to make the roster. If he plays in preseason as well as he is practicing, do the Giants keep 7 WRs? We’ve got some time before that question arises, but we knew there were roster issues at WR a while ago. Still have them.

Bob Papa offers up three players by name who he feels have stood out in training camp:
1) Bryan Kehl
2) Terrell Thomas
3) Kenny Phillips

If these three second year players can make that leap and not only contribute but also make impact plays, then this defense can be formidable. The DL is looking to dominate, so you want to have the guys behind them clean up and feast off of the opptys.

Chris Canty and the Defensive Line

March 1, 2009

How aggressively do the Giants go after Chris Canty in the wake of Rocky Bernard being signed? What are the chances of the Giants signing him?

Pros:
1) The perfect mix of age (26) and experience (4 yrs)
2) Able to play both DE and DT well
3) Cofield and Robbins both underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this winter, so need for depth important
4) Canty grew up in NY (Bronx) and would like to come back here, all else equal
5) Best free agent DL out there (next to Haynesworth)
6) You can never have enough good defensive linemen, because every single dressed player gets snaps in the rotation
7) Lack of pressure up the middle in second half of season a big reason why the Giants want to upgrade the DL
8) Kiwi did not have the year we expected of him, and Canty can line up at DE

Cons:
1) It’s always the money, and this signing won’t come cheap
2) Bernard’s signing clearly alleviates the need for depth
3) Plenty of other teams strongly interested in him
4) Given that Boley is a 5yr/25M signing, Reese still has not made the big ticket free agent signing
5) With Osi back, Tuck can rush inside and give the push up the middle that was missing
6) Osi, Kiwi, Tuck, Robbins, Bernard, Cofield, Tollefson, Alford (and Henderson, Douzable, Bryant, Clark) make for a pretty crowded roster and enough competition

Summary: the Bernard signing really lowered the chances for this signing, but Canty wanted to play here… he would already be out of town visiting the next team by now if not for his interest in returning to NY. It still looks like Canty will play somewhere else, but all Reese has to do is offer him numbers in the vacinity of Smith and he will be in blue this season. It is up to Reese.. we’ll respect his judgment.

New York Giants 44 Seattle Seahawks 6

October 5, 2008

‘NATURE’ WAS AT THE GAME

This was a clinic against a team that is not that bad. The Giants simply dissected them and took them apart piece by piece. Fantastic. Bravo. Great HOME performance for the fans, who have not seen a QUALITY win like that in a while. Great post-bye performance. So many great contributions from almost everyone on the squad (those that did not simply were not on the field or dressed).

1) Eli Manning was excellent. He was like a kid playing a video game, doing as he pleased with complete control and confidence, which stemmed from…

2) the Offensive Line, which was incredible. Pass, run, it did not matter. McKenzie out with concussion, no problem. It was so bad that the play action had Manning sitting back with all day to go anywhere he wanted. The pulling guards and blocking on the move were textbook execution.

3) HIXON! I am shocked! Not! We have been saying here on the blog that Hixon is ready for prime time ever since he broke out with some Toomer toe sensational receptions versus Cleveland in preseason.

4) Moss! This praise for one player after another is going to get tiresome. Limited snaps obviously went way up this game and he made the most of them, with 2 TDs and a lot of fine play. (Why bother mentioning how well Toomer and Smith played when that is like old news bread and butter?! Okay, okay, Smith had a fantastic sideline grab of a high Manning pass.)

5) Jacobs/Ward/Bradshaw. Plug and play. Scary.

6) Defensive line. They shut down the run, they put the pressure on, Spags had Tuck coming from the inside to mix things up. Kiwi even beat Jones in garbage time. (In the last 5-10 minutes why weren’t the starters ALL benched already?!!! There is 7 mins left and I am looking at Diehl, Snee, Seubert and O’Hara, get them out of there. Granted it was nice to throw Carr a little bone, but NEXT.)

7) Webster/Ross. One looked better than the other. (Webster got called for a holding penalty early which was a figment of the zebra’s imagination. Not only was it NOT a penalty, it was excellent coverage to boot.)

I could mention a half dozen other positives, but completely unnecessary. This was a surgical demolition of a team that was 1-2 and in need of a win. Gilbride was great in attacking from the start, stretching the field.

This 15 yard penalty rule on the face mask is pissing me off. If you look at the face mask they call you for 15. It is getting out of hand. Guys hands incidentally slap the helmet as their hands and arms get moved by the OTHER TEAM, and the flag goes out. This rule has to change.

Oh my goodness, the road warriors go back on the road. Hixon will be out with a concussion and we’ll have Burress back. WR Hydra. NEXT.

Weekly Wonder

September 11, 2008

Wonder is a stitch. He knows the NFL scary good, and here are his comments below…

Giants– Underrated. They mailed it in vs the Skins because the Skins are so bad. If they had to play a better opponent they would have played a more complete game, but (typical of the) Giants play down to their opponent. They should be focused on the road enough to handle the Rams. If the Giants show up and play a complete game they will BLOW THE RAMS OUT… Rams are so bleeping horrible, the Giants should be able to dominate both lines of scrimmage. See remark on Rams by Wonder before last weekend. Giants have more depth than the Cowboys but the Boys have better starters. The Giants should pick up TE Pociask- he was signed by the Patriots, but they had 4 TEs and cut him.. he can block and he can catch, the Giants can easily use him, better than Matthews and Johnson.

Panthers– Good win for them was not helpful for the Giants. (See Saints below, net neutral.) Fox got his players to play w/o Smith and beat SD in last play of the game. There are 8 teams fighting for 6spots: DAL/PHI/NYG, CAR/NO, GB/MIN, and 1 schtick dreck from the west. So Carolina squeaking out a gut-check win really helped their chances this season. It looks like you will need to be 10-6 this year to make the playoffs as a wild card.

Seahawks– The injuries they sustained put them in serious trouble. RB Morris out, Burleson out for season, Branch out, Engram out, Obomanu out.. a total of 4 starting WRs out. Sims (OL) reportedly out for season too, they are in deep trouble and this opens the door for Arizona… not that Arizona is a good team, but just that they are the best of the least. And on top of everything else, bulging disc issue for Hasselbeck means they are one hit away from losing their QB.

Saintsnews Wed that Pro Bowl WR Marques Colston out 4-6 weeks hurts them. They also lost Hollis Thomas for season, BIG loss. Saints vulnerable now to downside too.

Skins– Samuels should have been fined for that hit on Kiwanuka.

Jags– they are in serious trouble, lost 2 starting Guards after playing w/o starting Center, David Garrard will be running for his life. W1 they gave up 7 sacks and rushed for 50 yards, offensive line is a shambles now. “Their year is over…can u imagine the g-men losing O’Hara, Snee, Mckenzie ?? and backup OT gone also ??”

Cowboys– Felix Jones, ugh, the rich get richer. Jones AND Barber AND THAT OFFENSIVE LINE? Ya gotta be kiddin’ me.

Colts – loss of Saturday was difficult. He called out all the protections for Manning.

Patriots– “…not to mention my favorite injury, you know..to that supermodel…(or was it her boyfriend?)”

Chargers– you think they missed (the real) Merriman not pressuring Delhomme? Now they will officially be missing him the rest of the season.

“Right now, the big ‘winners’ in NFC were the Cardinals and Panthers…on the injuries to their competition…also, Garcia out this week also…Giants cannot afford another big blow..whereas the Jets were NEVER deep enough to afford ANY…if any of the Jets OL starters goes down, so do their hopes…I never realized rooting for your team nowadays means simply rooting for your stars to walk off the field, win the war of attrition, and hope you can make a “healthy” run at your division the last 8 games…amazing !!!

“BIG SUNDAY FOR JETS, JETS, JETS !!! If they don’t win, don’t try to find me…I’ll be living in OBLIVION, TEXAS !!!”

Around the League- Phil Simms style

September 7, 2008

Phil Simms is always knowledgeable and relevant. Some comments from this week and this morning:

1) Giants have a fast defense, powerful, still believes the Giants defense can get it done w/o Osi and Strahan. Expects Eli to be better this year. They can definitely get to the playoffs. The offense should be better than last year. Kiwanuka has that same look as Osi, will help them get it done.

2) Usually specials are crazy in first 4-5 weeks of the season because players trying to make the team are busy there in preseason. (This makes sense for explaining the Giants’ specials, which were sloppy early last year and were also weak on kickoffs in W1 this year.)

3) He says the Dolphins may present a challenge today against the Jets because their regulars in preseason were already playing specials- they’ll have an advantage there.

4) Thought Jets were going to be a playoff team BEFORE Favre was added to the team.

5) Ricky Williams is (still) the fastest guy on the field. Dolphins have a revamped defense, good offensive line. This is not a freebie for the Jets today at all.

6) With Gay and Samuel gone and them starting a rookie at CB, the Pats are vulnerable on defense. (This echoes Wonder, who says to throw at the Patriots and bet over in every game they play.)

7) Brady and Peyton Manning, despite not playing in preseason, will be able to win their team’s first games because they are not playing against good teams (KC, Bears). It is not who you play, but when you play them… if the Pats and Colts were playing tough W1 teams, they would have been more vulnerable.

Kiwanuka has a few words for Samuels

September 6, 2008

It was the last play of the game, and thankfully for Kiwanuka he was able to walk off the field without any aid. But Kiwi was not happy with Chris Samuels. Desperation to keep Kiwi from getting to the QB? An intentional attempt to injure? I feel it was both. Samuels has been in the league for far too long to not know exactly what he was doing.

The jeering and boos at halftime were Giants fans turning their ire at Steve Tisch (PSLs).

Marvelous on the New York Giants versus the Washington Redskins

September 3, 2008

No confidence in them. Very concerned about them winning the game on Thursday. Lucky we are playing the Skins as opposed to playing the Eagles or Boys. Thinks the Giants going after McDougle was a way to maybe enable them to get Kiwanuka back to LB if McDougle can aid at DE. “I am worried about Clinton Portis. I do not like our LBers. The defense with Clark and Pierce is not fast.” Marvelous puts himself in the shoes of the Redskins and says that if I am the Skins I go after those guys (at LB).

LBer is easily the weakest unit on the team. One can argue that they were the ones who suffered the loss when Umenyiora went down, but the reason the Giants moved Kiwanuka back was because they knew he would make more of an impact at line. So what does THAT say about him as a starter at LB? The Giants should play a 5-1-5 and stop the charade. Unless it is 3rd and ~2 or less that is what they will be in.

Takeaways from NYG 19 Pats 14

August 29, 2008

1) Everyone raved about Carr. I was in a plane at 33,000 ft, and the pilot wouldn’t switch the channel. Having just been in Houston, whenever the name of David Carr came up they would all wince with pain at the (thought of the) punishment he was subjected to. Everyone knows that Carr’s confidence was shot because he had to play a completely different game where finding your WR was not as important as finding your teeth (and other sundry items) after each play. Building back the right psche in this guy is not an overnight process where the switch gets turned back on. Last night was a good move by Coughlin. He got behind the starting offensive line, got plenty of minutes and got it done. Good for him. Maybe good for the Giants. If it is one thing the Giants do do well, they do not make their QB win the game for them, unless it is in the Super Bowl.

2) The one player I was in post-Umentrauma about was Manning… would he stay healthy before the start of the season? And then Coughlin did not have him start! Manning has been old-erratic-Eli in camp but I never worry about Eli’s desire and preparation, so it was a very good move.

3) Mathias Kiwanuka on being back on the Defensive Line: “It’s just like riding a bike.”

4) Finally preseason is over. REGULAR SEASON BEGINS IN SIX DAYS! Predictions coming. Poll coming. Wonder. Marvelous. Giants defend their title. Football is finally here.

Giants move Kiwanuka back to DE

August 26, 2008

Strahan?

Kiwanuka?

I am travelling on business, and I really cannot keep up with all of this… but it is conflicting that the Giants simultaneously have moved Kiwi back and also have contacted Strahan. The former makes sense, something we advocated and believe makes the team better- apparently the Giants see that. But to go after Strahan is a pipe dream. And a poor pipe dream at that. It would be a mistake to do it. For all concerned. Strahan made the right move for himself. For him to come back now, sure it would be an adrenaline boost, but he would need the first four games to get back to game speed and then would tarnish his exit. Injury? I was very surprised he did not get one in 2007 after his comeback and would be surprised once again if he went through 2008 without one. From a purely selfish perspective it would be great for us as fans to see him back, but I do not think it would net the benefits we hope for and (most importantly) I really do not think it is realistic. If the Giants want to open their wallets and pay him a king’s ransom, then anything can happen, but for Strahan’s sake I would like to think it really is not about the money anymore and that he will do the intelligent thing and move on his with his life.

Let’s quote his own words: “I think after 15 years, the man upstairs said: ‘Michael, I let you stick around for 15. I gave you a ring. Now don’t be stupid.’ So I’m trying not to be stupid.”

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.