Archive for the ‘Matthias Kiwanuka’ Category

You’ll miss him when he’s gone…

August 2, 2008

Those were the words of Bill Parcells when Simms was in the twilight of his career. In the middle of a Parcells news conference, Simms was busy getting nitpicked by the media when Parcells set them straight. The void that leaders who retire, the special ones like Strahan … are hard to fill. When someone on the opposition runs us ragged left and right, I’ll be missing Strahan an awful lot. For now, this humorous Q&A with Serby will have to postpone my Strahan withdrawal. Of particular note is (alert alert, I-told-you-so moment) that Strahan has verified the ultimatenyg stance on Kiwinuka> GET HIM BACK TO LEFT DEFENSIVE END, WHERE HE BELONGS. For more on that, you can read an old post which explicitly argues that same conclusion.

Lately we have been hearing from Coughlin and Marvelous on how Kiwanuka is going to do well at LB. This will be great if it happens. If Kiwi is so talented that he can somehow make an impact at LB the same way we know he can as a lineman, then I think it speaks more to Kiwi’s resolve than the Giants’ planning. Rule 1 of The Rules for Winning in the NFL states that your #1 pick is dominant, not versatile. I will stand by the view that the Giants are content to move Kiwi to LB so that he can fill a need, not make an impact. This ‘puts him on the field’ so that he can rush the QB intermittently, a job he should be doing on every down.

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.”

The view from across the Delaware

May 15, 2008

The view from across the river in Philadelphia is always a mixture of rabid hunger and violent depression. This is why I find these takes on the prognosis of the Eagles so amusing.

These stats on the record of the Eagles the past three seasons (0.500) are incredibly deceptive. McNabb, Westbrook and Kearse all have had major injuries at various junctures, and the team MUST be viewed in that context. Before anyone gets too in love with our ‘superior’ Giants, you must remember that we SQUEAKED by this team the past few games with MANY EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES. I can hear it already—‘ya call 6 sacks from Osi extenuating?’…. YES I DO! Osi had the joy of going up against rookie Winston Justice and for some BIRD-brained reason they did not give him help. Maybe some of that reason was that the Eagles so injury-riddled that they could not hide anywhere else either. This was the debut of the 4-headed monster rush where Spags started sending Kiwi and Tuck up the middle while Strahan and Osi went on their own missions. But the big picture here is that the Giants had such a huge advantage over this team because of injuries. And then when we played them again later in the season we beat them by a FG and Akers could have sent it to OT if not for a narrow miss when he hit the right upright.

This is a game of inches, and while our memories of this wonderful season will last a LIFETIME, do not forget that we were not exactly dominant over ANYBODY. About the only game that you could have comfortably lit up an Auerbach cigar for was against Atlanta. Even the 49er game was a travesty of missed opptys until Osi broke it open. So the message here is simple- do not underestimate Philadelphia one bit, because if they are healthy they are a bear. I like it a lot because I have always been advocating that a strong NFC East will be good for the Giants… I see a strong NFC this year and that means that someone from our division can go very far because they will be tested and ready.

Will Michael Strahan play another year?

May 8, 2008

Antonio Pierce chimed in with his view on whether Strahan will play another year. I do not believe that anyone really ‘knows’ or not… I truly do not think Strahan has made up his mind. I think he wants the money because his ex-wife took a chunk of money out of the divorce. No, he does not NEED the money, but he wants to maintain a lifestyle and will not make nearly the money in broadcasting that he is making as a player. He can play just one more year and perhaps make more than any other year he has played. The thing that gives me a small bias that he will return is that sometime in March his agent did make preliminary inquiries with the Giants. In case anyone here thinks it is so simple, contrast Pierce’s take on Strahan with Toomer’s. Two people, two views. Who REALLY knows?

How many of you out there think the Giants would have won the Super Bowl without Strahan? That is how important he is. We can win without him if a healthy Kiwi steps in and gives us the healthy rotation you need in order to spell linemen in a 60 minute game. (… you have to assume SOMEONE gets hurt during the season.) I thought Strahan was about as effective as he has ever been in his career, once he got past those first 3-4 games because of the lack of camp. That was why he still had gas left in the tank on February 3rd. He really needs a different set of rules in camp if he does return. I think that the new Coughlin understands that.

If anyone out there in ultimatenygland has a strong opinion and a strong reason why he retires or returns, pls comment. It still feels like a coin toss.