Archive for the ‘Rey Maualuga’ Category

Get the IVs ready

September 24, 2009

1) This sounds like fun:
a) Tuck possibly out (?) w/ a torn labrum. Vacch: “long shot.”
b) Canty likely out (?)
c) Derrick Ward and Cadillac Williams know how to run
d) AT Tampa Bay
e) 1PM start

“Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun.” Add Giants Defensive Linemen. Better have lots of those IVs ready at halftime. Will they be lucky enough to make it that far? These are the games where you love to have ALL of your linemen for rotation. For the Giants to be w/o two of them is nothing short of cruel… for the others that are left. This is where I get to segue to one of my favorite NFL video shorts, the one about Fran Tarkenton. When you get to the clip with Deacon Jones, you’ll understand. Merlin Olsen’s remarks weren’t bad either.

Back to this Sunday’s game, the Giants DL has my condolences. If they thought it was hot at the Palace in Dallas, wait’ll they get to Raymond James. Forecast- 89 degrees and a 40% chance of precipitation/scattered thunderstorms. Rain never sounded so good.

2) Garafolo is not sure how serious a shoulder injury is with Mario Manningham.

3) All injury issues aside, is there anyone in their right mind who could think that Hixon should be ahead of Manningham on the depth chart?

On Monday Russ drew extra attention to a comment by
Raymond Sultan: “I think that making (Hixon) a kick return specialist and, for a while at least, only a situational receiver might actually really boost his confidence and get him back to a place where he’s a serious every-game difference-maker for the team.”
Russ: “Brilliant! Sometimes we find our niche (like Joba Chamberlain when he was a reliever) and we don’t even know it. Time to resurrect the big-play Dominick.”

That is a really nice observation, Raymond. Simple and powerful. Hixon’s track record already shows him to be brittle anyway, so keep his plays down and he can come in and make some plays off the bench. And FOR GOODNESS SAKE, GET HIM BACK THERE RETURNING KICKOFFS PLEEEEEEZE! I do not know what was more insane, the Miami dive on 3rd down or (the emperor not having any clothes and) not having Hixon on kickoff duty. Frightening. Absolutely frightening.

4) Want a rookie LBer? Maualuga and former USC teammate Cushing have 4 starts, 30 tackles, a sack and 2 forced fumbles between them. Good thing these guys are only rookies.

5) They have these Weekly Power Ratings and they are mostly as useful as toilet paper. This week is no exception. Having the Ravens as the #1 team after beating two AFC West teams is a joke. Yes, beating the Chargers in SD is respectable, but let’s face it, it is Norv Turner. And Norv Turner is the same retread loser (think: Wade Phillips) we saw in other hotspots like Washington and Oakland. He is 78-96-1 in his career. My apologies in advance to Charger fans and Ravens fans, but there has to be more to it than that. The fact that they can have the Giants #2 is another joke. Not at the Giants or at #2, but the whole exercise is flawed because there are too few data points to even know enough about the team. I would classify many of the commenters on this site as extremely knowledgeable about this team and all of us would to a man agree that there are still so many issues and variables that remain to be settled before we can anoint this team. Health? Defense? Gilbride? Red zone? Short yardage? SHERIDAN? Special teams on kickoffs? To see the Giants even ranked is a joke- it should be “I,” as in INCOMPLETE. To be determined. Needs more games. Right now you could put the Giants #1 or put them #10 and I could make arguments for either. Which is why this Weekly ranking system this early is … toilet paper.

6) Nobody asked me, but I’ll tell you anyway.. the two teams at this moment who are impressive are the Saints and Jets. Brees has the same potent offense with a little more defense. And the Jets have given up spit on defense this year. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Those two teams (and of course the Giants, to name just three) have the raw material to be contenders down the stretch. There is so much football to be played, let’s try to figure out who is even DRESSING this weekend! G-I-L-F!

7) Toni Monkovic of The Fifth Down asks for ideas or solutions for freezing of kickers with a few seconds left. Leave it alone, it serves one good purpose.. it is very good at identifying the loser head coaches who are desperate enough to be grasping at straws.

Wonder on the Giants and the NFL

September 3, 2009

Guest commenter Wonder throws in his remarks on developments with the Giants and around the league.

1) Recap of Giants-Jets preseason game: “DON’T look at stats…Eli played GREAT…best I’ve seen him look in AGES…Nicks is NOT the answer THIS year…in spots, yes..but Smith still the most solid…and yeah, I know he dropped a PERFECTLY thrown bomb…Hixon MUST catch that ball..terrible..sh*t happens but NOT THAT..your QB will get “cold feet” throwing that pass to you…and Boss is not “awesome”…he’s a good player who is often the beneficiary of being in the right place at the right time…O-line and D-line will be great…BUT, they MUST get SOMETHING out of their LB’s..and their secondary is a real issue…Phillips…as I stated, he’ll be ok-good..but “really good-great” ? NEVER…any plays he makes will be due to DL pressuring the QB….if I were Jints, 2 things worry me:

1. Opp teams load up the box and dare the WR’s to make plays; and
2. Opp teams max protect and air it out against the D…plus run screens, bubble screens, quick slants

I think the Jints need a GAME PLAN that includes screens, short circle routes and dumpoffs to Bradshaw and Ware…I also don’t believe they run NEARLY enough play action with crossing routes to take advantage of opp LB’s “creeping up” to protect against the run..of course, they executed perfectly the play action post bomb to Smith that he dropped..but don’t give up on that…”

2) Andre Smith INJURED: “Gee, what a shock…that a FAT, OUT OF SHAPE PIG would get hurt trying to do something “athletic”….do you think he was working with a kick*ss personal trainer the last 5 months?? duh, I don’t think so…I can’t think of ANYBODY who thought that he was “overrated” in the draft..can you???

3) When I commented to Wonder about wanting Maualuga but did not know about the ‘roid use, he had an interesting comeback: “You WANT guys who HAVE already “roided up”…so they don’t NEED TO DO IT IN THE PROS SO THEY DON’T TEST POSITIVE !!!!!….as long as they keep “working out”, they keep MOST of their built up muscle mass…BUT, they can’t just stop or take a vacation..or they might “lose it”…soooooo, I think MAU would have been a stud classic 4-3 MLB TACKLING MACHINE….critical in a good 4-3.

Ultimatenyg here. MORE screens. MORE play action. To Gilbride’s credit, he uses play action, but NOT ENOUGH. You cannot overuse it if the defense is loading the box as much as they did late last season and as much as you know they will be doing again this season.

Misc

May 4, 2009

1) Unless I can link him to steroids, this was who I wanted at #29.

2) Remember Lawrence Phillips? How could we forget. He was the reason why we ended up with Cedric Jones at #5. He’s up to a lot of good lately..

3) Instead of Tiki worrying about Favre’s legacy, maybe Tiki should worry about his own.

4) In case you missed it this weekend, the Dallas practice facility accident.

5) Some good links to NY Giant Draft Review, Marc Ross etc..

6) How does a 50-1 shot win the Kentucky Derby? Watch the video replay and see how. Here is some color from the manager of a Vegas Sports book: “This horse was last by 21 lengths after the first 1/4, almost 20 after 1/2, still 16 lengths out after 3/4s, still 7 out after 1 mile (top of the stretch) and won by almost 7. WOW! He came home in 24 seconds. VERY GOOD last quarter on an off and tiring surface. That is why he went from 7 down to almost 7 up at the end. Yes he had a good rail skimming trip but still this is no fluke, just a horse getting good on the right day. If I own him I do NOT race in the Preakness and come back for the Belmont since he is a gelding. There will be other million dollar races and a triple crown doesn’t do anything for stud value. On the other hand he can win lots of money, stay sounder longer, and possibly win horse of the year honors if handled right. Tom Durkin missed the winner. I don’t know how. I knew he was winning before the 1/8th pole, just didn’t know which horse it was till I could see the 8. Also, he missed the horse at the first call because he was SO far back. As an afterthought he mentioned Mine That Bird was way back.”

For fun, when you do the replay, the FIRST time in the stretch call you will hear Durkin mention “UHH – Mine That Bird” is when the horse is already pulling away from the field! It was almost as entertaining as the way this horse sneaked in on the rail. The replay from above the field (BIRD’s eye-view) was the only way to understand how insane this trip was. He was in 13th place at the top of the stretch!

Recap of Day 1 of the NFL Draft

April 26, 2009


William Beatty, Clint Sintim and Hakeem Nicks

Quick summary: We did not get Braylon Edwards, so that was disappointing. It always takes years to grade picks, but with that said, the early word is that Nicks and Sintim were uninspiring picks while Beatty was a great pick at 60 for us. That does not mean that Nicks and Sintim will not work and that Beatty will be a star. It just means that we were disappointed we did not take Rey Maualuga at #29.

We’ll pose a question to everyone- would you trade Nicks and a ~4th rounder for All Pro Braylon Edwards? Of course you would. And that is why this draft thus far is less than inspiring. Let’s talk about the good things about Hakeem Nicks first. He has good hands. He did not drop a single ball in passing drills during his workout for the Giants. So considering that Edwards dropped the ball a league-leading 12 times, you can spin this positively and say the Giants want the hands. Nicks is the player who made the circus catch where he pulls the ball out from behind his back. So let’s hope those hands do it for the Giants.

Wonder was disappointed that Britt was not chosen. There were many of us (myself included) who did not want to DRAFT a WR (NICKS OR BRITT) THIS HIGH at all, but more on that subject below. Britt is taller and faster, jumps higher, so Wonder wants the upside, the potential. You cannot teach size and speed. Nicks is currently a better player than Britt. But everyone needs to improve a great deal for the Pro Level, and Wonder is thinking not only where you are but where you can ascend to in coming years. 3 years. The # for WRs developmentally. Tennessee followed up with the 30th pick, and took.. Britt. So these two will be watched side by side for a while to see who turned out better.

Next is Clint Sintim, taken 45th. Where does he play, asks Wonder (who liked him in general, but rated him as a 3rd rounder). If you wanted MLB, why not take Maualuga? Sintim is not quick or fast enough to be taken at this 45 spot. Not fast enough for OLB. Best as an inside LB in a 3-4, the tackler guy, not the cover guy. So where does he go, asks Wonder. One hope… the guy can hit and the guy can tackle. Groom him to play MLB. But certainly not able to play the Mike on 3rd down. I asked Marvelous about Sintim, and he has a much more favorable review… “He’s a keeper, he’ll be a starter down the road. I saw him play two games this season. He is a quick guy for his size. Wraps up guys well, aggressive. When he gets to a guy he is not going to let the offensive player break the tackle.” Wonder’s response was disagreement on the issue of his speed. “NOT FAST ENOUGH.”

A nice uptick to leave the first day with- the reviews on William Beatty. Wonder had the guy rated 24th overall in the draft, so that should tell you something. “He is good and solid in every aspect of his game. Agile. Long arms. He needs some muscle, but that is what the weight room is for. Get some muscle. He has the body to fill out and add 25-30 lbs. (currently 6’6″ 307 lbs.) He needs to hold his own on the bull rush, but that is precisely why he has ~two years behind Diehl/McKenzie to step into that role.”

I have a fondness for second round Offensive Linemen… makes me think of Pro Bowlers like Chris Snee and Jumbo Elliot. The game is won and lost on the line of scrimmage, so this pick was inspiring. After all, we are not getting the ball to Nicks in three or four years from now (when McKenzie is out of football) IF we cannot keep the QB upright. Wonder thinks that Diehl could move back to the right side and let Beatty play LT. Marc Ross (Director of Scouting) says: “Natural LT.”

Why not take Maualuga as the #1 LBer? Why take a WR at all? Why did Maualuga drop? Wonder believes it was because people do not see him as a 3 down LBer. They question his ability to cover. The reply is that you are not going to ask this guy to cover the TE in the seam, so he’ll be fine. He went SEVEN PICKS BEFORE SINTIM! Are you going to tell me that Maualuga and Sintim are essentially rated the same and both are going to have similar careers? The Packers fronted us at 26, traded up to grab Matthews, and that was the end. Instead of taking a LBer #1, we took a WR instead and then had thin pickings at 45. My sense is that we were outplayed on the LBer pick, with Matthews going 3 spots in front of us in Round 1 and Maualuga going 7 spots in front of us in Round 2. This can happen to you when you are trying to look for a player to fall to you. Beatty fell to us, NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT. A good LBer did not.

Ross made some interesting remarks about the weight gain (14 lbs.) by Nicks. He hurt his hamstring, could not work out and the Giants scouts/front office took him at his word. “We thought his (pro) style would easily transfer to our level.”

Reese on Nicks: Young kid, only 20 years old. Big strong body, Anquan body type. Reese said he had 4 players they were ready to take at #29 and would have been happy with any of them. They did not come close to trading up OR down.

FINAL RECAP:
1) Edwards was two birds in the hand vs one WR currently in the bush.
2) I do not believe in taking WRs in the first round of the draft, so I am biased, be it Nicks, Britt, whoever.
3) Our problems with LBer have always been lack of speed. Boley has speed, but the quick take on Sintim is that he does not offer that.
4) Beatty has the potential to be a cornerstone of the OL for many years. It is refreshing to see the organization commit resources to this unit in a significant way for the first time in 4 years.

FINAL DRAFT THOUGHTS BEFORE 4PM

April 25, 2009
Cushing, Maualuga, Matthews

1) Trade for Edwards as long as the Browns are not asking for something ridiculous.

2) Do not go for a WR in the 1st round.

3) If you must go for a WR in the first round, let him come down to you at #29.

4) Do not trade up. Garafolo/Vacchiano think the Giants are pining for Heyward-Bey, may trade up. You do not do that for a WR in my opinion. Is Heyward-Bey that much value in the low 20’s? Let him fall. If he is taken ahead of you, then there will be value for you at #29. As Wonder has stated, HBey can be feast. Or famine? I’ve seen him on video. He looks good. But the idea of TRADING UP IN ROUND #1 FOR A WIDE RECEIVER IS ANATHEMA TO ME. I do not believe in drafting WR #1 in the first place. Trading up also? NOPE. If the Giants do it, I will be rooting as hard as anyone to see that the guy makes an impact for our team. I just do not believe that it is necessary. We have seen enough 2’s, 3’s and 4’s that were Giants make good pros. Toomer, McCaffrey, Patton, Jurvicius won 6 titles, none were first rounders. None were traded up for in the first round. And three of them went on the merry-go-round to other teams before finding a title, yet another reason for picking up a WR instead of drafting him and waiting 3 years. I am as patient as anyone, but I’d rather patiently build defense with LBer than build it with WRs. If you want to be patient with WRs, why not be patient with Moss, Smith and Manningham??????????????!

5) Speaking of LBers… I like the USC LBers. Maualuga is an animal. Matthews has the most explosiveness to the ball. And then Cushing runs an onside kick back for a TD a la Sehorn. If you are going to trade up, trade up for one of these guys. Trade up for defense. Defense wins championships. Having our defensive line, combined with Boley and one of these guys (would not be Matthews since both are WILL), and then Webster and Phillips anchoring the secondary… this could be the best defense since 1997. LBer. 25 years. It is about freaking time.

6) Speaking of defense… Darius Butler, Rashad Johnson???!!! Would you really mind if the Giants came away with a CB in Rd #1 and a Safety at the end of Round 2?

7) Are the Giants and Browns doing a smokescreen on a trade? We’ll find out soon enough.

8) Updated Ultimatenyg NFL Draft Tracker pdf in printable format. Contains Wonder’s detailed flow chart of choices at each pick in Rounds 1-3.

9) We’ll blog throughout the draft. We’ll be rooting for Andre Smith and Maybin and Vontae Davis and Josh Freeman to go early… that will mean something will fall to the Giants. SOMETHING VERY GOOD. Maybe if those things happen it will stop the Giants from trading up. And maybe then will the Browns become more motivated to trade to the Giants for their good pick. Lots of moving parts. Stay tuned.

LINEBACKER

April 17, 2009

Wonder commentary

Outside LBers:

Curry- better in a 4-3, not 3-4, can he rush the QB? Obvly terrific talent.
Cushing- driven ball player, overachiever, I like him, can play all 3 downs.
Matthews- yes, but must play WILL in 4-3, not covering TE (SAM) because not vg shedding blocks. Would be a great get for Giants.
Sintim- interesting, feast or famine.
Freeman- YES!!! underrated!
Casillas- Yes, but needs fit in right system
Norwood- Good Value as high as 4th Round
Willie Williams- I like him.

Inside LBers:

Maualuga- his draft stock is falling, ran a bad 40 yd dash time, who cares! In a 4-3 he is a tackling machine, if he falls THE GIANTS NEED HIM.
Laurinaitis- not as strong as AJ Hawke, NO! Stay away. Not value where projected near the end of the first round.
Ellerbe- yes, I like him.
JASPER BRINKLEY– YES YES YES! Injured last year, a stud in Junior year. Draft him in 2nd or 3rd round. Smooth hips, good hips. I usually do not like a guy with a knee injury, but LBer can recover. He would have been a top 15 pick if he had not gotten hurt. This guy is going to be good.
Phillips- Yes.
Worrell Williams- Fireplug. Feast or famine.
Sharpton- Yes.
Trent- Yes.

If we did not mention him (see the links for those left out), nothing good to say, not positive.

WR or LB?

March 11, 2009

Before people freak out, rest assured that Reese is almost a lock to take at least 1 WR and at least 1 LBer with his first 3 picks (assuming he does not package to trade up).

You can say that amongst the WRs we have, none are the kind of talent to draw a double team the way a Boldin, Fitzgerald, Burress et al can. So if that is the case, how is this team going to go all the way and win? The answer is that you still have a set of WRs who can move the chains and make enough catches to help the offense win games. Relatively speaking they are all babies, ANY of which can have a breakout year. Which one does it? Perhaps 2 or 3 of them. Perhaps only one. Perhaps NONE! But given their age and experience, this is the time when pros make that leap.

Steve Smith certainly has it in him. He’ll play in Toomer’s old spot and has been on the biggest of all stages, so he can certainly (not only handle but) excel in the starting role. While on the subject of biggest of all stages, that 3rd and 11 catch and run for the first down vs the Patriots on the penultimate offensive play may be the asterisk sandwiched in between Tyree’s helmet (wtbrown did they ever finally name that play?) and the TD, but there aren’t many bigger than that.

Sinorice Moss should have gotten way more work when Burress went down. We were one of his biggest detractors, but he stayed healthy last year and delivered whenever called upon in limited snaps. I do not know why (other than the fact that the OC is a browning terd) he did not get more involved. He’s got the speed to give any defensive coordinator a problem if they think they can cheat the safety. Stretch the field with him.

Domenik Hixon has had flashes. How much his production dropped off when he was playing hurt cannot be quantified. But when healthy he certainly has demonstrated some big play ability. Consistency is the question.

Manningham missed camp, and the raw rookie never got in the offense.

Sure, would we all love a Crabtree or a Heyward-Bey? Of course. But there is enough talent on this offense to win a championship. No, w/o a WR who can draw a safety, the offense will lack that extra explosiveness. But the 1986 and 1990 Giants had a platoon of ordinary WRs.. Bobby Johnson, Lionel Manuel, Stacy Robinson, Stephen Baker, Mark Ingram. None of these guys were anywhere near Plaxico Burress in terms of talent. Yet they had the kind of defense to win a title, because those guys helped move the chains and made some big plays along the way.

I can only speak for myself on this one: I cannot trust Kevin Gilbride to carry my team, whether he has Larry Fitzgerald at WR or the league’s #1 OL.

So let me put my faith in the defense. Sheridan is keeping the system in place. Give me that impact LBer with speed that we want. Trade up for Maualuga, now THAT gets me excited. Go blockbuster and trade UP UP for Curry. Very excited.

When Burress suggested the vaunted Patriots offense, 18-0, would be held to 17 points, Tom Brady chuckled. The Giants held them to 14. And that is why DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS.

Wonder

February 28, 2009

Rey Maualuga has a shot at falling all the way to the Giants in the draft.

Curry the real deal.

Re Cushing .. ALL the USC linebackers (Cushing, Maualuga, Matthews) are good!

Stay away from Laurinaitis.

This year’s draft is not nearly as strong as last year’s.

Jacobs was a good signing.

Giants made a big mistake in not signing Ward. (Shout out to Bob, I’ll give you Round 1! Round 3 is when #44 gets the ball.)