Archive for the ‘Sammy Knight’ Category

Carr re-signed for 1 year. Madison, Droughns & Knight cut.

February 10, 2009

David Carr was signed to a 1 year, $1M contract as the Giants’ backup. Surprising that the Giants could get him this cheaply, as his stock price increased this season. No, he is not a terrific #1, but he got it done as the #2 and looked good out there. Thumbs up.

As for Droughns, this was a numbers game. Older running backs are not going to get the playing time when younger guys like Bradshaw get wasted with less playing time. Wait. Stop. Wasn’t that supposed to read Bradshaw getting MORE playing time? Ooops, sorry. Foolish of me to try to make sense of that. Well, you know.. Droughns was so far down the depth chart that he was relegated to specials, and you can get a rookie for that job.

Sammy Knight? He had some injuries, but Safety was crowded too. Butler’s lack of speed was supposed to limit his playing time and give Knight more oppty, but Butler only got roasted a few times (Steelers game for one, remember?). Last year someone did not like it when I referred to Knight as sausage filler, but that is exactly what he was. Please remember that whenever you bring in a 33 year old free agent for a lower sticker price, it is as a role player. We doubted him playing through his contract, and that is exactly what happened. Knight is a good player, but this business takes older players and spits them out. This is yet another reason why Pierce is perishable now, and why LBer is so incredibly vulnerable. Considering Pierce is the best of the bunch and he’ll be out there with a wheelchair pretty soon, you better start getting MANY LBers, not 1 or 2.

Sam Madison was voted off the island months ago by the Giants. It is never pretty watching a talented veteran slowly lose just enough of their skills to become expendable. Guys like Madison and Toomer need to be celebrated a little more in their exit. We get guys like Favre with multiple press conferences and retirement fetes, while guys like Toomer (and Madison) win you rings and get discarded with the garbage. I thought the Giants were better than that.

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New York Giants Training Camp Day #2

July 27, 2008

New York Giants Training Camp Report Day #2

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

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

Pre-camp ideas and things to watch for

July 24, 2008

1) Safety? Butler. Johnson. Knight. Phillips. Pick 2. At this point people are saying that Knight and Phillips have the best shot to be the starters this season, but this position is WIDE OPEN. I hope there is enough depth so that Butler is cut. But in a strange way, I would not be surprised if he started! This is because all 4 are imperfect. They each have strengths and weaknesses.

Butler (see previous post’s remarks from Spags) is a good tackler who knows the system but is freaking slow.

Johnson is entering his sophomore year and he should rate to grow with a nice jump in comfort in Spags’ system. He has the starts (5) from last year to put him incontention for a lot of playing time.

Knight is the veteran with experience, intelligence and strong run stopping skills in the box. But he is weak in coverage and is new to the system.

Phillips is the classic wild card. Rookie #1 pick who everyone will be watching. The level of his play in camp and this season will not only dictate how strong we are at this position but how strong the entire defense is and by that comclusion how well the entire team plays. Remember that when rookie #1 Aaron Ross got inserted into the starting lineup (literally H2 of the Redksins game in W3), the tone of the defense accelerated and the team never looked back. So if Phillips hits the ground running, his presence can be felt QUICKLY.

2) ELI MANNING. Weakest link? Star QB who overshadowed the performances of 4 straight Pro Bowl QBs en route to the Super Bowl? If new Eli is with us in 2008 this team will be a bear. Eli has been talking exactly like what you want to be hearing this offseason- knowing full well about the games where he was weakest link and that he can do a lot to improve to get the team to be ultracompetitive this year. Eli never got too high and that works to his advantage in not coming crashing down to earth. Eli is not resting on his laurels.

3) Do we have any speed at LB?

4) Does Diehl’s play at LT improve? We cannot afford to have the 2nd highest sacks allowed and expect (playoff) competitiveness this season again.

5) Can we get Woodson or Carr to become a credible backup? If I know the Giants they will probably cut Wright in deference to the promise/pedgiree of newest arrivals. Otherwise it would mean an immediate admission of error in the draft pick or reclamation project.

6) Do the rookies of 2007 ascend and make the dramatic impact in 2008 we are hoping for? This holds so much promise for the team.

7) How does the team shut down the run w/o Strahan?

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.”

Do you start in your first game as a rookie?

May 5, 2008

With the exception of QB, ultimatenyg believes that the question a franchise should ask itself when picking that first rounder is- WILL THIS PLAYER START GAME ONE AS A ROOKIE? Some players are shot out like a cannon. They enter into the league and instead of fighting for a roster spot or playing time, they start game 1. And then they never leave. If it takes time to get settled into the league and a rookie takes a few games or a full season to break into the starting rotation, that is not a stain. No shame. But your #1 pick is different. This is one of the ~32 best players in the country by your own evaluation. Considering there are almost 1700 players on the roster for NFL teams, if you cannot find a player that can break in as a starter, then something is probably wrong. (DE is a second position next to QB that is extremely difficult for 22 year olds to physically manage, thereby making drafting one in the first round a true test of whether the choice is merited.)

This is not an ironclad rule. Matthias Kiwanuka is a good example of a very good pick at #32 in the first round. At DE, he was not expected to supplant two players (Umenyiora and Strahan) who went to the Pro Bowl the preceding year.

Here is a list of starters in Game 1 of their rookie season for the New York Giants in the past ten years.
2006 Cofield
2004 Wilson
2003 Diehl
2002 Shockey
(If you can comment on a player I may have missed, appreciated. My database does not give granularity, so a mistake is possible here.)

The point is that guys like Ronnie Lott and Lawrence Taylor, two notables who started their first game as a Pro and never left, cannot be held back. They move at a different speed and the pro game almost adjusts to them and not the other way around. Shockey was the same way, knocking over bodies in 2002’s preseason like bowling pins en route to an easy Pro Bowl selection. (…which is why I still maintain to this day that he is a resource which is woefully mismanaged.)

Will Kenny Phillips start for the Giants in Game 1? This will go a long way to determining whether he is a good pick for the Giants. The Giants have the following coming to camp at this position:
1) Butler- a starter noted for his efficient tackling but slow speed
2) Johnson- a #7 rounder who started a handful of games as a rookie after others got hurt, plays with aggressiveness (a polite way of saying that he is playing hard but does not necessarily make all the right decisions yet)
3) Knight- a smart veteran who plays strong up at the line yet (because of age) can get beat by a TE in coverage

The logic is that this is not a particularly deep set of incumbents. If Phillips is any good he should be starting against Washington on Thursday night in the Meadowlands.

Attention Kmart Shoppers

March 15, 2008

Let’s review the Giants’ free agent signings in 2008:

1) Sammy Knight S 5.15M/3yrs
2) David Carr QB 1M/1yr
3) Danny Clark OLB 4M/2yrs
4) Derrick Ward RB 1.1M/1yr

Do you see a profile? Reese is simply looking for CHEAP bodies in NEED places.Last month we identified needs and four of them were hit by the Giants. These are role players that plug holes. Do the Giants still need a CB, S, LB and LT in this draft? ABSOLUTELY. But now the Giants will not be tripping over themselves drafting for need ahead of value. Reese’s formula is simple- get enough need taken care of with lower tier free agents so that you are as flexible as possible in the draft.

Danny Clark, Michael Strahan

March 15, 2008

LB Danny Clark signed with the Giants on Thursday. This is a numbers game. The Giants have holes at LB and S, so they have to get bodies in there that can compete for jobs and give the Giants flexibility next month in the draft. The goal is to be able to get the best player available at every point in the draft, so Reese needs to know he has his bases covered if (appropriately valued) Safeties and Linebackers are not there early. Knight will be 33 on opening day. Clark will be 31 on opening day. The Giants are smart enough to know that you do not get ahead by investing in aging assets. These players will likely not be on the roster in 2-3 years from now, but they will bridge the gap, keep the team competitive in 2008 and provide the team with maximum flexibility on draft day.

NFL Network discusses Michael Strahan’s chances for coming back this year.

Sammy Knight signing

March 4, 2008

Coughlin on Knight: “Sammy Knight is a durable, physical player with 42 career interceptions. He comes to the line of scrimmage extremely well. He’s a smart player who gets everybody lined up. He played in Kansas City for (secondary coach) Peter Giunta, so we know all about the quality of the man.”

The Giants are a physical team, so it is good to hear that he will be able to fit in with their schemes. But please note sometimes it is what they don’t say that is just as important.. ‘he comes to the line of scrimmage very well’ means he plays run fine. But what about his coverage skills? They left that part out. Spags will have to compensate for a 33 year old safety and not expose him to too much single.

From Paul Schwartz NY Post on Sammy Knight: “He does not possess the physical skills he once did, and reports are that his lack of speed will at times be a liability in coverage. But Knight is an able and willing participant in the running game and is effective up in the box, where he is a sure tackler.”

Knight fills a need and allows Reese to manage the draft much easier. The Giants still need to draft here, but at least it is not rushed development.

How much confidence do we have in Kiwanuka to cover the TE? I still see a strong side LB as a key need for the Giants. We face two Pro Bowl TE’s in our division, they need attention.

ESPN reports Giants sign Sammy Knight

March 3, 2008

3 yrs 5.15M, 1.25M Guaranteed.

Sammy Knight and Gibril Wilson

March 2, 2008

The first of the leftovers. These players are sausage fillers. Plug them in, Spags will have enough bodies so that Reese can draft for as much value and as little need as possible. If that is at all possible. Sad but true, we have a glaring hole at safety and a moderate one at LB too assuming Wilkinson and Kiwanuka are not training camp geniuses.

I just figured it out! The Giants are going economy because they need to have that cap room ready for Strahan, Umenyiora and Burress. Okay, that was a joke. I think the Giants are still in shell shock about how wrong they were in not using the franchise tag on Wilson. And to make matters worse, I think the Giants could have been told before the tag deadline (a week ago) that he was going to sign for 6.5M per yr and they STILL would have passed on tagging him for 4.4M for one year. Their reaction to the idea of tagging him when asked about it at the Combine was so telling. The THOUGHT was so radical, and it was summarily dismissed out of hand. (I am willing to bet that Pat Hanlon, the genius of all geniuses, was belittling the Giants beat writers for even SUGGESTING such a STUPID notion!) I congratulate Alvin Keels, Gibril Wilson’s agent, for understanding the ramifications of the increased salary cap and ignoring the Giants. They were secretly praying the Giants would not tag, and they had 16M reasons why!

One last thing, let’s add some insult to injury and remind everyone that we will have to pay someone like Knight 2-3M per year (because he likely won’t last the length of the contract they agree to), when the Giants were 3M bid for Wilson just days ago. This is called attitude adjustment.