Archive for the ‘Terrell Thomas’ Category

Bill Sheridan

September 8, 2009

You have to know that this NY Giants blog hates puff pieces. Here is a piece on Sheridan that has some of the puff but does help us to understand what we’ll look like this season.

A few takeaways:

1) There is no substitute for motivation. If Sheridan thinks he can figure it all out and let the X’s and O’s do all the talking, he is in for a rude awakening. The last time we heard this kind of laid back X’s and O’s w/o the motivational element, it was none other than Ray Handley. Keep in mind that Handley was a head coach, not a coordinator, so there is room in there for the defense to get their motivation from others like Coughlin. But there is no getting around the fact that the players loved playing for Spags. You saw him on the sidelines with all of that energy he was feeding his players. Never underestimate the importance of motivating these professionals. There is little to separate 45×32=1440 players on game day. Every ounce of motivation puts you over the top or else it leaves you shy. Coughlin, to his credit, wanted Sheridan on the field, down and dirty, there with the players. Good. No remote control detachment.

2) “Sheridan said his linemen and linebackers would charge ahead more to stop runs and passes and not be responsible for as much coverage of receivers.” Did you notice the comments made by Wonder last week on how he would attack the Giants defense? He said “Opp teams max protect and air it out against the D…plus run screens, bubble screens, quick slants.” Max protect thwarts the pressure and the screens and slants are exactly what OUR offense needs to do to other teams to stop the loaded box. If the Giants defense is going to be using more pressure at the line, they must get there. There is a great deal of faith in Phillips, Webster and Thomas as part of this plan to handle their responsibilities inside this scheme. That confidence drops off a little with Johnson and it drops off a ton with CC Brown.

Do not forget that Thomas will have growing pains- he’ll get beat from time to time. All CBs do. Since we keep seeing more and more improvement from Thomas, there is the expectation that he can be solid back there. And dare we say, very solid by the end of the season if his improvement continues. You can get away with more pressure when guys in your secondary are handling their assignments well.

One of the ways the ‘Sheridan pressure plan’ will work better as the season wears on is by having guys like Canty, Kiwanuka and Boley helping the pressure and by having guys like Thomas covering better. As 2007 taught us, it is not how you start, it is how you finish. You have to expect the defense to be disorganized at the beginning, making breakdowns, not getting to the QB and getting exposed. But by the end of the season, you have to see the pressure working better and the defense getting stingy.

The way the schedule unfolds, do not read into the first 2 games vs WASH and DAL. And the next 3 vs garbage opponents (TB, KC and OAK) will give the defense the time to come together. The measuring stick for whether this team is really ready to be contenders for a Super Bowl title will come AT NEW ORLEANS. They will be going against an improved team that plays well at home, with a veteran QB that WILL rip the team to shreds if the pressure is not working OR if the secondary is not excellent.

Yes, we need to take one game at a time. The Giants need only think about Week 1 vs the Skins. But for us as fans, do not get too negative OR too positive until we see what we have in Week 6. That will be the first true test of how Sheridan and his defense is doing.

Pat Hanlon notes that Hakeem Nicks led the NFL in receiving yardage in preseason.

Aaron Ross

August 22, 2009

From Garafolo Thursday:
1) Bernard practiced.
2) Out Saturday: Pierce, Seubert, Canty, Snee, Phillips, Ross. Possibly Out:Tuck, Webster, Bernard.

This makes it two games for those players in bold.

From Vacchiano Friday: positive comment on Hixon.

Of particular note is Aaron Ross. We have mentioned in past posts during training camp and even before camp that Ross was potentially at risk for losing his starting job to Terrell Thomas. Now he has lost TWO OF THE FOUR PRESEASON GAMES. We’ll go on record here and say that Thomas is now ahead of Ross and it is HIS JOB TO LOSE. Why? Because
(1) Thomas is practicing and playing well
(2) Coughlin does not like rewarding players who miss too much of camp
(3) the edge that Ross had over Thomas was not that large before camp started.
(4) Maybe this is the kick in the pants that Ross needs to get refocused, a la Webster in 2007. Let Ross lose the starting job for even one game and make him earn it with good play.

If the pass rush is as good as the early billing, both Thomas and Ross will be fine back there. But when the pass rush is NOT there (which is going to happen sporadically), who do you prefer after the jam is over? Thomas looked good on Monday night. He is going to get beat, just like ALL CBs get beat. Thomas is not a finished product. He has not been tested game in and game out. But he has worked himself into a very good place and deserves the opportunity to show us even more.

Note how we’re not making the same distinction with Webster. He has missed a lot of camp too, yet the alarm bells are not ringing there because he is solidly entrenched as the #1 CB on this team. It’s his job. Unless he keeps missing camp and is out of practice so long that he has clearly lost skills, he is going to start. In the Vacch link at the top, Webster is reported in team drills, so that is a positive.

For tonight’s game, look for more of the same we discussed before the Panthers game. Watch how the LBers deal with Matt Forte. Cutler will not have the rhythm with his WRs that we will see later on this season, but let’s see how our DBs do against better passing than we saw from Delholme. For a more detailed discussion of what we’ll be seeing tonight from the Bears, visit Windy City Gridiron.

Eve of Preseason Game 1

August 16, 2009

1) The Vick-Eagles signing needed some time to simmer. So why did Goodell even let it come to this in the first place, letting 31 teams play the prisoner’s dilemma? There is ALWAYS SOME TEAM THAT IS GOING TO DEFECT AND PISS IN THE POT. In this case, there were allegedly 5 teams with “interest.” Once again outstanding grades to Commissioner Goodell (uh, NO) for letting this guy back into the league. Vick was every bit as bad as Pacman Jones, yet Goodell has decided Vick is getting another opportunity. The muted reaction on Friday’s post was due to the fact that WE ALREADY HATE the Eagles, so this signing was not going to do anything to move the needle.

One of the advantages of letting this story get out more facts is that we learned afterwards that Vick drove up to Lurie’s residence to get under the radar of the media. And that Vick was offered a deal without even a workout! After not playing since Dec 2006! Folks, that is classic Prisoner’s Dilemma Defection. Get the lowball deal quietly while no one else is aware of what you are doing. They can say all they want about not trying to create a media circus, but in this case they did not want a bidding war to start by having their interest leaked. The Eagles are only interested in Michael Vick’s rehabilitation because the price was right.

2) Things to watch on Monday night:
a) LBer speed to the ball. We play against Peterson, Sproles, Maclin, Harvin and Vick now too, so that speed in the middle of the defense is going to get tested.
b) Terrell Thomas
c) Chris Canty is out- we’ll have to wait until Saturday for his debut
d) Osi’s side to side agility
e) Eli’s accuracy, YAC, deep ball
f) Of course, the WRs
g) backup OLs (center exchange, protection) and Safeties
h) any rookies starting? (Sintim?) anyone making an impact?
i) REPETITIONS for Boss and Bradshaw

3) How many of you remember the Hall of Fame Game in 2002? It was the Giants vs the Texans and there was this rookie named Jeremy Shockey who was shot out of a cannon, his first (preseason) game as a pro. He breaks one tackle, then runs over (former Jet DB) Kevin Williams and turns him into road kill. How many of you remember Amani Toomer’s preseason in his 3rd year when he broke out? That was the year when he took karate in the offseason. He got off the jam with those skills and never looked back. So this is the game to watch to see new faces make a splash.

4) Speaking of Jets and first preseason games, how many of you saw the first offensive play from Mark Sanchez of the Jets? It was a bomb to David Clowney, a WR who Wonder has been sky high on for a while now. Clowney has had problems staying healthy, leading some to nickname him Mr. August. But at least the Jets understand what they have and are willing to use it. For the Giants, this means throwing screens, flares and checkdowns to Bradshaw. REPEATEDLY. How many times do the best teams get thwarted offensively, only to find a way to keep the chains moving on a dink and dunk? Brian Westbrook? Kevin Faulk? THESE GUYS ARE NOT GLAMOUROUS BUT THEY KEEP DRIVES GOING, THEY SPREAD THE FIELD, THEY GIVE YOUR OFFENSE RHYTHM, THEY GIVE YOUR DEFENSE REST. Everyone was happy with Ward last year, but Bradshaw can do much more out of the backfield as the scatback than Ward EVER did. That is no knock on Ward. As long as Bradshaw stays healthy and protects the ball, he can be to Manning what Faulk is to Brady. It is not pretty, watching a ‘cheap’ and scrappy first down, but it is football and it wins games. It is what distinguishes the boxer from the puncher. Let’s see some boxing tomorrow night. Practice makes perfect.

addendum- note Canty and Ross are out tomorrow evening. This makes watching Terrell Thomas (singled out by Bob Papa for having a good camp) all the more important, as his chances of getting the starting job rise with every missed game from Ross.

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.

Terrell Thomas, Antonio Pierce, Amani Toomer

August 5, 2009

1) Training camp video highlights.

2) Every now and then we are able to get it right once in a row.

July 22nd
“Ross- ??..did he have a sophmore slump? Is it me, or did he come on like gangbusters early in 2007, only to get more yawns than impact thereafter? Yes, the Giants use a lot of press coverage, so without the DL to keep up the pressure as last season wore on, we saw Ross exposed… At this point, it is not clear to me whether Thomas can offer even greater upside, given how he came on. So let’s see Ross do it, but we’d take either. Or both.”

August 4
“Speaking of closing fast, don’t discount the possibility that CB Terrell Thomas could eventually beat out Aaron Ross. Thomas is having a great start and closed very fast to step in front of Mario Manningham to pick off a Carr pass.”

3) Can you name four prominent first round draft choices who were lost to injury for the Giants during successful championship seasons for Super Bowl XXI, XXV and XLII? Yesterday we mentioned three: Kinard, Simms and Kiwanuka. But there is a 4th player, also a first rounder, who was lost to injury for one of these three championships. And he was a Pro Bowler too. Who did we leave out?! Hint, it was Super Bowl XLII… Jeremy Shockey. Almost a trick question, given how he was wasted as an asset that year anyway. Do you see a pattern– good TEs not getting enough touches? naah, couldn’t possibly be.

4) Pierce: “I am eager to go out there,” he said. “Like every year, I always come up with ways to push myself and ways to push my teammates and with everything that happened last year with the negative play in the playoff game and things that were said about me, I’m looking forward to looking those doubters in the eyes again and, like I always say, shut them up.”

We have the utmost respect for Pierce. He is an overachiever, an undrafted LBer who made it to the Pro Bowl and earned himself a championship ring. He has been the on-field General of this franchise’s defense EVERY season. As an avid studier of film, he knows formations and tendencies and will call out plays before they happen to fellow teammates, making everyone around him better. Case in point was LaVar Arrington, who was downright crestfallen when word got to him that Pierce had left the Redskins to go to the Giants in 2005. It took Arrington one year to get his tail up to NY to be with his former teammate in the middle. Before the fateful Achilles injury in Dallas that season, the Giants in 2006 had the early seeds of what could have been the most dominant defense in the league. The injury bug ripped through the team, one game after the next. Tuck and Strahan both were lost.

With all of that said, it is now 2009, not 2006. This is now the aging veteran Pierce. The one who got beat on the pass interference call to Watson which set up a 1st and goal for the Pats first TD of Super Bowl XLII. The one who could not handle Brian Westbrook out of the backfield. Spagnuolo adjusted and put a Safety on the RB on third down/obvious passing downs. Sheridan was the LBers coach, so he knows EXACTLY what he has and what he does not have in Pierce. Cold? Heartless? Age is not kind to LBers.

So Pierce has a chip on his shoulder. He’s playing with something to prove. He does not have anything to prove to us, his loyal fans. He simply has to prove to opposing NFL Offensive Coordinators that he won’t lose that half step in the second half of the season.

5) Amani Toomer has landed a job with the Chiefs. Hail Toomer. Warrior to the end. And just a reminder, you have not seen the last of him- we play the Chiefs Week #4.

6) Who is Vince Anderson? Garafolo reports that his stock is rising and he is competing seriously for that last Safety spot behind Phillips, Johnson and Brown:

“And finally, I mentioned Anderson up top and waited to the bottom to tell you he had an awesome afternoon. The undrafted rookie from Webber International (Fla.) got in front of Nicks on a fade and easily won a jump ball to knock it away. A few minutes later, he picked off a pass from Woodson that was badly behind the intended target. And finally, he showed good concentration to intercept a ball from Bomar that went through Moss’ hands. Nice way for Anderson, who converted to safety when he arrived in Albany, to get on the coaches’ radar.”

Terrell Thomas

June 8, 2009

Terrell Thomas video. This guy came on well as the season wore on, which is exactly what you want to see from a rookie. Quietly we have big hopes for Year 2.

Spags on Phillips and Thomas

July 17, 2008

“They were both very productive guys that both played at a high level of football so that right there we think means a lot. Just in the few days we have had a chance to work with them they are pretty much every bit what we thought they were. We will keep working them and hopefully get two good players out of them.” – Steve Spagnuolo on S Kenny Phillips and CB Terrell Thomas.

Kenny Phillips

May 14, 2008

The early returns are in from rookie minicamp. Manningham has shown flashes, although he did get hurt. Thomas seems in the mix. The Goff/Kehl LB tandem seems like a smart and savvy set. But Phillips impressed the most.

New York Giants rookie minicamp

May 10, 2008

A look in on the first day of Rookie Minicamp

Streaming reports from Garafolo of the Ledger

Kenny Phillips interviewed at Minicamp

Terrell Thomas interviewed at Minicamp

Mario Manningham interviewed at Minicamp

Bryan Kehl interviewed at Minicamp

Radio Interview with Terrell Thomas from WFAN 5/1/08

May 6, 2008

Richard G., one of the charter members of this blog, has been an advocate of getting the best football players from the best programs. That mantle used to belong to Miami and now he is now focusing more on the players from Pete Carroll’s USC program as the new source of NFL-ready talent. Terrell Thomas talks about coming out of that system and how it gives him confidence that he can and will contribute to the Giants.Sometimes it is simply reading between the lines, but when you listen to Thomas talk about what he expects of himself it sounds like he is ready. Two USC guys from Round 2 in a row? That feels like a good niche for the Giants.