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If Jake Matthews, Greg Robinson, Taylor Lewan, and Zack Martin are gone by the 12th pick, and none of the QBs falls to 12th so JR receives interest in trading down, then I wouldn't mind too much if JR picked up Ebron.  He'll be a good target for Eli, especially with no true #1 WR on the roster now that Hakeem Nicks is gone.  But that said, I tend to value TEs as TEs, not just a WR in TE clothing.  We had a real good TE in Martellus Bennett, who's both a very good blocker and a very good receiver.  But JR let him go to Chicago... mistake.  So if given the choice, I'd rather JR pick up Mike Evans with the 12th and then Troy Niklas with the 43rd.  He's certainly not going to be mistaken for a WR in TE clothing at 6'7" 270 lbs, but Niklas is by most reports the best blocking TE in college football today.  He's an effective receiver underneath, with good leaping ability.  So with the 4 top Tackles gone by the 12th, I'd rather have Evans and Niklas with the 1st and 2nd picks.   

7 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://ultimatenyg.com/uncategorized/te-eric-ebron-can-tranform-the-giants-offense.html

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@ultimatenyg trading down could present itself if one of those QBs falls unexpectedly, but even if that happens and JR takes a later 1st round and an additional 3rd, 5th, whatever... that only works to his advantage if he can turn in results like the 2007 draft.  His recent drafts have been unremarkable.  Extra picks spent on QBs and 3-4 LBs who might make the conversion, and project TEs and such dooms Eli to another 2013 part deux.  If he can't trade, and has to pull the trigger on 12th, he ought to either screw value and take Xavier Su'a-Filo or Zack Martin, or play it safe and go CB with Justin Gilbert, who's a better fit for the Giants opposite Prince than Dennard.  None of the top Guards will be there at 43rd, and they need a top Guard in the draft.  I am just not in favor of taking a top LT at 12th when we have Beatty and Pugh, both of whom need to remain exactly where they are in 2014.  Arguments that Beatty can move to RT are off the mark, as he has few of the attributes of a RT.  Pugh is a much better RT than Beatty, so moving Pugh inside sub-optimizes both players in my view.  Drafting a LT at #12 and moving him to RT then moving Pugh inside is again forcing an early outside acquisition to solve an inside problem.  I also don't believe Kony Ealy or Dee Ford, or Anthony Barr or Khalil Mack are good fits for the Giants... I'm glad neither LB will be there when JR picks.  Barr isn't a natural 4-3 LB... he was a RB two seasons ago. Mack isn't excellent dropping into coverage and playing the run as a stay home defender, and with Beason in the middle the Giants need that from a #12 pick.  I guess what I'm arguing myself into is if JR is stuck with 12th, take one of the great Guards who won't be there at 43rd.  In a few seasons after that Guard's playing in the Pro Bowl nobody will give a damn that he wasn't value at 12th.               


8 months, 3 weeks ago on NFL Offseason Observations

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It will be very interesting to see what Ross and Reese do in FA leading up to the draft. They know the draft's very deep in O-linemen and WRs (Mayock said the deepest draft he has seen in 10 years), and with little CAP to throw around, I'd suspect they'll count on the draft being their for them.  Along the O-line, the Guards and Center are a bigger issue than the Tackles, even with Beatty coming off a poor season.  Beatty plays well when he's protected, and he lost every bit of his protection in 2013.  Pugh will play well at RT, and continue to learn and perfect his technique... leave him be... don't screw with the only bright spot on the line when every other position has issues. 


JR knows everyone knows he bet the house and rolled the dice with Baas and Snee in 2013 and came up craps, because behind them was a very steep drop down to mediocre projects in development.  Mara will fire JR if he tries to go with Baas and Snee in 2014 with the same bench, regardless of the starters' pay cuts and player assertions that they feel good.  As such, I'd expect Reese to resign Boothe, who PFF rated good when he stays stable at Left Tackle.  Baas is an enigma... he was an iron man with San Fran, and then comes to the Giants and can't stay on the field. But JR must not try to convince himself that Baas has a full 16 game season ahead of him after multiple off season surgeries and treatments for his migraines, back, neck, leg, etc., and he must not think he can leave Beatty unprotected by moving Boothe to Center again.  Cordle's a last resort option, but JR needs a starter like FA Center Evan Dietrich-Smith from the Packers. McAdoo knows he's very good, and the Packers might not lock him up... although chances are they will.  One might suggest that there are a few very good starting caliber Centers to be had in the draft, but I don't see Eli regaining his confidence as he learns a new offense taking snaps from a rookie center.  That's not to say JR shouldn't pick up Bryan Stork in the 4th round, because he certainly should start seeding the replacement for Dietrich-Smith now.  Stork's the 2013 Remington Trophy winner as the nation's top Center, who according to NFL Draft Scout is "tenacious and technically-sound" but may need a year in the NFL weight room before his lower body's ready for full time action.


Snee isn't an enigma... he's just at the end of his very good career.  There was a day when John Madden referred to Chris Snee as one of the very best Guards in the entire League.  Sean O'Hara readily acknowledged that the entire line took their feed off of Snee.  He was the man, and he dominated.  Today his heart is willing, but the body has seen better days.  When Chris takes a huge pay cut, and convinces JR that while he can no longer dominate, he can compete for one more season with any Guard, what will JR do for insurance?  He has Guard depth on the bench, but they're not starters yet.  Signing a starting caliber Guard to play behind Snee makes no sense, and I don't see Snee sticking around as a backup behind a veteran FA.  I do see Snee working with a top rookie Guard as his replacement, like a Xavier Su'a-Filo, David Yankey, or Zack Martin.  If Snee can't get it done, any of those three could start and do well between Dietrich-Smith and Justin Pugh.  JR's problem is none of those guys will be there at 43rd, and they're not value at 12th.  So he'd need to trade down for an extra 3rd rounder and a few more later picks.  That extra 3rd round pick in this very deep draft could end up being a difference maker.  JR did that once before, but his extra picks didn't work out so well.  He and Ross must do much, much better if the Giants are to have a winning season in 2014.       

8 months, 3 weeks ago on NFL Offseason Observations

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Firing Gilbride and hiring Sullivan... so in other words, no difference whatsoever.  Gilbride part deux.  Coughlin gets to save printer paper by using the same exact playbook... Sully's will still have Gilbride's name on it.  But, at least Sullivan won't call the same plays in the same situations that Gilbride did... we hope... but Eli can always check into the same plays he ran in 2013.  Mr. Mara shouldn't pass up this opportunity to implement real change.  That's what they did in San Diego, and Rivers says he's rejuvenated by having to learn a new offense, and it shows in his play.  Give Eli the same opportunity. 

10 months, 2 weeks ago on Getting Middled

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Descent pick for the Giants.  There are other OTs worth considering, but at least the pick's a starting caliber O-lineman.  So many mocks have Jerry Reese going Linebacker it's ridiculous... the Giants haven't take a LB in the 1st in 30 years, and they won't do it when the offense is broken, shut out twice, zero running game, with Eli on crutches. Descent pick.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on 2011 NFL Mock Draft Updated | Mock Draft

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First, Gilbride didn't adapt.  The O-line was horrible, but PFF statistically ranked the Colts and Seahawks O-lines worse that that of the Giants, and I don't notice their OCs being thrown off by that challenge.  Gilbride played the same hand no matter what cards he was dealt.  Know when to hold em, know when to fold em... Gilbride was right to walk away.  The dealin's done.


Second, to the media pundits who assert it wasn't coaching as much as the players. How exactly do you know that?  What's the basis of that conclusion?  When Gilbride removed a good WR Coach to make room for his son, and placed that WR Coach as QB Coach, did that figure into your analysis that it wasn't the coaching?  How is Sean Ryan equipped to be Eli's coach?  The Packers don't play amateur hour like that... when they assigned a QB Coach to tutor Rogers, they selected a professional who coached Bret Favre, who was the QB Coach with the Steelers, and the Saints, and who won 2 CFL Champions as QB, and who was an All-American QB at Notre Dame.  I like Sean Ryan, but are you media apologists telling us fans that he stacks up against Tom Clements at Green Bay?  Are you telling us a QB Coach doesn't matter?  Did you learn that from Bret Favre, who said Tom Clements helped him go from 29 INTs to 18 the following year?  The coaches aren't the issue in NY?  You guys must think we're real stupid out here.     

10 months, 3 weeks ago on 10 Years of Coziness with Kevin Gilbride

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Andy, good stuff.  Thanks for posting on Christmas day.  Alas, I'm pretty sure Coughlin, Gilbride and Fewell aren't going anywhere.  That doesn't mean your 14 aren't spot on, and that they must be addressed.  Some of them are of course easier to fix than others. I for one would like to see Sean Ryan go back to being a WR or quality control coach, instead of learning how to be a QB coach, because that's obviously not working.  There's only one starting QB ranked lower than Eli.  I can't count how many times I've listened to a commentator point out Eli's poor mechanics on an INT replay, even when he's not under pressure.  Mara ought to shell out big bucks to hire a bona fide guru who's another Tom Clements, who tutored Aaron Rogers, Matt Flynn, and before that oversaw Brett Favre’s INTs drop from 29 to just 18 the following season.  Those kinds of results aren't expected of Sean in 2014 after just a couple seasons as QB coach.  So go get a real QB coach who knows Eli's perfect throwing mechanics, recognizes when a flaw's creeping into his game, and knows how to implement corrections quickly. A mechanically sound Eli accompanied by a simplification to the complex route trees (your #9) that will accelerate the contributions of a new X receiver (your #12) like Clemson's Sammy Watkins (who has been mocked at #11 to the Giants after Nicks departs for Carolina), and the substantial improvement of the O-line (31st in the league in rushing undermines play action viability and challenges offensive rhythm (your #3a)) will put the Giants back in the playoff hunt.  If JR and Coughlin are thinking they'll be able to go with essentially the same O-line (i.e. everything would have been fine if it weren't for injuries, which can't be predicted), then they must look into the persistent rash of injuries that seem to plague the Giants more than a fair number of other teams.  Just like with Sean Ryan, if Strength & Conditioning coach Jerry Palmieri isn't the right guy, then they need to get a bona fide guru who will implement the best injury protocols and improve training methods.  Does Palmieri know why the 49ers, Seahawks, and Bears are among the healthiest over the past two seasons... what do they do that's different from what he's doing?  If he doesn't know, then how can the Giants assert he's the right guy?

11 months, 1 week ago on The Case for Replacing Kevin Gilbride with a new Offensive Coordinator

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We all know Coughlin, Gilbride and Fewell aren't going anywhere for 2014.  The team didn't lay down on them (although they still have a final game to prove otherwise), so Mara won't demand coaching changes at that level.  However, they ought to implement some coaching changes below OC, to include Quinn, Sean Ryan as QB coach, and Jerry Palmieri as Strength and Conditioning.  After two years coaching Eli, Ryan ought to go back to WR coach where he belongs.  Eli needs a top shelf QB coach, not somebody who proves the Peter Principle.  I have friends who have dedicated decades to the physical conditioning and training business... certified and credentialed guys... and they opine the Giants too often have way too many injuries that are traceable to old thinking.  Some Giants players have recognized this for a while now, and opt to hire their own strength conditioning coaches who are up on the most recent advances in the science.  If the Giants are committed to playing old timer with their coaching leadership, then at least acknowledge the need to go the other direction with strength and conditioning.  As for JR putting lipstick on the rest of this pig, he'll go a long way to beautifying the offense by going OT again with the 11th pick (somewhere between 9th and 15th).  One or two of Lewan, Robinson, Erving or Kouandjio will certainly be there.  I was a huge Diehl fan when he was in his prime, and answering the call to wherever they stuck him.  But that old soldier has seen enough, and needs to hang em up.  Glass Baas can't be relied upon, so that FA experiment ought to end now.  $nee’s got to substantially restructure to like vet minimum, or he needs to go.  Beatty has looked way over matched too often at LT to have solidified that position, and Eli deserves more than that.  So if JR gave Coughlin another 1st round LT, and just as importantly did what it took to land Alex Mack from Cleveland (have O’Hara work on him), with Brewer, Mosley and Cordle in reserve, that pig's starting to look descent.

11 months, 1 week ago on NYG 23 DET 20 OT

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@ultimatenyg @buljos @dbs50 yeah... I can see your position.  I don't really agree, but I see what you're saying and it's reasonable.  I'm just not convinced JR has been behind the curve on the O-line.  It's not as if the Giants were just an O-line away from the best team in the NFC.  He had big problems stopping the run, and he committed a lot of resources to fixing that... quite well I'd argue.  He drafted Pugh in the 1st, and the stats so far look like he's the better of almost every O-lineman taken in the first round.  Did he not see Snee and Baas on IR this season?  No, he didn't see that.  Who did?  What other GM would have?  It's extremely difficult finding O-line value in the first or second rounds after winning the Super Bowl in 07 and 11, so he picked up guys when and where he could.  Ok, he probably missed on an expensive FA signing in Baas from San Fran.  What O-lineman in FA should he have signed instead of Baas?  Ok, Beatty had a bad year, and made some dumb mistakes out there (like allowing his man to take an inside rush when he had TE help to the outside).  Boothe's a serviceable starter whose probably better as a backup.  The rest of the guys are definitely depth, so far.  Maybe he could have not used two picks on Nassib this past draft and used both on O-linemen... who was available in the 4th?  Barrett Jones went to the Rams 3 picks after Nassib.  He has yet to see the field, even after the Rams were eliminated from contention.  Earl Watford to the Cards 6 after Nassib.  He has been inactive, and is inactive again for week 15.  Khaled Holmes to the Colts 5 after Watford, has been in one game this season.  None of them would have made a difference to the Giants O-line woes.  I don't see that JR has been behind the curve on this O-line.  I see severe, IR injuries to his pro bowl RG and 2nd round pick FA Center creating a void in the double A gaps that result in almost instant pressure in Eli's face, and that wrecked the offense.       

11 months, 2 weeks ago on SEA 23 NYG 0

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@ultimatenyg @capt george @mezzanine You may be right.  It may be that even though TC places restrictions on what Gilbride can and cannot do within TC's offense, certainly plays that make defenses pay for being overly aggressive isn't one of them.  I'm no football guru by any stretch, but in my humble opinion, until they can deal with double A gap pressure presented regularly by teams like the Panthers, Cards, etc., Eli's effectiveness will be largely diminished.  The loss of 2nd round pro bowl level talent like Snee and Baas to IR, replaced by Cordle, Booth, over-the-hill Diehl, and whomever else they can plug in there isn't going to protect a QB who isn't highly mobile and can roll out and throwing to receivers who know that if they keep fighting to get open.  We all see other teams without mobile QBs (e.g. Broncos, Pats) deal with that kind of pressure by expertly executing dump-offs, screens, misdirections, short crossing etc routes to TEs and slots, but those plays don't seem to be within Gilbride's well rehearsed bag of tricks.  As a result, Ds have found a rather simple solution to neutralize the Giants offense.  Will replacement of Gilbride correct that?  Probably... but even if they kept Gilbride, as long as JR puts pro bowl caliber A gap protection on the field too, it'll get much better.  Snee may or may not be done with too many hip operations, but if he's got a good season in him and he's willing to renegotiate his contract, they ought to bring him back.  He was the heart and soul of that line, and Madden called him one of the best guards in the league.        

11 months, 2 weeks ago on SEA 23 NYG 0

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@dbs50 I guess the assumption is that the offense is Gilbride's to orchestrate, without constraints or restrictions from his boss.  That's however not what I understand to be the case.  There's a significant difference between working with a white sheet of paper and doing it entirely your way, as opposed to working within restrictions and constraints from the boss that inhibit what you are allowed to do.  How much of this offense is Coughlin's and how much of it is Gilbride's?  If Coughlin de facto tore pages out of Gilbride's playbook (e.g. 4 wideout formation), then bringing in some young turk OC isn't necessarily going to add those pages or any new pages back.  Coughlin is committed to his ways, and he wants Gilbride to produce his offense.  But if he's forced to let him go, then he might therefore impose more restrictions and constraints on a new guy he didn't want running his offense than he has on Gilbride (i.e. put the new guy in a smaller box than the one he has Gilbride in).  Lots of conjecture here, but I'm thinking letting Gilbride go isn't the magic answer to fixing the Giants' woes on offense.  What I envision is Coughlin, Gilbride and Fewell staying, the offensive line problems being corrected by FA and the draft, and this time next season the Giants will be on course for another 9-7 season, Eli will be having a resurgence as they head into the playoffs, and bloggers will be opining that Gilbride was challenged to change as a coach, so his offense improved.       

11 months, 2 weeks ago on SEA 23 NYG 0

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@pdmeyerh I for one had underestimated the criticality of the O-line to offensive success under the Coughlin system, until the past two seasons.  The Seahawks debacle further emphasized how vitally important players like Snee are to the entire offense.  When this O-line was good, a reporter asked Sean O'Hara what made it tick.  He said Chris Snee, as the heart and soul of the line, and that they all fed off of him.  Madden said Snee was one of the very best guards in the league.  When his body betrayed him, as did Diehl's... well, the loss in talent and line continuity was all she wrote for this offense.  


It's not like JR didn't see it coming.  He brought in Baas for O'Hara, and Pugh in the first round.  But JR expected Snee to still be that heart and soul, and he expected Baas and Beatty to play like their contracts indicated they'd play.  All of that went to crap, and with it the the entire offense.  


Mara ought to commission a big bronze plaque and hang it on the wall over the Giants draft board, reading "Games really are won and lost in the trenches." 

11 months, 2 weeks ago on SEA 23 NYG 0

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I'm looking forward to this weekend's game, just to see if this is the same Giants team and win-plan that was presented on the field in San Diego.

11 months, 2 weeks ago on SD 37 NYG 14

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@capt george good point.  While a WR to replace Nicks has to be high on JR's list, I would argue OL-men who aren't late round rookie projects or FA journeymen but bona fide players like Pugh are a more pressing need.  They've got Eli for the next half dozen years.  WRs will come and go over that period, but that line needs to be established, stable and elite while Eli's still on the roster if they're going to win more Super Bowls with him.   The Broncos weren't about to waste what little time they had left to win Super Bowls with Payton by standing him up behind a mediocre line. Payton has been hit just 40 times this season, compared to Eli's 67, and sacked just 15 times compared to Eli's 33.  Put Payton behind his brother's line and Denver's not a Super Bowl contender.  Payton has Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, and Wes Welker.  In my humble opinion, Eli would be good enough behind Payton's line with RR, Cruz, and Mario Manningham back for 2014... along with a TE who fit the Giants scheme, if he's not already on the roster like maybe Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell, but we won't really know unless TC decides they need regular season game reps over the final 3 games.              

11 months, 3 weeks ago on SD 37 NYG 14

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I went to the game... should have stayed home.  There were a lot of Giants fans tailgating.  We were talking before the game about what needed to happen for the Giants to win.  Didn't take a quarter to find out this team is still the same 0-6 team. Shameful.  Humiliating.  I'm now hoping Mara doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to endure this embarrassment for another season.  All he'd need to do is call JR into his office and say, "Fix it now.  Have a nice day."  If Mara wants to show everyone how patient he can be, then very little will change, probably until TC's so old that he can't remember he's a football coach anymore.  TC's now quoted as saying the last three games are for respectability.  No Tom, they're not.  The last three games are about getting to the playoffs in 2014.  Sit starters like Diehl and get your bench strength on the field and prepare them to benefit from regular season game reps.  I now understand why Nassib wasn't out there last night when the game was well out of reach.  TC wants to play for respectability.  And if Eli breaks his leg ala Joe Theisman against the Seahawks, then what TC?  Put Painter out there to continue playing for respectability?  Let's set aside your respectability and see what Nassib's got that was worth two picks, and just maybe he'll show JR enough to consider not carrying three QBs next season.       

11 months, 3 weeks ago on SD 37 NYG 14

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@CommanderShepard Agreed... extremely long odds of this season going anywhere beyond the regular.  We'll continue to see DMoore, Hosley, Hankins, Mosley, and hopefully Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell in the last games, because JR and the organization need to know what they've got going into the draft and FA discussions, and because those guys greatly benefit from regular season game reps.  As far as Beatty, I think he's an adequate LT who will have his up and down games, the latter usually against the best DEs in the game.  What frustrated me a bit with his play wasn't only that Orakpo was beating him 1-on-1 with speed inside and out, but when he knew he had help to the outside, Beatty let Orakpo go inside.  That's not being overcome by speed as much as it is not playing smart football, and that's correctable.  My reason for OL optimism is JR knows he didn't fix it by signing Baas in 2011 and drafting Pugh in 2013, and that he only has Eli for a few more seasons (especially behind this line).  Sure, Brewer and Mosley will continue to get better, and provide serviceable relief when necessary (unless consistently solid play and improvement is evidenced over the last regular season games).  I'd like to see JR use his 1st round pick again on an O-Lineman, like Michigan's Taylor Lewan or Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio, and to also use some of that cleared cap space to seriously negotiate with O-line FAs like KC's Jon Asamoah, the Raiders' Jared Veldheer, or maybe even Broncos' Ryan Clady.  I'd like to think Beatty with a stud Guard inside him would perform significantly better, and the Giants O-line with the stud Pugh is about two studs shy of controlling the line of scrimmage with consistency.  

11 months, 4 weeks ago on Giants 24 Redskins 17

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@mezzanine @jfoster I appreciate your opinion, but I find myself respectfully disagreeing.  Eli with an OC who's comfortable departing from his standard Xs and Os in order to counter a defense's scheme, who assured his offense could proficiently execute a screen play, and who appreciates that "balance" in play calling is an objective, not an inviolate principle of physics (watching Gilbride play away from the extremely effective 200+ yard running game when Dallas had no answer for stopping the run was heart breaking), would be a different Eli.  As a displaced New York resident living in San Diego, I've watched Gilbride run off after stubbornly ruining the Chargers, and I don't see a much different Gilbride today.  He's a great position coach, a bad coordinator, and a horrible HC.  His career should have mirrored coach Pope's... be the best position coach in the league, and just stop there. 

12 months ago on Odds and Ends at 4-7

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@jfoster @ultimatenyg @mezzanine you may be right, but I tend to doubt that's all of it.  Eli isn't the problem for sure.  I think he's frustrated and overcompensating for the lack of diversity in what plays are available to call when a defense demonstrates what they're conceding.  I'm sure Eli knows how to counter a D line with their ears pinned back, hell bent on getting to the QB with the added confidence that Gilbride's offense isn't able to make them pay for their over aggressiveness.  Gilbride can't orchestrate a screen pass, or employ a pass catching TE over the middle ala Witten and others, or employ a pass catching RB in various options.  This lack of a wide breadth of play options to execute is most dramatically witnessed in the red zone, where opposing defenses can count on one hand Eli's options to walk off with 6.  We all watch other NFL games, and I find myself yelling at the TV "why can't Gilbride run that play?!" when it's obvious that play is just not among the list of options... because in 11 weeks I've yet to see it.  I think Eli can run any play ever invented, and make any throw to any part of the field.  He knows how to make defenses pay.  Anybody'd be frustrated and lose confidence in Eli's shoes with this Gilbride offense.     

12 months ago on Odds and Ends at 4-7

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@mezzanine I don't know... maybe you're right.  But I tend to think of Gilbride as obstinately dedicated to that playbook and route tree react scheme of his, no matter who happens to be on the field to successfully execute his plays.  The problem with that approach is players aren't all interchangeable plug-n-play parts with nearly equal capabilities and limitations.  When Gilbride determined his O-line couldn't with any consistency sustain their blocks for Eli's 5 step drop backs (he knew that a long, long time ago), he needed to fervently work the alternatives and counters (as stated in 1 and 1a above).  The Steelers were faced with the same dilemma, but their OC did what Gilbride as far as I can tell hasn't been able to do.  I find it hard to believe that none of the 4 TEs and 4 RBs on the Giants roster can do anything close to what Heath Miller and Le'Veon Bell did to counter the Ravens' D line pressure against the Steelers' weak O-line... 15 receptions for 149 yards at 10 yards a clip.  Or, what's even more frustrating is Gilbride calling plays that strive for "balance" while his running attack is racking up over 200+ yards against a Lee-less defense with little indication Dallas is going to adjust their plan to shut down Cruz and Randel with bracketed coverage. As Lombardi said, coaches who can draw out the Xs and Os are a dime a dozen... the real coaches get inside the players heads and get them to perform.     

12 months ago on Odds and Ends at 4-7

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Good stuff.  Thanks.  Can't disagree.  I'm hoping JR sees it that way too.  He needs to go into 2014 knowing what he has to work with, and TC ought to help him out by playing Hankins, Moore, Hosley, Taylor, James, Brewer, Mosley, Donnell, ARob, Cox, and yes... Nassib too, as much as is prudent under the circumstances.  All those guys would substantially benefit from many regular season reps, and JR would understand with greater certainty what he needs to focus on in the 2014 draft and in FA.  Personally, I'd like to see him go O-line in the first round again, since the O-line shares a large portion of the blame for this season's failure to reach the playoffs.  I'm not asserting 1st round O-linemen are immediately effective.  On the contrary, PFF rates Eric Fisher 71st, Luke Joeckel 59th, Lane Johnson 67th, D.J. Fluker 31st, and our Justin Pugh is 55th of 73 OTs.  The Giants already have O-line work-in-progress guys on the roster, and we all hope one or more of them takes that next big step up with continued playing time this season. But with Diehl, Snee and maybe Baas very much on the down side of their careers, they need to make O-line their highest priority.  Eli's much more likely to return to his winning ways with a stout line in front of him.

12 months ago on Odds and Ends at 4-7

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@mkdrep TC needs to watch Belichick.  When a Pats player loses it as demonstrated by personal foul and shoving matches, Belichick doesn't yell or scream.  The player sits until he gets his head back on straight.  It's often difficult to tell if it's Gilbride's ineptitude as a play calling OC, or as others have asserted TC's stubborn adherence to his variable tree route read design that he refuses to let Gilbride stray away from, or JR's too-little-too-late acquisition of real no-BS O-line talent when it was obvious to everyone that Diehl, Baas, and Snee were riddled with injuries and unable to perform at the top of their games anymore.  I'm thinking a combination of all the above, and more.  TC and Gilbride committing to "balance" is great as a general principal, but when you've racked up 200+ yards pounding the rock with no sign that the Dallas D sans Lee at MLB with Cruz and Randel doubled is concerned with stopping the run, you don't stop pounding the friggin' rock until the D commits additional defenders to the box!  It was a waiting game, and the Dallas coaches were prepared to let the Giants run the ball all day... Cruz and Randel were not going to beat them, and they knew the Giants weren't of a mind to let Eli-to-Myers over the middle take over the game.  Well, the Cowboys' coaches were right... the Giants would beat themselves.  I have little doubt that the Giants could have piled up 300 yards rushing and Myers could have had 10+ over-the-middle move-the-chains receptions, keeping Romo and Dez on the bench.  Instead, Gilbride has Eli take 5 step drops when everyone knows the O-line can't sustain those blocks and the Giants are incapable of executing a screen pass to take advantage of over aggressive D lines.  Dallas couldn't stop the Giants' running game, so TC and Gilbride did... with the season on the line.  Pathetic.  Giants coaches play as if it doesn't matter who's on the field or what the opposition's doing... the plays are the plays, and they all work regardless of the talent or what the opposition's doing.  That's absurd.  Just as great players enable coaches to design plays to take advantage of their talents, the opposite is true.  The coaches lost that game.    

12 months ago on DAL 24 NYG 21

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@jfoster @I Bleed Blue you'll see the players perform like their jobs depend upon their performance... if the coaches are smart enough to get those who desperately need regular season reps on the field.  They have something to prove, and they stand to learn the most, from these remaining 5 games.  Sending Diehl out there will tell us that these coaches are not as interested in developing their bench strength as they are in saving their miserable hides by turning in something other than a 4-12 or 5-10 season.  If they really truly cared about the Giants, they'd send in Moore, Robinson, Taylor, James, Cox, Mosley, Kuhn, Herzlich, Bradford, Donnell, Jernigan, Murphy, and yes... Nassib onto the field as much as possible.  Keeping the starters out there for the final 5 games gets them what, other than coaches trying to salvage their jobs?  Sending the aforementioned guys onto the field provides them with ~250 reps of learning experience and game tape for them to learn from.  Now, which puts the Giants in a better position in 2014?  I for one don't even see how it's a tough decision to make.

12 months ago on DAL 24 NYG 21

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@capt george @buljos Yeah... thought I'd get a rise out of everyone with that off-the-wall suggestion.  And it makes no sense taken out of context.  I criticized Gilbride for clutching to his sacrosanct playbook and not sticking with the run for no darn good reason, and then said if (as I've read elsewhere) it's not Gilbride's scheme but Coughlin's, and TC won't let Gilbride do his own thing, then in order to get somebody else running the offense get rid of TC and remove Gilbride from that playbook... there's more than one way to fire somebody... the other's promoting them to a position that removes them from doing much harm.  Gilbride can walk the sidelines, yell at the refs, throw the little red flag, clap, etc. like other HCs.  I've seen him do it in San Diego.  But don't let him near the offensive or defensive playbooks and game plans.  That was the context... absent the context of course "Gilbride to HC" makes zero sense.

12 months ago on DAL 24 NYG 21

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@pdmeyerh You hit it... bring more pressure on Romo instead of rushing 4 and asking Rolle to cover Dez.  That won't work on a closing drive.  One of the problems I have with these coaches is they're ultra conservative.  Fewell should have brought the big heat with complex blitz schemes and thrown caution to the wind.  We certainly don't have LT on the roster, but that doesn't mean send nobody when a field goal wins the game.  Laying back and giving Romo time is not the answer... and he proved it.  Typical Giants coaching.   

12 months ago on DAL 24 NYG 21

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The Giants defense is ranked 10th in the league in points allowed (with the defense on the field, not a pick 6 or specials gaf), so this abysmal team play is not on Fewell and his defense.  If Gilbride could do something different than what he and Eli have been doing since week 1, then they wouldn't be 4-7.  Gilbride seems disengaged from the game itself, and more focused on what play to pull out of his most sacrosanct of books.  The Giants were running the ball down the Cowboys' throats, yet Gilbride doesn't make Dallas stop the run, he stops the run... especially in the red zone!  The O-line was smiling and the running backs were smiling and the fans were smiling as they piled up 200+ yards on the ground... and then start chucking the ball around, just to give the Dallas D a break.  I've read that the offense is Coughlin's design, not Gilbride's, and that Coughlin won't allow it to be tinkered with.  Ok, if that's the case, then easy fix... send Coughlin on his way and promote Gilbride to head coach to take control of the offense away from both of them. Because I agree with you Andy... blaming the receivers and Eli after 11 weeks for still not figuring out which aspect of the sacrosanct route tree they're to execute is beyond laughable, it's sad.  It doesn't work.  Change it.     

1 year ago on DAL 24 NYG 21

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@Arthuro Thanks for the great pics and analysis.  Diehl ought not to be on the field unless a starter's hurt.  There was a time when he could regularly establish his will and drive defenders on running plays.  He's a tough guy, hard worker, knows his assignments, and a Giant through and through, but his skills have abandoned him.  I'd rather see Brewer or maybe even Mosley out there than Diehl, even though they're much more prone to mistakes in assignments.  

1 year, 1 month ago on Cox, Giants Run Game Set to Build on Week 6 Effort

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Yep... give Cox every opportunity out there behind Conner and an O-line that has had a little time to establish blocking communication and expectations, along with a blocking TE (i.e. not Myers until he proves he can consistently establish a block.  Pascoe doesn't have Myers' receiver skills, but from what I've seen so far Myers doesn't have the Myers receiver skills witnessed in Oakland).  It's unfortunate that none of JR's late round O-linemen pics have turned into a diamond in the ruff, yet.  Between JR, Coughlin, Killdrive, Pat Flaherty, and Ryan Roeder somebody should have asserted that conclusion earlier than the 2013 draft while observing that Snee, Diehl, and Baas are pretty much done.  We can't block because none of those guys could foresee that before we couldn't block.  Nonetheless, if they can rack up another 100+ yard rushing game, and use Cox's pretty good receiving skills on swings out of the backfield, then the Vikes have to back off max pass protect.  

1 year, 1 month ago on Cox, Giants Run Game Set to Build on Week 6 Effort

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I'm surprised that Gilbride would march into this season with Diehl, Snee and Bass as starters showing such obvious signs of wear in 2012, having lost their best blocking TE, and their best blocking RB... knowing their replacements were serious steps down in blocking ability.  Then when their good blocking FB goes down, they use a TE... another serious step down in blocking.  All that lost blocking expertise, and they wonder why they're near the bottom of the league in rushing yards per game, on 3rd down conversions, and turnovers... and their defense is near the top of the league in tackles.  JR's 1st round draft of Justin Pugh was a good move, but not nearly enough to stem the tide of lost blocking in 2013.  Injuries are often unpredictable, but JR and Gilbride needed to do much more to compensate for the lost blocking.  They didn't, so now they're earning an early draft pick.  Blocking JR... think Blocking.

1 year, 1 month ago on Backs to the Wall

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Maybe Killdrive's ultra complex offensive schemes were doable when the off season and camps allowed for enough time and practice to get it down.  But as TC commented during camp, there's no longer the same amount of time under the same conditions to establish the same level of proficiency.  So Killdrive and TC shouldn't have continued to implement what is by most accounts the most complex offense in football.  KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid.  If the 49ers and Seahawks are able to KISS their offenses enabling rookies to get it done, then Killdrive and TC ought to at least work some of that into their thinking.  Sure, the pistol option enables them to dumb it down, and Eli's not running any options.  True enough.  But certainly Killdrive is able to eliminate the most challenging mental aspects of his game in order to promote consistency and reduce costly errors when players arrive at different answers (aka miscommunication... most notably Eli and RR, Myers, and undoubtedly probable between Eli and the 2s and 3s).    

1 year, 1 month ago on CHI 27 NYG 21

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