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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.
1 day, 8 hours ago on SD 37 NYG 14
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.
1 day, 17 hours ago on SD 37 NYG 14
@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.
6 days, 14 hours ago on Giants 24 Redskins 17
@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.
1 week, 3 days ago on Odds and Ends at 4-7
@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.
1 week, 4 days ago on Odds and Ends at 4-7
@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.
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.
@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.
1 week, 5 days ago on DAL 24 NYG 21
@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.
@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.
@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.
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 week, 6 days ago on DAL 24 NYG 21
@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 month, 3 weeks ago on Cox, Giants Run Game Set to Build on Week 6 Effort
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.
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 month, 3 weeks ago on Backs to the Wall
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 month, 4 weeks ago on CHI 27 NYG 21