Category Archives: Giants

What’s the Plan Dave?

It was just two weeks ago that the Giants GM haughtily dismissed trade speculation surrounding OBJ and said, “We didn’t sign Odell to that contract to trade him.”  Yet, here we are, with nothing of note being reported and the most talented Giant since LT is headed to Cleveland.  What the hell just happened?

This being OBJ, who is somewhere between “mercurial” and “knucklehead” on the maintenance scale, something could have happened behind the scenes, but barring that, this is a huge kick to the teeth for the fans, and it casts serious doubts about what plan, if any, the GM is building here.

The Giants didn’t have to sign OBJ to that enormous deal a year ago. The new regime could have come in and traded him, pitching it as the first step in the rebuild, and the fan base probably would have swallowed hard, but given them the benefit of the doubt. But, they gave him the big deal, continually denied they were shopping him, and now they have pulled an incredible u-turn.

How can any fan feel like a real plan is being executed?  You don’t trade a franchise player for future assets if you aren’t rebuilding,  but you don’t rebuild with a 38-year old QB. Yet, that seems to be the current plan. Maybe the Giants draft their future QB this year, but it really looks like Eli is going to at least start the year under center. (Of course if the past 12 hours have taught us anything, we shouldn’t believe anything the GM says).

I hope someone for the Giants management stands up today and gives us some explanations for all of this. A little humility from the GM would go a long way in that department.  Because from my seat in the bleachers, it’s starting to look like the Giants are trying to emulate the Knicks a lot more than the Yankees.

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QB Roulette

While everyone says the Giants have to take a QB in the first round this year, they better be sure about the guy if they do. Consider these stats which apply to the years since the last time the Giants spent a first rounder on a QB (Philip Rivers in 2004)

40 QBs have been first round picks.

Those 40 QBs have produced 14 Pro Bowl seasons.

Those 40 QBs have produced 149 years as starters out of a possible 275.  (If you were drafted in 2018 you had 1 possibles start year, if 2017, you had 2, etc.).

So, we can say about 10% of the starting seasons for first round QBs have been Pro Bowl caliber.

Now consider the QBs take in the remaining rounds 2-7.

There have been 128 of them.

They have produced 16 Pro Bowl Seasons

They have 89 start years ( I didn’t calculate the possible years because that would be intense).

So, there have actually been more Pro Bowl seasons from the QBs drafted after the first round from 2005 on than the ones drafted in the first round. Now granted, there are/were some pretty good QBs who were first round picks that weren’t in this sample like Peyton, Eli, Big Ben, and Philip Rivers. But, that is balanced by the fact that both Brady and Brees weren’t drafted in the first round and they have 26 Pro Bowls between them that aren’t included for that group.

To me, this proves one thing. You absolutely need a QB, but reaching for that QB can have fateful consequences. You have to trust the GM to make the right call in the draft. If he thinks there is a potential franchise QB, take him in round 1, if not, take someone else and maybe you can find that QB later.

This Could Be Ugly

The most damning statistic that sums up the Jerry Reese era is this- the Giants roster has only ten players he drafted or signed left on it. That’s right, after one offseason, the Giants have gotten rid of almost every remnant of Reese’s tenure.

Which is why cutting Davis Webb wasn’t a huge shock. Clearly Reese didn’t do a great job of evaluating talent and the new brass correctly decided that developing two QBs made zero sense and cut the one they felt had less upside. And if he isn’t the future solution, the odds are still pretty good that the Giants will have a top draft pick in the next draft.

Thats because the talent is not very deep and the schedule is very tough, second-hardest by most measurements. Consider the first eight games- Jax, @Dal, @Hou, Saints, @Car, Phi, @Atl, Washington. The Giants will be definite underdogs in the first seven and possibly all of them. Getting through that at 4-4 would be a huge achievement.

And one that seems impossible. The offensive line is completely new, but there are huge questions on the right side. The skill positions on offense should be really good, but will Manning have time to get the ball out?

Its a new defense harkining back to the glory days of Parcells and the 3-4, but without the dominant linebackers which is a huge problem. The defensive line should be good, but other than Jenkins and Collins, the secondary doesn’t look good at all.

I think the Giants end up better than last year (not a bold prediction) but still pretty bad, six wins tops. But that’s ok because you want them to have the high draft pick and a shot at their next franchise QB. Rebuilds take time and we will have our patience sorely tested this season.

What Are The Giants Doing?

The Giants are an enigma at this point. They’ve added players in free agency who,will certainly improve the team, but seem odd choices for a club that is rebuilding. Today they traded their best pass rusher for essentially a third round pick which is odd for a team that is trying to contend. So what gives?

I suspect the additions are about laying the foundation of a new culture. It’s hard to figure out exactly what happened last year, but clearly the culture of the club went off the rails. There were suspensions, open instances of insubordination, a complete mess. What’s the connection between the three biggest-named additions so far- Ogletree, Solder, and Stewart?  They are all “character”guys with great reputations for leading. I’m not saying they won’t make the club better, they will, but there were other choices that could have been made if that was the only consideration.

And that’s why the JPP trade makes sense.  The Giants are looking to the future and this trade helps them in two important ways. First, they net another draft pick.  Second, they clear JPP’s money off the cap which will let them do things like extend OBJ and Collins, probably their two most important long-term pieces at this point.

And that brings us to the draft and the impending decision the Giants have. To me this is simple. If you believe your franchise QB is in this draft, you grab him, no matter what. If you don’t see that available, explore every option. The Jets just paid a fortune to move up to #3, surrendering the #6 pick, two second rounders this year, and another next year. If a team isn’t interested in making a trade like that, the Giants would be stupid not to listen.

Insanity

ESPN ran a story yesterday that the New England triumvirate of Kraft, Belichick, and Brady is about to fall apart over internal strife. Today the New York papers are suggesting that Belichick will come and coach the Giants as a result of that.

Let’s start with the ESPN report. It makes Tom Brady look like an egotistical athlete who cant handle getting older.  Does that sound familiar?  That’s what almost every star athlete wrestles with at the end of their career. How that would break up the Patriots is beyond me. But let’s just play along, let’s say Belichick is at the end of his rope and wants out. What happens then?

Sure, the Giants make sense. He fondly remembers his time here and he even owned a brownstone in Park Slope up until a few years ago, but beyond that think of all the obstacles that would remain.

First, Belichick would need to be willing to put his legacy on the line. This is not a small point. Right now, he is probably considered the greatest coach in NFL history. He is considered a football genius. Now, he very well may be both of those things, but he also might be one of the luckiest guys ever because Tom Brady is the greatest QB ever and Belichick got lucky with the 199th pick in the draft. This is all debatable, but right now not worth discussing. Now if Belichcik left New England and flopped here in New York, that would put a major dent in his legacy. And if he came here and won, would it really do more for his legacy?  In short, what’s the upside to coming back here?

Second, even if he did want to take the risk, the Patriots are not going to just let him walk out the door. Their initial demand will include the #2pick in this year’s draft plus a lot more picks in future drafts. The Giants can’t pay that price and expect to be able to rebuild successfully.

Third, the timing won’t work. Unless Belichick is so disgusted with everything in New England that he would take the unprecedented move of leaving his job before the Patriots played their playoff game, this cant happen. The Giants need to hire a coach in the next week or so, waiting for the Patriots to compete their playoff run to take a chance that Belichick would become their coach is crazy. All the good candidates would be gone by then and the Giants would be in the worst position possible-forced to pay whatever price New England wants for Belichick because there would be no plan B at that point.

So count me out on the whole idea. Unless Bill steps to a podium in New England in the next few days with a cocktail napkin that says, “I resign as HC of NE” Then things would get ineteresting.

Another Mistake

The Giants almost got it right today, firing McAdoo and Reese, but then John Mara muffed the easiest part- he said it’s up to interim coach, Steve Spagnuolo, to decide the starting QB Sunday.

That is just incredibly stupid. The Giants did the hard thing yesterday, benching Eli, why go back and revisit that decision?  And don’t give the decision to Spags, he is going to think short term because he wants to turn a temporary gig into a long term one. If he can finish the year 2-2, he just might convince the Giants to hire him as the next head coach.

Davis Webb has to start Sunday and he has to start the rest of the season. The Giants have four games to see what he is made of and they can’t keep hiding him on the inactive list. Start him Sunday, and see what happens. It doesn’t matter if he isn’t ready, the Giants have to see him on the field.

The last time the Giants picked in the top-5 they traded up for Eli. There are a few QB’s at the top of this draft that could warrant a selection. But not before the Giants find out about the player they selected in the third round last year.

The First Move of 2018

The Giants announced today that Geno Smith will start at QB on Sunday. Eli Manning was given the opportunity to start and then give way to Smith and possibly Davis Webb, but chose to let Smith start.

This is the responsible move for the Giants to make, but they are going to take a lot of crap for it. Eli is the face of the franchise and hasn’t started every game since taking over from Kurt Warner in the middle of the 2004 season. Smith is perceived as a failure for his disastrous tenure with the Jets.

But here’s the thing, the Giants and nobody knows what Smith really is. He was a 2nd round pick and had some success. The team needs to get a good look at him before deciding what they want to do. They also need to get a long look at Davis Webb and with five games left, they will. That’s what these games have to be about, figuring out the future. And while they won’t say it, if Smith or Webb shows ability, they will be QB1 next year, not Eli.

This isn’t a day for happiness or sadness.  We can simply take grim satisfaction in the knowledge that the Giants did what they had to do today

 

Now What?

A few weeks ago I speculated that the Giants should get Davis Webb going if they’re entered the bye at 0-7. They managed to make it 1-6, but injuries have made the idea of using Webb a bad one. You can’t properly evaluate a quarterback if he doesn’t have any NFL-caliber receivers to throw to and that is pretty much what the Giants are looking at.

On Sunday, the Giants used Lewis, King, Rudolph, and Egan at wide receiver. This group came into the game with less than 25 catches combined for their careers. Not surprisingly, it didn’t go well. Eli found Engram at tight end a few times before Seattle realized he was the only receiving threat out there and double-teamed him. We know that Sterling Shepard should come back, which will help, but barring another wide receiver coming in, would you want a rookie trying to make this work?

I don’t think so as it would most likely destroy his confidence and tell you nothing.  If I were the Giants, I would listen if a team like Jacksonville wanted to trade for Eli.  If that happened, put Gene Smith in and see if the rookie receivers can develop into somewhat competent players.  Then put Webb in and see what he’s about.  The year is lost and the team is hurt.  That’s a deadly combination.

 

 

A Bit of Pride

That’s a nice win on national TV that is absolutely meaningless unless they win at home next Sunday. Let’s talk then.

The End of Eli?

Let me make clear from the outset that Eli Manning is not the guy responsible for this disaster. While his play has not been elite, it has certainly been good enough to compete if the team around him was better. But, that doesn’t mean a change isn’t the right thing to do. If the Giants fall to 0-7 over the next two weeks (@Denver, Seattle) not a far-fetched idea, they would be irresponsible if they didn’t use that bye week to start grooming Davis Webb to play in actual games. Remember Eli took over at QB when the Giants were 5-4 in 2004. They still had a shot at competing but recognized that the future lay with Eli and they needed to let him play.

Davis Webb is not Eli Manning, but the Giants liked him enough to spend a third-round pick on him. Considering the fact that the Giants are probably picking in the top-five of the draft this spring, they need to know what they have in Webb.  If their judgement was right, and the only way to tell that is to play him, they can use that pick on someone to help rebuild this team at a position other than quarterback. But if their judgement was wrong, and that is how they got to this point, they probably need to draft their QB of the future and go from there.

That is the grim reality facing this team and if you don’t believe me, ask yourself this. Can you see the Giants contending for a Super Bowl next year? If you are being honest, the answer is of course not. Eli will be 37 in January. He is not going to be around for the next Super Bowl. It’s going to take some serious rebuilding to right this ship and it starts with evaluating the young talent they have. It’s not quite the time, but two more games and two more losses and they have to look to Davis Webb.