Category Archives: Giants

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.

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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.

How Low Can You Go?

It was just four years ago that the Giants opened the season 0-6.  That team went 7-3 over their final ten games and actually could have made the playoffs, so it is silly to bury this team now. But, 0-4 feels like a deep hole that they will never escape from. Losing back-to-back games on last-second field goals makes things look much worse, but the Giants do have some pretty large problems.

First, the offensive line is the train wreck we thought it would be. The only reason Ereck Flowers is still starting is because the guy who drafted him didn’t think it was a good idea to admit his mistake. Bobby Hart has been hurt, forcing the Giants to move Pugh to right tackle, the position they originally moved him from because he wasn’t good enough to play it. Weston Richburg is regressing, and John Jerry might be their best lineman right now. They can’t run the ball because there is usually a defender in the backfield.

Second, the defense has really regressed. They can’t stop the run, can’t prevent the big play, and Vernon and JPP are doing nothing for a pass rush.

Lastly, they have a punting problem as Brad Wing appears to have a case of the yips. He shanked the big punt in Philly and shanked two more yesterday. Both of those punts led to scores.

The schedule gives them a good chance to break into the win column this week with the 0-4 Chargers coming to town, but after that they travel to Denver and play host to Seattle. Unless they figure out a way to fix some of the problems I mentioned above, a 1-6 record heading into their bye week seems very likely.

 

Playoffs?

A lot of smart football minds think the Giants will ride a suffocating defense deep into the postseason this year. I’m not convinced.

I’m fully on board with the idea of a dominating defense and I also know what that means historically for this franchise. But I think that ignores two vital facts about this Giants squad.

First, Eli isn’t s kid anymore. He is on the downslope of his career. That’s not a knock, but it gets a lot harder to win the older you get.  And what makes me worry about his age is the second thing, the offensive line, specifically at left tackle.

Erick Flowers has been a disaster in his first two years and in the preseason he didn’t show that he was any better. Add in the questions at right guard and right tackle, and Eli could be running for his life. And don’t forget, the Giants were terrible at running the ball last year. Previous great Giant teams could always run the ball no matter what.

I never thought the 2015 Giants were as bad as their record showed and I don’t think the 2016 Giants were as good as their record showed  I expect this team to finish 8-8.  That could be a playoff squad and if they got on a roll, anything is possible.  But don’t expect a 12-4 campaign and a walk to the playoffs.

 

Feast to Famine

The “experts” will break this down later tonight, but I feel like day 2 of the Giants draft was a huge hit and a huge miss.

A defensive tackle in round 2 was a smart pick. The fact that his closest comparison is Hankins, makes it even better. No matter what you think, the Giants took a guy who could fill the last spot in their defensive starting lineup.

A QB in round 3 was incredibly stupid. Davis Webb may turn into Eli Manning, but that isn’t the point. This draft should have been about maximizing Eli Manning’s chances to win another Super Bowl. Webb doesn’t do that and you have to wonder if he will ever develop into a pro QB.

But again, even if he turns into Eli, this represents the worst way to maximize Eli’s last years. Nothing short of another Super Bowl win excuses this pick.

Check A Box

The “experts” were predictable in their reviews of the Giants draft pick, Evan Engram. Some loved it, some hated it. Some yelled that they didn’t do enough and should have traded up. To me it is all noise. The Giants needed a tight end, and they took one. He may turn out to be good, he may turn out to be bad, but they did exactly what they should have done, and that is all that matters.

As to the argument that they should have traded up to grab “X”, I hate it. Nobody aces the draft year in and out. The only way to ensure you do better in the draft than someone else is to have more chances (ie picks). If you trade up, you lose picks, so the only reason I can think to do so is for a franchise-altering player. The Giants did it in 2004 and got Eli, nice move. They did it in 2013 and got Ryan Nassib, not a nice move. It’s a crapshoot, and you are far, far better off trading down that up. Bill Belichick gets this, and he has done pretty well with it.

So, what’s on tap for tonight? Two picks and with Tight End crossed off, the Giants probably split them between offense and defense. Running Back is an idea as is someone who could play tackle. On the defensive side, something for the interior of the line or a linebacker would be nice.