The original #58 was reluctant to talk about the Giants when prodded at the beginning of his regularly scheduled appearance on WFAN. Again he reiterated the “same concerns” regarding “their best players aren’t showing up when you need them to.”
On defense “they ran out of gas” in the 4th quarter. Carl gives "Bill (Sheridan) a lot of credit” and “thinks they had the right stuff dialed up. If you want to look at the positive for this defense and ”want to believe 'that they are not that far away' you can point out that "they hit the QB a lot and played decent coverage even though they (Falcons) only have two receivers."
The penalties were a sign of a team wholly lacking discipline. The pass rush was effective through 3 quarters as per Carl. “Here’s a team (the Falcons) that’s gotten to a state in offense that they were afraid to throw the ball down the field, literally.” At one point in the game Carl points out that the “Falcons were going to settle for dinksand dunks to see if they can get close enough and all of a sudden 1st down after 1st down and penalty after penalty Atlanta could run an offense because they had a field to work with, thanks to the Giants' defense. On a further note regarding Sheridan’s zone blitz packages, as there have been many complaints about it, the “zone blitz package is acceptable” and effective only when “you are getting to the QB” which they were effectiveat through 3 quarters of the game. Carl made this point 3 weeks ago with the Eagles who blitz constantly as this adds an element of confusion to a QB who has been barraged by defenders.
But in the end for this team, Banks says two things separate them from more losses than wins: stop 1) “aiding and abetting a struggling offense with penalties” and 2) “talk about not being able to close out” as the defense played decently throughout the game but then “then they come back and act as though you’venever been in the same game.” They need to understand ”the situation(s) in a game” and “evolving your thought process as a defense” throughout the game both “as coaches and players.” “You knew in your game plan all week that Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White are your guys to shutdown and the 2 guys on the field that you got to find are Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez” when the game is on the line. Furthermore, “this speaks to not only maturity of players, but” to the “preparation and understanding when the coach puts this on the board on Wednesday that you haveto evolve your thought process during the course of the game.” Another damning condemnation of the safety unit is when Carl points out in the red zone that “if you are a Safety” and you see ”Tony Gonzalez you can’t let him get up the seam- you better get a jump on it in a hurry.” Likewise “if you are a Cornerback or Linebacker” and see Roddy White on an out route “don’t let this guy catch and kill us.” Bottom line- “those are the thought processes that great defenses have, that’s what great defenses do and great thinking defensive players do.”
On the offensive line “Howard Cross said it perfectly.. 'they’ve got to take it personal.' There is so much penetration in that backfield that the Running Backs don’t have a chance.” Carl pointed this out on air on Sunday that “you block em’ 1 time and it’s the same guy that’s in front of you the next time and he beats your butt…..you can’t have that, it’s gotta be personal.” Bottom line this has been an issue with an offensive line since late last year from the home game against the Eagles through now, inconsistent play. Perhaps, we have been blinded by the hype they received nationally, such as the SI cover annointing them as MVP?
Carl admits he needs to “manage my expectation for Osi right now” as “I think at this point he maybe just be a sub” (ouch!). A point in reference is how “Canty played a lot of downs which gives them a lot of beef up front” especially “against the run”. He goes on and calls Osiout and “still think(s) he should be expected to make more than that 1 big play a game” and his “expectations of him” are to “give me 4 big plays in the 4th quarter, step it up!”
The division is within grasp based on the level of play of in the NFC East. But it depends upon whether offensively they “establish the line of scrimmage” and if “you become a one-dimensional team then expect blitz galore from the Eagles” or as Carl stated “they will blitz until your cross-eyed.” Much like the Cowboys “you have got to make their Defensive Backs tackle.. if not, their pass rush is going to be an issue to. Right now the Giants “run game is an accessory to the passing game.”
In response to the absence of A.P. and his replacement, you “get what you get withBlackburn- a smart player a player who’s going to be in position 80-85% and he’s going to make the right decision but the rest of it is whether he’s good enough to make plays.” There is “enough athleticism out there with Boley, who brings it so much.. and Sintim (eventually)." In the old days “Harry Carson” wasn’t as fleet of foot as myself and LT but what he brought to the game was dominance.” I am not sure where Blackburn was supposed to fit into his point here.
Motown’s conclusion and wrap up: Are we nitpickers or have we been concerned about the penalty issues with this TC team since day one? We can look back to the OLine with “false start” Petitgout to Special Teams that have always appeared to have their fare share of penalties. TC has prided himself about discipline and sound fundamentals but why do these issues continue to crop up?
Carl called out Osi and what appears to be the coaching’s staffs diminishing confidence in his ability to handle the run by inserting Canty on obvious running downs. This humble blog again has called out Osi since the Dallas game about his lack of gap discipline in containing the run. His point about guys stepping up when it counts makes you wonder how much they really miss the leadership of a guy like Strahan and the alleged discipline of a TC team.
This offensive line has got to figure it out or all the other deficiencies in this team from the safety play to special teams will seem minuscule. This appears to have started back in December of last year when they faced the Eagles after the infamousgun shot heard round the Giants world. The (1) decline of the run game over the last 5 games (2) the defensive penetration against the running game and the (3) pass defense will definitely assure them of an early tee time in January. Are Seubert and MacKenzie more banged up than we know?
By the way, can we finally celebrate what we have been screaming about for what seems like an eternity as per Mosley of ESPN "It's pretty obvious that Giants tight end Kevin Boss is becoming a force in the NFC East" and "I can't imagine a division in the league that has a group of more talented tight ends."