Let's hear it for nepotism. Peter Furman joins us today for a guest blog. Peter is my first cousin once removed. I kid you not, I have not actually ever spoken to Peter, because we live in different cities and just email. It is fun that we are connecting for the first time in our lives. I have been chatting with him via email infrequently over the past few years. He met my sister and brother in Vegas just this past year for the first time. I think the last time we exchanged emails was certainly before the season started..
His post below was sent out completely separate from the Sunday recap. Without further ado, Peter...
Andy has asked me to write on a weekly basis for UltimateNYG. I am flattered and am considering the offer. If I do commit it will be the best I got. Time and energy are the considerations as Andy doesn’t pay too well.
I felt compelled to write about today's (Sunday’s) Giant fiasco. I bleed blue and have for many years. I am a Giant fan and have worked for the Raider’s as a game scout for 10 years. I no longer do that. I stopped about 8 years ago. As a fan and a game scout I have some qualifications to comment. I played football in college which is just a faint memory today. I do not claim to be right or an expert. I do however, have opinions founded in thought and experience.
The Giants arguably hit bottom today. The fall has been swift and ugly. There is a lot of blame to hand out but one must also consider that this team is NOT the team we thought we had going into the season. There are some highlights like Hakeem Nicks. This guy has proven he has #1 receiver ability more than once. The catch he made against the Eagles was sensational. It was the only thing that was even good. The Giants special teams were sophomoric and the coaches must take responsibility. It is a season- long problem. Tynes has proven that he is NOT dependable as a kicker. One has to wonder why the Giants chose him over a man who had a very nice season last year. Jeff Feagles has had his worst year in memory and no one tackles.
One must be fair. The changes the Giant’s made by bringing in Boley,Canty and the hefty from Seattle don’t count. They don’t count because Canty($7million a year) has not played a game. Boley has played one and the hefty from Seattle has been injured and invisible. So much for the best d-line in the N.F.L. Osi has played poorly and one must wonder whether it is his health, his attitude or the coaching of Bill Sheridan that has made Osi a shadow of himself. Justin Tuck is a great player. He gives it all every day and his all is of pro bowl status. He too has been nicked all year. The biggest deal and the one I believe has made the Giant defense swiss cheese is the loss of Kenny Phillips and Ross. These two are irreplaceable and the loss of two of the best young d-backs in the game is not easily overcome. There never was any depth to the Giants defensive backfield so,there arguably is none. There is also NO pressure on the opposition qb a trademark of “spags” and the great Giant teams. I would say the Sheridan experiment is a disaster but one must consider the cards he has to play and what he has lost. One thing is certain,losing Spagnuolo was/is a huge blow.
The offense is next. I am kind of tired of all the Eli Manning stuff. He really is a very inconsistent player who has NOT matured to the level he is paid to play at. Let’s face it. The pass to David Tyree which created the Eli myth was mostly Tyree. Eli escaped trouble but he just heaved it before he collapsed. As proof,scrambling is NOT Eli’s forte. He is a good kid and he does do some good things but you have to be consistent and smart to wear the title “great.” One has to wonder even now whether the Giants might have been better off taking Phillip Rivers and the boat load of draft picks the gave up. O.K. I like Eli Manning, I like him a lot. He has a very good arm but his thinking is questionable and he really doesn’t evolve. In comparison,look at his brother Peyton. Peyton is one of the greats. He has earned that. He is consistent year in and year out and for him that means “great”. He has survived and flourished with major personnel changes,a huge coaching change and a target on his back. He is durable and smart. He does it year in and year out. After 6 years, Eli has run out of excuses. He doesn’t make them. The press and we, the fans do. The facts beget the coronation.
Now we get to examine the rest of the offense. Brandon Jacobs is suffering because he is a target. Kevin Gilbride is a very bad coach and the offensive line is just not getting it done. I wish I could blame it on the loss of McKenzie but the line play was poor even with him. One cannot blame Ahmad Bradshaw for anything. Yes,he did fumble a little but he gives it up every play,plays injured,is a legitimate game breaker who is just poorly used. It’s amazing that a kid with his game breaking ability is so poorly used. Let’s give Gilbride a hand. The Arizona game is the most obvious example of Gilbride’s incompetency. The Cardinals to their credit threw some curves at the G-men. They were disguising safety blitzes and filling the box which confused Eli to the point of a nervous breakdown and killed the running game. Eli changing plays on every down and rattled,the stuffing of the running game,what’s left? No run.no pass,you lose. Gilbride made NO adjustments at halftime ,none. If he did,I didn’t see it and the results speak for themselves. Hakeem Nicks is as Butch Davis said. The guy has superstar potential. Kevin Boss is a tough,consistent tight end so,you can’t blame ineptitude on them. Steve Smith is an excellent #2 or #3 and Mario Manningham although,inconsistent is going to be a good one. Dominick Hixon will NEVER be a #1 and Gilbride hasn’t figured it out yet. We don’t know how Ramsees Barden will grow so he can only make things better. So much for the poor receiver corps being the problem.
In my opinion and proven by fact is that coaching and the back office are as.or more important than the players. Yes,you do need good/great players but look at the Jets this year,look at the Broncos,look at the Steelers,Look at the Patriots,look at New Orleans. These teams are arguably the best right now and the coaches are all relatively new except Sean Peyton who just needed a break. Belichick, like him or not is a legend. Time will tell if K.C. proves the theory.
The good news is that as we learned last year, it’s not how you are playing now but how you are playing in week 14. You want your team healthy and peaking then.