I don’t understand why anyone would be shocked. Depressed yes, frustrated yes, angry yes. How would you like to be paying for a season ticket out of pocket? This unfortunately is about so much more than football. New York suffers the Knicks, the Rangers, the Mets and the economy. The New York fans are the best in the world. It was annoying, tortuous to be a kid following this team especially when they called New Haven home. The fans showed up, the Giants didn’t. It was like dying a slow death. We lost most games and were not competitive. The fans, the city, deserve much better than that. Those who have been Giant fans since Young/Parcells have had a real treat. It took a while but we got better and better and then we won it all. We stayed competitive for a long time but the sad fact is that the Giant management has been myopic. Parcells built a core football team based on big and aggressive guys. The offense was never the story here. It was a well crafted defense that won. The offense was mostly just average and Phil Simms was an ordinary quarterback who learned to win. We won with the likes of O.J. Anderson,we won with hired contractors who stayed for a year or two and retired. Parcells was very tough. You played for him as long as you brought it every game. Those who didn’t were benched, cut, or traded. There was a philosophy that Young/Parcells brought to the game: play great defense, score a few points and WIN.
What is the philosophy of Tom Coughlin? I still don’t know what his vision is. The handwriting was on the wall for a while. Remember, the o-line went from the worst in football to one of the best. These guys have been together for 3-4 yrs. Think back to the “hogs” in Washington. They were GREAT, really Great but for how long? Seubert is a NINE year veteran. O’Hara blossomed as a Giant but he too is an elder statesman. Diehl is a tough lunch pail type of guy with a great attitude but limited ability. He has played out of position his entire career and he brings it every game. McKenzie is a very good offensive tackle who got old quickly. That’s the way it is in football.
Look at LaDainian Tomlinson. Look at what happens each year to truly great players. They lose it , lose a step, get a bad coach, a bad system and it is always ugly. The Patriots are one example of how to do it. They were almost unbeatable but as always Bill Belichick changes things. Look at who got traded this year. Vrabel, Seymour, Bruschi out, out, etc. Bill NEVER stands with a “Pat hand.” He trades up for the linebacker from Tennessee, he gets great running backs at the nadir of their career and uses them for a year or two. He is constantly reshuffling the deck, he has a made in stone plan, he uses every tool available to him like getting Oakland's #1 next year. The Pats always seem to get a lot of high draft picks. They make trades, they move up, they move down, always a step ahead. That is why they are competitive every year. They had that run when they were simply the best. Pittsburgh, the great 49er teams, the Colts,et al.
Why did the Giants wait until Toomer had no value? Why didn’t they move Kiwi? He didn’t fit so they ruined him. What you are witnessing was inevitable. It really started years ago with Fassel and the 8-8 teams that never drafted high. The surprises on this team are the core group of young stars that Reese has produced. The off season trades were never meant to last long term. Bernard is filler, Pierce had lost a step two years ago, Jacobs was a lucky find but lest we forget he runs straight up and dishes out a lot of punishment. He takes a lot too. Too much. He will have a short career. The Giants caught lightening in a bottle. It happens and thankfully it did for us. They tried to ride it without taking the time to retool,to rebuild. They hired a bad coach out of panic. This never works,never has. The Giants were a farm club for great coaches. Payton, Belichick, Fox... they’re everywhere. The problem is they don’t keep their own. The team has been going bad for awhile. We scouts are on the road not just looking for draftees, we are out there looking for players who might be available. The Steelers let a linebacker go who would have helped us for a couple of years. Hell, Billy brought back Methuselah because he needed help.
You don’t win every year but you must always try and contend. The Pats bring in rb’s every year who have a lot of wear and tear. They know it. They are buying time. Look at Corey Dillon, look at the kid out of Minnesota. The old and the new and a crew that finds players for the system and it works. The o-line in New England is ALWAYS good and most could not name one of them. Sure, sometimes the Pats have a down year for them but they always contend. They take risks and march to their own drummer. They are ruthless when making personnel decisions but almost always right. They mentor some of the brightest young minds in the game. They have a plan.
I honestly think that Reese is a good one. He has drafted really well. He inherited an aging team and just needs more time. That’s football. What makes this much worse is the disdain for change. Who cares if they won the Super bowl two years ago. It was magnificent but in the end it was the beginning of the end. The lousy coaches were still lousy coaches. Coughlin's lack of philosophy, his lack of a plan, his poor relationship skills etc.. are the same as they were before these six games.
It’s going to take some time but the Giants need to rebuild. They must accept that fact and be smart about it. As I said they have a good start. They have 10-15 players who are young and can play. What they do today will be who they are in a couple of years. You need the right people who understand that and can execute.