Latest on the Giants.
New York Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano had a 10 minute interview with Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.
1. Safety Kenny Phillips will begin camp on the PUP list. Remember, Andy's take about the acquistion of Antrel Rolle.
Is Rolle a great Safety? No. Was he worth the $8M/yr he was asking for? No again. That the Giants opened the wallet and gave him $37M for 5 years is a
Wonder's thoughts on Rolle: This is a very good signing. It tells me Phillips is a bigger question mark than before.
With Phillips easing his way back onto the playing field, let us pray Rolle and Grant stay healthy. If Rolle or Grant get injured, the safety position might turn once again into a weakness. If Phillips cannot play, Michael Johnson would have to play more snaps. Yikes! Speaking of the safety position, Chad Jones was waived and placed on the reserve/non-football injury list. Sadly, Jones will most likely not play professional football. Giants GM Jerry Reese commented on Jones:
“I’m just hopeful that Chad can have a normal life and walk without a limp at this point,” Giants GM Jerry Reese told the Daily News yesterday, before the roster move was made. “Anything after that is a plus for me. If he makes it back to the football field, that’s fantastic. But really, my hopes and prayers are that he can have a normal life and walk without a limp and be a normal person. Right now, that’s really what I’m wishing for him.”
2. Coughlin talked about Keith Bulluck.
We’ve been looking at this young man since he was a free agent, wondering when it would be that he would actually get the green light medically to be able to perform and to play. As soon as that occurred, he was here. We’ve been vigilant in regard to that. We think and believe that this guy is an outstanding football player. He’s 33 years old, he’s had some outstanding experiences, he’s played on some very good teams, he’s had some very shocking experiences as a football player in terms of expectation levels not being achieved. He’s a tough guy. He played in Syracuse, so you know he’s a tough guy. But I think he brings a seriousness to the table. He’s a no-nonsense guy. He is emotional. He does have the ability to communicate. He is a veteran football player. He brings the characteristics that we’re looking for. And everyone would like to discuss where he can play. He can play in the middle. He can play on the outside. He can do a lot of things. We’re excited about him.
And so are we. On the other hand, Football Outsiders Bill Barnwell is bearish on the newly acquired linebacker. From the Big Blue View blog,
I'm not so sure he'll be a good fit. Bulluck's 33 and he's coming off of an ACL tear. Guys at that age with knee injuries do not tend to come back and play at their previous level of performance. Throw in the position switch and, honestly, I'm guessing I'd rather have Jonathan Goff in there.
I disagree with Barnwell. Bulluck is a MAJOR upgrade. Besides being a talented linebacker, he brings intangibles. These intangibles is his leadership qualities. Coughlin talked about Bulluck being no-nonsene and able to communicate. Translation- If guys are dogging it, Bulluck will call them out. Additionally, he will communicate with his teammates on the field. Recall, last year, the Giants defenders were not communicating. Bulluck will make sure guys are lined up in the correct formation. Without question, especially when Pierce was out, this was missing. By the way, Pierce said this about Bulluck: He has been in the league 12 years, a Pro Bowl player. To me, he is a natural leader; you just watch him play, watch the guys around him. You don't just walk in and be a leader; it takes time to earn that respect. That's what Michael Strahan did and that's what I did.
3. Is Coughlin on the hot seat?
Coughlin talked in platitudes about always being under pressure. The most pressure anyone exerts on himself is internally.
Giants co-owner John Mara talked about Coughlin. "You can’t let one year influence how you look at your team,” Mara told the Daily News. “You have to take a long-range view of it. The league is too evenly matched in terms of talent. If you let one bad year - - and keep in mind we were 8-8 (last year), it wasn’t like we were 4-12 - - you can’t let that play too big a role in how you look at your team.”
“No, there’s none of that,” Mara said, when asked if Coughlin was facing a “win or else” season. “I know some of you guys are going to write that, but that’s not how we’re thinking at all. The only time I make changes is when you completely lose confidence in your personnel. That couldn’t be further from the case here.”
I too have confidence in the Giants. Since the Giants signed Bulluck, I believe this team will perform well in 2010. As long as they can stay healthy, improve their red zone touchdown percentage, stop the run, improve their special teams (kickoff returns and touchbacks), we will have a fruitful year.