The original #58, who was left out of the “circle of Honor, spoke yesterday regarding the Jay Cutler tackling dummy fest on Sunday night.
Last week Carl Banks spoke to the fact that “statistics are meaningless.” This was even more evident Sunday night, after a Bear team came in with some gaudy statistics. After the first three weeks, they were in the “top 5 in 4 separate categories” on offense. At the end of the night the Bears exited the game with 2.4 yards per carry and a whopping total of 110 yards from scrimmage. Banks credits Fewell as he “tailored the defense to (Chicago’s) style of offense.” He countered against a Martz offense that was “going to run down the field combination route schemes” and have their quarterback take “5-7 step drops.” Bottom line, “there is no way your guys are gonna’ hold up against the Giants defensive line” with this style “and the good news is the (Giants) did it with 4 guys” rushing. Osi has “picked up his game against the run” and it was obvious he had a huge game with 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles that brings back memories of his 6 sack performance against the Eagles in 2007.
You are now “starting to see this defense take root a little bit....because last week they did some pretty good things against a team with a totally different profile” from what they faced against the Bears. Fewell now is setting the tone with his personnel and not reacting to what other teams are doing “like they did against Indianapolis.” Fewell now “believes in (his) guys more than” reacting to “what these other teams can do to us.” We witnessed how it took 4 games into the season in 2007 before Spagnuolo’s defense “took root”. Are we witnessing a similar progression this year? Let’s see what the game review tomorrow says about Fewell’s corners and whether they pressed more consistently than in previous games. Also, just wondering but do you think Fewell's defense had plenty of practice against this "style of offense"?
On Special Teams we witnessed our punter bungle a snap and nearly a punt as Banks feels there is too “much going on in his (Dodge’s) head.” Wilkinson had “a big game” and Banks is “still waiting for Sintim to show up.”
The offense, on the other hand, is almost in “attention deficit.” They don’t appear to have “any synergy.” You go into the “2nd half with a 3-0 lead and you’ve got dangerous players (i.e. Devin Hester) and you know your 1 tipped ball away” or “1 fumble away from” being down after a defense that literally shut Chicago’s offense down” in the first half. Time and again in the 1st half, as Glenn pointed out in his post yesterday, they “were given great field position” and yet were unable to get anythingout of it. You’ve really gotta "look at how you are approaching things.” Banks calls out Gilbride on their lack of “focus on the running game.” They’ve got to “make a physical game of it” by “focusing on the run” which in turn “sets up everything else.” Per Banks, the “numbers don’t work in your favor when you drop back to pass a ton of times and they know it’s coming.” They have to make a “more concerted effort” to establish the running game as “more repetition (at run blocking) is going to get the offensive line better.” Besides, as Banks states, when you go to “play action it kinda’ negates the abilities of a guy like (Julius) Peppers.” Banks gives his philosophy on how to approach a defense with the running game as when they put “7 men in the box and if you are not blocking their 7 then you are not doing a good job. But when they put an 8th man in the box that’s when you get your 1 on 1 coverage on the outside” which opened up the passing game in the 2nd half. Two aspects that aided the running game were (1) “Bradshaw started to cut back more” and (2) the use of “counter actions/trap actions.”
Let’s hope this major uptick in the Defensive performance continues into next week when they face a more formidable trio of Andre’ Johnson, Matt Schaub, and Arian Foster. Perhaps the unit learned from the Giant Alumni, as “Michael Strahan and Jessie Armstead delivered inspirational speeches to the team” on Thursday and Saturday respectively. In the end, per Ohm Youngmisukof ESPN, “the Giants answered by delivering a classic defensive effort that surely made Bill Parcells smile, wherever he was on Sunday night.” Apparently Osi feels that "[Coughin] has our back and we didn't like what we heard. We couldn't allow that. We weren't playing with no fire or we weren't passionate about the game ... we can't have people saying that about our football team." Perhaps we are finally seeing signs of leadership and pride in the locker room.
Finally, a point of debate: Does Jessie Armstead deserve to be amongst the “circle of honor” above Carl Banks and Brad Van Pelt?