Pete is spot on. Ralph Vacchiano of the NY Daily News is a terrific beat reporter, but he was THREE MONTHS behind our writer.
Do you remember the EF Hutton commercials? "When EF Hutton talks, people listen." Well, when Pete talks NFL and the Giants, people should be listening more.
Pete sees things through a different prism. His knowledge, without question, adds value to every fan that takes the time to read his insights and observations.
Let us take for example, our Draft Project. Pete stuck his neck out and predicted Linval Joseph would be the biggest sleeper of the entire draft. Most draft experts projected Joseph to go in the 4th round. Not Pete. And not Jerry Reese. The Giants GM snagged Joseph with the Giants second round pick. I am willing to bet that Joseph's strong play in preseason made Jay Alford expendable.
Speaking of picks, once Fewell was hired as defensive coordinator, Pete surmised Fewell was going to use a Tampa 2 defense. Subsequently, in a June post, Pete reiterated his belief about Fewell using the Tampa 2/passive defense. New York Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano had a story from 2 days prior which belied Pete's convictions about Fewell. Vacchiano's story was at odds with Pete's post. The fair conclusion at that moment was to believe the Giants would not use a passive defense as Pete had spelled out.
Fast forward to September, in this past Saturday's New York Daily News, Ralph Vacchiano has an article titled: Perry Fewell's defensive scheme-designed to create more turnovers-a work in progress for the Giants.
It is a Tampa 2/passive defense!
Read quotes from some of the players.
"It allows you to see what's going on," says new safety Antrel Rolle. "It allows you to see route concepts and things developing. It allows you to read and react. That's a good thing. You create more turnovers that way."
"When your back is to the ball it's easier to get out of position for that little split-second," cornerback Aaron Ross adds. "Now we're looking at the quarterback and we can react to the ball before even the receiver reacts."
Do the Giants have the personnel to run Fewell's scheme? Pete does not think so... mainly because the Giants have mediocre linebackers. Here is Pete on the Tampa 2: "Add that the Tampa 2 does not work in today's NFL, where pressure is a necessity against any QB worth his salt, and the Giants will have a defense which is fatally flawed against the better teams."
Wonder completely concurs with Pete's assessment, adding that any kind of passive defense in today's NFL is "beyond stupid. I read what Pete had to say and he is absolutely correct." Wonder reiterated Pete's points, that the best teams with the best QBs will pick you apart. He also went one step past Pete in regards to the Giants personnel on off-coverage: "By design, it tries to cover up WEAK CORNERBACKS. The Giants do not have weak cornerbacks. Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas can cover very well. This system does not fit the players. It fits the coordinator."
Pete has been very gloomy about the Giants defense, and Wonder concurs again: "The way the Giants are doing (the passive coverage) they will get carved up. They look just horrible. There is no other way to put it. (Assuming no adjustments are made) the Giants are going to get nickeled and dimed to death."
Pete: "The team is up for Fewell's new defense. The reason is that they only see the possibility of getting gaudy stats. It is fools gold. That is the basic trap of the Tampa Two. There will be more interceptions but they will be accompanied by more completions, a porous run defense, a lot of blown coverage and a quarterback who will set them up by looking at a receiver and then throwing away from that.
"There are a lot of good quarterbacks out there and this is why they work so hard at timing. They know where their receivers will be and when. They simply get the DB’s to commit and then throw to someone who will be open.
"Right now the Giants secondary sees bigger stats and more freedom. What cocky kid wouldn’t want the promised stats? Interceptions are sexy but we will be run over and the short timing plays will kill us. We will suffer from time of possession and when the turkey gets cold, the pilgrims will revolt. The only thing I can see that Fewell brings is a temporary cohesiveness because he sold these guys."
Perhaps Pete is wrong. However, based on his track record, I would not bet against him. He correctly identified what defense Fewell would be using as far back as February 2010 and alerted us to its structural flaws ahead of everyone else.
When Pete talks, we'll be listening.