Who is Montario Hardesty? Who are the NY Giants? Let's find out.
1) This past weekend, in the Cleveland Browns' final preseason game, Montario Hardesty blew out his knee. He tore his ACL, was placed on IR and will miss the season. For a Running Back, depending on the severity, it is almost a death sentence. The Browns took him late in Round 2, but we opined that the "medical (issue) makes him drop from Round 2 to late Round 3." Questions of value in the draft of 2010 will be answered in the years to come. Unfortunately for Hardesty, much of his fate has already been sealed.
2) There are all kinds of prop bets that show up before the season begins. Let's have a look at some of them for the gmen:
Now you may think that these odds are wrong. They simply try to balance the money. Perhaps there is value because America bets on Dallas and that creates value opportunities for Eagles, Redskins and Giants fans. Whatever the rationale, the point here is to respect the money enough to listen to what it is saying. There are 4 teams in the division- the Giants have roughly a 1 chance in 4 of winning. AVERAGE. There are 16 teams in the conference- the Giants have 1 chance in 14 of winning. AVERAGE. There are 32 teams in the league- the Giants have a 1 chance in 30 of winning. AVERAGE.
The bottomline is that this team has above average talent and below average coaching, making its prospects for the season about average. That makes sense. It is realistic and objective. We all want to believe the Giants can win a title this season, but many things have to go right. Here is one:
3) Shaun O'Hara. When I asked Wonder what record the Giants would have this year, surprisingly he asked me one question- what is the health of Shaun O'Hara? I told him to assume 13 games, that his health could be up and down all year. He did not like that answer and said 7-9, 8-8 best. No, O'Hara is not the greatest lineman out there, but he is part of the glue of this team and a natural leader of the offense. If Seubert can play Center well enough, (when/if O'Hara is hobbled) I'd almost like to see Seubert move over and let Andrews play Left Guard.
Schwartz (on the Defense): "There are enough athletes to get the job done. Now it’s up to new coordinator Perry Fewell to organize the many parts into a cohesive unit and not outsmart himself."
Translated- If the Giants defense does not work, look no further than the coaches.
Are there weaknesses in the defense? Yes. Good schemes cover up weaknesses and leverage strengths. The strengths are at Safety, Corner, and DL. No excuses.
4a) Someone please tell Schwartz ("Andre Brown looks just OK on kickoffs and punt returns") that Brown was cut and picked up by the Broncos. Yes, the Gmen are going into the season with 3, count'em 3 RBs. We thought maybe it was by design, ie to pick up Derrick Ward or grab another RB somewhere, but so far there is no movement. Between this position and TE with only 2 players, there is little margin for error, Jerry.
7) Jacobs tried to backpedal on his negative comments made last week. Glenn discussed them here a few days ago. Here is my take: the only time you ever win a championship is when the players will run through a wall for their coach. In 2007, when Coughlin was on the way out, when he reached the end of the line and Mara told him to communicate with his players (or else), TC reached out and showed a different side. The players responded and went to the mat for the guy, winning on the road 10 straight times.
Jacobs' own words here in Sept 2010: "The case is I’m here to win football games and ride it on out with my teammates." Read: I have a job to do, I can't let my teammates down, but I sure as hell ain't doing this for the coaches... Do you honestly think that Jacobs is ready to run through a wall for Coughlin? I don't.