I love Big Blue. And I see too many problems with this team. After watching Saturday's undress rehearsal, the Ravens clobbered the Giants. My biggest problem: the Giants were flat in their most important preseason game. DE Justin Tuck is a fantastic player but he is not a leader. Tuck said the following:
“A little bit. Honestly, we didn’t click on all cylinders tonight. Obviously, you didn’t want to do that in the third preseason game. They surprised us a little bit with the no-huddle there, and took us a couple series to just get used to what they were trying to do to us. I think we hit the quarterback a lot. He threw some quick passes. We got a lot of pressure on him. That was a good positive, but honestly, we can’t give up big plays regardless of what they’re doing. That’s a killer for us.”
I am bothered with Tuck's behavior. He shrugs his shoulders and says we were surprised and it took us awhile to adjust. He then says we will have to play better next week. This is NOT the attitude you want from your best player. Last season, there was a leadership vacuum on this team. Unfortunately, the Giants are still rudderless. I like the aggression of Rolle and his "tude". He makes mistakes but he makes plays. Of course in Fewell's defense a safety cannot make a mistake. It's a mutated Tampa Two guys and as I said, Fewell can't and never has stopped the run. Look at time of possession. You cannot win when you never have the ball.
Speaking of unresolved issues from last year, I continue to see the same problems resurface with this team.
1. The Giants are one-dimensional on offense.
2. The Giants cannot stop the run.
3. We have a coaching staff which fails to make adjustments.
It is my judgment, offensive line and linebacker were the two biggest needs. Much to my chagrin, the Giants did not address these primary needs.
JPP is not the answer because he is NOT going to be an impact player now and you need this with a number 15 pick in the first round. Even though he is quick, he is too raw. We had needs and there were some excellent players to choose from. A concern of mine about JPP is injuries. In rookie camp, he had a bad back and now he is injured. On the other hand, first round pick of the 49ers Mike Iupati, in my opinion, would have been a better fit for the Giants. William Beatty is struggling, has yet to impress, is not a force and with the rest of the line being nicked up, Iupati would be able to start right away. Right now, the Giants cannot establish their ground game. As a matter of fact, they have NO running game. And Gilbride continues to be predictable with his play calling. Instead of using multiple wide receiver formations, he continues to have a myopic view on how to run an offense. We now have 5 legitimate threats on offense. (Smith, Nicks, Manningham, Boss, and Cruz) It is unimaginable to me Kevin Gilbride will not develop schemes to use all of them on occasion. Wide receiver is the Giants best asset on offense. Since WR is a strength, Gilbride should use the pass to set up the run. This is how you dictate a game to the defense. And you can open up the run as you cannot cover 5 good receivers without leaving other areas to exploit. It is a shame Gilbride does not see this.
On defense, Fewell is using a Tampa 2 defense. Based on what I have seen thus far, the Giants are going to have difficulty stopping the run. It has become apparent Chris Canty was an enormous mistake. He is injured once again and I do not see him as an effective run stuffer. Canty's shoddy play is more pronounced with the taking of JPP. Of all the defensive tackles, I love Linval Joseph. I think Joseph is going to be a star in this league. At this point, he needs to learn how to shed a blocker better. Despite having trouble shedding blockers, Joseph does push his guy back and he is quick, fast, big, and mean. He has it all and he just needs to get some moves down and adjust.
The linebacker position was trouble and continues to offer the same problems for this team. Although I like free agent acquistion Keith Bulluck, he is 33 years old and is coming off of major knee surgery. He is an excellent run stopper, which is something we need, but we have NO ONE to cover the short stuff. So far Michael Boley is all mouth, Clint Sintim is a bust, and we do not have the players to cover the underneath routes. We continue to have problems guarding a TE. Ravens TE Todd Heap had a great game against us. Opposing teams' TEs are going to have big games against us in 2010.
As for the coaching staff, I have a strong aversion to Tom Coughlin. How is it possible for a coaching staff to put a listless team on the field so often? It is mind boggling to me. How is it possible that another team can make one or two minor changes and the Giants cannot/do not adjust? How can you run plain vanilla year after year so you become a "mark" for the opposition? Everyone knows what is coming with us, yet, with a simple shotgun, we fall apart.
This Giant team has some new faces. Cruz was manna from heaven. The problems however, are so severe, so similar, so ignored that it is my opinion this team will never win with the current coaches. I believe we are in a rebuilding process and that when we address the Offensive line, the linebackers and get some depth at running back we can be legitimate contenders. The attitude thing just blows me away. I hope Mara and Tisch are watching this- they must see what we see.
So, let's hope I'm wrong! Let's win some games, let this aging leopard change his spots. The fans, the city and the guys who play all out deserve a chance to win.
Extra points: More walking wounded news- Sinorice Moss and Jim Sorgi have been placed on IR.