Happy New Year, Giants fans. Please pay particular attention to Coughlin's remarks in #5, #6 and #7.
Part 1- Coughlin
The NFL Now replayed the interview with Tom Coughlin which aired on Friday. There were three comments (5, 6, 7) that jumped out, saved for last.
1) Tuck was more like his old self. Played hard, played a lot of snaps.
2) Optimistic about Osi "being ready to go."
3) When a defender takes the wrong angle on Cruz, he makes them pay. He was quiet in August. Took off in Philadelphia.
4) Kevin Boothe has played well in multiple positions. OL is solidified up front.
5) Coughlin: "We covered very tightly last week."
6) Francesa: How do you respond to the observation that you have strong starts to seasons, but weak finishes?
Coughlin: "Pick a year and you can say that, pick another year and you can't say that. That's what I say. Pick '07, pick '08. We had a pretty good football team in '08."
7) Coughlin: "You are not going to get to where you want to go without playing against the best teams in the league. Playing the best teams in the league is a good thing."
UltimateNYG here. Comments made in 5, 6 and 7 are vital to understanding everything we talk about on this NY Giants blog. Let's talk about each one.
With regards to #7, we absolutely agree, this is the way to get measured and to learn how to make the necessary adjustments so that when you get to the playoffs you can win a title. The best thing that happened to the NY Giants in '07 was playing the Patriots in Week 17. The best thing that happened to the Giants in '08 was playing the Eagles in Week 14. Both contests provided valuable information for them to use to win each year in the playoffs. Unfortunately the information was not used in '08, but at least they had the reconnaissance.
Re #5, yes, the Giants did play a lot more press and man coverage on the outside, and it showed. This is a positive. Can Fewell AND COUGHLIN see to it that the Giants play more of that tight press and man coverage so that they make opposing offenses EARN it? Otherwise, with passive off coverage and zone coverage, why bother?! Hello Tom, it is not too late to make those adjustments and go with more of these schemes.
Re #6, this is EXACTLY what we have been saying on this NY Giants blog for YEARS, and Tom Coughlin proved our point for us! The only time the Giants did not have these second half collapses was when? When? IN '07 and '08! In '07 and '08, WHEN STEVE SPAGNUOLO WAS THERE! His words, not ours. Do you think it was a coincidence? Now granted, this year the schedule was harder in the second half. But did anyone ask for Tom to cheese doodle it versus Vince Young in his 1st franchise start for the Eagles? Did anyone ask for the Giants to get chumped vs Washington's Rex Grossman at home? Yes, Tom, keep pointing to '07 and '08, keep making our point that you are as good and as bad as the coordinators underneath you. MAKE THEM BETTER, THAT IS YOUR JOB. MAKE GILBRIDE BETTER WITH MORE SMALL BALL TO KEEP ELI AND THE OFFENSE IN RHYTHM. MAKE FEWELL BETTER BY DEMANDING HE USE ROSS AND WEBSTER IN MUCH MORE PRESS AND MAN.
Part 2- Phil Simms on the NFL Now
1) NYG-DAL. Last time they played, it was there for the Cowboys. Eli Manning threw the ball away when the Dallas blitz could not be picked up. Rob Ryan had the defenders in the right position, but the personnel could not execute vs Manning and the Giants WRs. Dallas secondary is a step down when compared to what they saw w Revis and Cromartie. Why did the Giants throw at Darrelle Revis? Stupid. The Giants could have lost the game with one or two more throws that way. Romo's condition WILL be an issue, because you need the practice. His hand/throwing condition will be a factor. Dallas keeps a defense (and its pass rush) off-balance with screens and draws. Dallas will need that vs the Giants pass rush.
2) NYJ review. Sanchez. He missed a couple of passes, McKnight in particular, although not many. Sanchez needs two hands on the ball. Easily corrected. You suffer with it for about one week and then you have two hands on the ball the rest of your life. It will stop you from fumbling the ball when you are hit. The Jets went to a passing game early in the year. It worked, then it slowed. Then they went to the run-based offense of the last couple of years. That worked at times, but it fit them better.
3) The best team in the AFC? At the moment, it is the Patriots, who will have the bye and the home field. The team is built around its offense, they attack in Q4 with a lead.
4) CIN-BAL. Big game. BAL falls to a 5 seed from the 2 seed if they lose. CIN is fighting for a playoff spot.