Tag Archives: Eli Manning - Page 2

Update On Tiki

Via ESPN

Barber, who had two years left on his Giants contract when he retired, will not be making his comeback with New York.

“We wish Tiki nothing but the best, and when we are able to make the transaction, we will release him from our reserve/retired list,” team spokesman Pat Hanlon said in a statement.

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“I didn’t get a chance to get to know who Tiki Barber was the person,” Pierce said. “I know him as a player and the guy was great and we always congratulate each other, the way we played.”

“But what he did in that locker room my two years with him, he didn’t do anything but deteriorate that team,” Pierce added. “And he didn’t help us out. I don’t see this guy as a leader or somebody that can help you out. And that’s my problem with him. That is why I believe they [the Giants] will release him because he is going to cause nothing but problems for that team.”

The Giants already have Brandon Jacobs and DJ Ware under contract at running back and plan on trying to re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.

While Barber was an outstanding player for the Giants, the always forthcoming running back has been critical of Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning since his retirement.

Interesting new bits of information. First I guess the Giants decided it wasn’t worth having a 36 year old running back who hasn’t played football in four years on the team. I can’t say I blame them for that. I was all for offering him the veteran minimum and seeing if there was anything left, but secretly I was hoping he’d get cut in training camp and just retire again.

Now the more interesting part of the article was Antonio Pierce lashing out at Tiki. He had some real unflattering words for him, and kind of put to light what a lot of us were thinking. Tiki is not a leader and not a good presence for the locker room. I’m not sure if it was a product of his dislike for Coughlin and playing for a young inexperienced quarterback, but Tiki was not a good teammate.

I wonder if he gets to play for the team he wants, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, if he will be better in the locker room. Either way I guess it is not something we really have to worry about anymore, as he is not going to be playing for the Giants.

What do you guys think? Happy he isn’t coming back? Wish we took a chance on him? Anyone think Tiki begged the Giants to release him?

Fire Coughlin?

Following the Giants big loss to the Packers several Giants beat writers, and plenty of fans, have been calling for Coughlin’s head. For the second consecutive season, the Giants have collapsed down the stretch, and it is looking like next weekend’s game against the Redskins might be their last. This is very disappointing for a team that had realistic SuperBowl aspirations  to start the season. So should Coughlin be the man to take the blame?

I do not believe there is an easy answer to this question. Yes, I will admit the Giants have shown plenty of attributes associated with poor coaching, but at the same time I do not believe Coughlin has lost the locker room. Also, aside from Gilbride, I like the coaching staff Coughlin has assembled. I have been very impressed with Fewell and have been a fan of all the assistant coaches for some time.

The problem is all of the boneheaded mistakes the Giants have made this season. For one, it is beyond maddening to see receivers still running the wrong routes. I know some of the receivers are new, but Nicks has been around since last season and Hagan was here all of training camp. Why does Manning still have communication problems with these receivers? Second, Coughlin preaches special teams and turnovers above all else yet those are easily the two weakest parts of the team. Coughlin has been trying to fix the turnover problem all season and he has yet to find an answer. It is very alarming that Coughlin has not been able to find a remedy for the problem.

It does not help Coughlin that this collapse came after the tumultuous season they had last year, and if they do not show up to play against Washington, whether or not they have something to play for, then I would understand letting Coughlin go. What makes matters really tough for Coughlin is the rumors that are going around that Bill Cowher is interested in the position. Even with the problems the Giants have exhibited this season, I believe Coughlin is a better coach for this team than a lot of others currently in the NFL. With Cowher, however, comes a future Hall of Fame coach who would bring a lot of fanfare. If the Giants miss the playoffs for the second straight season, and the front office is confident they can get Cowher for the job then I believe we will have seen the last of Tom Coughlin.

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What Has Happened to the Giants?

With roughly the same team last season, big blue went 12-4 with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. This season looked to have similar results as the Giants jumped out to a 5-0 start; however, they are 1-5 in their last six games. What has happened to this team that is only two years removed from winning a Superbowl?

Offense

Offensive Line: Despite what analysts have been saying about the Giants offensive line, the unit has never been the best in the league. Outside of Chris Snee there is no dominant member of this unit, and while they work well together, they are rarely overpowering. To make matters worse this unit has taken a step back this season. Whether it is due to old age or some injuries we do not know about, this unit has made too many mistakes.

Injuries at RB: Last season Derrick Ward was the change of pace back, but he departed in free agency. Stepping in his place was Ahmad Bradshaw, who picked up the load nicely. The problem is he recently sustained a pretty severe injury for a running back and this has caused the Giants to lose that change of pace to Jacobs.

No More Plaxico Burress: It might not seem like this is a big problem because the Giants passing game has been pretty good so far this season. The problem is while the receivers have performed well, none of them are true number one threats. Burress had such an advantage over defensive backs that teams had to keep safeties back in coverage to make sure he didn’t burn them. Despite the Giants best efforts they have not been able to burn defenses when they overplay the run. This has led defense to keep extra men in the box, another factor hurting the running game.

Injury to Eli Manning: This might not be the whole reason, but after news of Eli’s injury his play dropped significantly. With the lack of production out of the running game, the Giants needed Manning to step up and carry the offense much like his older brother has done this season. Not that he has played poorly, but outside of the Falcon game he was unable to do this. Outside that falcon game the Giants only scored over 20 points once since the injury and that was in a blow-out against the Saints.

Defense

Front Four: Fred Robbins who was a force in the first half of 2008 has done very little except receive encroachment penalties this season. Cofield and Bernard have not faired much better, and Canty is just getting back from injury. Osi has not been the force many expected and Tuck seems to be really hindered by his injury. I truly believe Kiwanuka has been our best pass rusher but that has not been enough to get a consistent pass rush.

Injury to Kenny Phillips: The Giants were not prepared to deal with this loss. Michael Johnson is an average safety at best, whose deficiencies were hidden in Spagnoulo’s scheme. Also as we have seen C.C. Brown is not a starting safety in this league. Last year the Giants had a much improved James Butler and Phillips in nickel situations, now they have Johnson and Rouse, a player picked up on waivers, making safety a weakness for the Giants. Unlike Spagnoulo, Sheridan has not shown an ability to hide the weaknesses on the defense, and it has hurt the team from covering the middle of the field in the redzone, and from limiting the big play.

Linebackers: They were a big weakness last season but Spags got them attacking a lot last season, filling up the holes in the running game. Like stated early Sheridan has had a problem hiding the defenses problems.

Play against the run: With the problems at defensive tackle, teams have little problem running up the middle to get the tough yards on the Giants. On runs to the outside the Giants have done a horrible job sealing the edge. With the ability to run to the side and up the middle teams have been able to run all over the Giants. The play of the corners has been pretty good, but with pass rush issues and poor run defense their job has been very difficult.

Bill Sheridan: More a leftover from Tim Lewis than Spags Protege, Sheridan has shown a poor command of the defense. This guy really seems clueless out there, as I have never seen a guy consistently out coached like this guy has. If the Giants wise up and let this guy go I am not certain he will get any job in the NFL. It is not like he made any linebackers better while he was the linebackers coach. He just does not have a good feel for the game or his personnel. He never calls a blitz at the right time, sending extra men against max coverage way too many times. He makes coverage mistakes, like putting Canty on tight ends, and Boley on receivers. More importantly his players seem confused out there, missing way too many assignments.

Overview

Offensively the Giants were a very good running team. With the loss of Burress teams have not been afraid to overplay the run. Combining this with the loss of Ward, the injury to Bradshaw, and the diminished play of the line and the Giants have not had the most effective ground attack. This puts more of the offense on Manning and for whatever reason, he has not been able to answer the call.

Defensively the Giants have not played well against the run, allowing struggling teams to keep drives going fairly easily. The pass rush has not been good enough to slow teams down, especially in big situations. When teams get into the redzone they can run the ball and have easy targets in the middle of the field. The problems are not extremely severe but Sheridan has trouble coaching during the game allowing teams to score in big situations.

The season is not over for the Giants as a few changes could really improve the team. The playoffs are not out of the question, but they have to start winning games.

Later I will post ways for the Giants to improve

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