Tag Archives: Rich Seubert

Ramblings of an Angry Giants Fan

I’m shocked, and yet, with everything that has happened this season, I should have expected this. Plainly speaking, the Giants are an average team. They are a .500  team now (7-7, essentially the definition of average in sports) and that screams inconsistency. One week they can beat the mighty Patriots, and another they can lose to Rex Grossman and the abysmal Redskins. (To illustrate how bad the Redskins have been this season: they are easily the worst team in the NFC East…a division that could realistically send an 8-8 team to the playoffs. Ouch)

To be fair, though, calling them inconsistent might be misleading. Inconsistent gives the impression that they are a talented team. Talent should not describe a team that has replaced its defense with a revolving door (I almost wish they did this…could it really be any worse?) With Tuck injured and Kiwanuka playing linebacker (WTF?!?!?!?!?!?! – yes…all those question marks and exclamation marks were needed. Trust me) JPP is the only pass rusher we have. Without a consistent pass rush, and a coordinator who refuses to send any blitz at any point in the game no matter what, quarterbacks are able to just sit back and pick the defense apart.With no defense every game is put on the shoulders of the offense.

Oh the offense. That unit we are depending so desperately on is a unit that ranks dead last in every rush category imaginable. Crazy. So really, the only working part of this team is the passing game. Eli has become a top 5 QB in this league, and has kept this team in playoff contention, but that is exactly why this team is .500. You can’t rely on one aspect of the game (no matter how awesome it has been) and expect to make the playoffs or be considered a GOOD team.

I know. That is a hard pill to swallow. This is the same team that was a top 5 team in terms of talent last season. How did we fall this far? Well first off, we lost a good deal of players from that team. Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, Shaun O’Hara, Adam Koets (super cereal about this), Rich Seubert, Jonathan Goff, Barry Cofield, Justin Tuck (really might as well be on IR), and Terrell Thomas. That is a lot of talent to lose. Not only were all of those guys starters, but all of those guys were great locker room guys too. Then you factor in Perry Fewell’s disastrous season as defensive coordinator, and a team with the maturity level of a 5-year-old (2-year-old….new born?!?) and you get this abomination we call the 2011 season.

I should be more specific about those last two points. Let’s start with Fewell. When he said he couldn’t blitz because he didn’t trust his guys in coverage he lost me. I was ready to fire him then. Are you kidding me Fewell? It is not like you were given the Colts roster. Kenny Phillips, Corey Webster, Antrel Rolle, Michael Boley, JPP, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Canty, Linval Joseph, hell even Aaron Ross. Those are good players. Any decent coordinator would be able to work with that. The reason they struggle in coverage is because you have made things too complicated for them. This team is not good at thinking reacting. They like to attack. Look at Sheridan, look at Tim Lewis…then look at Spags. What was the difference? Spags attacked. This team has never been good at zone, they excel in man coverage and blitzing. They love being physical. PLAY TO THEIR STRENGTHS! I just don’t understand how he can expect to win by giving players like Grossman and Vince Young all day to throw. Any QB in this league will tear you apart if you give them time. Make these guys uncomfortable and when the game is on the line in the fourth, they will be too jittery to put together a drive.

This brings me to a quick side note. I like Tom Coughlin. I think he is a good head coach, but he clearly is done as the head coach of the Giants. The big reason I believe in that, is his ineptitude at picking coordinators. Outside of Spagnoulo, he has not hired a single good coordinator. What other Giant coordinator has gotten a second job. Sheridan? Lewis? John Haufnagel? (remember him). I’ll talk more about this in a later post.

Now to the second point. Maturity. God this team is immature. What was the shirt Coughlin had them all wearing? Talk is Cheap? Do his players know what that means. All they do is talk. They say how upset they are, how fired up they are, but when it comes time for the game they don’t show up. Then there was Jacobs deciding he doesn’t get enough carries, and Antrel Rolle and his radio station. What was that line this week? Throw to me? Well they did, and you got burned. Shut up and play the game.

The Giants still have a chance to make the playoffs. Unfortunately that has more to do with the poor performance of their division than it does with anything they’ve done. Yes, I hope they make the playoffs. And of course I would love a playoff run, but that doesn’t change the fact that come the offseason this team needs to have some big changes.

What Have You Done for Me Lately?

It would be easy to jump on the Giants for failing to make a splashy move while their close rivals scoop up every free agent on the market, but it wouldn’t be smart.

First off, it is very rare that a team goes on this kind of offseason splurge and wins a championship. The only times I can remember a team bringing in this many big names in one offseason, and it working out well, were the 2004 Eagles and the 2007 Patriots. Both teams did very well, but failed to win the SuperBowl that year, or any year after it for that matter. Most teams, however,  end up the way the Redskin, Cowboys and Raiders have with these attempts. (perhaps another indication of a supposed sports god?) Usually there is a combination of overconfidence, poor chemistry on the field, and sometimes a divided locker room. This season, those issues seem to be exacerbated with such little time to prepare before the start of the season. Think back to all the interviews during the lockout. All players, coaches, and people in the media kept saying, is the teams with the least amount of changes are set up the best to do well this season.

On the other hand the Giants have tried their best to re-sign their own players, and make a few small depth moves in the process. While none of these moves can be considered “splashy,” they each helped the Giants inch closer to their goal of a SuperBowl title.

Releasing Shaun O’Hara, Rich Seubert, and Shawn Andrews was a tough blow for the veterans on the team. O’Hara and Seubert have long been stalwarts on the offensive line and in the locker room. Their injuries and age, however, made it impossible for the Giants to keep them. In comes David Baas and Stacy Andrews. Neither one of those players have made a Pro Bowl yet, but both are more than adequate to fill their designated roles. Baas instantly upgrades the offensive line, as O’Hara, Seubert and Adam Koets (the three players who took snaps at center last season) all were coming into training camp with lingering injury problems. Baas will not only be a healthy option for the Giants, but he is coming off a pretty successful season for the 49ers. In his first season at center Baas had some growing pains, but ultimately was viewed as one of the top 10 players at his position. He was a player the 49ers were hoping to get back, and a player that will hopefully improve and play well for the Giants. Stacy Andrews has not had as big of an impact with his former teams, but is still a reliable offensive tackle in this league, and offers a nice security blanket for a team going into the season with an unproven starter (Will Beatty) and an aging veteran (Kareem McKenzie).

Other notable transactions include the signings of tight end Ben Patrick, defensive tackle Gabe Watson, quarterback David Carr, punter Steve Weatherford, and running back Andre Brown.

In my opinion, Patrick could be one of the more underrated signings of the offseason. I have been high on this guy for a while now, as I hoped the Giant would draft him when he originally entered the league. He has been used mostly as a blocker for Arizona, but Coughlin raved about his hands in his workout. He has a big body and has proven he can block in this league, something no Giants starter outside (including?) Boss has proven, and he is a better receiver than most realize. With the loss of Boss to the Raiders, it seems the Giants are going to have to rely on him as their primary tight end, unless Beckum shows he can handle the role in camp.

Watson is another “high reward” type player. While I’m not as high on him as I am Patrick, I was also in favor of drafting him when he came out. The guy was a great college player with a quick burst, and strong body. Problem is he hasn’t really shown it in his limited action in the NFL. The big concern about him coming out of college was his work ethic. It was enough of a concern that he fell to the fourth round despite having first round talent. There are a few reasons why this signing could work out for the Giants. First off, he played the nose tackle position for the Cardinals in their 3-4 set. As Warren Sapp can attest to, this is not a fun position for penetrating tackles. Perhaps a return to a 4-3 defense can help him find his footing again. Secondly, this guy is on a one year minimum salary deal. Money has a funny way of motivating people and if Watson ever wants to see a big payday he better start playing well. (admittedly he should have realized this when he dropped to the fourth round. Second times the charm?)

Carr does not have high upside, but he played very nicely as the Giants back-up. Nicely enough that the 49ers thought he might have the potential to be a starting quarterback again. (that was until he actually showed up in camp) With Sage Rosenfels and Carr on the roster heading into training camp, you can rest assured that the Giants will have at least a serviceable back-up if anything were to happen to Manning. (KNOCK ON WOOD!)

Last season the Giants’ two biggest concerns were their turnovers and special teams. Matt Dodge has a lot of talent, but struggled his rookie year. The Giants could have pinned their hopes to him again this season, but realized the importance of the position and made a move to ensure steadier production. In comes Steve Weatherford, a punter who had a very successful season and a guy who won’t smack line drives when we desperately need the field position. An under the radar signing sure, but an important one nonetheless.

Finally, there is Brown. Like Carr, Brown is a player who has worn royal blue before, as he was originally drafted by the Giants in the 4th round. He was quick and a good receiver out of the backfield, what seemed like a nice replacement for Ward. Unfortunately, he ruptured his Achilles tendon and was released the following season. He bounced around quite a bit, but now he is back. If he can prove he is healthy, he might be able to fulfill the promise he showed giving the Giants a nice security blanket in case of an injury to Jacobs or Bradshaw. Or we can flashback to 2008 and try another three-headed monster. (would that make Brown wind?)

None of these moves are real splashy, but they help to bring depth and stability to an already stacked roster. If the Giants can re-sign their remaining free agent (Steve Smith) the Giants should be in good position to make the playoffs, even though the Eagles are in their division.

Honestly the most important thing for the Giants is going to be the maturation of their young talented players. I’ll touch on that in another post sometime soon.

People Picking Anthony Castonzo for the Giants

Via Big Blue View

The more I study the 2011 NFL Draft, and the more I scour the constantly-updated mock drafts, the more often I see Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo connected with the New York Giants when it comes to the 19th selection of the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. It happened again today, as SB Nation chose Castonzo for the Giants in their latest mock draft.

It appears that USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith is more and more the consensus choice as the first offensive tackle likely to be taken this April, and having answered concerns about his size at the NFL Scouting Combine that makes sense. By all accounts he is the most natural athlete of any of the tackles and seems to have the most upside. Castonzo is in the group right behind Smith, and makes sense for the Giants. The fact that scouts believe he has left tackle ability, plus the Boston College connection, make him a natural for New York.

What do people think? Would you be happy with this pick?

For the past several seasons I have wanted the Giants to address their offensive lines. As several teams have proven throughout the years, you win games in the trenches. The Giants had a great offensive line, but injuries and age have caught up with them.

Shaun O’hara is not the center he once was. Perhaps it had more to do with his injury than his age, but this season he was awful. I would spend my week praying he was too injured to go out so Adam Koets or Rich Seubert could play at center instead. David Deihl has been a good player for us, but is probably better positioned for guard than he is for left tackle. And Kareem Mckenzie is slowing down and has been injury prone.

We have some youth when you consider Will Beatty and Koets, but neither has stepped up to the point that you would be comfortable with them as our starters. Shawn Andrews played great for us, but he showed last season that he is injury prone as well.

By adding a top talent at left tackle we could vastly improve our offensive line, which in turn would improve our running game, allowing us to go back to a smash mouth style of football.

In short, I think I would be happy with this selection, though for arguments sake I can see the Giants going in other directions as well.

Two players I have my eyes on are OLB Akeem Ayers and DT Corey Liuget. Both players are guys I feel confident will do well in the NFL and they are both guys that not only fill needs for the Giants, but are good values for the 19th pick.

Ayers is a linebacker from UCLA who excels in every facet of the game. He is stout against the run, great in coverage, and a good blitzer. Analysts believe he is headed for a 3-4 defense, but I think he would fit in great with the Giants aggressive style. He is like a more polished Clint Sintim. Even with the resources the Giants have put into linebacker in the previous seasons, the unit has not gotten a lot better. I think Goff did a great job and should be allowed to continue to develop in the middle, but Boley was unimpressive last season, and Sintim was eventually taken off the field. I understand Sintim was a high draft pick, and I agree he needs time to develop, but if the coaching staff has lost faith in Sintim, Ayers could be a great pick and a real game-changer at linebacker.

Liuget is a gap-shooting defensive tackle from Illinois with a high motor. He would be the pass rusher we thought we were going to get with Jay Alford only better. With Cofield set to be a free agent, and Rocky Bernard failing to make an impact he could be a big help. As we saw last season, the Giants love to stockpile pass rushers, and Liuget would be a good addition. We just drafted Linval Joseph, and have a lot of money invest in Chris Canty, so I can see the Giants going in another direction, but I don’t think they would go wrong with this pick. I see Lieguet being that long lost presence in the middle to make life easier for our talented group of defensive ends. He would be our first dominant player in the middle since Washington signed away Cornelius Griffin.

The Giants have tons of talent on both sides of the ball, and little holes to speak of. With that comes the luxury of being able to take the top talent. Like I have mentioned we have options at all these positions, but these players would still be upgrades and make the Giants stronger.

Again these are just my thoughts on the upcoming draft. What do you guys think? Any players I didn’t mention that you think would be a good fit for the Giants? Do you disagree with any of the players I picked?