Even the most ardent Big Lose critics must admit that the team severely underachieved. Except at Defensive and Offensive Tackles, the Giants, in other words, do not lack talent at critical positions. Instead, they are severely mismanaged.
Consider three critical areas which merely require simple adjustments:
First, the running game is most indicative of this core problem. Brandon Jacobs is a battering ram with deceptive speed. Amad Bradshaw is a scatback with deceptive power. Each looks like how they’re supposed to be used. However, the Giants' offensive coordinator Kevin (Killdrive) Gilbride has reversed their roles at times.
Second, the passing game is completely unimaginative. Steve Smith, Mario Manningham (when he manages to hold onto the ball), and Hakeem Nicks are not Plaxico Burress.
These wide receivers thrive on misdirection, crossing routes, etc. Let Kevin Boss chip a DE, then run over the middle for a quick gain. Boss would thrive like Jason Witten of Dallas. Do that a few times and then that’ll free up BOTH the running game and deep route over which Killdrive obsesses.
Third, the Giants “defense” is a blitzing team that doesn’t blitz. They were built, at least from the top-down perspective, to pressure the quarterback first and foremost. Any perceived weakness from the secondary possitions would be covered up. Instead, time after time the defensive ends are dropping back into coverage.
What must be done
1. Sign Buddy Ryan to a one-day contract. No further explanation should be required.
2. Fire Bill Sheridan. Hire Dick Jauron as a replacement. He has a proven track record as Defensive Coordinator. Plus, Tom Coughlin worked with him in Jacksonville. Jauron should also be hungry to make amends for Buffalo.
3. Emulate Andy Reid. Draft the best available offensive or defensive tackle. Kareem McKenzie and Fred Robbins are finally showing their age. David Dehl is a guard who can no longer hold-up against speed rushers.
Chris Canty apparently needs a full year to thrive as a Giant. Jay Alford was lost for the year in camp. Rocky Bernard vindicated the Seahawks, who were starved for defensive help themselves, for letting him sign here.
4. Speaking of the draft, grant Osi Umenyora his wish (re: post-game interview week 16). Package him and either the first or second round pick next April for a chance to move up.
They could use a linebacker or that DT out of Nebraska (although Suh would be a long-shot). Umenyora does not show up in big games.
In fact—Knicks fans will appreciate this comparison—he’s the Zack Randolph of the Giants. He’ll get turnovers (some of them for touchdowns) and sacks against the dregs of the league. There are only so many times you can play the 49ers or against Winston Justice (re: 6-sack game against Philly in 2007). Plus, he can no longer play alongside Michael Strahan.
Jerry Reece and company showed the players that it was perfectly all right to walk-out. Namely, Uemenyora was allowed to do so during training camp. The rest of the team clearly picked up on his cues after the New Orleans game; the entire defense, except for Tuck just gave up. Jettisoning the overrated crybaby (Umenyora) would restore much needed order (re: Harry Cason’s “pride” comments).