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Changes That the New York Giants Must Make Moving Forward

Patricia Traina@Patricia_TrainaFeatured Columnist IVNovember 4, 2014

New York Giants' Jerry Reese, left, and Tom Coughlin at NFL football mincamp Wednesday, June 17, 2009 in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

The New York Giants aren’t a very good football team.

And in other “you don’t say?” news, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Seriously, though, the 2014 season might not be the Giants' year, but it doesn’t mean that they have to continue in this vicious cycle that seems to have enveloped them and has their fans screaming for changes that may or may not ever come.

Who could blame the fans? How much longer should the fans be subjected to the sloppy, uninspired play of this team whose latest travesty was a 40-24 butt-kicking by the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football?

How many more instances of the team not finishing plays, not winning the one-on-one matchups and not moving on from plays and schemes that just aren’t working will it take until the Giants realize that things aren’t going to magically get better? 

Currently sitting at 3-5 for the season, it’s time for head coach Tom Coughlin and general manager Jerry Reese to rip up the old how-to manual because it’s clear that it hasn’t worked now in three years.

It’s time to do something instead of sitting back and hoping that one of these days things are magically going to turn around.

With that said, here is a list of three things we would do in the coming weeks if we were running the Giants.

Cut the Dead Weight

Offensive lineman James Brewer has yet to see the field this season. Ditto for defensive lineman Kerry Wynn.

Brewer has been a healthy scratch all season.
Brewer has been a healthy scratch all season.Kathy Willens/Associated Press

At this point in the season, the inactive designations should be used for players who are nursing injuries—more on that in a minute.  

If Brewer, who last year proved that he wasn’t capable of playing in the NFL, and Wynn aren’t ready to contribute, why continue to waste roster spots on both?

Why not use those two spots on a position that can help the team, such as receiver, where the only legitimate threat the Giants seem to have these days is Odell Beckham Jr.  Or, better yet, at cornerback, where this week New York lost starter Prince Amukamara to a torn bicep?

Throw Caution to the Wind

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 09:  Wide receiver Corey Washington #6 of the New York Giants celebrates with teammates after scoring the game winning touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

We are frequently asked why the Giants have been reluctant to play receiver Corey Washington. The answer we got from receivers coach Sean Ryan a couple weeks ago when the assistant coaches were made available to the media, is that he hasn’t earned game snaps in practice.

While the caution against throwing an inexperienced player to the wind makes sense—you don’t want to damage a guy’s confidence by setting him up to fail—at some point you have to take the training wheels off and let these young kids try to pedal on their own.

Put another way, can it really be any worse for the young kids to try if the players ahead of them on the depth chart are struggling? In the case of Washington, can he be any worse off than say Rueben Randle or Preston Parker when it comes to separating from defenders downfield?

Sit the Injured, Ineffective Players

Football drives men who fancy themselves competitors to push through physical ailments that would put the majority of us in bed for weeks on end.

While you cannot fault a guy for wanting to compete, at some point the coaches have to stop being so shortsighted when it comes to players who are taking the field with injuries significant enough to have a direct effect on their availability and performance.

We saw what happened with linebacker Jon Beason, who tried to push through a toe injury. Beason didn’t come close to looking anything like the force he was for the Giants in 2013.

Beason would try to play, only to have to come out of games, thereby creating a ripple effect for the coaching staff regarding their plans. Ultimately, he made the smart decision to have season-ending surgery to fix his toe.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 12: Head Coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants high fives cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie #21 prior to a football game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 12, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pe
Evan Habeeb/Getty Images

The same argument can probably apply to cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who has been playing with back and hamstring issues since Week 5. Rodgers-Cromartie, who two weeks ago told me that he needs to practice in order to master the different wrinkles that make up the game plan, was limited this week in practice and had missed practice two weeks prior leading up to the Dallas game. 

His performance has shown it. In his last two games prior to this week, his opponent passer rating has increased, which obviously is not good for a defensive back.

While some may argue that Rodgers-Cromartie at 50 percent beats anyone else at 100 percent, the coaches need to look at the situation objectively and ask themselves if a hobbled Rodgers-Cromartie is in fact hurting the team more than he is helping them.

If the answer is yes, then Rodgers-Cromartie needs to come out of the lineup to get himself right. 

Conclusion

If there is one thing that Coughlin and Reese to a degree have shown since coming into their current positions is that each man is stubborn.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 03:  Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants looks on against the Indianapolis Colts during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 3, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

All you need to know about Coughlin can be summed up in the final regular-season game in the 2007 season when, in a game against the New England Patriots that had no bearing on the Giants’ playoff seeding, Coughlin still played his starters because he wanted to win the game.

Changes need to be made, sooner than later. Those changes might not include ones popular among Giants fans, such as the firing of coordinators Perry Fewell and Tom Quinn—those changes are probably coming after the season—but there are things that need to be addressed now.

For the sake the sanity of the Giants fans, let’s hope that Coughlin and Reese realize what is right in front of them because right now what they’ve been doing for the last two years just isn’t working anymore.

Advanced statistics courtesy of Pro Football Focus (subscription required) unless otherwise noted.

Patricia Traina covers the New York Giants for Inside Football. All quotes and information obtained firsthand unless otherwise sourced. Follow me on Twitter @Patricia_Traina.

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