Giant Worries? Please!
I’m usually good for at least one or two “venting” columns per year. Normally though those columns don’t happen until the season begins and the team has suffered a bad loss or two.
Sadly, after just one week of training camp, I have to use one of my “vent cards” because I’m seeing a wide spread panic from readers in our daily “Letters to the Editor” feature.
I need to ask you to CALM DOWN. I’ve seen a lot of panic in these letters and I really think if you s topped to think about it, you’d realize that things aren’t quite as bad as they seem right now.
For one, the Giants have only gone through ONE WEEK of training camp, yet some of you are reacting as though it’s week 15 of the season and they’re 4-11. Sure, there’s been drama and yes, there is a lot of questions, but sometimes you just have to put some faith in the people who actually are paid to analyze the talent for a living and who do it every day.
Secondly, for those of you starting to curse general manager Jerry Reese, since he took over for Ernie Accorsi in 2007, the Giants are 40-24 in the regular season with two playoff berths (and one Super Bowl Championship). And no, Reese hasn’t “changed” in how he has approached putting the team together nor has everything gone smoothly since he took over for Accorsi.
I’m not trying to sound apologetic for the Giants – I’m under no obligation to paint a rosy picture. I’m also not going to sit here and say that everything is perfect in Giants land because it’s not – for example, I disagree with how the Osi Umenyiora situation is being handled, and although the team might not see it as a distraction, it is a distraction.
What I have always tried to bring you is a honest, well-thought out argument using information I have in an attempt to find some sort of rhyme or reason behind why things are the way they are. So with that said, I’m going to touch upon some of the hot topics that I’ve seen come in through LTTE (I’m also working on another huge LTTE file which will hit the blog tomorrow).
If I manage to help one person calm down and realize that things aren’t all as as grim as they seem, then I’ve done my job. If not, well at least I got a few things off my chest. So here goes…
Worried that the Eagles were able to make all these splashy moves? Hey, go rent the movie “Groundhog Day.”
Haven’t we seen the Redskins take that approach in the past? What did it get them? Yeah, the same number of Super Bowl trophies as the Eagles have. Bottom line is any team can put together a mash of super stars and big names, but between now and January, there will be injuries, there will be twists and turns, and it remains to be seen how well the chemistry meshes. Just ask Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb about that.
Worried about the Giants cap situation? Go rent a copy of the movie “Brewster’s Millions.”
As I’ve said a gazillion times, the last-known cap was $128M. Eight million was taken away. Now why are some teams so grossly under? Because they don’t spend that money.
Go look at the list of many of those teams who had money to burn and tell me, when was the last time being cheap translated into a Super Bowl victory?
Worried about the loss of TE Kevin Boss? Hey, go catch a classic episode of “Who’s the Boss?”
Boss is a very good player and yes, he’ll be missed for all that he brought both on the field and off the field. But as mother always likes to remind me, no one is irreplaceable.
I remember very well when a lot of fans were crying about the departure of Jeremy Shockey because the consensus was the Giants didn’t have a proven tight end on the roster.
Guess that situation worked out okay, because today I see a lot of the same people (and you know who you are) crying about the loss of the man who replaced Shockey.
Look, I get it. You fear the unknown. I fear the unknown as well, probably more than anyone I know right now. But sometimes you have to put your trust in the decision makers that they know what they’re doing, that their faith in guys like Bear Pascoe and Travis Beckum to play the position has some merit.
Worried about how the Giants are handling the Osi situation? Go for a bike ride!
If you really must worry about this on-going saga, I’d be more worried about how Umenyiora’s camp is handling his situation. If you’ve been following the reports, “sources close to the defensive end” have been tipping Umenyiora’s hand from day one, starting with the hold out to the latest threat of him contemplating “season-ending” knee surgery.
Even if Umenyiora has knee surgery, guess who wins? Not Umenyiora, but the Giants. Why? Because he’ll have to wait ANOTHER YEAR for his desired pay day and teams might be more cautious about shelling out big bucks to a guy coming off of knee surgery which, at least if I’m interpreting the Giants’ feelings about it correctly, is not necessary.
The Giants hold all the cards here. Umenyiora is under contract for two more seasons and the Giants are rich in depth with Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Dave Tollefson right now.
I understand Umenyiora’s concern. I do. However, there has to be some sort of compromise here – what that is I’m not sure because again, I see both sides of the issue. I do know this – no pain, no gain. Is there a chance that if Osi plays he could get hurt and blow his chance for a big payday? Sure. But just ask players like Chad Jones, who suffered serious injuries away from the football field and who may never get a chance at a huge payday about how cruel life can be.
Worried about the linebackers? Don’t – where there’s a WILL, there’s a way (and a SAM and a MIKE, too for that matter).
Good defensive coordinators can scheme around the linebackers so long as they have a good defensive front (which the Giants have) and a good defensive secondary (which the Giants also happen to have).
But you know what? The linebackers don’t really scare me as much as they did last year. I like what I’ve seen from Jon Goff – he’s really emerged as a leader on that unit. I also think Michael Boley is going to rebound and have a big year.
While I’m not quite sure what will happen at SAM, their having Kiwanuka back as a possibility on certain packages makes me feel a lot better than before.
Wondering why the Giants haven’t asked guys like Eli Manning to restructure? Hey, I hear that forthcoming show “Football Cops” on DirectTV is supposed to be a yuck and a half.
For starters, we don’t know for sure that the team didn’t ask for more volunteers to restructure other than the confirmed reports of Brandon Jacobs, who agreed to a restructuring, and OT Shawn Andrews, who didn’t and was cut.
What some of you are not grasping though is that a contract has to represent good value. A team has to ask itself, “Am I getting what I paid for?” If the answer is yes, then no need to approach the player for a restructuring. If the answer is no, then decisions have to be made.
In Manning’s case, yes, I know about the 25 interceptions. But I also know about the good stats, such as his becoming the first Giants quarterback to throw for consecutive 4,000-yard (4,021 in 2009 and 4,002 in 2010), and his setting career highs in touchdowns (31) and completion percentage (62.9), just to name a few.
“So what,” you say? “He still threw 25 interceptions!” Big deal. Manning is a franchise quarterback and the team is built around him. It’s the same situation as it was for Dan Marino in Miami and Jim Kelly in Buffalo, both of who never won a Super Bowl, and Indy’s Peyton Manning, who has exactly the same number of Super Bowl wins and Super Bowl MVPs as his little brother.
Worried about why Steve Smith hasn’t been re-signed yet? Go catch a viewing of “Horrible Bosses.”
Smith, remember had his microfracture knee surgery in DECEMBER. He wasn’t cleared to run until JUNE. It is now early August. Ya think perhaps it takes a little time to rebuild the strength in a leg that underwent microfracture surgery?
As I pointed out in my Twitter feed earlier today, at least two of Smith’s teammates have indicated that Smith wouldn’t have been ready to start the season anyway. So if you’re Jerry Reese and you have a cash-strapped team, it doesn’t make you a bad boss if you instead devote your financial resources on guys tho can help you on opening day rather than someone who would start the season on PUP.
Seriously, worrying is not good for your blood pressure or your health – TRUST me on this. Things have a funny way of working themselves out and to be writing the season off NOW is just way too premature.
If that time comes, you’ll know. Now is not that time.