Letters to the Editor: November 15, 2012
Kevin L. writes…
Looking at the giants offense I believe there are a few things wrong and here are what I believe can be solutions.
Problem one two man, man under: This takes away Nicks and Cruz. Solution, Go 4 wides, whether 3wr and tight end or two wides and Beckum and Bennett. Reason? Spreads out D and third or fourth corner or safeties will have difficulty matching up. Because Hixon, Randle and Barden have not won consistently, if you put more on the field their ability is usually better than a fourth corner or third safety.
Replace Diehl for better protection. This does two things. Allows to go 4 wide and that in turn spreads out the box to allow the giants to run better. The other tweak, alternate between using Randle, Beckum, Brown and Bennett for third down packages. This relieves pressure on Cruz and then you can come back to him once you’ve put it on tape.
Send Randle down the field twice a game. Take the shots just for the heck of it, to put it on tape. Spreads the D out. You probably only need four extra third down conversions a game and the whole offense will change. Those few changes can get you four at least.
Kevin, interesting suggestions, but I don’t think you’re going to see the coaches do things just for the heck of it. You can’t assume you’re going to get 70-80 plays on offense, and I would think they’d want to make every play count. I think the answer is to take what the defense gives you and stop trying to force things. I also think they have to do a better job of running the ball as that should help alleviate some of the issues.
George D. writes…
There are so many issues, I’d like to take a stab at the WR position. Maybe Nicks and Cruz are having problems in part because, apparently, we don’t have anyone stepping up to take the 3rd WR position. IF Bennett is ineffective because he is hurt, we’re basically running routes with two receivers that the defenses feel they need to blanket. We need someone to step up and in a hurry.
George, there’s no question that the Giants are missing a legitimate third receiver. Hixon showed flashes, but the injuries are a concern. Randle is still raw and I’m really not sure what happened with Barden other than he’s been inconsistent based on what I have seen on film. I would have hoped that the tight end production would have taken care of that, but Bennett has also been inconsistent.
Ted M. writes…
I think another glaring weakness on this team, that doesn’t get a lot of focus, is the linebacking corps. I think it is terribly weak at the moment. Here’s why;
1. Kiwi is only an average linebacker. He is awful in coverage. He should be playing DE instead of Tuck, who must be hurt.
2. Boley is playing at 80% of his ability, if that. The job he did covering Whitten would get most linebackers benched, or worse. Even Aikman said that to stop Whitten, you must hit him at the line of scrimmage. Boley did nothing and could not cover him.
3. Chase Blackburn is our best and the Giants’ coaches cut him two years ago.
4. Rivers is a total waste. Has he ever played an entire game without getting hurt, and sitting down for another 3 weeks?
5. Paysinger is always healthy and the Giants won’t start him, it seems, because he was not a draft pick. That is stupid.
6. Williams’ injury ( now forecast to extend to game 12 at least ) is killing us. Might as well operate now and have him ready for next year.
7. Herzlich- a huge disappointment. I thought he would be great and he has no idea what he’s doing. Do we have a linebacker coach?
With such a weak group here, we can’t blitz, we can’t cover, we can’t stop the run. So the DL gets no support, and the DBs are left exposed
Ted, I agree with points 1, 2, and 6. Here are the rest of my responses.
Chase Blackburn was not cut – he was not re-signed (big difference), and only added back to the fold last year when the injuries started happening. Rivers has talent, but I agree that these constant issues with injuries are discouraging.
I’m not sure that Paysinger’s non-draft status is the reason why he’s not started yet. Blackburn isn’t a draft pick and he’s starting. (I further think that being a “starter” is overblown on some positions as a guy could conceivably take the first snaps of the game, or start, and then depending on the flow of the game, barely see the field again.) I think the reason is that many of those second year players who didn’t have an off-season last year I the OTAs are still planting roots as far as their knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of the offense/defense.
As for Herzlich, see the previous paragraph.
In addition to the Letters, I want to address some questions that came from some Twitter followers .
Q. If the Giants had Joseph Addai in for a workout, does that mean something is up with Ahmad Bradshaw’s health?
A: There could be – remember, Bradshaw had an X-ray done for an undisclosed injury after the Bengals game, but he never said what the injury was. There has been some speculation that he injured his neck again, but the team has not confirmed that, and as of Monday head coach Tom Coughlin had indicated that Bradshaw would undergo “every test known to man” on the medical days, which were designated as Monday and Tuesday.
The other thing to remember, though is that the Giants bring in guys for workouts every Tuesday. It’s par for the course. So just because Addai was ne of the guys brought in doesn’t necessarily mean anything other than the team was doing its due diligence in drawing up plans for free agent signings once the season is over.
One other thing to note: the Giants currently have an open roster spot after placing DT Markus Kuhn on injured reserve. If Bradshaw is ailing – we know that his foot has been an issue – the team could be looking at insurance at the running back position. But that is not a guarantee – the open roster spot could go to another position if you consider that the Giants didn’t have any definite injury report following the Cincinnati game as they’re likely waiting to see how players are after the bye.
Q: Why isn’t David Wilson getting a chance on offense?
As the assistant coaches said on Monday, Wilson doesn’t have all of the pass blocking concepts down just yet. Let’s say the defense does something unexpected, the man in front of the back picks up a different guy than his original assignment called for, and that man happens to be the guy the back was originally assigned to block.
Let’s say in the process two defenders come free and the running back, not knowing what to do, goes to block the wrong guy, leaving another defender with a free path to the quarterback. Would it then be worth it to put someone out there who doesn’t yet have a grasp of how to adjust to that type of scenario at the risk of having the quarterback injured?
Q: So why not just put Wilson out there for a handful of plays?
A: That’s been the plan of late; the flow of the game, however, has dictated otherwise. Also right now because it’s widely known (by way of how the coaches deploy personnel), that he’s not quite there with his pass blocking, the coaches are somewhat limited as to how often they can put Wilson on the field with the offense.
If he comes onto the field, he’s either going to be a decoy or he’s going to get the ball in some capacity. Thus, if you’re a defense that’s done your homework on the personnel and its tendencies, if you have two options to guess from versus four or five, guess how much easier having fewer options to guess just became.
Q: What about David Diehl and the struggles he’s had blocking?
A: Blocking by an offensive lineman is a little different in that if a guy is struggling, he can get help from the tight end, a guard, or a back, depending on the scenario. But tell me when was the last time you saw a running back get any kind of help blocking?
Q: Was Sean Locklear really that bad to warrant a benching?
A: Not according to the coaches. However, the reason why he was removed from the starting lineup, per the coaches, is the very same reason why Stevie Brown will likely be removed from the starting lineup once Kenny Phillips returns. Players do not lose their starting jobs due to an injury.
Also, technically Locklear hasn’t technically been “benched” – he’s been given a new role, that of the blocking tight end.