Letters to the Editor: December 18. 2012
Tom M. writes…
I have two separate issues to address:
1. Despite the embarrassing loss to the Falcons, we all know never to give up on this team until the whistle sounds for the last time and we are told our season is over. So I am not giving up and I am sure very few Giant fans are at this point. But it is clear that the Giants are now paying salaries for certain players which are exorbitant given where they are in their careers. I am using website salaries which may or may not be completely accurate, but which should be at least in the ballpark. This includes Chris Snee, who is clearly on the decline, and who makes around five million a year; Corey Webster, who makes around 6.5 million a year; Justin Tuck, who makes around 3 million a year; and David Diehl, who is projected to make 4 million a year next year. It can be argued that Chris Canty and David Bass also have not given full return on the free agent contracts they signed. However this year turns out, it is clear that we will pay Victor Cruz significantly more going forward, and at some point JPP will have to be taken care of. I hope we can resign Martellus Bennett, and I think we absolutely want to look at retaining a core of players on our team. But in relation to these other players will it be time (as we did with Rich Seubert and Sean O’Hara in 2011) to simply cut ties with some of these players? And to free up cap room to invigorate through free agency (and of course the draft) what appears to be an aging and declining squad? Or is it more likely that we will simply seek restructuring from some of these players?
2. It is clear that, despite his fabulous talent, David Wilson will need to learn how to pass block. I have to think that he is not the only back coming out of college who has to learn pass blocking. Brian Westbrook, for example, was listed at 200 pounds coming out of Villanova, a Division IAA school at the time, and it is hard to imagine he entered the NFL as the pass blocker he ultimately became in the Eagles’ offense. It must also have taken some time for our own Ahmad Bradshaw to learn pass blocking. At 190 pounds, I would assume (but admittedly I don’t really know) that Darren Sproles is not a great pass blocker.
My point is that David Wilson, who has huge legs and looks pretty sculpted to me at 205 to 210 pounds, will ultimately learn how to help in pass blocking. In the meantime, it is the job of the Giant coaching staff to utilize his other abilities in imaginative ways. Just by way of example, I remember the Eagles used to use Westbrook on circle routs out of the backfield, and there was not a LB on earth who could outrun him to the sideline or upfield if he decided to take one of the ample cutting lanes available in that scenario. Even one such play terrifies a defensive coordinator and keeps the defense honest. Our coaches seem to lack imagination in using David Wilson’s talents and of course earlier in the year Coughlin basically (and foolishly in my opinion) wasted that talent by letting him languish on the bench outside of returns. I hope the Giants will use a little more imagination going forward, but honestly I don’t expect it as I believe for all their strengths our coaching staff ultimately lacks imagination.
Tom, regarding point 1, there’s no question that some of those inflated salaries you’ve mentioned are likely to be restructured, though keep in mind that any player who restructured this year (Snee, Manning), cannot be structured again under the new CBA guidelines.
Regarding point 2, right now Wilson’s limitations limit what the coaches can do with him, thereby making it easier for defenses to guess what’s coming. Until that changes – and I don’t se eit changing until next year, the running game is what it is.
Nat K. writes…
I miss your question and answer sessions with Ed Valentine. They were great. I checked out Ed’s post mortem on Sunday’s debacle and he seems to be as befuddled as I am that the Giants can overwhelm some outstanding teams and then play some games in which they are totally inept.
Although Sunday’s loss was a full team responsibility, including the coaching, Ed seems to share my view that as Eli goes so go the Giants. Over the years Eli has had more than his share of brilliant games. But too often he is guilty of poor passing and when under pressure he makes bad decisions. One could say that he is human and not a machine. But I don’t think that is an adequate answer. Neither his brother, nor Brady nor several other top quarterbacks are as inconsistent.
Nat, while it’s true to a certain degree that as Eli goes, so too does the Giants, I’ve seen instances where the offense plays well and the defense doesn’t. The bottom line is you need a solid effort from all three phases.
Kevin L. writes…
I want to jog your memory a little. Brady didn’t look that great against the niners this weekend also two interceptions. What about the four interception game against the Bills last year. What about the 3 interception game against the Chargers in the AFC championship game in 07. And he really didn’t look good against Baltimore last year even he acknowledged that. The difference between Eli and Brady is that Eli plays in New York where even his near interceptions are talked about as if he actually threw them.
To this day there’s still talk about the near interception that Asante Samuels dropped in the Superbowl as if that should invalidate what he did that year. He’s the only quarterback to win multiple superbowls that is still questioned what he is about. In both superbowl runs he faced quarterbacks and teams have historic years and in those games he was the best quarterback on the field. Yet only in New York are we still questioning if he’s elite.
How elite is he think about this. Brady and Big Ben and Peyton went on superbowl runs with them having putrid post season stats or a game or two. Yet their teams pulled them through. Look back at the two giants superbowl runs. If Eli has a bad game in any of those games they don’t go. Yet in New York the story is the front four. When ever you question whether he’s elite, just take the name off the jersey and go through his accomplishments like so many fawn over Brady’s and you’d have your answer. One final thought Mr. Brady in the first superbowl had the superior team and lost. In the second some thought Eli had the superior team he won. Old saying he can take his and beat yours, he can take yours and beat his.
Kevin, every quarterback has a rough day. As you point out in your examples, Brady’s rough days are few and far in between. I think it can be safely said that Eli has been ina bit of a funk this year for whatever the reason.
To refresh your memory, when numerous readers were screaming and crying about how much the Giants gave up for him and were complaining about how he was “the runt of the Manning litter” as one reader put it, I was his biggest defender. I’m simply pointing out that I can understand why the debate continues about whether he’s truly elite when he leads his offense to a major clunker like last week.