Letters to the Editor: February 18, 2013
In this batch, more from Nat K., plus Stan C. and Frank C. weigh in on the the criticsms of the Reese-Coughlin-Manning trio.
You recently refuted my criticisms of Reese and Coughlin with some insightful comments One cogent observation you made was that salary cap problems were not so much due to overpaying free agents as it was postponing a problem much as the US Congress does) by back loading salaries. Were you referring primarily to the restructuring by converting base salary to pro-rated bonus which results in dead money counting against the cap when a player is cut?
You also made the incontestable point that you want to put the best team on the field which means that veterans will generally be played rather than rookies. But how then does a rookie get to develop? I was thinking not so much of Wilson as Ojomo. He was very impressive in training camp but sat while the Defensive Ends struggled during the regular season and is still not being mentioned as a possible replacement for Osi. – Nat K.
A rookie develops in practice, Nat. It’s really no different than any other profession requiring a sharpening of skill, and quite honestly, I can’t understand why so many people fail to understand this. In training camp, you’re going up against similar level competition, many of whom don’t even make practice squads, let alone 53-man rosters. During the season, you’re going against starters and Pro Bowlers. That’s a big jump in competition.
Let’s take a couple of occupations that are specialized. Would you want a surgeon fresh out of medical school to perform an operation on you? Probably not. You’d probably want a surgeon with a significant amount of experience in order to feel comfortable.
Similarly if you were directing a play, would you feel comfortable putting someone fresh off the street in a leading role that had very little theatrical training or experience as an understudy or supporting character? Probably not.
There is a reason why teams practice during the season, and it’s not just to install a game plan. It’s to also develop players – and that includes veterans – as the game plan and offensive/defensive philosophies evolve. Why is this so hard for people to grasp?
The Giants have, for years usually turned to the veterans ahead of the rookies, something I believe you forgot in your last letter when you canonized Bill Parcells.
You see Tampa Bay and think, “Well they played Doug Martin, a rookie.” Hey, guess what? New coach, new system, rebuilding year. What did they have to lose doing so? Nothing. Meanwhile you had the Giants coming off a Super Bowl championship looking to defend that title with a proven system that’s been in place for years. They had a bit more to lose, know what I mean?
Bottom line: if a player shows that he can do it in practice, he’ll get on the field. It really is that simple.
Regarding the first part of your letter, I was referring to how a contract is initially structured. Salaries increase either due to the NFL minimums or, based on a percentage. Webster, for example, has never been restructured as far as I know, so his salary has taken natural spikes over the years, this likely planned to coincide with the anticipated cap increases.
With the cap having flat lined and having little chance of spiking beyond many one million per year over the next few years of this CBA, teams that were planning on the increase are going to be forced to cut high priced guys. (Remember, Webster’s contract was negotiated under the old CBA, back when the salary cap was around $129M before the final year of that deal, which was the uncapped year.)
Stan K. writes…
I’ve been a Giant fan since the 1940s, and have been thru their ups and downs. I think our favorite team has their fans have had it good over the last 27 years. 5 Super Bowl Appearances and 4 SB victories over that period. How many teams can claim that level of success? Certainly not our co-tenants or the “Iggles,” as they are known down here in South Jersey.
Sure, I get disappointed when they don’t win or even more so when they play poorly but realistically with a SB appearance approximately every 5 years and a SB victory approximately every 7 years Giant fans shouldn’t really complain.
You’re preaching to the choir here Stan. Sadly, you’re always going to see people complaining, no matter what.
Frank C. writes…
Great response to the most recent letter. I am truly puzzled by the lack of respect of what the Giants have done since Coughlin and Reese have been a tandem. Did I miss something?
If I was a betting man, which thankfully I am not, I would wager that Coughlin, Reese and ELI will win their 3rd Super Bowl within the next couple of years. If I am correct the GM, Coach and QB that have won 3 Super Bowls are few and far between. Recent history you have the Pats, Cowboys and 49ers. Going back a little further you have the Steelers.
To not have faith in what the Giants have been doing since George Young – Ernie Accorsi and now Jerry Reese have been in charge–does not make sense. The total is 4 Super Bowl wins in 5 appearances in the last 26 years. I know Young joined the Giant organization in ’79 but in that era you needed at least 5 – 7 years to build a winning organization.
The Giants have a stable organization with little in the way of conflict or turmoil. It appears, at least to many of us fans that they have a continuity plan that will ensure a high level of play. Nobody wins every year and the days of an organization being dominant over a long period of time are gone.
The cap takes care of that. The Giants would not have been able to win the ’90 Super Bowl without players that had been on the Giants a long time. The big play made on defense by Gary Reasons in that Championship game with the Niners is a case in point. In today’s environment he, Pepper Johnson and the QB who won the Super Bowl would have been long gone. Again, only my opinion.
It is a different game today and to look back does not help much. I have always had my doubts about the Coach, but, “You are what your record says you are.” We all know who said that.
In their division they are right behind the Cowboys in the number of Super Bowls they have won. The Eagles have not done it yet. The Redskins look like they are coming on with RGIII and their coach calling the shots. As long as Jerry Jones owns the “Boys” they are going nowhere. Pick out the really outstanding players on the Cowboys and you will find the hand of Bill Parcells in there.
Look at the division and ask yourself who has the best chance of competing for the leadership of that division for the next 5 years? I believe it is the Giants because of Reese, Coughlin, and Manning. Does any of that make sense?
It makes a lot of sense Frank. I’m not sure what some people are expecting – as you point out, no one wins the Super Bowl every year. Even the beloved Parcells-Young team didn’t pull that off. So I honestly do not understand why people continue to insist that Parcells and Young could do no wrong while Reese and Coughlin can barely do anything right.
I’m going to say what I said when Young, Parcells and Simms all moved on. When Reese, Coughlin and Manning have all moved on, fans are going to miss them — and that includes tose who are consistently complaining about any or all of the trio. I get it that people buy the tickets and the merchandise and have a right to complain if they want to, but I truly believe that some do it just to hear themselves talk.