patchyfogg Posted January 15, 2007 Share Posted January 15, 2007 As you all know by now, I co-host a 100% commercial-free, no one makes a dime from it, Sports Talk radio show on Long Island. On Thursday night, we had Daily News beat reporter Ralph Vacchiano on with us. Ralph was even kind enough to link to it in his Blog yesterday. The interview is 21+ commercial-free minutes and only covers the Giants. Here is a list of the topics discussed in chronological order: --The firing of Tim Lewis --What kinds of changes is ownership expecting? --Dom Capers --Kevin Gilbride --Eli as a leader --Brandon Jacobs (team really likes him, faster than Tiki) --What kind of veteran RB would be brought in? --Jerry Reese --The dynamic between the Maras and the Tischs today --A discussion of John and Chris Mara --Did Tom Coughlin really "lose" the team? --Who was complaining anonymously? --Why did the players despise Hufnagel and his plays so much? --A discussion of all things Tiki, the good and the bad. --Will Michael Strahan be back? --Will Burress and Shockey continue to work out away from the team in the off-season? The interview can be found at the free site where we post our interviews: http://hosted.filefront.com/patchyfogg I hope you get a chance to listen, and I hope that you enjoy. As always, thanks. Someone on another Board was kind enough to write up a transcript: First, RV expresses that it has been an exciting week, but not a fun one because people are losing their jobs, and that he'd much rather be covering games. RV's opinion is that ownership felt comfortable in saying that mandated staff changes were not part of Coughlin's contract because TC had already assured them that Lewis would be replaced. Said Coughlin pre-empted them by demoting Hufnagel, but that management has been unhappy with the way the team has played and feels Coughlin hadn't lived up to his promise to bring in the best possible staff. PF asks if there's a frontrunner on staff to replace Lewis; RV doesn't believe there's anyone on the current staff being considered, thinks Capers would be TC's first call, and that all the current defensive position coaches would likely be replaced by the new DC. PF asks about coordinator on offense, RV says Gilbride's body of work with NY is too small to base a decision on but the players reacted favorably to the subtle changes KG made in the offense and he thinks NY will give Gilbride a shot as OC and bring in a new QB coach. PF asks if Eli can become a more vocal leader; RV says there's no evidence to support that, but thinks he has to at some point. Notes that Eli's acknowledged that as QB he has to become a leader, but hasn't done that. RV speculates that if he simply might not have the necessary personality to become a vocal leader, if after three years he still has not assumed that role. He says that he's concerned that after hearing many players on O say they need Eli to step up and take charge, they're waiting for something that might never happen and someone else might need to assume that role. PF asks whether it's too early to say Jacobs is the every down back, and whether NY might have RB plans via trade or the draft. RV says he believes Jacobs is actually faster than Barber and could be very good in the open field. He thinks the Giants may bring in a vet back like the Jets did with Barlow this year 'just in case' as the RB position is too important to risk being wrong about. PF asks about Ahman Green, RV says that's the type of guy but that whoever NY gets would have to accept a back-up role/money because the Giants are committed to Jacobs as the starter. PF asks RV about the status of the GM search. He says he's been told they've completed all interviews, and though there is a small chance they are still considering someone from the outside, he believes Reese is almost certainly the next GM. Explains the delay by pointing out that the Giants wanted to settle the Coughlin issue first, then wanted to check into Pioli's interest. Adds that the Tisch brothers travel extensively and don't operate out of the Meadowlands offices, and that Mara would need to arrange to get together with them to iron out details before making a formal announcement. Said it would shock him if they hired anyone other than Reese. PF points out that the owners were always able to reach a compromise on decisions and asks how decision-making works with the current generation of owners. RV thinks John Mara is very careful to make sure it continues as a 50-50 partnership, and that while the Tisch brothers want to be involved, they are savvy enough to realize he is still learning re: football operations and to defer to Mara on those matters. Says it's a good working dynamic, guesses that they probably butt heads a little bit and that the notion of Chris Mara as a GM candidate didn't sit well with the Tisch brothers but the issue never created a feud and they were able to settle it peacefully. Whoever is GM, it will be a unanimous decision. PF asks how John and Chris came to be the Mara family members with the most involvement/power in the organization. RV says he's not sure but suspects that John being the first born and also having interest from an early age made him a natural choice. Thinks Wellington welcomed all his kids into the business if they were interested, and that Chris's position has evolved based on his skills and abilities. RV said he's respected around the league and that if his last name wasn't Mara, he might have been a lock for the GM job but the family ties complicated the issue. PF asks if Coughlin lost this team. RV says there is no doubt that there was a significant number of unhappy players in the locker room. Says not 90% or 60%, but that he could name ten starters who were at times a little disgruntled. He says that the level of discontent, though, became exaggerated when the stories passed from the local to the national media, who presented it as total loss of control, chaos. Says that was never truly the case, but that the discontent was there and peaked in late November, at which time he heard someone complaining off the record every time he was in the locker room. Re: anonymous players, RV said he wouldn't report the comments of a 'third string tackle', and would only use anonymous quotes from starters or players with key roles. In short, said Coughlin never lost control but was teetering at times, and that there were enough players who were miserable in Hufnagel's offense that he wonders if they gave up a little. PF asks what the overriding player complaints were about Hufnagel -- lack of imagination, playcalling? RV thinks it was a rigid philosophy that he wouldn't adjust. RV believes that Coughlin and his staff, when believing they had a plan that was going to work, didn't know how to change when it didn't. Example: players would tell him that when running scripted plays, they all knew the next play on the list wasn't going to work but it would be called anyway. Mentions Hufnagel's seeming "desire to throw everything on Eli Manning" -- ignoring that Barber was their best player, throwing for the sake of throwing without setting up the long passes with anything else. Says best thing Gilbride did in last 2 games was to work Barber hard and set up passes based on the run. RV said Hufnagel would abandon the run as soon as Barber had a couple carries for losses or small gains and go to the pass, and when Eli was off his game Hufnagel would push more on him instead of scaling back. PF asks RV for his strongest memories of Barber, good and bad. RV responds that Barber was a great player to watch. Says Tiki probably didn't have enough years as top RB in the league to make the HOF, but in the couple years he was the best RB in the league, he routinely made big plays whenever the Giants really needed one. Said he admires how Barber shed his negatives like third down only back, fragile, fumbler (some of that with TC's help) and made himself into a great player. Not many bad memories about him. Says he wishes Tiki hadn't criticized the coaching staff, he doesn't like it when players do that -- but he understands why he did it, thinks Barber first tried to do it behind closed doors and wasn't getting through, and decided to put a little public pressure on. RV believes it worked to some degree but still prefers players who 'run the ball into the endzone, hand the ball to the official and shut up." Says otherwise Barber was great to cover -- pleasant, well-spoken, understood the media and is a great person. PF asks if Strahan will be back. RV says he means no offense to Strahan and thinks he'll be back but doesn't think he can be the player he was because of his age (35) and the foot condition. He's spoken to surgeons about it and they've all told him it's a serious condition, takes a year to recover with surgery -- and since Strahan is foregoing surgery, he might never have the same push off that foot. Believes Strahan can still be a great player but we'll start to see the inevitable downturn that happens to all great players with age. PF asks if Shockey and Burress will continue training in Miami. RV says they will, doesn't think they're doing it to be jerks but that they believe they need that time away and their program is best for them. RV says if it was him, he'd made it a priority to spend as many days as possible working with Manning in the offseason, but Shockey and Plax do their own thing. PF thanks RV for coming on, and RV says this is his favorite interview to do because they ask great questions instead of the usual cliched ones. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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