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This week in Giants Football


BIGBLUE01
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Enjoy. Some may have seen this already, but if not, its a great overview of what we're facing going into camp.

2007 Training Camp and Season Preview

 

-J.F. Triano

 

 

NY-FootballGiants.com.

The Disease

 

 

 

Officially my birth certificate reads 1974 at Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood, NJ. Little did I know my life wouldn’t truly begin until December 19, 1981 in the crowded basement of a Giant fans’ house. Most 7 year old sons in Giant households know about football, play football, and can spot a football in a toy box, but until they catch the disease, they have no idea what football means. To steal a line from a good friend of mine, “Being a Giant fan is an inherited disease”. Almost twenty six years later, the disease has a grip on my life, and I’m afraid there’s no stopping it.

 

 

 

There I was playing with my Star Wars toys, only slightly aware of grown men jumping up and down cursing someone I would come to hate far more than Darth Vader, the Dallas Cowboys.

 

 

 

The Giants were in a 10-7 hole and fighting for their playoff lives. It was then I felt a big hand on my puny shoulders, and heard “Sit down, Danelo’s about to blow it”. Danelo? Who’s Danelo? Why do I care if he blows it? None of that mattered now, because lining up from 40 yards out, this Danelo guy kicked the Giants into overtime and my old man lifted me dangerously close to a ceiling fan.

 

 

 

Suddenly, it was my job to ensure victory by watching the game. It was me, I was lucky because that Danelo guy helped the Giants to an overtime victory that ended an 18 year playoff drought. I, a seven year old, had lifted the curse! It was love at first sight. I knew my life had meaning, I knew I was good luck, I KNEW the Giants were going to make my life great.

 

 

 

The Cure?

 

 

 

After twenty-five years, two Super Bowl wins, one Super Bowl loss, a Ray H*ndley and countless TUMS later; I now have the disease. I no longer bend field goals with my presence, and now I’ve volunteered to share my sickness with the fine people at NY-FootballGiants.com.

 

 

 

Beginning July 27th at the University of Albany, the Giants are also seeking a cure; for the locker-room troubles that plagued the team down the stretch and nearly cost head coach Tom Coughlin his job. Coughlin’s regime will be overturned should the Giants do what most observers expect, and struggle to replace the franchise’s most prolific offensive talent in NBC newsman Tiki Barber. Questions at numerous positions have most media pundits burying your beloved Giants before they haze their first rookie. Let’s take a look at the damage.

 

 

 

Out with the Old, In with the New

 

 

 

Key Losses: HB Tiki Barber, LTs Luke Petitgout, Bob Whitfield, K Jay Feely, OLBs Carlos Emmons, LaVar Arrington, Brandon Short, KR/PR Chad Morton, TE Vishante Shiancoe, FB Jim Finn (IR), WR Tim Carter (HA!-just making sure you’re all still awake).

 

 

 

Key Additions: HB Reuben Droughns, LB Kawika Mitchell, K Lawrence Tynes, OG Zach Piller, DT Marcus Bell, Rookies: CB Aaron Ross, WR Steve Smith, TE Kevin Boss, DT Jay Alford.

 

 

 

New Starters- 8 Total Including Special Teams::

 

OLB Mathias Kiwanuka replaces OLB LaVar Arrington

 

OLB Kawika Mitchell replaces OLB Carlos Emmons

 

OL David Diehl replaces LT Luke Petitgout

 

LGs Rich Seubert, Zach Piller replaces LG David Diehl

 

HB Brandon Jacobs replaces HB Tiki Barber

 

FB Robert Douglas replaces FB Jim Finn (maybe)

 

K Lawrence Tynes replaces K Jay Feely

 

KR/PR Anyone with limbs replaces KR/PR Chad Morton

 

 

 

Coaching Changes: Defensive Coordinator- Steve Spagnuolo replaces Tim Lewis; Special Teams-Tom Quinn replaces Mike Sweatman, Offensive Coordinator-Kevin Gilbride replaces John Hufnagel, Quarterbacks Coach-Chris Palmer replaces Kevin Gilbride.

 

 

 

Taking a Look at 2007: How it could all go wrong.

 

 

 

Offensive Troubles - Losing the franchise’s best weapon and allegedly biggest distraction in Tiki Barber is a situation that everyone is watching as the Giants head to Albany. His replacements, HBs Brandon Jacobs and Reuben Droughns are capable backs, but can they account for the 2,204 yards per season Barber produced over the past 3 years? Jacobs and Droughns biggest challenge may be their ability to pick up the blitz. Barber became one of the finest blitz pickup artists in the league and though often overlooked, it’s a critical part of manning the position, especially with questions on the left side of the OL, FB and blocking TE. Keeping Eli Manning upright will be as crucial to this offense as providing a credible ground threat.

 

 

 

Also gone is Barber’s escort, FB Jim Finn who was placed on season ending injured reserve. Underappreciated, Finn was not the sledgehammer lead blocker every Giant fan craves, but since arriving in 2003, he led Barber to an average of 1,564 rushing yards per season. Left behind is the unknown FB Robert Douglas, who I won’t comment on because I don’t know who he is. Seriously, who is this guy?

 

 

 

Old reliable LT Luke Petitgout is no longer protecting QB Eli Manning’s blindside and with a make or break year for the young QB and his head coach, dismissing the leader of your OL at it’s most critical position could be a recipe for disaster.

 

 

 

QB Eli Manning has been maddeningly inconsistent, sprinkling in amazing performances with some downright awful throws and games in which he seems lost. Losing his best offensive weapon, and his blindside bodyguard does not bode well for the lesser Manning. The production and on the field leadership Barber provided must be replaced, so it’s now or never for Eli to elevate his play and his stature in the locker-room.

 

 

 

WR Depth was an issue last year when Amani Toomer tore his ACL, and Tim 4.28 Carter was unable to do much other than look really cool in a uniform. Sinorice Moss never contributed and David Tyree is not a difference maker at WR. Without that second threat, Manning struggled and with Toomer’s age and injury status, there is no telling how that will impact the passing game until he hits the field.

 

 

 

Defensive Woes- The way the Giants defenders talk about outgoing defensive coordinator Tim Lewis, you’d think he stole their prom dates and keyed their cars on his way out. After falling to a pathetic 28th against the pass, Lewis’ uber-soft coverage schemes, and demeaning ways had to go.

 

 

 

The problem? All 4 starters in a secondary that was too slow, and often out of position are back. CB Sam Madison is declining quickly and CB Corey Webster has shown nothing in his time as a Giant. Injuries and Tim Lewis hurting his little feelings were blamed last year, so let’s see what Webster does with some Stuart Smalley like support and two good hips. The guess here is that he or Madison is replaced mid season by rookie CB Aaron Ross.

 

 

 

Defensive anchor and garage sale victim DE Michael Strahan is coming off of a Lis-Franc sprain turns thirty-six in November and has missed half of 2 of the past 3 seasons with injuries. The other Pro Bowl DE Osi Umenyiora missed 5 games last year and only collected one sack in 5 games after returning to the lineup. A once feared duo, Mike and Osi have to stay injury free for the Giants defense to have any shot at improving. Not even their backup, DE Justin Tuck was able to stay healthy, suffering a more serious version of Strahan’s injury.

 

 

 

Conventional wisdom holds that moving a lanky 6’6” defensive end to strong side (SAM) linebacker will backfire, and should the aforementioned ends get hurt, Mathias Kiwanuka may be shifted back to the DL. An unsettled weak side linebacker (WILL) slot has ex-Chief Kawika Mitchell and 2nd year pro Gerris Wilkinson set to do battle at camp. Barring injury or a major upset, Mitchell will emerge as the starter.

 

 

 

…How it could all go right.

 

 

 

Offensive Changes- Mind you this is wild speculation and it puts faith in…GAH! Kevin Gilbride…, but the belief here is that Brandon Jacobs and Reuben Droughns straight ahead styles will alter how this offense plays and how defenses react to it. Barber was a nifty cut back runner, able to wait patiently for holes to open or for a defender to overshoot or miss a gap assignment. Barber’s change of direction and sudden burst to top speed enabled him to exploit those holes for some jaw dropping games.

 

 

 

How do you defend that? Your DL control gaps, your LBs flow to the play and your DBs lay back to prevent the cut back Keeping an 8th man in the box isn’t necessary because of how slowly some of the runs develop. Against Jacobs, a pure power back, the best defense is to attack the line of scrimmage, which means a safety in the box and a lot of single coverage in the secondary. Jacobs is a more explosive yet more straight ahead runner and should get to the second level quicker than his predecessor, in part because he lacks Barber’s vision and cutback ability.

 

 

 

That running style should lend itself to more single coverage, as teams try to slow down the big speedy back. Put one man on WR Plaxico Burress, TE Jeremy Shockey or a healthy Toomer and you have to like those odds. I might be the only man in the free world not worried about losing Barber, but count me in among those who cannot wait to see Brandon Jacobs get the job.

 

 

 

Impressive rookie WR Steve Smith, late of USC apparently has impressed the coaches to the point that the #3 WR job is his. He could be the elusive 3rd WR this team has lacked during Manning’s tenure. WR Sinorice Moss is reportedly healthy and while diminutive at 5-8 provides a speedy weapon to Manning’s arsenal.

 

 

 

LT David Diehl will hold off LT Guy Whimper and prove to be a steady performer at LT. Too many cite Andre Carter blowing by Diehl during his first start in Washington, but Barber’s 234 yard outburst was in no small part to the holes blasted open on the left side. Diehl may lack Petitgout’s nimble feet, but with good size, durability, experience and a full off-season to get acclimated to stepping to his left and not his right in Pass-Pro Diehl will get the job done.

 

 

 

OG Zach Piller, a steady veteran from Tennessee, or holdover LG Richie Seubert can capably replace Diehl’s vacated LG slot.

 

 

 

Attacking Defense- Keep your eyes on Steve Spagnuolo (Spags for short-I’m lazy), who was brought in to revamp the defense. Defenders are already buzzing about his aggressive schemes. Spags’ personality alone will be an improvement over his predecessor, and his pedigree certainly instills excitement.

 

 

 

In 2006, injuries forced 5 different players to start at OLB. That many combinations made it impossible for the line backing corps to gel and play with the continuity that successful defenses require. Enter LB Kawika Mitchell who has played in 47 straight games and brings much needed durability and quickness to the WILL spot. New SAM Mathias Kiwanuka was shifted from DE, and while questions remain, Kiwi showed the change of direction, lateral quickness, hustle and play recognition skills needed to play OLB. After two years of musical chairs at the spot, the trio of MLB Antonio Pierce, Kiwanuka and Mitchell should form an impact group.

 

 

 

A healthy DL rotation is one of the keys to success in the Jim Johnson defense and assuming Spags adopts its tenets the Giants should be in good shape along the front four. Strahan and Umenyiora appear to be on the mend as does 3rd DE Justin Tuck. Holdover DTs Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins should benefit from the gap shooting scheme which won’t tie up either over center for too long. Both are big but nimble players who should excel in an attacking front. Holdover DT William Joseph isn’t great but he’s solid depth as is newly signed DT Marcus Bell. Rookie 3rd rounder Jay Alford was a sack machine at DT for the Nittany Lions and Giant fans will instantly love his incredible quickness off the ball and the speed at which he plays. Even as a rookie, expect Alford to make some impact plays on 3rd down rushing from the DT spot.

 

 

 

Rookie CB Aaron Ross injects a much needed dose of speed and ball skills to a beleaguered secondary. A healthier Will Demps, a rejuvenated Corey Webster and emerging young vets Kevin Dockery and James Butler might just be enough to form a solid secondary.

 

 

 

…and why it may not matter.

 

 

 

Head Coach Tom Coughlin is striving to improve, recently creating a Leadership Council, playing nice with the media and actually seeming more human to those on the outside. His “Shut up and Play” edict is one that must not be abandoned. Galvanizing this team under his leadership is job number one and with his most outspoken critic gone, Coughlin has a great chance to do just that during the time in Albany. Great teams are assembled in the off-season, forged in camp and galvanized on the field. The Giants don’t lack for talent, leadership or youthful exuberance, what they lack is a sense of team. How well the revamped coaching staff forges that team over the next month will tell plenty about what to expect from your 2007 New York Giants.

 

 

 

TECHNIQUE TIDBIT

 

 

 

Each week in this spot, we will examine an overlooked term, technique or football related thingy that fans have heard and can recite but may not fully understand or even care about. While watching camp videos on Giants.com or watching practice live, pay attention to the battles between WRs and DBs on the line of scrimmage and you’ll understand Jerry Reese’s unnatural obsession with long arms.

 

 

 

Long Arm of the Law?- Back in April GM Jerry Reese couldn’t stop talking about Aaron Ross’ long arms.

 

 

 

“He fits our scheme – a big guy with long arms who can battle big receivers. He can play that press coverage that our coordinator thinks that we are probably are going to play more of this year….Will he cover Terrell Owens better than he will cover Santana Moss? Absolutely he will because he is a big guy, he is long-armed.”

 

 

 

So who cares if he has long arms aside from his tailor? In Press coverage, the CB gives little to no cushion outside of the neutral zone, and uses his arms to jolt the WR off his route in an effort to disrupt timing of the route and give blitzers time to get to the QB. WRs often use a swim, swat or rip technique to free themselves so they can get into their routes, make sight adjustments and give the QB a good target. The longer a WR is tied up, the less chance he’s going to see the ball.

 

 

 

A DB with longer arms hinders the swim, swat or rip move because the WR will have trouble getting under his pads to generate the lift he needs to throw the DB off balance. A WR will typically hook under the arm or shoulder pads of the DB on the side he wishes to run to, and use his other arm to swim or rip around him and continue on his way. Very simply, the longer the DBs arms are, the harder it becomes for the WR to get into his body and run unimpeded. It’s similar to why OTs with long arms can be more successful than their more T-Rex like counterparts.

 

 

 

I esp. love the way he starts out, thats kinda how I became a lifelong Giant fan. Only a few years earlier.

Edited by NeMesiS
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Enjoy. Some may have seen this already, but if not, its a great

There I was playing with my Star Wars toys, only slightly aware of grown men jumping up and down cursing someone I would come to hate far more than Darth Vader, the Dallas Cowboys.

 

I love it. You have a Giants fan writing an article about his love for the Giants and the 2007 season but he can't help to mention the Cowboys. Hates the Cowboys more than Darth Vader. Because of the thorough ass woophins administered by the Cowboys through the years...Emotionally Scarring...

 

In contrast, I don't know of a Cowboys fan that talks about the Cowboys' past or future and mentions the Giants. We don't think or talk much about the Cardnals, either. Why would we?

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I love it. You have a Giants fan writing an article about his love for the Giants and the 2007 season but he can't help to mention the Cowboys. Hates the Cowboys more than Darth Vader. Because of the thorough ass woophins administered by the Cowboys through the years...Emotionally Scarring...

 

In contrast, I don't know of a Cowboys fan that talks about the Cowboys' past or future and mentions the Giants. We don't think or talk much about the Cardnals, either. Why would we?

 

 

Because you are classless fans. Worst in the league.

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Because you are classless fans. Worst in the league.

 

You Giants fans are so hostile. I would never say anything so hurtful to you. I shudder to think what this place is going to be like in early September, after Tony Romo and TO complete week 1 of their 20 week passing clinic...

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I love it. You have a Giants fan writing an article about his love for the Giants and the 2007 season but he can't help to mention the Cowboys. Hates the Cowboys more than Darth Vader. Because of the thorough ass woophins administered by the Cowboys through the years...Emotionally Scarring...

 

You know what I hate? People who take up space quoting a 32-paragraph article for their first post on a thread... when it's pretty fucking obvious that it's the only possible thing you could be talking about. :confused:

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You know what I hate? People who take up space quoting a 32-paragraph article for their first post on a thread... when it's pretty fucking obvious that it's the only possible thing you could be talking about. :confused:

[/quote

 

The title of this thread is "This week in Giants football" not things that Sephiroth hates...Please be guided accordingly.

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I love it. You have a Giants fan writing an article about his love for the Giants and the 2007 season but he can't help to mention the Cowboys. Hates the Cowboys more than Darth Vader. Because of the thorough ass woophins administered by the Cowboys through the years...Emotionally Scarring...

 

In contrast, I don't know of a Cowboys fan that talks about the Cowboys' past or future and mentions the Giants. We don't think or talk much about the Cardnals, either. Why would we?

 

I do...I know plenty. :)

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