Jump to content
SportsWrath

New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo not to blame


NeMesiS
 Share

Recommended Posts

 

www.nydailynews.com

 

 

 

New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo not to blame, yet

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

BY RALPH VACCHIANO

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

 

Wednesday, September 19th 2007, 10:38 AM

 

Steve Spagnuolo was the cult hero of the summer, as far as the Giants were concerned. He was the savior of the defense, and its biggest reason for hope.

 

The little defensive coordinator with the fiery attitude was going to bring some much-needed aggressiveness to a beleaguered unit. He was going to revive the lost-cause secondary by letting it play press coverage and the man-to-man scheme the players prefer.

 

Even better, the players said, was the fact that Tim Lewis was gone. They had complained that their old defensive coordinator ruined their confidence and made them look weak with his read-and-react zone coverage. With Lewis fired and Spagnuolo imported from Philadelphia, they promised, everything would change.

 

So, as one NFL assistant coach said yesterday, "Who are they going to blame now?"

 

Lewis, whom Tom Coughlin fired at the end of last season and who is now the Carolina Panthers secondary coach, was a convenient scapegoat for the Giants last season. His defenses regressed in his three years as coordinator, particularly against the pass.

 

So far, though, Spagnuolo - who learned at the feet of master blitzer Jim Johnson in Philadelphia - hasn't done much better. It's only two games, but the Giants' defense ranks 29th out of 32 teams, giving up 423 yards per game. Big Blue has also given up 80 points, its worst two-game total in 24 years.

 

Even worse, the defense isn't doing what everyone was led to believe it would. The blitzing is ineffective, so there's no pressure on the passer. The corners don't appear to be playing much press coverage, and too often seem to be in an ineffective zone.

 

The lack of a pass rush certainly is the worst part. It has not helped that Osi Umenyiora missed most of the first game with a knee injury that probably slowed him in Game2, too. And Michael Strahan, fresh off a 38-day holdout, has looked like a shell of his former self.

 

More troubling has been the ineffectiveness of Spagnuolo's blitzes, on which his players have shown a startling inability to get to the quarterback. Against one fairly mobile quarterback - Tony Romo - and another with a lightning-quick release - Brett Favre - the Giants have generated only two sacks, both by defensive end Justin Tuck.

 

From there, it's been a bad chain reaction. Without a pass rush, the secondary has been exposed. If the corners played press coverage, the Packers receivers didn't notice it as they said they were barely touched coming off the line. The linebackers, which include two playing a new position (former defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka on the strong side, and former middle linebacker Kawika Mitchell on the weak side) have been unable to cover tight ends.

 

This has nothing to do with adjusting to a new system because, as Coughlin says, the Giants have run a "pretty basic" defense so far.

 

The only logical conclusion is that it has to be the players, since it is mostly the same group that Lewis had last year - with the exception of those two linebackers and recently cut safety Will Demps.

 

The Giants still have 14 games to prove that theory wrong. For now, however, Lewis - whose secondary was shredded by the Matt Schaub-led Texans last Sunday - has to be smiling about the fact that he is no longer responsible for the mess he left behind.

 

Two-timers: The Giants have started 0-2 in 17 previous seasons, and finished with a losing record 12 times. The last time they began 0-2 and finished with a winning record was in 1972 when they ended up 8-6. ... A Coughlin team has not been 0-2 since his Jacksonville Jaguars started 0-4 in their first season, 1995, when they went 4-12.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funny, how can Spags be successful with crap for personnel? Bad coverage?? Yeah, thats what happens when you have an over the hill CB (Madison), a worthless CB in Webster and a 1st round draft pick that aint playing much (Ross). Weak Blitz pkgs?? Yeah, have you seen our LB corps?? <_<

 

Always goes back to the same old song and dance.......DRAFT CORRECTLY AND ADD GOOD, YOUNG FREE AGENTS!!!

 

 

Nice post NEm, thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funny, how can Spags be successful with crap for personnel? Bad coverage?? Yeah, thats what happens when you have an over the hill CB (Madison), a worthless CB in Webster and a 1st round draft pick that aint playing much (Ross). Weak Blitz pkgs?? Yeah, have you seen our LB corps?? <_<

 

Always goes back to the same old song and dance.......DRAFT CORRECTLY AND ADD GOOD, YOUNG FREE AGENTS!!!

Nice post NEm, thanks.

 

To be honest I don't know why people always bring down the secondary. The Giants could have Bailey and Clements and I wouldn't matter. The secondary can't cover for ever and with our lack lustre QB pressure an all star secondary isn't going to matter. EA had it right (you can never have too many pass rushers) but never seemed to draft too smartly and apparently Reese doesn't know what he is doing (Ross in the first round was ridiculous). Another CB to feed to the dogs because he has to play chase for 20 seconds. The Giants should have drafted a LB in first and second round. It has been by far the weakest part of the D for years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest I don't know why people always bring down the secondary. The Giants could have Bailey and Clements and I wouldn't matter. The secondary can't cover for ever and with our lack lustre QB pressure an all star secondary isn't going to matter. EA had it right (you can never have too many pass rushers) but never seemed to draft too smartly and apparently Reese doesn't know what he is doing (Ross in the first round was ridiculous). Another CB to feed to the dogs because he has to play chase for 20 seconds. The Giants should have drafted a LB in first and second round. It has been by far the weakest part of the D for years.

There's no question our LB corps needs a majoy update. But lets not kidd ourselves, our secondary flat out sucks. And our secondary has sucked for years....Personally, I would have gotten mad at Reese if he draft a LB or CB because we needed it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest I don't know why people always bring down the secondary. The Giants could have Bailey and Clements and I wouldn't matter. The secondary can't cover for ever and with our lack lustre QB pressure an all star secondary isn't going to matter. EA had it right (you can never have too many pass rushers) but never seemed to draft too smartly and apparently Reese doesn't know what he is doing (Ross in the first round was ridiculous). Another CB to feed to the dogs because he has to play chase for 20 seconds. The Giants should have drafted a LB in first and second round. It has been by far the weakest part of the D for years.

 

Well, Im sure having quite possibly the two best CB's in the league would definatley make SOME difference, theyre just too good. But youre right as far as the pass rush goes. I remember when we used to say our secondary stunk but we have a good front seven. That sentence has changed to a good front FOUR. And thats questionable thus far. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's no question our LB corps needs a major update. But lets not kidd ourselves, our secondary flat out sucks. And our secondary has sucked for years....Personally, I would have gotten mad at Reese if he draft a LB or CB because we needed it.

 

Oh...no doubt it sucks but Reese should have went LB then CB then whatever he wanted. Not CB, WR and hey Kiwi want to play LB? :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...