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Matt Dodge's honesty, Perry Fewell's defensive-front formations and Jim Sorgi's nicked shoulder


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Matt Dodge's honesty, Perry Fewell's defensive-front formations and Jim Sorgi's nicked shoulder

 

Give Matt Dodge credit for one thing Monday night: the rookie punter was certainly honest when asked to describe the low, shanked line drive that was his first NFL kick.

 

“Pretty crappy,” Dodge said.

 

After the Giants’ three-and-out to start the game, Dodge trotted out and stood at his own 2-yard line. He took the snap, lowered the ball and swung his right leg, only to have the ball come off the side of his foot. The result was a putrid 2.5 seconds of hang time, though the fact it was nowhere near the returner when it landed at least allowed for a bounce, some roll and a solid 44-yard net.

 

“I was very amped up, very excited to play,” Dodge said. “I might’ve rushed myself a little too much. Just first-kick jitters, I guess.”

 

Dodge probably tried to slow himself down on his next punt and that was also a problem. It was blocked by the Jets’ Eric Smith. Dodge didn’t believe his mechanics were slow, but he might have a different feeling on the matter after watching the tape. (Though, to be fair, a missed block by RB Andre Brown didn't help.) His drops have also been slow during training camp.

 

Still, things could have been much worse for Dodge, who finished the night with a 46.5-yard gross average and a 32-yard net average on his four punts, thanks to a couple of generous rolls on a pair of 52-yarders.

 

“That’s what (punting consultant Jeff) Feagles was telling me: sometimes you’re not going to hit a good punt but it’s going to take a favorable roll,” Dodge said of one of his longer punts. “I looked at it like, ‘Shoot we just made it over 50 yards.’ I didn’t hit that nearly as well as I wanted to but the end result was fine.”

 

Said coach Tom Coughlin, “He had a rough night, but you’ve got to go through it. Maybe this is what the doctor ordered. If you’re going to go grow up, then you’ve got to do it under fire, and this is the only way to make sure that he gets some composure and understands the role that he plays. He probably ended up with some decent yardage because he kicked that spinner and it rolled and that type of thing, but it certainly wasn’t quite the way we envisioned it.”

 

* * * *

 

One thing I noticed while watching the game live (I have yet to replay it on TV but will do so soon) was how flexed out the Giants’ defensive ends were. The tackles were pinched in tight together while the ends were way out there. (These kinds of things are much easier to notice from high in the press box than at field level in training camp.)

 

DE Osi Umenyiora told me the other day he believes coordinator Perry Fewell will have his ends outside and coming up the field instead of playing head up on the tackle. That certainly was the case Monday night, as the Giants showed plenty of “over” fronts (ends outside the OT and TE; LBs off the ball). We’ll see what happens moving forward.

 

* * * *

 

With the injury issues at TE, the Giants had a pair of linemen – Jacob Bender and Herb Taylor lined up there in a double-tight formation. I was wondering if perhaps that played a role in the injury for QB Eli Manning, as LB Calvin Pace and S Jim Leonhard were allowed to come off the edges untouched. But Coughlin indicated it was still only about one thing: the audible only WR Ramses Barden got.

 

“There was no problem with (Bender and Taylor),” Coughlin said. “The run that was called was being blocked. That was the issue.”

 

* * * *

 

One other position flecked with injury issues: offensive guard. The problems there forced David Diehl inside to Rich Seubert's spot while William Beatty started at tackle.

 

Asked if it's frustrating to not get any snaps at the spot he might start in Week 1, Diehl said, "It is a little bit because the most important thing during training camp and preseason is you get your reps, you get your work. But with the guard situation and guys getting hurt, sometimes you’ve got to do like I’ve always done. Team comes before yourself. It’s what I’ve always done. They asked me to play it, so I played it. I did my best."

 

* * * *

 

After his second TD pass to WR Victor Cruz, QB Jim Sorgi appeared to be shaken up. Sorgi took a shot from LB Lance Laury and was grimacing all the way to the bench. I asked Sorgi if it was an issue with his bad throwing shoulder and, while he didn’t deny it was an aggravation of his previous injury, he seemed to indicate it was nothing serious.

 

“Just got me in that position,” he said.

 

* * * *

 

Count RB Brandon Jacobs among those impressed with RB Ahmad Bradshaw's 51-yard desperation shovel pass during which he avoided three Jets defenders with a quick cut near the sideline.

 

“I don’t know how he did that,” Jacobs said. “He had this much room on the sideline."

 

Coughlin indicated the old Bradshaw -- the one before the foot and ankle issues that required surgery this offseason -- might be back.

 

"He made a classic Bradshaw move to run through an arm tackle," Coughlin said.

 

* * * *

 

And just because I look so dumb most of the time, how about a rare case of my looking prescient? I told Adam Schein on SNY’s “Loudmouths” before the game S Antrel Rolle would make an impact starting Monday night.

 

Okay, so I got lucky.

 

http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2010/08/matt_dodges_honesty_perry_fewe.html

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Agreed. That punt that got blocked looked like he was in slow motion.

 

the ones that didn't get blocked were not impressive either. i think the giants are trying to mirror what feagles did instead of replacing a punter.

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the ones that didn't get blocked were not impressive either. i think the giants are trying to mirror what feagles did instead of replacing a punter.

 

That one he landed 5 yards into the end zone :doh:

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Not feeling good about Matt Dodge. They should get some punters in camp.

 

I think with a few more reps, he'll be fine. You can't teach leg strength.. but you can teach mechanics. I can kick (or at least in the past) a 60 yard filed goal.. but can't get a punt to go past 20 yards to save my life. Later I discovered it was because my leg was too fast for my own good.. it's almost like a batter swinging too quickly... and fouls the ball instead of driving it down the middle....

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Hell, I could kick a football, now, 50 yards with more than 2 seconds of hangtime. I've never been trained, haven't played organized football since I was 12 or 13.

 

I think he'll be fine, but let's not overanalyze the act of punting. Placing spin and downing inside the 20 is an art and would take time, but a general, everyday punt from your own 2 yard line...it's not rocket science

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I think with a few more reps, he'll be fine. You can't teach leg strength.. but you can teach mechanics. I can kick (or at least in the past) a 60 yard filed goal.. but can't get a punt to go past 20 yards to save my life. Later I discovered it was because my leg was too fast for my own good.. it's almost like a batter swinging too quickly... and fouls the ball instead of driving it down the middle....

 

Lol, yea ok.yawn.gif

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I don't understand why hang time should be a function of punting anyway. A hard, long kick to the sideline would be playing the percentages. You can kick a lot further if you're not worried about how long it spends in the air and you neutralise any possible long returns. Even given the Pythagorian disadvantage of kicking on the angle I still think you'd average out better.

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Not many punters can lined drive it into a specific spot. Once that ball goes out of bounds it is automatically the opposing side's ball. You don't give your guys a chance to get over there and make a play. Then there is the other function of taking time off the clock.

 

With that being said, I agree I'd much rather have a long kick to the sideline then try for the rare chance our guys get there, make a play and recover the ball.

 

I don't understand why hang time should be a function of punting anyway. A hard, long kick to the sideline would be playing the percentages. You can kick a lot further if you're not worried about how long it spends in the air and you neutralise any possible long returns. Even given the Pythagorian disadvantage of kicking on the angle I still think you'd average out better.

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Not many punters can lined drive it into a specific spot. Once that ball goes out of bounds it is automatically the opposing side's ball. You don't give your guys a chance to get over there and make a play. Then there is the other function of taking time off the clock.

 

With that being said, I agree I'd much rather have a long kick to the sideline then try for the rare chance our guys get there, make a play and recover the ball.

No, not many NFL punters can, which is my point. But it's a basic play in Rugby and long, targeted kicks are a feature of Aussie Rules.

 

As it stands the best your team can hope for is a fumbled catch by the returner which gets recovered by your team, which is very rare. It's much more likely that the opposition will make a positive play than the kicking team. Why give them the opportunity?

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