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BleedinBlue

Areas of improvement over the last two years

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For two years we have lamented several glaring holes in the Giants.

 

1) Offensive line sucks

2) Special teams sucks

3) Can't stop the run

4) No dependable TE

5) Inconsistent (and often poor) run game

6) Weak linebacking crew

7) Misc. (turnover ratio, time of possession, 3rd and outs, Red Zone flops, injury bug)

 

With this in mind, I think we have done a fantastic job of addressing our past problems. So much so, that it's like this is an entirely different team...albeit, with new shortcomings that were once strengths.

 

O-Line: We've come a long way baby. The left side of the line with Flowers, Pugh, and Richburg have been about as solid as any three linemen in the NFL. And on the right side, Schwartz and Newhouse have been serviceable, but are areas that could definitely be upgraded. I will welcome back Beatty with open arms, and hope he takes over RT. All in all, the line has come together much quicker than I expected and they are keeping Eli upright and given our RBs a shot at success. I love this Flowers kid - not only his ability, but his attitude and enthusiastic team player attitude, going around praising our players who make a good play and getting excited like a little kid.

 

Special Teams: overall, I think this area is the biggest improvement I've seen in all of our "fixes". Harris is a threat every time he touches the ball and even when he doesn't break for 20 - 30 yards, he throws a scare into the opponents trying to corral him and get him down. And with Whig getting exceptional hang time and routinely putting ball after ball inside the opponents 20 (and often the 10) combined with a vicious gang of Giants' tacklers homing in on the receiver - it's fun to watch. For two years I have held my breath every time we punted the ball or received a punt. Now I perk up and actually have expectations of something good happening.

 

Run defense: The Giants have spent the last couple of years being one of the worst teams in the NFL at stopping the run. Last year we gave up 2,162 total yards and an average of 4.9 yards per play....nearly twice the amount of yards we were able to get on the ground. This year, we are holding teams to under 100 yds per game and opponents are averaging 3.1 yards per play. Yesterday we held the Bills (with one of the best rushing games in the league) to 55 total yards. So far this season (with a quarter of the games "in the book"), the Giants lead the NFL in Rushing defense (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/stats/teamsort/nfl/year-2015-season-regular-category-rushing-type-defense). This is HUGE and a dramatic improvement over last season.

 

Tight Ends Last year we lamented the fact that we needed a true TE. Nothing has changed here, perhaps it's worse

 

Inconsistent run game: slight improvement here, but nothing to get excited about. Vereen adds excitement because he can take the little dump pass and run like a scared rabbit. The "RB by committee" seems to be good for keeping legs fresh and minimizing injuries. The team has a ways to go before they are a real ground threat.

 

Linebackers (and safeties): A hard position to analyze, but judging by the enormous leap in run defense, it appears it has improved. Kenard is turning into a stud and Beason (if he can stay healthy) is a stud. JT Thomas brings some new enthusiasm and has been solid. Uani 'Unga shows flares of promise (although still makes some rookie mistakes) and adds energy and enthusiasm in an area that has been lacking. Casillas has had a few bright moments. And as long as safeties Collins continues to improve and Meriweather plays smart instead of head-hunting - the defensive backfield has improved a lot.

 

Miscellaneous: Last year, our turnover ratio was on the strong negative side - this year, we are +2 and have done a good job at hanging onto the ball and Eli has done well in avoiding throwing interceptions. We still have too many "3 and outs" and we still seem to freeze in the red zone, but I think there's an improvement in that area. Also, we are seeing a few less penalties this year than in the past showing some team discipline. And last but not least, we aren't losing key players every game and for all practical purposes, maybe - just maybe (knock on wood twice) we won't lead the league in injuries.

 

All in all - this is a different team. We've addressed some of out biggest concerns and things we've bitched about for two years. But in revamping the team to address those issues, we have opened up other areas for which we have to be concerned. Namely, we've sacrificed sacks for stopping the run. We need to get more pressure on the opposing QB. We still need a stud TE who can block and catch passes. We need better play out of Randle (although he's shown improvement over the past 2 games). Eli and OBJ need to get in sync. And the right side of the O-line could certainly be improved upon. But most of all, the coaches and Eli need to get their heads out of their asses and use the clock to their advantage. Their mismanagement of the clock has cost us two games. If they were on top of their game, the Giants would be 4-0.

 

Getting Cruz and Beatty back will be a big plus. I don't know what to say about JPP. He's an enigma wrapped in a conundrum. I don't dare hope he'll play this year at the level we're used to seeing.

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Fully agree on the clock management thing and it mystifies me! I don't recall this ever being a problem in the past, so why all of a sudden now???? They screwed it up again yesterday by not running 3 times and kicking the FG to make it a three score game with 2 minutes left! Whatever it is, they better figure it out quick.

 

I'm more optimistic about getting Beatty back than Cruz. Heard a doctor/trainer on NFL network, who said the PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) injection sets you back a little before benefits are realized. From what he was saying, I wouldn't expect him back for the next few weeks, anyway. And remember, we still don't know how the original knee injury will hold up. Frankly, I'm wondering if we'll ever see the Cruz we've been waiting for.

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Regarding Cruz, I read this morning that he'll meet with the Giants today to see where the calf is. Article also mentioned short term IR and that if that designation is made, it's week 13 before he returns. I don't think that the article brought up the short term IR designation out of the blue. I'm sure there is some consideration that it might actually be the route chosen. I too, am looking more towards the return of Beatty. I'm forget when he's able to return. My only question there is whether he'll come back to LT or RT. I think he should go to RT and not disrupt what Flowers has started. But there is an argument that Beatty is more finesse and less power, which are supposedly more suited for LT. I think we need to see how Beatty performs at RT before anything else. I'm just glad to know we're only talking about two guys here after week 4 and we're talking about their return THIS season. JPP, I've said before...I'll be surprised if he plays this year. It's of no benefit for the Giants to pull the franchise offer. And unless he's absolutely 100% ready to go (and the Giants believe he can be effective) - I don't see them putting him on the field. By week 10, JPP has to decide whether or not to sign.

 

If JPP signs before week 10 and JPP is NOT ready to play - Giants can put him on NFI list, which at this point would end his season (Giants can also choose whether or not to pay him)

If JPP signs before week 10 and JPP IS ready to play - Giants can activate him and would have to pay him.

If JPP does not sign before week 10 - he cannot be activate the rest of this season.

So...the question of JPPs return will linger until mid November. The article I read most recently about JPP stated too, that the Giants record may come into play when they decide what to do with him. I don't know that I necessarily think that's fair or ethical, but I suppose it's the nature of the business. I mean, you offer a guy a contract, he signs it, and when he comes in, you justify (at least partially) not playing him because your team is doing well without him? That seems a little shady to me. But with JPP, I think if the Giants find any success this season, that the ship has sailed. I think the Giants will maintain his rights throughout this season and allow him to test the FA waters in the offseason. I don't think they tag him again. I think they make a fair offer to him, but nothing close to top DE money. Maybe top 10 DE money with incentives, but that's about it.

 

As for the losses in weeks 1 and 2, yes, they absolutely should have been wins. The wins were in the bag and we let those opportunities slip. I think the focus of the team, shown by the comments following the Bills game, is that the team could very easily have been 4-0 right now. They could be. And seeing that 2 on the right side of the record is a constant reminder of the need to stay focused, finish games, and put forth the effort. So really, at the end of the day, I think those 2 losses COULD be hugely beneficial given the way they're being treated as motivation, attention to detail, effort, heart, etc. You know, players could look at week 1 in a vacuum and call it a fluke. Then they see week 2, and the pattern is set. There's solid evidence that they're not doing something late in games. Weeks 3 and 4 you can see them turning things around a little bit...still some errors here or there. I'm really looking for a stretch of games here where they improve further. With San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay in the next 5 games...we have a real opportunity in front of us.

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Regarding Cruz, I read this morning that he'll meet with the Giants today to see where the calf is. Article also mentioned short term IR and that if that designation is made, it's week 13 before he returns. I don't think that the article brought up the short term IR designation out of the blue. I'm sure there is some consideration that it might actually be the route chosen. I too, am looking more towards the return of Beatty. I'm forget when he's able to return. My only question there is whether he'll come back to LT or RT. I think he should go to RT and not disrupt what Flowers has started. But there is an argument that Beatty is more finesse and less power, which are supposedly more suited for LT. I think we need to see how Beatty performs at RT before anything else. I'm just glad to know we're only talking about two guys here after week 4 and we're talking about their return THIS season. JPP, I've said before...I'll be surprised if he plays this year. It's of no benefit for the Giants to pull the franchise offer. And unless he's absolutely 100% ready to go (and the Giants believe he can be effective) - I don't see them putting him on the field. By week 10, JPP has to decide whether or not to sign.

 

If JPP signs before week 10 and JPP is NOT ready to play - Giants can put him on NFI list, which at this point would end his season (Giants can also choose whether or not to pay him)

If JPP signs before week 10 and JPP IS ready to play - Giants can activate him and would have to pay him.

If JPP does not sign before week 10 - he cannot be activate the rest of this season.

So...the question of JPPs return will linger until mid November. The article I read most recently about JPP stated too, that the Giants record may come into play when they decide what to do with him. I don't know that I necessarily think that's fair or ethical, but I suppose it's the nature of the business. I mean, you offer a guy a contract, he signs it, and when he comes in, you justify (at least partially) not playing him because your team is doing well without him? That seems a little shady to me. But with JPP, I think if the Giants find any success this season, that the ship has sailed. I think the Giants will maintain his rights throughout this season and allow him to test the FA waters in the offseason. I don't think they tag him again. I think they make a fair offer to him, but nothing close to top DE money. Maybe top 10 DE money with incentives, but that's about it.

 

Regarding Cruz, here is what I said back in April:

 

 

 

Anything Cruz gives us this year will just be a surprise bonus in my mind.

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Regarding Cruz, I read this morning that he'll meet with the Giants today to see where the calf is. Article also mentioned short term IR and that if that designation is made, it's week 13 before he returns. I don't think that the article brought up the short term IR designation out of the blue. I'm sure there is some consideration that it might actually be the route chosen. I too, am looking more towards the return of Beatty. I'm forget when he's able to return. My only question there is whether he'll come back to LT or RT. I think he should go to RT and not disrupt what Flowers has started. But there is an argument that Beatty is more finesse and less power, which are supposedly more suited for LT. I think we need to see how Beatty performs at RT before anything else. I'm just glad to know we're only talking about two guys here after week 4 and we're talking about their return THIS season. JPP, I've said before...I'll be surprised if he plays this year. It's of no benefit for the Giants to pull the franchise offer. And unless he's absolutely 100% ready to go (and the Giants believe he can be effective) - I don't see them putting him on the field. By week 10, JPP has to decide whether or not to sign.

 

If JPP signs before week 10 and JPP is NOT ready to play - Giants can put him on NFI list, which at this point would end his season (Giants can also choose whether or not to pay him)

If JPP signs before week 10 and JPP IS ready to play - Giants can activate him and would have to pay him.

If JPP does not sign before week 10 - he cannot be activate the rest of this season.

So...the question of JPPs return will linger until mid November. The article I read most recently about JPP stated too, that the Giants record may come into play when they decide what to do with him. I don't know that I necessarily think that's fair or ethical, but I suppose it's the nature of the business. I mean, you offer a guy a contract, he signs it, and when he comes in, you justify (at least partially) not playing him because your team is doing well without him? That seems a little shady to me. But with JPP, I think if the Giants find any success this season, that the ship has sailed. I think the Giants will maintain his rights throughout this season and allow him to test the FA waters in the offseason. I don't think they tag him again. I think they make a fair offer to him, but nothing close to top DE money. Maybe top 10 DE money with incentives, but that's about it.

 

As for the losses in weeks 1 and 2, yes, they absolutely should have been wins. The wins were in the bag and we let those opportunities slip. I think the focus of the team, shown by the comments following the Bills game, is that the team could very easily have been 4-0 right now. They could be. And seeing that 2 on the right side of the record is a constant reminder of the need to stay focused, finish games, and put forth the effort. So really, at the end of the day, I think those 2 losses COULD be hugely beneficial given the way they're being treated as motivation, attention to detail, effort, heart, etc. You know, players could look at week 1 in a vacuum and call it a fluke. Then they see week 2, and the pattern is set. There's solid evidence that they're not doing something late in games. Weeks 3 and 4 you can see them turning things around a little bit...still some errors here or there. I'm really looking for a stretch of games here where they improve further. With San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay in the next 5 games...we have a real opportunity in front of us.

Pretty much my feelings all the way around. I completely agree that the blown games due to stupid clock management might be a blessing long term as it has forced the coaches and Eli to FOCUS more on that aspect...and it has given the team a motivational factor to be working out of a hole they never should have been in. I like the professionalism of this team and the way they seem to have each other's backs.

 

The reason I like keeping Flowers at left tackle, is because he has been working in tandem with Pugh and I know that Pugh has been mentoring him with everything he's got. They've become close and the two of them have kept Eli's blindside pretty nice and clean. Flowers is like an extension of Pugh. Flowers has physical capability that Pugh does not have and Pugh has game understanding that Flowers doesn't have. I think it is imperative to keep those two together as a tandem. However, coaches might see things in a completely different manner and of course, they are in constant contact with both of them and understand nuances that aren't available to fans. so who knows what they'll do with Beatty when he returns....which I think is supposed to be in a couple of weeks.

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it's been a solid rebuild. 13 wins during the downtime and we're back on the upswing already. not perfect but if you told me in october 2013 that we'd be playoff contending in two years i would've signed up for it

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Regarding Cruz, I read this morning that he'll meet with the Giants today to see where the calf is. Article also mentioned short term IR and that if that designation is made, it's week 13 before he returns. I don't think that the article brought up the short term IR designation out of the blue. I'm sure there is some consideration that it might actually be the route chosen. I too, am looking more towards the return of Beatty. I'm forget when he's able to return. My only question there is whether he'll come back to LT or RT. I think he should go to RT and not disrupt what Flowers has started. But there is an argument that Beatty is more finesse and less power, which are supposedly more suited for LT. I think we need to see how Beatty performs at RT before anything else. I'm just glad to know we're only talking about two guys here after week 4 and we're talking about their return THIS season. JPP, I've said before...I'll be surprised if he plays this year. It's of no benefit for the Giants to pull the franchise offer. And unless he's absolutely 100% ready to go (and the Giants believe he can be effective) - I don't see them putting him on the field. By week 10, JPP has to decide whether or not to sign.

 

If JPP signs before week 10 and JPP is NOT ready to play - Giants can put him on NFI list, which at this point would end his season (Giants can also choose whether or not to pay him)

If JPP signs before week 10 and JPP IS ready to play - Giants can activate him and would have to pay him.

If JPP does not sign before week 10 - he cannot be activate the rest of this season.

So...the question of JPPs return will linger until mid November. The article I read most recently about JPP stated too, that the Giants record may come into play when they decide what to do with him. I don't know that I necessarily think that's fair or ethical, but I suppose it's the nature of the business. I mean, you offer a guy a contract, he signs it, and when he comes in, you justify (at least partially) not playing him because your team is doing well without him? That seems a little shady to me. But with JPP, I think if the Giants find any success this season, that the ship has sailed. I think the Giants will maintain his rights throughout this season and allow him to test the FA waters in the offseason. I don't think they tag him again. I think they make a fair offer to him, but nothing close to top DE money. Maybe top 10 DE money with incentives, but that's about it.

 

As for the losses in weeks 1 and 2, yes, they absolutely should have been wins. The wins were in the bag and we let those opportunities slip. I think the focus of the team, shown by the comments following the Bills game, is that the team could very easily have been 4-0 right now. They could be. And seeing that 2 on the right side of the record is a constant reminder of the need to stay focused, finish games, and put forth the effort. So really, at the end of the day, I think those 2 losses COULD be hugely beneficial given the way they're being treated as motivation, attention to detail, effort, heart, etc. You know, players could look at week 1 in a vacuum and call it a fluke. Then they see week 2, and the pattern is set. There's solid evidence that they're not doing something late in games. Weeks 3 and 4 you can see them turning things around a little bit...still some errors here or there. I'm really looking for a stretch of games here where they improve further. With San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay in the next 5 games...we have a real opportunity in front of us.

 

Regarding JPP--doesn't seem shady to me at all. They offered that contract to a guy with intact hands: what comes back is someone who may or may not be able to play at all? The Giants are taking a chance that he might be able to give some help to the team, albeit easily less than 800,000/game that he will be paid.

 

I feel bad for the guy, but let's not make him a martyr, either. He fucked up--it's not like he was injured in training or in playing the games.

 

Feel bad for the guys getting injury settlements off of IR.

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Regarding JPP--doesn't seem shady to me at all. They offered that contract to a guy with intact hands: what comes back is someone who may or may not be able to play at all? The Giants are taking a chance that he might be able to give some help to the team, albeit easily less than 800,000/game that he will be paid.

 

I feel bad for the guy, but let's not make him a martyr, either. He fucked up--it's not like he was injured in training or in playing the games.

 

Feel bad for the guys getting injury settlements off of IR.

 

I don't feel bad for JPP in the slightest. I know full well he brought this on himself and now he's reaping what he sowed. I don't have a problem with them not pulling the offer. I don't have a problem with them putting him on the NFI list once he's signed.

 

The ONLY shady part about it, in my opinion, would be signing him - and not playing him due to the current record the team holds at that time. If you truly don't think he's ready to play, and you put him on NFI and he sits the rest of the year...again, no problem. But if you think he can play, sign him, and then simply don't let him suit up because of some perceived chemistry issue with teammates, I think that's a little sketchy. It's really quite simple to me. If he can play, you sign him, suit him up, and play him. If he can't, don't bother signing him. That'd be the plan up until week 10. After that, if JPP refuses to sign, he sits for the year anyway. If he does sign, then you evaluate him one last time...and again, if he can play, play him. If he can't, NFI list it is and he sits for the rest of the year. I just wouldn't bring the performance of the team without him into the equation, that's all.

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I think JPP's coming back and he is going to make our good defense even better.

 

BTW, good thread, Bleedin'. I love the new look of our linebackers. Compared to the past, they are far more athletic. My assessment is even rosier than yours. I think JT Thomas III and Casillas have been better than just "solid". They've provided a big boost. Remember they are both part time players... Kennard and Unga get all the snaps for the most part... when the team is in the nickel I believe it's those two on the field. Casillas OR Thomas come on when the team goes to the base defense 4-3. Casillas is getting the majority of THOSE snaps and he's played very well with them, and Thomas, in limited duty, has really flashed and made plays.

 

Beason has barely been on the field to make any impact, and I think that's a good thing. I don't think that he will ever be as athletic as Unga again, and I'd rather Beason play as a reserve linebacker and player/coach for these guys rather than be the starter at this point. I am very high on Unga and think Kennard is already a star.

 

We are looking at Beatty coming back in the next 3 weeks. I hope the Giants ease him in as this group is playing very well together. I think Flowers will eventually move back to RT for this year, because Beatty isn't the road grader that Flowers is. When that happens, I expect the Giants will be better at gashing teams with the run.

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I'm just happy we actually have a defense that's interested in playing... Thank you, Spags. Fuck you Fewel...

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I'm just happy we actually have a defense that's interested in playing... Thank you, Spags. Fuck you Fewel...

Fewell is actually doing quite well as the defensive backs coach for the Redskins. They rank 10th in passing defense out of 32 teams so far this year.

 

Still, I am happy that Spags is back and Fewell is finally gone. Fewell's departure was long overdue.

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