Letters to the Editor: November 26, 2013

Alan N. writes…
I thought the play calling last Sunday was awful. Your thoughts?

Tom C. was quoted in the NYT this morning as saying he was unaware of the trash talking last week. Is that believable?

Alan, I’m getting ready to do a comprehensive breakdown of the play calling, so I’ll withhold my thoughts beyond what was already published in the latest issue of Inside Football.

Regarding your second question, I was surprise that Coughlin wasn’t aware of the trash-talking going on. This is a man who knows everything about that locker room, and for him to not be aware of what was going on is both shocking and disappointing.

Jason S. writes…
Thanks for all your hard work. I have two questions about personnel. I know you can’t explain the coaches’ reasoning, I’m just asking for your best guess.

One, when Trumaine McBride went down, they switched Terrell Thomas outside and then replaced him in the slot with Antrel Rolle, putting Ryan Mundy back in as a safety. Why not put Jayron Hosley, last year’s 3rd round pick, in the slot and leave Rolle at safety?

Second, the TE position has been seriously lacking, in both blocking and receiving production. Our starter, Brandon Myers seems so-so in the passing game and poor in the running game. Any chance we get to see what last year’s 4th round pick, Adrien Robinson, can do? I assume the only thing holding him back is the mental part, why not work him in, and give him some live reps? Even if he struggles, we wouldn’t be losing much in the passing game, and it might even help the running game. Thanks.

Jason, in both cases, injuries have been a big factor. Both Hosley and Robinson have missed a LOT of practice snaps, and what I keep telling people who cry for guys like Moore and Mosley and Brewer to be put in there is that they HAVE TO SHOW IT IN PRACTICE. Think about it. You really want an inexperienced OL who right now is a human turnstile in practice out there trying to protect Eli in a game?

Sometimes putting a guy out there, even if he struggles is counterproductive because it destroys his confidence. Part of coaching is understanding your players’ mentalities. Some guys aren’t bothered if they struggle and some get affected. I’m not saying that’s the case with Hosley and/or Robinson; I’m simply pointing out a basic element of coaching a lot of people overlook.

You have a close game against the Cowboys in the fourth quarter. Do you put a guy who hasn’t played much and who hasn’t shown he’s ready in practice because he’s missed so much time because of injury, or you have a guy who right now is the only one getting any Pro Bowl love. Who do you pick? To me, it’s a no-brainer, even if it wasn’t the best fit. At least with Rolle, you can hope for the best given he’s played the slot cornerback before.

Ted M. writes…
One of the worst experiences for a Giants’ fan is losing to the cowboys. Especially, when Giants’ players have been boasting about how good they are, talking trash all week.

What this week really showed is that this team has no leadership, and is without class or character. If you can’t back up your boasts; don’t make any. It is almost as though the Giant players (particularly the loud mouths on defense) know they are no good and hope that words will do the trick, once the whistle blows. Giants teams have always failed when they fail to remember the mantra of winners; “shut up and play the game.”

It is also evident that the coaching staff is losing the team. After nearly every key play (possible game changers or momentum changers), the Giants ruined the play with a penalty. Eleven penalties and three unsportsmanlike like conduct (late hits, out of bounds, etc.). That is the tactic of players who can’t get it done when and where it matters (in-bounds).

And Coughlin’s look of bewilderment after each Giant screw up is telling. Things are so bad that good practice weeks spell disaster at game time.

Kudos to the coaches, however, for keeping Damontre Moore off the field. I think he has one, ” from behind, in the back,” penalty for every kick he has covered. Is there no coaching at all, or is he simply so unused to learning that he has become incapable of doing do?

This team is now reminding me of the ’70’s and 80’s teams when futility, bad drafts, incompetent coaching, and a pathetic GM caused the league to intervene and install George Young.

I know that Coughlin is highly regarded and I appreciate what he has done for the Giants; however; special teams are still ( always) horrid ; the defense is stupidly arranged; the offense is entirely predictable; and no one ( players, I mean) is getting better. Will Beatty is getting worse: the tight ends are laughable; only Randle and Cruz can play wide out; the O-line is a joke; and, absent the nice story about Andre Brown, we have no running backs. I won’t even mention what would happen if Eli got hurt.

Who is any good on defense? Joseph I guess and maybe Prince. Everyone raves about the Beason trade, but he is good because our players are terrible. Maybe Big Hank can play, but we’ll never know. We have to play the re-tread eagles tackles instead. Hill maybe can play, but he’ll miss the first 4 games next season again.

Only one rookie contributor, Pugh, will make the all-rookie team because he has started all year. And the fact that he is better than Jim Brewer or Jim Cordle is no big achievement. But I see no one else (veterans included) earning any kind of honor for dominating play.

And worse; this team will win two or three more games and draft another running back with our first pick. Incompetence personified.

Ugh. This is a horrible year and a team worthy of our disrespect.

Ted, how come in your letter there is no mention of the salary cap or the personnel decisions that were made to shape this team? If you’re going to hang the team, might as well cover the front office for some of its head-scratching choices.

Mike M. writes…
Any time you lose, you can always point to many things that went wrong … yet another offensive turnover for 6 points, too many dumb penalties, red zone failures, etc. But a few things stand out to me. First, talk is cheap! The Giants did a lot of talking leading up to the game, especially the defense. Yet the defense couldn’t come up big at the end of the game. (However, give some props to the Cowboys; Dez B made a couple of tough, clutch grabs on that last drive.)

Second, there is still something missing on offense; Eli seems to have lost something over the last two years. (For quite a while, he was out of this world late in games, but no so much the past two seasons. In fact, he’s made some bad decisions and bad throws that have ended potential comebacks.)

Finally, and most disturbing to me was some of the coaching decisions. Given the weather and the success of the running game, I think the Giants could have developed a better rhythm on offense by running more. It seemed some of the pass plays were ill timed, and too many were deep passes down the sidelines. It seemed that the Cowboys had a better scheme, given the conditions.

And I would have liked to seen the Giants try to create some more pressure on Romo on the last drive; at least one time on third down they only rushed three, giving him plenty of time. The bottom line is that the Giants just aren’t that good and will miss the playoffs once again.

Mike, I have long suspected there is a disconnect between the front office and the coaches. They bring in Myers, a perfect tight end for a West Coast offense, and hope for the best in an offense that doesn’t prescribe to that WCO philosophy.

They have a power rushing game right now behind a mostly finesse offensive line, and people wonder why there aren’t a lot of big runs.

They took forever to address the linebacker situation, but not before the team lost what, three games against NFC opponents which had they been wins might make the playoff picture a lot rosier.

They drafted a smallish running back in the first round no less who can’t pass block.

And let’s not forget about the cap mismanagement that has crippled this team this year or the stupid Super Bowl countdown clock that I’ve always thought as a bad idea.

You want to know what’s missing on offense? Tight ends who can run the seam and who can block, and a four other receivers who can separate, run their routes crisply every time, and get open. Cruz is the exception here). That’s what’s wrong with the offense, and that doesn’t include the pass blocking by the line, which has left a lot to be desired.

The coaches aren’t blameless. This stubbornness they tend to show is a perfect example of sticking in your comfort zone and because of it, this team hasn’t really evolved as much as you would have thought it could.

All in all, it’s been a frustrating year for this team.

 

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