Friday, September 25, 2009

Me and the Big Blue View

A little more experimentation here. Every week, or at least for the next few weeks, my friend Ed Valentine from The Big Blue View and I answer some of the more pressing questions surrounding the Giants. We'll run our answers on opposite blogs. Not to get Obama-ish, but I think you'll find we have a lot more in common than you think.

If you want to see how I answered, swing on over to Ed's blog at and take a read.

So now, he-e-e-e-r-r-r-e-e-e's Ed!

Ernie, I want to thank you for allowing me to participate here on your blog. You have been around the Giants a long time, and I appreciate the the opportunity to trade opinions with you. I just hope my thoughts meet your very high standards.

1. What would you do to correct the 0-for-8 red zone problems?

"I talked about this at length in a post on Big Blue View before the Dallas game -- Obviously, I am not a football coach, but I think there are several issues. The Giants do not have a power, straight-ahead run-blocking line. It's a pulling, athletic line and that is not how red zone blocking is done. The smallish wide receivers make tougher targets in the goal line areas, as well. I would like to see.
1. More passing, especially play action.
2. Spread the field rather than go 'heavy' with the formation. Run out of that setting if you like, but don't make it hard on yourself.
3. Get an extra lineman in the game rather than a tight end if you are going 'heavy.'
4. Run to the edges, where Brandon Jacobs seems better anyway.
5. Use Kevin Boss, and find roles for Ramses Barden and Travis Beckum."

2. Where do you think Mario Manningham will be in five weeks?

"In the starting lineup. Honestly, this is what I have been hoping would happen all along. Domenik Hixon is a good player, but in my opinion he is best suited to be a third or fourth wide receiver and to handle a heavy load in the kick and punt return games. He is easily the Giants' best returner, and the Giants are a better team if they can afford to use him that way. I have been hoping someone -- Manningham, Nicks, Barden -- would push Hixon back into that role. I am not putting 'Super Mario' in the Pro Bowl yet, but the guy certainly is showing signs of being a very good player."

3. Does Osi Umenyiora appear to be the Pro Bowl player he once was?

"Ah, one of my favorite topics. I love Osi, but I have said over and over on my site that I believe Justin Tuck is a superior player. Most recently I debated this here -- I will repeat here what I said then. I truly believe Osi, despite calling himself the best defensive end in football, has not truly been a great player since 2005. Yes, he had 13 sacks in 2007, but six were in one game. That means he had seven in the other 15, which is mediocre. As he showed in the season opener against Washington when he forced a fumble and ran it back for a touchdown, Osi is capable of the brilliant play. He also disappears for long stretches, and sometimes for entire games. I think Sunday night was a prime example. He did absolutely nothing. Osi is a spectacular playmaker, but I won't call him a great player again until he shows up more consistently. I also feel Osi is so consumed with getting to the quarterback he is running himself out of position, leading to some of the big runs the Giants have given up."

4. What can a win like last week's do for this team?

"Well, I think if you look at the schedule the Giants should head into Week 6 (New Orleans) with a 5-0 record. I was not sure the Giants could win in that environment in Dallas, but they proved once again that they are a very mature team that believes in itself. The 2007 Super Bowl, and the fact that Eli is so calm, give this team a belief in itself that shows up in situations like that."

Now tell me what you think. Feel free to elaborate on any of the questions. Looking forward to your comments.



  1. Ernie

    Not to get off subject but that was a great interview on WFAN last night.


  2. I agree with both of you regarding the red-zone which is something different needs to be doen. Whether it is new personnel, Barden or Beckum, or new play calling including the spread, something needs to be done not just the status quo. In terms of Manningham, Ed has a better hold on what needs to be done- START him. Hixon's drop last year showed he is not ready for prime time and is better at special teams. I have no problem with him playing offense but his priorities should be ALL special teams. I am not looking to put "Super Mario" into the Pro-bowl but am very excited by what i have seen considering he was one of the BEST recievers in college football the last decade. You may think I am exaggerating but look back on any game with Notre Dame or Michigan St. and u will see a prolific dynamic force on the field. We jsut got lucky he scored a 6 on the wonderlic and hit the bong one too many times in college.

  3. Truly glad that you're back ernie

  4. Ernie...i would like to see a more creative approach to the play calling in the Green Zone. Sometimes it seems that Gilbride is brain farting with some of the calls. As if the prospect of failure overwhelms the possibility of success. Why not throw the ball in the end zone? Why not line up in the gun with 4 receiver spread? And why not use the young Ramses Bardem? He is 6'6" and we're talking about playing JUMP ball against smaller corners...we wouldn't be asking him to make route adjustments at the line - post, fade, slant. I think the kid could help. Anything would be better than seeing Jacobs and Bradshaw stuffed at the LoS. And frankly that has to be somwhat demoralizing. The playcalling has to improve in these situations. The players will get it done.