It's Friday, which means my buddy Ed Valentine of Big Blue View is with us again. Here are his answers to our Q&A swap. For mine, swing over to Ed's site at http://www.bigblueview.com/.
1. Is it better or worse that the Giants are playing a hated division rival on the road following two stinkers in a row?
"Umm ... can we bring back the Chiefs, Buccaneers or Raiders for another go-round, please? Good Lord, if the Giants lose to the Eagles on Sunday I might unplug my Internet connection, smash my laptop, toss out the Blackberry and go nowhere near Big Blue View for a week. All of Giants fan-dom will be ready to climb to the nearest bridge and jump. A victory, though, and all will be well in the land of the Giants. I don't know if it's good or bad, but I know it heightens the anxiety level of the fan base. I also know the Giants need a win. If they lose a third straight game they put themselves in danger of letting the season start to slip away."
2. What is the Giants' true identity, a run-first or pass-first team?
"When you figure it out, let me know. I know what they SHOULD be. They should be a balanced team that uses the run to control the clock and physically dominate opposing defenses. I don't, however, know what they are. Opposing defenses are dictating to them right now, and taking them away from the things they do best. Down field shots are fine, and we love when they work. But, you can't keep going three-and-out by throwing incomplete balls 30-40 yards down field. Coughlin said it the other day. "Make the first down, please make the first down and then we will think about the next three calls."
3. Do the Giants need to start Hakeem Nicks?
"I don't know if he needs to start, but he needs to continue getting more time. Domenik Hixon is just not getting separation consistently as a receiver, or making plays on the ball. He's a great return man, and a so-so receiver. Mario Manningham is still learning. He can make the great play, but he drops too many balls and still runs too many bad routes. I that that Nicks should be a starter by the end of the season, and it wouldn't bother me if he was elevated to starter sooner rather than later."
4. Should Bill Sheridan play Justin Tuck inside more?
"I don't know about that. I want to see Tuck, Kiwanuka and Osi on the field together more, but neither Tuck nor Kiwi could hold up inside if they had to play in their on run downs. They aren't big enough. I would like to see the three of them move around on passing downs a little so that offensive lineman aren't sure which guy they have to block. I would also like to see Clint Sintim on the field in passing situations. If Sheridan is going to rush just four, how about Osi and Sintim -- who showed terrific rush skills from the end in pre-season -- from the ends and Tuck and Kiwanuka from the inside. Even with that I think you have to send an extra guy more often. Dictate to the offense, don't react to it."
What do you guys think?
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