Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dress Rehearsal

It's dress rehearsal time in Baltimore tonight. First off, no live blog because I'll be addressing some other issues. But you guys don't need me to tell you how important this one is, especially with some of the injury stuff the Giants have been going through.

As we noted yesterday, there's a small battalion of Giants who won't play in this game. But who will play, and where, is just as important. Starters go three quarters tonight and, aside from perhaps two series against New England in Thursday's finale, wrap up their preseason. Also, five guys as yet unknown to us will be cut after this game.

Some things to watch:

* Eli Manning makes his return after missing the Pittsburgh game with that Grand Canyon-sized gouge in his head. He's got a new helmet, seemed comfortable during the practice week, and should have no problems taking the whole three quarters. He needs it. He'll want to work out his timing with Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, and Derek Hagan, something that has been limited to one quarter of play so far. Don't be surprised, either, if outstanding rookie prospect Victor Cruz gets a shot with Manning. As long as Eli tells everybody what his plans are -- it was his decision to change the play without advising his teammates that caused Week 1's collision -- he should get everything accomplished.

* Chris Snee is back at right guard. Rich Seubert is back, but not at left guard. He'll start at center for injured Shaun O'Hara. The bet here is that the game Seubert will do a credible job, but it will still be interesting to see how the inside blocking holds up. It shouldn't be too bad, since David Diehl has played at left guard before. Guy Whimper and Mitch Petrus will rotate in there if Diehl switches out to left tackle for Will Beatty.

* Tim Brown of Rutgers is only 5-foot-8, but Tom Coughlin likes his kickoff return potential. He'll probably get a good shot tonight after Andre Brown finishes his work. The little guy had better point himself upfield and go, since this is virtually his only shot at making the team.

* Punter Matt Dodge must show the consistency he has been lacking throughout the preseason. It's getting to the point where the coaches will get awful worried if he shanks one, especially if that one comes from behind his own goal line. They have made no moves to bring in a punter, but the funny thing about those guys is that punters come a dime a dozen. You can bring one in anytime and put him right to work. Dodge should keep that in mind as he thinks hangtime and direction rather than line-drive distance. A bad showing here could force the Giants to pull the trigger on him.

* Keith Bulluck played outside linebacker all week after taking the beginning of training camp in the middle. That could mean they've lost faith in Clint Sintim. Or it could be just a move to increase versatility and interchangeability. As a matter of fact, stay alert for any and all substitution patterns. Perry Fewell has put everybody everywhere, playing defensive ends inside, defensive tackles outside, and standing up defensive ends as linebackers. Osi Umenyiora took a couple of plays at linebacker Wednesday. DE Dave Tollefson played inside part of the same practice, and CB Corey Webster looked to be playing a safety position for a couple of plays. Fewell has experimented with having three defensive tackles on the front as well as three defensive ends. This could be a first, good look at a true mix-and-match, situation-based defense.

Interesting stuff all around.

EP

17 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear no live blog. Makes the game more enjoyable. Hope whatever the "issues" are that need addressing, that it all works out for the best.

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  2. PLEASE NO INJURIES PLEASE NO INJURIES PLEASE NO INJURIES PLEASE NO INJURIES

    ...man I hate the preseason.

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  3. What I'll be focusing on tonight:

    Return game
    Running backs
    Sintim VS Bulluck
    D-tackles VS the run

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  4. Man, what a puke team the Giants look like tonight. Inexcusably bad.

    This is a "back up the truck" performance.

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  5. Yeesh. What have they been doing all month?

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  6. is there a chance that the Giants just suck? Terriable performance and I don't want to hear about injuries; every team has injuries. I love the G-Men but maybe we're just no longer good?

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  7. "Read and react." FAIL. This is "duck and cover."

    If Matt Moore plays pitch-and-catch again at the first flight of Airport Food Court Stadium, Mr. Mara is going to go Steinbrenner some folks.

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  8. Does anyone remember how the Defense looked the first two games of the Spags era???? Lord, give them some time to get healthy and jell...I'd rather get smacked around early in the season and peak later ala 2007...We will be fine..repeat after me..WE WILL BE FINE..GO GMEN!!!

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  9. Post-game quote from Justin Tuck when talking about a lack of energy and effort by some players:

    “From some guys… Obviously, we don’t want to single anybody out or go that route. It’s a whole team effort so when you see another guy not in the ballgame as he should be, you’ve got to pick him up. That’s something we didn’t do today. We didn’t come out as a team energized."

    This is the most interesting quote I've read from a Giants player in a long time. You clearly get the idea that there is a specific player he's talking about. I don't know who it is but I'm going to watch the first half of the game again and see if I can identify who he's talking about. Tuck had good pressure on Flaco with 2 sacks and he had his motor running the whole time. He obviously feels that another player or two on the defense that he considers to be important went AWOL for the game. With 2 corners unavailable, I doubt he's calling out their backups. Could he be referring to his line mates?

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  10. make that the first 2.5 games!! This is a new defense with a lot of new/young pieces. Naturally it will take some time to jell. I believe Tuck will have a monster year (15 sacks) and this D will create turnovers. They just need some time...Offense will be fine as well. Nicks will be the deep threat we've been lacking since Plaxico....

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  11. Make no mistakes about it, this was a bad game. The main problem is that it's still hard to assess when the team is missing so many players. Brown and Johnson is not starting for the team when the season begins, and they're still trying to figure out the starters on LB. Boley is the only one truly penciled in at one position. Every other position may be dictated by the scheme called for any particular down. Whatever that is, I think I've seen enough of Goff to believe that he's strictly backup material. At this point, I'd rather see Blackburn in at MLB on 1st and 2nd and Wilkinson or Kehl on 3rd down.

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  12. I did not watch the game live.

    Just finished watching the game.

    I know it early and we do have a lot of injuries....

    I did see a pass rush which was encouraging. Tuck & Webster looked very good. I am not going to get crazy about Fewell yet because there is no scheming and I pray to G-d that this is not going to be a "Read & React" defense. The thought of hearing that term brings to mind Rod Rust...There I said it....That cannot happen...

    Eli was off the mark ( no practice...so no biggie in my opinion )

    It is is a lock now that Bradshaw will start...He is so much better than BJ right now.

    BUT....THIS IS WHAT CONCERNS ME....AND WE ARE SCREWED BECAUSE OF THIS ONE SEQUENCE AT THE END OF THE 1ST HALF AFTER A NICE 10 PLAY DRIVE JUST PISSED ME OFF...

    On the 11th play of the drive we have 2nd & 1 at the Raven 15.

    2nd & 1 Give to Bradshaw up the middle = NO GAIN
    3rd & 1 Give to Bradshaw sweep right = NO GAIN
    4th & 1 Give to Bradshaw dive up the gut = NO GAIN

    Maybe Killdrive is just trying to establish us a tough minded team? Maybe Killdrive just doesn't want to tip his hand?

    But please, I'm not asking for a flea flicker here, but can you at least give me a play action on 2nd or 3rd down?

    We are stuck with Kevin Killdrive for another season and that is what makes me angry.

    He stinks, and I have been saying that since he's been here!

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  13. Fewell defenses in Buffalo gave up a lot of first downs, they're predicated on making turnovers, which they did, but the turnover to first down ratio is not great. What you're seeing is that this defense has holes, and the NFC East will be too strong this season for them to have holes and expect to win.

    Steve Smith, pro-bowl numbers, but teams will still single cover him, meaning that the there's very little opportunity for producing mismatches. The screen and draw plays are poor and they're the same old ones that we've run for years.
    4-12 is coming, and then the Cowher regime will start

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  14. No leadership on this team and it shows. I'll tell you who Tuck was calling out, it was Rolle. WHo didn't play up to his contract.

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  15. "the art of war" the outcome of this game was determined before it was ever played. The Giants are the least physical team in the NFC East, it's really not even close. They're struggling with having finesse players in a non finesse game.

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  16. I've written to this blog before that the KR and PR are not on this roster right now, well maybe the PR. Tim Brown is gone, he was never a good KR in college so I don't know why so many in this blog thought he'd turn into one against the better players in the NFL. Last night was his audition and perhaps best chance to make this team. I hope he hangs on, I really do, but taking a kick out from 6 yards deep in your own endzone doesn't help.

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