Friday, September 09, 2011


From the desk of:  Do It For THE DUKE

NEW YORK GIANTS FOOTBALL:  Opening Week....Shot!

Let's get right to the heart of this...shall we? 

With the recent defection of favorite players Steve Smith, Barry Coffield, and Kevin Boss, for more lucrative deals elsewhere; - the unceremonious releases of Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert; - what's being characterized as an ineffective free-agent (off)-season (due in part to the labor issues); -mismanagement of the salary cap in the face of NYJet wan-ton spending; not asking Eli to restructure his deal; the Osi Drama/Mini-Series and his subsequent operation; and even...; as the Media characterizes them to be; wishful, misguided comments and boasting the Giants will make the playoffs...; etc. etc. -  GM Jerry Reese, it is said by some, to be on the proverbial Hot-Seat.

Tom Coughlin; the quite intolerant; hard-nosed; no-nonsense; military-like; demanding; rule enforcing; driven; obsessive; emotional; fiery; and at times angry Head Coach; is "said" to be rapidly becoming the NFL's latest dinosaur to go extinct;  ...That with yet another season of not making the playoffs, would certainly cost him his job this time.  What that means is, Tom Coughlin too, sits on the proverbial Hot-Seat along side Jerry the scuttlebutt goes.  But it does seem to be the flavor of the day.

I'm very confident in; and a supporter of; the present GM.  It's as simple as that.  If I'm calling the shots, he's not going anywhere anytime soon.  But I'm not averse to knocking Jerry Reese.  You know me.  And I will; soon.  Or, not.

Tom Coughlin?  He deserves this year.  And he deserves next year also.  But yeah; there's a catch.  I'd like for him to play good soldier and step away on his terms, sometime sooner than, but before January 2013.  The lone exception would be to make a move for Bill Cower.  But truth be told; Coughlin is a good Head Coach and for the most part has made (not all, but...) sound coaching-staff selections.  There are only a handful of really good coaches in the League.  Coughlin is one of them.  His resume speaks for itself.  And of those select Coaches, please tell me the name of the one who is available.  And by the way, I don't feel any of our present coordinators are HC material either; just in case you wanted to go there.  In 2011, a change in Head Coaches is not on my list of things to do.  He's a successful Coach and he deserves our respect.  And I say that as a man who wanted him fired mid-way through the 2006 season.  Which is to say to Coughlin's detractors; I hear what you're saying too.

Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell...?  He and I are cool.  He's no Coach Spags.  But I have no particular beef; per se; with Coach Fewell.  Our problems on defense are for another post coming shortly.

I have less kind things to say about our Quarterbacks and Special Teams Coach.  But the real target of my ire lies with a one; Offensive Coordinator ~ KEVIN GILBRIDE.

If there is anyone who should be copping a squat on the proverbial Hot-Seat, it's him.

The problem is not that he is a bad Offensive Coordinator.  Actually he is a good one and contrary to how the following comes off, I want him to continue here; at least this season.  The problem is that he is an egomaniac; and a smart one, to boot.  But he's also mastered the art of infuriating people. 

You think Rex Ryan is a Ton-O-Fun?  His Pop; Buddy Ryan; was a near Leninist in his revolutionary ways and an unrelenting rebel in his attitude when it came to coaching Football.  Once, when both Buddy served as Def. Coordinator and Gilbride served as Off. Coordinator for the Tenn. TITANS, they engaged in a sideline argument during a game.  Buddy wound up slugging Gilbride right in the face.  As hilarious as it was to watch on Monday Night Football, that is an insight into your Off. Coordinator; Kevin Gilbride.

He will cleverly disguise his every misstep over the course of a game by ending up with a near equal run-to-pass ratio.  But any Giant Fan in their right mind knows that is a bunch of bunk.  He sequencing of!  And game in and game out, he confounds us by ignoring the running game for huge swaths of the third and fourth quarters.

His atrocious sequencing of plays is precisely why he's earned the name Kevin KILL DRIVE.  It's not just that he sets up the run with the pass (yes, the run with the pass); - Its just that every time a defense proves they're incapable of stopping our running game, Kevin Gilbride does it for them.  Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw have had virtual ground game explosions; feasting on defenses in the first and second quarters of games, only to have them just disappear from the game plan.


At first, it looks like effective Play-Action.  But in far too many instances, his poor play selection; meaning his reluctance to keep running; his incessant and many times wholly unnecessary pass calling does nothing for the over-all plan to manage the clock and maintain possession.  We lose too many games because Gilbride puts Eli into situations that all too often don't keep the chains moving.  Too many incompletions when first downs are critical does not keep the clock moving along.  Thus, we consistently give the other team the ball with far too much time on the clock.  Then our defense winds up spending an inordinate amount of minutes late in games (and too many times, whole 4th quarters) trying to hold on to leads.

It's stuff like that....  If you knew Buddy Ryan, and how he reinvented Defense, and how every defensive player he ever coached would always look to him, even before looking to their own head coach (Yes! in a divisive way at times.  But that was the magnitude of Buddy Ryan; a near defensive deity...) - Then you'd know exactly why Buddy Ryan punched him right in the face. - Because Buddy was sick and tired of Gilbride's stubbornness and designs for the ultimate pass play.  All he did was continually put Buddy's defense on the field and Buddy got sick of it and of him "abusing his guys".  So, he slugged him.

Now, I'm not calling for anyone to punch out Gilbride.  That is soooo Neanderthal ....sigh*  But if anyone should be put on a short list for getting fired, his name should top the list.

At the conclusion of last season, Tom Coughlin made the admission; .."the team went away from the run."  And more specifically, the Giants pledged (then) they'd look to run Brandon Jacobs more often this season.  And so, here we are.

Whether that was a pledge by Coughlin, or an edict imposed upon Kevin Gilbride remains to be seen.  But my money is on Tom Coughlin.  If Jerry Reese is to be fired, that must come from Mara the Younger.  That's not happening.  Jerry Reese recognizes full well and perhaps agrees with what Coughlin expressed last winter; if the two didn't discuss the matter together already.  And I'll bet the two are on the same page of music, and are both looking for Kevin Gilbride to change his tune and get in harmony with the group.....and the more traditional/proven Giant Plan.

Debate, and or arguments, regarding Eli Manning's alarming interception totals should always include enough time to discuss the Gilbride Factor and the precarious "down and long" situations he continually put Eli in.  Then after we weed-out the tipped ball syndrome that afflicted the Receiver Corps., - and we remind ourselves how former QB Coach Chris Palmer left the Giants in a salary dispute, ....And that under him, Eli became the hottest QB the year they won the Super Bowl; and how his favorite receiver shot himself and a great Giant season in the leg;  ...It is only then..., we can talk about how Eli's passes come in too high and why is he throwing all these interceptions.  After all, even I can't defend some of Eli's gaffes either.

But when in doubt...Punt!

The 2011 Football Season is upon us.  Good luck to you all and your respective teams.

**It's time for another season of Betting With Bagels.  My Sunday Picks are on the way including the neighborhood favorite SHMEAR of the WEEK Pick.


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