Friday, November 04, 2011

N.Y. Giants ~ Jacobs vs. Gilbride; It's On!

From the desk of:  DO IT FOR THE DUKE

NEW YORK GIANTS FOOTBALL:  It's Best If Brandon Jacobs and Kevin Gilbride Both Just Shut Up, And Grind Their Axe Together Against the Patriots Sunday.


An angry running back wearing out his welcome
versus a coach I consider to be on the Hot Seat. 

One has nothing to lose, as the Giants took much from him already.  Therefore comportment need not enter his picture.  The other guy faces getting fired based on a number of counts and I'm willing to guess the next nine game will prove that out.  The egotistical and behind the scenes brash coordinator even went as far as calling out said running back.  And so..,

It's On!

Problem is, Brandon Jacobs must follow the plays of the Offensive Coordinator who initiated his demise in the first place.  That's a hard place to be.  On the one hand he dared his Back to Run to Daylight Sunday, but it's the Coordinator himself who keeps leading him into the same dark corner of the room.

Week Eight - Brandon Jacobs returns from knee injury - four feeble rushes - a fumble - a half-hearted dropped pass - a major bad attitude - and a phat ride percolating in the parking lot. -  Not bad for one day's work.  Nice life if you can git it.  C'mon - like I said, we've been here before with Brandon Jacobs.  The drama aspect of his current state of affairs should be easy for most of us to ignore.  Let's face it; some players just aren't good with the Media, and others just flat out hate them.  But that really has nothing to do with the real issues which anger....

His real underlying problem is once again, Coach Kevin Gilbride.  If Brandon is griping about touches then naturally he's speaking of Coach Gilbride.  Now, you can be upset with Jacobs for acting like a punk, but he's still right!  And I'll remind everyone again, at the conclusion of last season, Coach Coughlin said, and Jerry Reese concurred, Brandon Jacobs was under-used; under-utilized;...etc., and that "next" season, the team would look to incorporate him more and overall, look to run the ball more than they did in 2010.  That wasn't said in camp prior to this season.  That was said fresh, replete with the stink of the (then) just completed season.  The mistake was fresh in Coughlin's mind.  And if the Head Coach is saying such things, well then isn't that an indictment against the Offensive Coordinator?

To borrow a line from John Madden; - "Boom!"  Ahmad Bradshaw foot - Boom!  What now?  How bad is it?  At first it sounded bad.  Then the prognosis suddenly turned much rosier.  We won't know till Sunday.  So, it's a non-issue to me at the moment.  But just like Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw's injuries are old hat too.  And that's why Gilbride needs to go away from a featured back system, and go back to the Big Buddy and Little Buddy attack.  That requires actually having to think of plans designed for both backs specifically.  Somehow, Coughlin still stresses having to run the ball on a weekly basis, but I don't know enough is being demanded from Gilbride.  I charge him with making Jacobs look good this Sunday against the Patriots.  And that does not have to come in the form of a 100-yard day.  There's many ways to have an effective day.  But that demands creativity on the part of the Offensive Coordinator.  Sunday will however be a day when Eli will most likely have to win this game for us again.  But that doesn't mean Brandon Jacobs can't contribute or enhance forward progress.

This is a bad situation for Brandon Jacobs.  You know the old coach's saying - they look to put players in a position to succeed?  Well, Coach Gilbride has put Brandon Jacobs into positions made to fail.   Unless Coach Gilbride designs rushes meant to get bumped outside, or go counter-motion/cut backs, or if he doesn't incorporate a double tight-end set at times and put one in motion, or if he doesn't pull Linemen...  the fact and point to make is this - the Offensive Line hasn't opened up the Off-Tackle and Off-Guard holes everyone was accustomed to and that a North-South runner like Jacobs needs.  They just haven't; not this current edition.  Additionally, the Fullback situation is in shambles.  So should Kevin Gilbride call for just that - a lazy game plan - and Jacobs doesn't punch through, knowing what we know, how many no-gains will and can we attribute to Brandon Jacobs?

Brandon Jacobs has always been the same temperamental person.  After a very slow start last season, Brandon Jacobs busted out in a series of mid-season games which virtually carried the Giants for a stretch in the midst of Eli's INT throwing binge.  And even in those games, Coach Gilbride gave Jacobs early game exits.  At this time last season, Brandon Jacobs was rumbling! - Even though within the midst of getting mismanaged.

And now apparently, Coach Gilbride recently popped off.  Really?  Something along the lines of...just paraphrasing here - You're complaining you're not getting enough carries?  Well your moment has arrived!  ...Or something to that effect.  Now I'll be frank.  That "statement" wreaks of lack of accountability and was born of a smugness that got him punched in the face by Buddy Ryan.  Boom!

Additionally, how many times, after any where between five to nine rushes on average, whether Jacobs racked up huge chunks of yardage or ran for no gains, has Coach Gilbride shut him down for large swaths of the game?  And why?  That has always confounded me.  So if you can clue me in, leave a comment.  What kind a feel for the game can you really attain with just four rushes?  How the hell is anyone supposed to right themselves if they are flat out ignored.  Has everyone forgotten the way we utilized both Jacobs and Bradshaw in the years prior to 2010?  Why is that?  We used to set up one runner with the other.  For two years now, we employ a feature back...i.e.; a starter - as in Brandon Jacobs lost his starting job to Ahmad Bradshaw.  And along the way, Coach Gilbride failed to tailor plays to Jacob's style anymore.  And that brings us right back to.....Now What?

Right now, I don't think anyone thinks Bradshaw will play Sunday.  So according to Coach Gilbride, Sunday is Brandon's day to put up or shut up.  You know what, that part is very fair.  Gilbride still deserves a proverbial punch in the face, but that part is very fair.  But I'll tell you what....  Coach better put as much creativity in catering to and springing loose Brandon Jacobs' strengths as he does devising the second most longest yards per pass attempts in the NFL...!

Ahmad Bradshaw's success on the field is largely self-achieved.  He'd run through fire, avoiding pianos falling out of the sky while shaking and baking pursuing wolverines for just one more yard.  But the O-Line hasn't opened many holes for him either.  So in his case, Gilbride gets a small share of Bradshaw's ability and results on the field.  Bradshaw is easy to coach, if you follow me.

Jacobs however, needs an aggressive and well choreographed O-Line surging forward with a smart fullback leading the way.  That's how he earned his rightful reputation as a fearsome back who Linebackers grew were leery of, and who Safeties around the League dreaded.  Well, there's three "new" guys on the O-Line this year, and I'll say it, our fullback sucks.  Start there first, then check out Gilbride's game plan.  Then after those factors have been accounted for, anything along the lines of Brandon Jacobs sucks is fine.

But for a change, how about this coaching staff start working with Brandon Jacobs instead of against him, which has been their way for two plus years now.  The Giants are not cutting him anytime soon and the fact is they need him right now. So yeah, maybe it's time to put up or shut up.  I'll hold him up to his part of the bargain.  But let's make sure praise or blame makes it's full way around the room.


Week Eight, Giants Post Game Reaction


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