The Chase Blackburn Saga.

I see that there are so many Chase Blackburn fans out there, it’s good that fans support their favorite players and support the team. Having said that I must inject that there is a point when that fan support becomes a question of whether it is warranted. People went crazy when Shockey was traded, Luke cut and other players let go by the Giants. Could you imagine how Giants fans felt when they traded Sam Huff?

Blackburn had a few good games that helped the Giants win a super bowl, it does not change the fact he was never a starting middle linebacker, he was an emergency fill in. He played well because he was a fresh player, with fresh legs and not nursing any injuries, he played over his head.

Now it’s the 2012 season and he is the starting MIKE by default. The fact is he was the only healthy body who knew the system well. Herzlich was nursing injuries and was still not ready to take over that position. I am sure if Boley was 100% healthy he would be the starting MIKE, is Boley 100% ever? So Chase was there until someone could take over that spot. Greg Jones just did not cut it so it was Chase or another trade or free agent had to be acquired. The Giants just did not have the cap space to get another player so he had to do since they already invested in Kieth Rivers.

I have been assessing his play since preseason. I have watched every game, every snap and every play of all the Giants players. I grew up watching players from the 1960s. I remember Dick Butkus, Tommy Nobis, Willie Lanier, Sam Huff, Ray Nitchke, Chuck Bednarick and later Lee Roy Jordan, Harry Carson, Jack lambert, Mike Singletary, Junior Seau, and we all know who the great ones have been in the last 10 years. So I am familiar with what makes a great middle linebacker.

The middle linebacker is the heart of the defense plain and simple. His job is to call the plays and control the middle of the field. To be stout up the middle and be able to make plays sideline to sideline. Now can anyone really say Chase Blackburn is a quality middle linebacker? No they cannot, so why the love for this player? Because he has been a good player for the Giants and it’s a matter of loyalty, is that it? Fan loyalty has never won a NFL football game.

I have watched Chase on every down so far this season and in my opinion he is if not the worst, one of the worst middle linebackers in the NFL. So why do the Giants keep on letting him play, I don’t know? I really believe they must let Herzlich get a shot, he is the future. If Herzlich cannot cut it the Giants know next season something has to be done to fill that position.

One issue is by having both Kiwi and Blackburn as the starting linebackers it gives the Giants a slow duo. They cannot pass cover well, especially M2M and do not have good lateral movement. They basically cannot get out of their own way some times. In fact together they seem to clog up the defense’s pursuit.

Last week’s game against Cleveland Chase missed so many tackles in the first half another coach would have pulled him. I say that without a doubt. This loyalty to Blackburn is puzzling, it’s misguided and detrimental to the team. I don’t know if Herzlich can do the job, can he be worse than Blackburn? Even having Boley there with Kiwi and Williams has to be an improvement, have Blackburn in on some downs to give Boley a rest if they don’t feel Herzlich can play.

Do something TC, this team has not played that well. The film don’t lie, Chase is painful to watch play. It is almost as bad as it was to watch David Diehl.

Now before y’all start sayin’ anything nasty to me, I say to you ‘GO AND WATCH THE GAMES’. Especially the first half of the Cleveland Browns game and count the times he had a ball carrier in his grasp and could not make a tackle. Go back and watch ALL the games, from pre-season on and watch his play. He plays so bad the Eagles felt they did not need to account for him. The Eagles did not try to block him, although he did make 2 plays because of that. A term Carl Banks likes to use is hat, they did not feel the need to put a hat on him.

I would really like to sit with Carl Banks and have a discussion about the Giants linebackers especially Chase Blackburn. I have a new name for Chase, Stickman.


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25 Responses to “The Chase Blackburn Saga.”

  1. Brooke says:

    Who is so pro Blackburn here?
    You seem insecure Daddy.

    Chase is there by default.
    I dont think I have ever said anything to the contrary.

    I too have the all 22 and watch it.

    I see him not causing any havoc in the middle.

    I will make one postive copliment towards the guy…he comes up with big plays.

    Super bowl?
    Int against the Browns last week?

    Game changers.

    I believe that Mark is being groomed. And that the coaching staff is making him wait the same way they make everyone wait.

    If Rivers was healthy…or Boley…he would see less snaps. But they are both hurt.

    And the Giants got beat by Philly and Dallas by running the ball to the outside. Not up the middle.

    Chase is the default and we all hope Mark can come on and make a play and get some reps.

    It dont matter if the opposing offence do not account for Chase…as long as he makes them pay. And there has been lots times…to your own analysis where he does make them pay.

    So stop being so paranoid about what your audience says. There are tons of opinions out there about players. We all like our team alot and hope for the young guys to develop and for the Vets to play poised.

    I worry more about the secondary being healthy and the pass rush in the middle (Canty being back) more than I do what Chase is doing.

    Loved this post though today Daddy…love how you keep beating a dead horse.

  2. Brooke says:

    One addition…

    I do agree with you 100% about the Kiwi/Chase combo.
    They cannot be on the field together outside of maybe 1sr down.

    They are too slow of foot to do anything.

    I feel that using Mark/Spencer/Williams with the LBs
    And moving Kiwi back to the DE spot might spark our pass rush a bit.

  3. Jason C. says:

    I agree Chase is much better suited as a backup and special teams maven. If I have to watch him move out of a hole just to run into a blocker and then see the opposing back hit that hole for a big gain again, I’ll punch something. That said, I don’t think he’s the worst starting middle linebacker in the NFL, there are plenty of teams that are excessively weak at MLB, ie. Bart Scott still starts. If you’re talking about only 4-3 defenses maybe, but there aren’t as many of those these days.
    In other news if it wasn’t Sean Weatherspoon and instead Kenny Phillips delivering that hit on RG3 wouldn’t he have been fined 150K$ by now?

  4. chris says:

    Yea i dont think anyone disagrees with you. I root for the guy but would love to see him as a special team guy. Hurz will get his shot he has to, i hate to say it but when i thought he may sit because of the hip i was kind of happy. Rivers and boley look like they are a go for this week so we will see how much chase actually plays.

  5. Big Daddy says:

    That’s you guys, who know what they are talking about.

    You don’t always read the other crap I get about the things I read about Chase. It’s not only here on other forums there are a lot of Chase fans, go figure. When I was killing Diehl I took a lot of crap for it, people have short memories.

    It’s not about insecurity, I am the last person who is insecure about ANYTHING. It’s about having posts I have to delete and people being civil to each other. When you talk about touchy things like religion and politics people get real sensitive, same goes for fans of certain players.

    Anybody can post things and not have to answer for what they posted. I have a responsibility to the readers and the people that run Giants Gab.

    • Giants78 says:

      Big Daddy – You have a history of speaking negative about Chase – and have never shown respect for any of the positive outcomes he has contributed too, which are many. Because of this… your article really is just a one sided opinon, not fact. Example: You call his contribution last year “fresh leg”. He intercepted two of the best QB’s in the NFL last year, it takes more than “fresh leg” to accomplish that. He HAS earned his spot at MLB.

      • Brooke says:

        Giants78…this is where I agree with you, and also where I disagree with BD. Its not like I am on either side, but as some folks pointed out…Chase isnt totally awful, and like BD points out…he is our default MLB.

        But I agree…as I said in my post. Chase does make game impacting plays. That cannot be overlooked at all.

        That stuff matters.

  6. Brooke says:

    Big Daddy!

    I got a special treat for you today.
    I called into Big Blue Kickoff Live with Anita Marks and Paul Dottino.

    I asked the Kiwi/Chase question that the Giants Gabbers have been kickin around!

    Giants Gab opinions in the house!

    Check the link…my comments are at the 14 minute mark.

    http://www.giants.com/media-vault/audio/Big-Blue-Kickoff-Live-Archived-/6c3d58ff-6fad-4a6a-972c-ad3486373cdc

  7. Brooke says:

    At around the 42 min mark…another caller called in and agreed with me and some other guy.

    Then Anita and Paul have started to really get defensive about Chase and Kiwi. They then go on to explain why they are in there.

    It seems that more fans other than us are lookin at the LBS closely.

    • Big Daddy says:

      Those two people should be taken off the air. They do not have a clue as to what they are talking about.

      I turned it off when they said Blackburn has been playing well.

      I know about linebacker play, the guy is a stick figure. He was owned by the Browns fullback. Chase is standing there and makes an INT….WOW that’s a great play. What a linebacker…..please the QB threw it right into his hands, he was just standing there.

      They were right about not having Rivers though. But the reason for not stunting on the defensive line is because of the poor linebacker play. The defensive line needs to keep gap integrity because the linebackers cannot make plays due to their lack of lateral movement. They are stick figures, especially Blackburn and Kiwi is stuck in the mud because of Blackburn.

      Kiwi runs a 4.7 or better 40, that’s pretty fast for a guy his size, at about 6’4 1/2″ with a very long wing span, about 7 feet. But he is playing in a phone booth. A guy that big and fast needs room, chase blackburn cuts the field down into a third for Kiwi and he needs more room to move, that’s his best asset, his ability to use his wing span and control an area. He is also a great pass rusher. With Blackburn in there everything that Kiwi can do as a linebacker is nullified. He cannot rush the passer because Chase cannot cover enough ground if Kiwi gives up containment, the strong side would be wide open without the ability of a bigger player to get over there fast enough.

      Matched with a smaller fast middle linebacker Kiwi would be a much more effective player. The Tampa 2 defense is one that needs a smaller faster middle linebacker like a player that comes to mind, Jonathan Vilma.

      Stick figure and Kiwi are a bad mix. If you ask who has the better potential to make plays it’s Kiwi so get stick figure out of there and let Kiwi make plays. It’s time to try Herzlich in there and rotate him with Boley if Rivers is a go and sit stick figure.

      Like I said the film don’t lie, go to the film and watch Blackburn. He makes NO plays. When he does it’s because nobody blocked him. He is so easily taken out of plays, he does not fight off blocks at all. He runs the wrong way on so many plays, it’s so bad I can’t even imagine anybody saying his play is not well below average as a linebacker.

      Last year he was a fresh player and that is a fact and the only reason he played to that level. If anybody wants to believe anything else that’s fine. It’s your opinion based on magic.

      I ask Chase fans this, how long has he been in the NFL? And he could not beat out Goff for the starting middle linebacker spot? That’s how good he is. He was sitting on his couch and nobody called, now he is the starting MIKE on the Giants…..it is ridiculous at this point, he is killing this defense. If Hill was available I would say go with the Bison scheme rather than play stick figure. At least Hill fights off blocks and makes plays in the run game.

      The Niners are going to abuse Blackburn and expose him and they know it, they have watched the film. So far the Giants have not played any really good teams and lost to two teams that are very average.

      If anybody does not have the ability to look at film there is no way for you to see the plays over and over again like I have done. You are going by memory, it has been scientifically proven people’s memories are flawed. People see what they want to see.

      I did not realize how bad he was until I looked at the film. If you have an opinion that’s great, everybody has one. But nobody should talk in terms of absolutes on how good or bad a player is until they have put the time in and watched them closely. Otherwise it is your opinion based on your recollections and memories not on facts.

      This is something I have reviewed over and over again on film since preseason. Herzlich beat out Chase and got hurt for some reason unknown to us all he has not been able to regain the position. I think he made a few mental errors that Coughlin did not like and feels more comfortable with Chase who knows the defense better. I give him that he does know the system, he just can’t play it.

      • chris says:

        I want rivers or boley or williams playing the middle and the outside and kiwi playing the joker. With the speed of any of any of those three would allow us to send a fifth man (kiwi) and not have to worry about coverage issues. Just use kiwi how we used LT back in the day. Pick your mismatch and send him, that would be scary for opposing offenses to handle. No?

        • Big Daddy says:

          That’s a big part of the pass rush issues, he cannot do that with Stickman as the MIKE. You need some speed to cover the edge when Kiwi goes or they will kill you on screen plays and passes out in the flats.

          They will suck you right in and if nobody is open the safety value will be open for big gains by the time someone gets over there.

          The things this defense cannot do with stickman in there is forgotten by whoever even thinks Chase should be there or is OK there. He is killing this defense not only by the plays he does not make, the plays he misses, the tackles he misses but the ability to do more complex and inventive schemes.

          He’s a stick figure.

          The more I watch his play the more I am beginning to really question what is going on, is it Fewell or Coughlin? My guess Fewell wants to dump him, he is stiffiling Fewell’s defense, so it’s Coughlin.

          • chris says:

            I completely agree. But you have to remember this is the first time all season we can even put rivers and boley in at the same time because of injuries. I think/hope we may see allot of it. I cant imagine how much fun that would be to watch having two athletic LB and Kiwi doing work. Could be allot of fun.

      • Giants78 says:

        Big Daddy – so just to be clear…. you are saying because you watch film you know more about Chase Blackburns play than the coaching staff and team who watch film after film after film – for a living??? Sorry Big Daddy but that’s just not possible.

        • Big Daddy says:

          So you are saying every decision that the Giants coaching staff has made is correct? SO I have to be wrong, I must be wrong because everything they do is right.

          No I just might be right and they are wrong. Or they just do this for a living and are conservative because if they are not they can lose their job, I don’t have to worry about losing my head coach job. Better to be safe and go with the safe pick to keep your job than gamble on being wrong.

          In other words it’s much more complex.

          Football decisions made at that level are political. They do not necessarily represent what’s the correct thing to do. If your thinkings was correct than you would have a situation that all teams have great GMs and coaches and everyone has a superbowl championship, far from it. But they are professionals making millions of dollars. Yet Matt Millen was allowed to ruin a team (the Lions) for 5 years.

          Not to mention pure luck has nothing to do with it, which we all know is not true. That’s also like saying all referees make all calls correctly and unbiased.

          Just because they are professionals they cannot make a mistake? How do you know what goes on behind closed doors? Maybe Fewell wants him out and Coughlin over ruled him. Or Jerry Reese over ruled him because of some contractual thing we don’t know about.

          In other words that is my opinion based on my knowledge of the game. That’s all it is, my observations based on my knowledge and understanding of football after watching hours and hours of a players performance.

          • Big Daddy says:

            And I will ask you what about doctors?

            I had a friend who like myself injured his back. This guy broke his. The doctors gave him 2 years to live because he had gotten an infection, he was on an antibiotic drip.

            One day a friend of his said get checked for Diabetes. Guess what, he had diabetes and that is why he had the infection.

            NOT ONE doctor out of the dozen or more he saw even thought about him having diabetes. Not one checked him, it’s easy, it’s a finger strip with a tiny bit of blood. That’s all you need to do.

            They almost killed him.

            So when someone comes and says to me professionals know better, I said bullsh**t. I won’t go into the problems I have had with doctors myself there is not enough room here. I can write a book.

            Check out how many people die because of doctor malpractice or just plain misdiagnosis. Then tell me the Giants coaches are all professional and know better. About some things, maybe most things but not about all things.

  8. larjoe says:

    i don’t understand the hate? i’m a giant fan why would i root against the men playing? i root for the jersey. how can being a loyal giant fan be misquided or detrimental to the team? what the hell does that mean? you talk out of both sides of your mouth. is this mitt romney? most of the backers you mentioned are in the hof. no one is saying blackburn is that good or near good. but he plays on the defense, stays on the field, and maybe his teammates want him out there because they like playing with him. these are people not robots. how can you say herzlich could start for half the teams in the nfl and in the next breath say “if he can’t cut it find someone else”? you should really decide if you want to be the coach or the gm because no one does both jobs anymore. not since paul brown.

    • Big Daddy says:

      You’re a true FAN larjoe, keep up the good work, the Giants need good fans like you.

      I am not a fan, I am a football analysis first and foremost on this blog. I follow the Giants over other teams but I would never consider myself a Giants fan. I have followed the Giants since the early 1960s.

      I tell it like it is and how I see it. Fans do not do that, they are prejudiced toward their favorite team. As a blogger or as I would say quasi-journalist I have to transcend that and be much more objective.

  9. PC says:

    JUST DUMB! YOU WANNA RIDE A GUY LIKE CHASE WHO IS A BIG PART OF WHY WE WON THE SUPERBOWL AND CONTINUES TO MAKE PLAYS. SURE HE SINT ELEIT BUT YOU ARE GONNA DOG THE GUY WEEK 5? YOU TALK WITH MUCH PERSPECTIVE AND I AGREE WITH YOU ON SOME THINGS BUT YOUR OUT OF YOUR MIND. WHY ALL THE NEGATIVITY? WE ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS FOR THE 2ND TIME IN 5 YEARS. WE HAVE AFEW INJURIES THAT WE WILL OVERCOME THIS YEAR. I KNOW WE WILL BE IN THE THICK OF THINGS COME LATE DECEMBER. HAVE SOME FAITH. TRUE BLUE!! GO GMEN!

  10. Brooke says:

    Just got done the San Fran game.

    Kiwi was a down linemen more times that I could have ever thought.
    We expected the short pass scheme.
    Spencer and Boley played alot of snaps with Williams.

    Just like my question had asked for.

    Daddy…I am a Giants Fan and an Analyst.

    LOLS!!!

    Cant wait to hear what you gotta say about Chase this week!

    • Big Daddy says:

      When I look at the film if he played well I will say so, if he played like crap again I will also point that out.

      It makes no difference to me. I wish he was an all pro, it would be better for the Giants. I don’t root against Blackburn.

      I figured Fewell HAD to do something.

      I didn’t watch that much of the game, I listened more than watched, I was in bed. And listening to Joe Buck and Troy Aikman was almost as painful as my back was yesterday.

  11. Brooke says:

    I watched it again last nite…lots of Spence Paysinger too.
    He seems to be getting alot of reps the last 2 weeks.

    Same as Adrian Tracy.

    I really liked what I saw outta the D.

    Fewell recognized 2 things:

    – Gotta play Tracy and Kiwi more on the line so that the line does not get gassed in the second half.

    – Gotta play our faster backers to stop the short passing game.

    Basically its 2 things that we have talked about here for about a month now.

    And its seemed…at least in the San Fran game…that we have the personal to make it work.

    Tracy…Paysinger…Williams…are quality young kids.
    Mark will get there this year too.

    I think we are fine.

    I worry more about mental letdowns with this team at this point. Not schemes and personal.

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