The ‘O’ Line Killed The Giants And Reese Killed The ‘O’ Line!
By Martin Alvin
In an interview on Sirius Radio, Kevin Gilbride confirmed the Giants suffered because of their ‘O’ line and said what we already knew: the problems with the ‘O’ line made it impossible for Eli to do his job. He also claimed to have compensated for the ‘O’ line by adjusting his big play offense to include more three-step drops and fewer five-step and seven-step drops.
But, in spite of what he said, it was obvious to anyone who watched the Giants, it took him damn near half of the season before he tentatively made the adjustments — as well as to a moving pocket and quick throws. But that was way too long to wait before making the necessary adjustments.
And just as egregious was; as soon as they achieved a modicum of success with the adjustments, they immediately went right back to their regular modus operandi: a stationary pocket, seven-step-drops, deep-balls and read-options. So, yes, he made some modest adjustments but then abandoned them. He also failed to mention his infuriating penchant for abandoning the running game, even when it was working. And, oh yeah, his inability to establish the simple screen pass.
But in spite his admitted errors and omissions, the fact is, his big strike offense had resulted in eight previous non-losing years as well as two Super Bowl Championships. And the sad, stark, truth is: the ‘O’ line really was, in fact, the main culprit for the Giants 2013 demise. And that’s why the Giants’ problems extend beyond Kevin Gilbride and directly to Jerry Reese.
No one could have foreseen the obscene amount of injuries to the ‘O’ line; but the question is: where the hell were the backups? And that question reveals an even more disturbing problem: why was there such a profound lack of depth along the ‘O’ line? And again, that brings us back to Jerry Reese.
Hey, we lauded him when he seemed to be bringing in tons of talent; so, doesn’t he deserve the blame when that talent disappears? A quick look at his ‘O’ line Draft Choices and Free Agent signings, since his arrival, is both revealing and indicting:
2013 Draft Choices:
Justin Pugh ————1st Round——A Winner
Eric Herman ————7th Round——Practice Squad
2013 Free Agents:
OG/OT Levy Adcock——-Who?
OC Dallas Reynolds——Played One Game
OG Michael Jasper——-Who?
OG Bryant Browning——Who?
OG Chris Degeare——–Who?
OT Austin Holtz ——–Who?
2012 Draft Choices:
Brandon Mosley———-4th Round——-Backup
Matt Mc Cants———–6th Round——-Gone
2012 Free Agents:
OT/OG Sean Locklear—–Good Pickup—–Gone
OT Selvish Capers——-Backup at best
OC/OG Chris White——-Who?
OT Joel Reinders——–Who?
2011 Draft Choices:
James Brewer————4th Round——-Backup
2011 Free Agents:
OT Tony Ugoh————Backup———-Gone
OC David Baas———–Bad Signing
OC/OG Chris White——-Who?
OT/OG Stacy Andrews—–Backup———-Gone
OC Jim Cordle———–Backup———-Injured
2010 Draft Choices:
Mitch Petrus————5th Round——-Gone.
2010 Free Agents:
OL Shawn Andrews——–Good Backup—–Gone
OT Jacob Bender———Jets Cast Off
2009 Draft Choices:
Wiliam Beatty———–2nd Round——-Bad 2013
2009 Free Agents:
OG/OC Tutan Reyes——-Who?
OT Cliff Louis———-Who?
OT Mike Fladell———Who?
OT/OG Orrin Thompson—-Who?
OT/OG T. Pennington—–Who?
2008 Draft Choices:
No ‘O’ lineman drafted
2008 Free Agents:
OT Jonathan Palmer——Who?
OT Shane Olivea———Who?
OT Na’Shan Goddard——Who?
OT/OG Brandon Torrey—-Who?
OG Jacob Hobbs———-Who?
2007 Draft Choices:
No ‘O’ linement drafted
2007 Free Agents:
OG Kevin Boothe———Starter
OG Zach Piller———-Who?
OT Jonathan Dunn——–Who?
OT Dan Parrish———-Who?
OT Myniya Smith———Who?
OC Todd Londot———-Who?
OC Matt Tarullo———Who?
OC Nick Jones———–Who?
Clearly, since Jerry Reese took over as GM, the Giants have neglected the ‘O’ line. And if an offense doesn’t have a good ‘O’ line, they can’t control the ball or the tempo of the game. They can’t block for the run and they can’t pass-protect and that prevents the team from scoring points. And, the last time I checked, they still keep score. And, yes, as far as I know, the team that scores the most points at the end of the game still wins.
Green Bay and Pittsburgh have had ‘O’ line problems recently, but they’ve still managed to win and avoid an 0-6 start; but that’s because of the mobility of both, Aaron Rogers and Ben Roethlisberger. Eli is not a mobile quarterback; never was and never will be, and because of that, without a solid ‘O’ line to protect him, he’s not going to be successful.
Kevin Gilbride’s inability –- or unwillingness — to adjust his offense to the weakness of his ‘O’ line was negligence and a good reason to retire. But I don’t believe his style of offense is obsolete or innately ineffective. It can still be effective — but only if the ‘O’ line does its job. But, then, hell; any style of offense, whether a deep passing game style, or a west coast style, or even the old single wing can work if the ‘O’ line does its job. And the failure of the ‘O’ line was the result of Jerry Reese’s failure to address it adequately. And — NO! — signing guys like Selvish Capers, and Na’Shan Goddard doesn’t constitute adequately addressing the problem.
Gilbride fell on his sword for Jerry Reese, and that’s okay because Gilbride did a lousy job adjusting; but it was the ‘O’ line that killed the Giants and it was Jerry Reese who killed the ‘O’ line.