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The Giants Still Have Warts — Big Ones!

The Giants Still Have Warts — Big Ones!
By Martin Alvin

Okay, the smoke across the Jersey Meadowlands has cleared and the Giants are 4-6 and –- at least, mathematically -– they’re back in the playoff hunt; and they’re back in the hunt in spite of their unsightly warts. And make no mistake about it; the Giants still have warts — big ones! The question is; are they just unsightly and benign or are they malignant and terminal?

After yet another unimpressive win, over yet another unimpressive team, with yet another unimpressive quarterback, I’m still … well, I’m still unimpressed. And while I’m glad the Giants managed to eke out another win; I’m still wondering how malignant the warts are … or, aren’t.

For example: Kevin Gilbride Jr. — the receivers’ coach – can’t stop his guys from running the wrong routes. Not just the option routes, where they change in mid-stream; no, I’m talking about a simple, basic, “curl” pattern, taught in, and run by, every high school team in the country. The receiver runs his route, stops and curls and boom, there’s the ball. That’s what Louis Murphy was supposed to do yesterday and just couldn’t manage to do so. That’s a major -– recurring — wart!

The Giants were about to go up 17-3, with about 2:30 left in the 1st half. All Murphy had to do was, run a simple curl: stop and the ball would be there. Instead, he runs the route, stops — and while the ball is already in air, having been launched in anticipation, by Eli –- Murphy drifts aimlessly. The ball, having been thrown on rhythm, to the exact spot Murphy was supposed to occupy, is picked off by Green Bay. End of drive and Green Bay is still only one TD down. Big wart!

Later on, Andre Brown and Victor Cruz run patterns that put both of them in the exact same area –- a no-no under any circumstances — and Eli’s pass gets tipped away. Luckily, it’s not intercepted. They have to settle for a FG. How many more times are we going to see the receiver going the wrong way? Why is that still happening? Why can’t Kevin Gilbride Jr. get his guys coached up? Major, big-time, wart!

And by the way, has anyone noticed that since Kevin Gilbride Jr. replaced Sean Ryan as receiver’s coach, the receiving corps has steadily deteriorated? The incorrectly run routes for example -– week in and week out — and the deterioration of Hakeem Nicks as well. And has anyone noticed that since Sean Ryan replaced Mike Sullivan as QB coach, Eli’s game has deteriorated, too? Maybe coaches aren’t interchangeable parts. And maybe we’re looking at more warts!

And talking about coaching and deterioration and warts, let’s not forget Kevin Gilbride Sr. Later in the game, with the Giants up 20-6, the Giants get the ball back with about ten minutes left in the game and a chance to kill the clock with the power running game that was working quite well. Instead, Kevin Gilbride Sr. has Eli looking for the big pass play. The result? Eli gets sacked twice en route to a three and out and the Giants punt back to the Packers … who now have a chance to, again, tighten the game to a one score affair. And sure enough, the Packers drive the field and make the score 20-13. More warts!

Later, the Giants get the ball back and — insanely –- they’re still looking to pass the ball instead of running the damn thing. Next thing you know, they’re kicking the ball back to Green Bay. The Packers are now in a position to tie the game. Enter JPP. Pick Six. Game over.

Fortunately, for the Giants, the ‘D’ keeps compensating for the warts on offense. And yes, they’re substantial warts! Earlier in the game, Jon Beason had a key interception, too, to hide the warts; and then he followed up with a return that made him look like the second coming of Earl Campbell.

And yesterday, the special teams helped hide the warts, too: they had a big punt return and foiled a fake punt. The running game chipped in and was a powerful force with Brown and Jacobs running hard behind their pads. They converted two fourth and ones and punched the ball over from the one. And that kind of power running is what dictates the tempo of the game and the personality of the Giants. They’re not — and must never try to be — a finesse running team. And they don’t have the ‘O’ line anymore to be a wide-open, gun-slinging, offense. The physicality of the running game is what helps compensate for the warts, too.

The next two weeks, against the Cowboys and Redskins, will answer more questions about the Giants’ warts. If they can treat and manage them, and win both games, they’ll be 6-6 with three division wins and two division losses and one more division game against the Redskins left. And they’ll legitimately be in contention for the eastern division –- which is the only way they can get into the playoffs. But they still have to sneak their warts past the Seahawks, Lions and Chargers –- each of whom have very good wart-detecting defenses and QBs.

Maybe it’s time for the Giants coaching staff to admit the team has warts — big ones — and agree that they’re responsible for them; and then, maybe they should do something to treat or eliminate them; before the warts prove terminal for this season. Hey, just a suggestion, guys.

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9 Responses to “The Giants Still Have Warts — Big Ones!”

  1. rick rocker says:

    Good article…

  2. rick rocker says:

    Gentlemen, very good article.

    Lets face it we all would like to see the Giants continue to win and make the playoffs but I agree with your warts premise.

    Sunday’s game was still very close before JJP intercepted the Packer QB. The Packers hadn’t blitzed most of the game and when the score was close and the Giants where on there own twenty-yard line they sacked Eli three times. Which leads me to believe that the offensive line still can’t protect Eli in a crucial game situation.

    Why there’s so much criticism of Eli when his receiver’s run bad routes and the line can’t protect him is frustrating to say the least. But Eli will never throw anyone under the bus. I agree that the receiver’s coach is ineffective as well but TC has given Gilbride Sr. the opportunity to tutor his own son at the cost of the Giants offense. I think that this is a team with a lot of skilled players who are badly coached.

    Remember, the defensive players once again had to beg Perry Fewell to make things simple and in my opinion John Beason has been to the ‘D’ what Perry Fewell is not.

    Have you noticed that even in winning the Giants look slow and methodical almost plodding along when so many teams look to be playing a at a different speed? We will get to see what kind of offence and defense they really against the Cowboys, but I think the true test will be a team that rushes Eli up the middle like the Packers and Panthers did.

    Oh…Hakeem Nicks will be playing for the Panthers next year. Book it Danno!

    • Btucker says:

      Rick – completely agree, particularly with your comment that the Giants have … ” a lot of skilled players who are badly coached”.
      In my view, Kevin Gilbride is right up there with Perry Fewell in terms of inability or stubborn unwillingness to adapt to differing situations. Gilbride waited until the Giants had lost six straight games before he even began to begrudgedly make changes to the offensive strategy to compensate for the limitations of the offensive line and Eli’s somewhat erratic play. It was painfully obvious to many of us amateur observers, that a short passing game, throwing on three step drops etc was the way to go well before Gilbride began to make some belated adjustments.

  3. Martin says:

    You make a great point, Rick. It took a mini-revolution by the defensive player to get Perry Fewell to smarten up. Should have included that in my post. Excellent point.

  4. Btucker says:

    Martin – another perceptive article –

  5. Rocky says:

    Hey, …Spoken like a true “Eagles fan” Martin.
    …& by the way, …maybe it’s time for the Giants to admit, their “Coaching Staff” has WARTS!!!
    Gilbride SUCKS!!!!…He has sucked for years!!!
    Big Blue won those Superbowls with “heart & Conviction”, …had absolutely nothing to do with the Giant’s staff, …especially Gilbride’s Playbook!!!..(Coach Coughlin excluded).
    All Sportscasters, (ESPN, NFL, FOX, etc) are terrified of putting down the Giant’s (due to recent history),… they simply don’t wanna look like Morons again! …& You shouldn’t either Martin!!!
    Anyone can be a “Monday Mornin QB” …but you have a responsibility to look beyond those possibilities,…as a Giant’s Gab writer.

  6. John says:

    Really good article. I see Giants Gab on the twitter feed for the Giants morning call in show. That’s how I knew about your site.

    Anyway, great article. I had never thought about the effect of Gilbride Jr on this receiving corps. As an outside observer, it seems like the Giants often win in SPITE of the offensive play calling. Frustrating to no end to wonder what this team could be with a more progressive staff. If you ever bring this up though, their 2 Superbowls are mentioned as if the coaching staff gets a lifetime ‘get out of jail free’ card because of those Superbowls.

    The frustrating thing is, it took losing 6 games to get this coaching staff to make significant changes to the offense and defense.

  7. Martin says:

    Thanks for your comments, Rocky. Not sure if you disagree with me, though. Sounds like you do — which is fine — but we both seem to agree the coaching staff has warts. But again, thanks for your interest.

    And thanks Btucker. As always, I appreciate your comments.

  8. Nicky says:

    hey martin we finally agree on something … gilbride sucks … both of them!

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