Before the sugar-coated one-sided pr pieces come out on how wonderful every player is through minicamp and preseason, let’s list objective reasons for why we are going to suck this year.
1) You cannot teach accuracy. There is plenty of room for Manning to improve, but the studies show that QB ratings start leveling off in Y3, and Manning’s was FLAT. Unfortunately we are not going to see a serious jump in his production.
2) Jerry Reese’s plan for Left Tackle is a bust so far. He has been trying to get Cleveland’s LT, but even that would be yet another “stabilizer.” Speaking of stabilizers…
3) LB Kawika Mitchell, DT Marcus Bell, DB Michael Stone, QB Anthony Wright, K Marc Hickok, P Cory Ohnesorge.
4) We still do not have a kicker. Another stabilizer coming.
5) There are still medical questions about lisfranc foot injuries in terms of Strahan’s ability to come back at the same pro-bowl level of play. He is 36.
6) There are no medical questions about ACL injuries- Toomer will not be ‘effective’ in his first year back. Considering his age, he is headed toward being cut or becoming that classic “third-down” possesion receiver.
7) You lose something when you take your most recent #1 (Kiwanuka) and try to change his position. Dialing up this guy’s weight like a video control and making him into a different player is rarely pulled off at the level of the NFL. I agree that it would be good to have Kiwanuka and our pro bowl ends on the field at the same time but Kiwanuka is not likely going to be a pro bowl LB, certainly not this year. In fact, he is going to make a few mistakes during games that will cost us.
8) Gilbride and Palmer are retreads. Gilbride deserved a promotion after being part of the problem in Manning’s lack of improvement? Someone explain to me how THIS GUY is going to help Manning. Was Hufnagel the root of all evil and Gilbride blocked from succeeding? I doubt it highly.
9) Coughlin is a retread in a retread year. No one wants to play for us this season because we are dead Coughlin walking. I do not think he motivates his players properly. He treats them equally and that is a mistake. His undoing will come in the latter part of the season when he has them out in pads yet again in practice, sucking whatever energy they have so that they can get the first score and pack the rest of the game in.
10) We still have the same problems at LB and Secondary that we had last year. We are getting the 2006 history lesson that the Lewis system was truly a harm to Webster (and Pierce and Wilson) making plays. I am hopeful this can be the case and that our new coord will make a difference… but either Webster is going to make big improvement or he is gone.
Please note that I specifically did not list the departure of Tiki… I am very bullish on Brandon Jacobs. Of course he will not be able to fill Tiki’s shoes but he will do a very good job wearing down defenses.