Michigan Tuesday

1) Today we turn it over to Motown, who recaps the interview with Carl Banks from yesterday on WFAN. Banks sat with Pierce on the plane back and at one point Pierce said, “listen dude we were in a 7 on 7 passing match (coverage) and never got on track”.

  1. Banks states they were out-smarted at every turn, out-schemed and out-manned but not physically whipped.

  2. Kudos to Payton on his game planning.  He disguised very well and changed their tendencies in preparation for the Giants.
  3. Love this: N.O. is a very good team but they are not a better offensive team.  They have a better OFFENSIVE PLAN.
  4. When rushing Brees, you need to rush him up the middle, not off the edges.  “He is a smaller guy. You need to flush him out of the pocket and hit him inside”.
  5. N.O. was forcing their rushers to the edges and Banks felt they should have blitzed more up the middle with stunts as well.
  6. Positives: Hixon in the return game, receivers, and showed ability to move the ball offensively.

There it is in black and white.  They were purely and fundamentally, to quote two former Giants Shockey and Tiki, “out coached!”  Very interesting that Banks quotes his conversation with Pierce. That statement by Pierce was very damaging to his DC.  It is obvious that Pierce’s admission that they were in 7 on 7 pass coverage was hinted as a key factor in their horrific defensive performance.  Mitch pointed out that the game plan looked like the old Rod Rust ‘read and react’ defensive scheme.  The Saints were “dictating the pace of the game” and the Giants were just trying to react to it.  Banks accentuates this by pointing out that “the more you try to react” to the Saints scheme then the more succesful they are as ”that’s what they want you to do.”   By observation Banks states that when the Giants “were in man coverage they (the Saints) ran crossing routes and when the Giants were in zone they dropped them in the holes” (of the zone).  How do you get them out of their rhythm and pace?  By doing what Carl stated that they should have called for a “base defense” and then “blitzed more up the middle with stunts as well.”  Not much different than what we were debating upon leading up to the game here on this blog.    

To be fair, and I agree with him on this, Banks faults the players as well in lack of execution and discipline but he also pointed out that “they are running the same system” as when Spagnuolo was DC .  There were opportunities to make plays and change the momentum but they failed to execute.  If this is the same system that has been in place for 3 years and there really is no major difference in personnel from the prior year why did they fail miserably in execution?  Can we really miss Butler that badly at safety?

Yes this was only 1 game and the team will have plenty of opportunities to learn and improve but the concerns about the coaching are hard to stomach.  Everyone will be quick to point out how much we miss Spagnuolo, especially his ability to make in-game adjustments.  But where is Coughlin in all this?  Did he bother to check in with Sheridan on his game plan?  Didn’t he question Sheridan at the half what adjustments he will make to apply more pressure on Brees especially after his statement to a Fox sideline reporter?  Was his hiring of Spagnuolo lucky considering he hired Tim Lewis, Hufnagel, promoted Gilbrown and perhaps now another poor decision, “read and react Jr.” Sheridan? Will their chances of a SB this year be handicapped by inferior game planning by their coordinators?

These next 3 weeks should give us some idea but are we confident that their coordinators can be effective when the really meaningful games occur in January and February?

2) Ultimatenyg here.  Thanks Motown for doing the work of putting that recap together.  We’ll wrap up this post by sending you back to Rule #8 and Rule #11.    Well, on Sunday morning we linked to a story about how the Saints viewed the Giants defense… 

FB Heath Evans..  ”I don’t know how they’re going to attack us,” Evans said Thursday. “That’s what we’ve got to figure out. Hopefully whatever they do we can adjust to it. That’s kind of what’s made us good the first four games, being able to adjust to what we see and making plays off it.”

“You’re going from the extreme, being the Jets pressuring 70 percent of the time, to a Giants team that’s a little bit more traditional, but still has all that stuff in their package,” Brees said. “It’s just one of those things where if you look at the statistics they don’t bring as much but you have to be ready for it.”

So the Saints were preparing for pressure because they were shown up by the Jets with that, yet they knew what the Giants tendency was, so they were mindful of that too.  Brees was probably doing cartwheels in the huddle when the pressure was Giants vanilla infrequent blitz.  Predictable.  Dead.  All it takes is an above average team to make a predictable team average.  As for Rule #11, this defense was positively docile.  The terms of engagement were completely set by Brees.

3) This post is going to finish up on a positive note, damn it! 

(a) When Boley is back, they’ll have more range. 
(b) IF Ross ever comes back, it is “possible” that they could make a CB (him?) play safety as an answer.  Anything to get improvement out of the Safety position. 
(c) Banks refered to pressure up the middle, to get in Brees’ face.  He is 6’0″ tall.  Like Banks says, BLITZ HIM UP THE MIDDLE and block his vision of the field.  CHRIS CANTY IS 6’7″.  REPEATING, Chris Canty is 6’7″.  How would you like to have THAT IN YOUR FACE?! (Btw, Good news, Canty says he is finally improving.)

The Giants may very well have another opportunity in the playoffs against this team.  It is up to the coaches to leverage the strengths and delever their weaknesses of their players to make this team win.  Pierce and Banks believe that is possible.  We will see pretty quickly how good a coordinator Sheridan is.  He cannot be judged on one game.  We don’t need blitzes every play.  We just need the defenses to be aggressive and unpredictable.   

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