1) Yesterday during lunch, Francesa talked to Carl Banks (in addition to noting that Umenyiora would only play on passing downs.. see prev post).
I am no fan of Francesa. But when Banks speaks to Francesa, it is a much better interview. Usually we get to hear Banks talking with Carton/Esiason or Benigno/Roberts… sorry folks, but Banks clearly has to wait on those guys do a job of asking the right questions, whereas with Francesa the right questions get asked period. If the link is going to get put up by WFAN, it will be here.
First off, let’s give a little acknowledgement to Capt George (aka Pastime Princess), who was the original commenter willing to stick his neck out and tell us that “The Emperor has no clothes.” He caught a lot of grief for dropping the beloved sack-strip-td specialist down a few notches. Then Banks outs him and now this. To be fair to those who defended Osi, some of this in my opinion is what inevitably happens to many who come back from knee (ligament) surgery. Add LBers who are too slow and/or unable to shoot the gap. Add Safeties who are the weak link and other weaknesses get exposed. Some of this is on Sheridan and Coughlin too… it is a combination of a lot of things going wrong. If winning is the best deodorant, then losing must be a barn stall that hasn’t been cleaned in 3 days.
2) So we are seeing some shakeup. Sheridan being grilled on his unit not playing hard/physical. Ross going to Safety. Goff getting the start at MLB. Osi getting benched. This is what needs to happen. If you are going to go down, go down fighting. You can only lose this season once. You never know what you are going to get. Maybe Goff’s big specials hits are what we need with him delivering hits in the middle to peckerwood route runners who need to fear that space. Go down swinging. If you get your choice of losing with Blackburn’s lack of speed or losing with Goff’s inexperience, you go for the latter because at least you tried. Safe does not work. Experiment. Fail. Experiment. Fail. Experiment. Succeed. Take chances.
3) This is a link to a basketball story. Jason Kidd talks about when the 0-18 (0-19? I lost track!) Nets slipped and lost their mojo. When do you think things went south? Kidd’s answer is interesting. And there is a lot to learn about professional sports from the discussion. Leadership and energy are intangibles that we as fans must be attuned to at all times. We have talked here in the past about the leadership vacuum after Strahan left. Who has “it?” Who is the alpha? I am personally pissed that WFAN did not have the Banks discussion with Francesa up because you need to listen to the two of them talk about LT. I’ll paraphrase it in its absence: LT HELD EVERYONE ON THE FIELD ACCOUNTABLE. He held the lieutenants accountable, who in turn held the rest of the defensive unit accountable. LT had a special sense and knowledge of where everyone on the field had to be, and (just like Michael Jordan) once you were on the field you had to answer to him. Players are accountable to coaches but once they are on the field they are accountable to the leaders. This team is directionless right now because it does not have a rudder once the players get on the field.
3a) You know that Strahan held Osi accountable on the run game. God knows that they ran it AWAY from Strahan all game, so Osi had no choice but to shed his block.
4) Read that article above and tell me that Eli Manning is the “emotional and energy” leader on the field. He is if you are an Ambien saleman. Eli is a part of a 4th Super Bowl title, but he is not the ‘leader’ of that effort that takes men over the hill into battle. This team, this offense, cries out for his leadership. Like it or not, it is part of the job. Someone asked when the new site came up 2 months ago why Strahan was up there on the banner instead of Eli. I think these last two paragraphs summed it up.
5) Glenn Warciski had a post from this past spring that is worth re-airing. The Giants, from 2004-2008, were 30-10 in total for the first 8 games of each season and 17-23 in the last 8 games of the season. This is what Peter calls Coughlin the dictator. Old Tom the ogre. We have chronicled how different 2007 was. How Plaxico noted that the coach took it easier on them in practice so that they would have legs on Sunday. Rule #19. Well, it is December. Let’s see if these guys have legs. And the willingness to run through a wall for these coaches (and their fellow players).