A regular feature of UltimateNYG NY Giants football blog is covering Phil Simms on Sunday Mornings. Simms has consistently strong insight into the NFL. Today, WFAN/NFL Now/Mike Francesa also had Tom Coughlin. Here is what they had to say…
1) Osi has faith in the NY Giants coaches to use him in a way that leverages his skills
2) Expect DL rotation
3) Kenny Phillips is getting more and more practice snaps. His timing is not 100% yet but (Coughlin believes) he is ready.
4) Safeties have to be multipurpose players in today’s NFL, in the box and in coverage
4a) Michael Johnson playing better than a year ago and Deon Grant’s veteran experience is helping a lot
5) LBer is “a work in progress.” Bulluck is coming along, (paraphrased, implied) still is not ”all the way back.” A lot of LBers on roster to help w Specials.
6) O’Hara swelling did not come back to any great degree after he practiced.
7) “Quite frankly the Panthers did not show very much on offense in preseason.”
8) Moore was 4-1 down the stretch because the Panthers did not turnover the ball.
9) Francesa: “Is the team ready to go?” Coughlin: “I think so.”
Summary- Coughlin to his credit was quite frank about the LBer situation, admitting that that unit was not all there yet and that it was coming along week by week. At the very end of the interview, Francesa asked Coughlin a point blank question- are the Giants ready? His answer was just as frank and uninspiring- “I think so.” The head coach’s job is to assure that the team IS ready. We “think” Coughlin’s answer speaks to his status as coach- just as questionable as his answer.
1) The Patriots defense is faster than in previous years. Pass coverage will use time and experience to get better.
2) The Bengals could not throw down field at the end of last season, but they will be able to do that this season.
3) Francesa: “The Giants? Simms: “They have a lot of question marks.” Question marks on the line of scrimmage. QB and WRs are very good.
4) On the Colts, can Dwight Freeney still dominate?
5) Simms is not sold on the Steelers, with OR WITHOUT Roethlisberger. Even with him, they are much weaker at WR w/o Santonio Holmes. Who makes the plays? Another question mark is OL, which is “not one of the better ones.”
6) Upbeat on the Chargers, does not believe the holdouts hurt the team in 2010.
7) Re Ravens, are they fast enough on defense? No Ed Reed. What worries Simms is the back 7 on defense.
8) The Jets are a very good football team because they have strength at WR, RB and on defense. They have many players that can make plays.
9) Browns are improved, they play a Buc team which is starting a QB that has not taken a preseason snap. Word is that the players are warming to a Mangini that has been softened by Holmgren.
10) Miami will and should pull Henne if he does not get the job done, because Pennington is talented enough. High expectations there. Note: they play 3 weak teams in the first 3 weeks.)
11) Senses a different team in the Texans this year. They are more physical this year, will run the ball more and simply need to close out more games. Very talented. Athletically very good. Secondary is not good (lost Robinson). But Simms believes team should get ‘there’ this year.