We interviewed Pete to get some depth on the Giants, who they are and what they can accomplish.
UltimateNYG: Let’s talk defense first. What do you want to see from the defense to know they are on track?
Pete: I need Fewell to be aggressive consistently, ie less Tampa2. The dbacks are making too many tackles for me to feel comfortable.
UltimateNYG: If Safety is the Giants’ strong suit and we can play nickel with an extra Safety, isn’t that getting the job done?
Pete: Well, that is what we have.. Grant played as a quasi LBer vs the Lions. But when the dbacks are making all the tackles, it is not a stable situation because there is no one else behind them.
UltimateNYG: If that is the way that Fewell gets the best guys on the field, isn’t that ok?
Pete: No, because Grant will not physically hold up doing LBer run-stopping duties over an extended period of time. So he’s going to get hurt. Plus, a good QB will exploit that. Peyton Manning is really the only good QB the Giants have faced.
UltimateNYG: Since that Colts game, Fewell has done some very good things, no?
Pete: Fewell is arguably the best coach of the three (/Coughlin/Gilbride). Let’s acknowledge that he is making teams one-dimensional. He put 8 men in the box by dropping the Safety down, and forced the Lions to pass the ball after Best (who was playing hurt) was shut down.
UltimateNYG: You noted that good QBs will be able to exploit us. Which ones on the schedule concern you?
Pete: Romo is an enigma. Will Dallas play football or will they self-destruct? Favre and Rodgers can hurt us. There are too many question marks with Vick/Kolb and McNabb right now to know what we will see from them.
UltimateNYG: Let’s look at the offense. Eli Manning has been inconsistent this year.
Pete: Agreed. If he doesn’t turn the ball over and is reasonably accurate, we win. But lately we do not know what Eli is showing up.
UltimateNYG: The OL is playing better recently. What is different?
Pete: Snee is playing better. He and McKenzie are doing a much better job in run blocking. Bradshaw is 3rd in the league in rushing. He’s having a breakout year. He is the difference, because he is making a lot of his own yards.
UltimateNYG: Yesterday we talked about the pattern of Gilbride calling play action ~3-5X per game. Is that enough?
Pete: No. But don’t ask me any more questions about Gilbride, because we beat him up here on a regular basis.
UltimateNYG: Okay. But I’ll rephrase with a slightly different angle then- what would you do as OC that Gilbride is not doing and that has not been discussed here on the site?
Pete: At this stage of Jacobs’ career, I’d be featuring him more in space, throwing to him (and yes, Bradshaw) more. That is how he is going to be more effective.
UltimateNYG: We know you are giving Osi the props with his 7 sacks in 6 games. Any offensive player you want to bring attention to?
Pete: Bear Pascoe is making a big difference. His performance has been much better than Hedgecock’s. His blocking is improving, and we all see that he can do so much more than Hedgecock when he touches the ball.
UltimateNYG: Any final thoughts on the Dallas game?
Pete: At 1-4, it is a must win for Dallas. It is their Super Bowl. For us at 4-2, it is not a must win. The Giants are certainly playing better football, but we’ll have to match their intensity.