It was déjà vu’ to many Giant fans this past Sunday. Listening to Banks this past Monday on WFAN was like listening to a re-recording of a segment from late 2010.
Banks hit on pretty much the same themes from last year that have not been fixed, with an emphasis on the Special Teams unit. Banks wonders if things will “start to get better.” We have never here at Ultimatenyg disputed the fact that this team has talent “but,” in the words of Carl Banks, “you never get the feeling that the things that continue to rear its ugly head will ever get better.” The poor Special Teams play, mental mistakes, dumb penalties and making a mistake at critical points in the game are a “collective disciplinary issue with coaching as well as players.”
Per Banks, everything starts with the Special Teams. “They were giving Washington great opportunities as (the Giants) were always starting with their heels to the goal line.” Field position limits what an offense can implement in terms of game planning and aggression. Bottom line, Banks stated that “the likelihood of a team going 92, 95, 85 yards without a mistake is very rare, even versus a decent defense.” Let’s not forget how the kickoff return unit had “one kick off return played like a punt” and the offense started at their own 7 yard line. In the words of the original #58 the offense in general was “inconsistent with 1 out of 9 third down conversions and can’t get a first down on 3rd and 1.” But one has to wonder why the coaching staff went into the game leaning heavily on a specific player to carry the weight on 3rd down. Banks goes on to wonder “if the Tight End position was more concrete there would be a greater comfort level for coaches as well as players.” Banks goes on to add how “the whole Travis Beckum thing” with “Coughlin basically stating that they put the whole 3rd down offense around him” is a little unsettling. He finally adds that Beckum should “get his hamstrings checked out” as this is an ongoing issue. Just add this to Palmieri’s ‘to do list’ or, more like, I forgot list.
Grant has discussed the increase of zone coverage versus the Redskins but Banks summed it up when “on 3rd and 5 a player catches the ball “ after 5 yards “ and then runs for another 3 yards.” Overall, “they need to be aware of the down and distance.” But what is more troubling is what KP stated in his interview. He was asked about the coverage assignments and his response was “nothing special other than we played more zone than man and they just found the open man.” He was prodded further on whether they played more zone than usual: “yeah a whole lot more.” It was followed with why they played more zone than man and Phillips responded: “that was part of the game plan and you just have to go out there and perform.” Finally, he was pressed on if it was due to a matchup of personnel, with his response being you have ”got to ask the coach…..we played a lot man in the past not sure why? you’ve got to ask Perry.”
On Tuesday, Antrel Rolle was interviewed by Joe and Evan on WFAN:
“it’s going to take a little time” for players to get comfortable in their new positions and new roles.
“As a team we know that the Washington Redskins are not a better team than us. We know that hands down. We play them 100 times, they win 5.”
On being impressed with Rex Grossman.. “No, not at all.”
We asked Wonder what his take was on these comments: “They dont like it. They dont like what the coaching staff is doing. It’s the first game of the year and they are already second guessing the coaching staff, not a good thing.”
Wonder continues. “The NFL is a very short season. You have injuries, there is discontent, players have gotten tired of Coughlin, and they are tuning him out. It seems they have lost their identity. Defense, running the ball, northeast smashmouth football. They didn’t have defense and they stopped running the ball in the second half. Physicality is still needed in football, whether it is a passing league or not. The Giants don’t have that physicality. The players do not know what the identity is and you have nothing. Like guys like Andy Reid and Rex Ryan or not, but they at least provide an identity.”
We said that we’d give Coughlin until the Patriots game to get the show together, but that was Sunday night before seeing these comments. We have NEVER EVER seen a set of comments like these after THE FIRST GAME OF A NEW SEASON.
Again, we would like put this in to perspective given this is game 1 in a 16 game post-lockout season. If we look around the league we see the likes of favored contenders in the Steelers, Falcons and even Patriots defense struggling right out of the block. This past week was also a record setter for punt returns for touchdowns. But player comments point to a lot more than post-lockout rust.