Some interesting updates over the last day or two.
1) Giants plan no layoffs of coaching staff. Well, my post yesterday was wrong. Wasn’t the first time, won’t be the last. If I did anything wrong, it was not reading the Giants’ loyalty factor higher. They are loyal to a fault. This is the same franchise that in 1987 did not look at the scab talent pool before the strike, remaining loyal to their salaried players and (more importantly) the other NFL owners. They were caught with their pants down, as other teams had locked up the best non-salaried replacements before the deadline. Once that deadline passed and teams could sign non-union players, the Giants quickly found out that the rest of the league had scooped up the talent. Here in 2011, the Giants are being extremely loyal to their salaried staff in not furloughing them, as many other teams are doing. It is a classy move. I for one am glad to see that the Giants owners can spend 100M on Eli but are also willing to keep paying the smaller people who make $80K/yr, which is almost beans here in NJ.
2) Ralph Vacchiano does a good wrapup of many miscellaneous items. Chief among them is an admission from Coughlin that Jacobs should have gotten the ball more. Even though many here on this NY Giants blog are Bradshawlics, we were not going to defend the repeated fumbling at midseason. We called for Bradshaw’s benching before Coughlin benched him. When Coughlin finally did “bench” Bradshaw, it was in appearance only, as Bradshaw did not “start” but ended up getting many more carries. Fact: Bradshaw was “benched” in Week 12 vs Jacksonville, but for the last 6 games of the season he had 91 carries and Jacobs had 69 in the same period of time. By definition, isn’t your “starter” supposed to get more carries? Once again, we preach accountability here on this blog. We are accountable to you, our readers, by examining our track record and pointing out (like in #1 above) that we are wrong some of the time. In week 12, when Coughlin did what was right and benched his fumbler, it was not an act that ultimately held Bradshaw accountable. Just one game later #44 got more carries and was cosmetically slapped on the wrist. Considering that Bradshaw would end up with more carries (in total, and in 4 of the last 6 games) is proof of Coughlin’s mismanagement of Jacobs. Jacobs was more than fresh down the stretch and could have EASILY seen more of the ball. For Coughlin to now say that Jacobs should have seen more carries is frankly preposterous. We all know the two guys could not get along at the beginning of the season and it really insults our intelligence to see this ‘spin’ trying to smooth over the problems.
3) On the subject of accountability, the Draft Project will get rolling pretty soon for 2011. The Draft Project provides a ready mechanism to examine analyst views 3 and 5 years later, holding the experts accountable in the future for the information they are giving us today. As a side note, some asked last year why we did not have forecasts out even earlier (ie Jan and Feb). The answer is that the Combine and Pro Days are important sources of information for getting meaningful data on players. If you think they are not, then why are so many people inside the NFL community so particular about player workouts?! Conditioning and testing are two parts of the process of evaluation. Our analysts use them and will adjust their opinions based on what takes place. Andre Smith, a premier pick in 2009, was panned by Wonder for not being in shape for these evals. So motivation and character are a part of the workouts too.