Sunday, December 7, 2008

Gameday Thoughts

One player who came up big last week was RB Kyle Eckel. He ran 6 times for 27 yards. Forget the numbers, though. He produced at the right time and in the right style. Eckel got the ball in an early 3rd/1 situation and ran over the right side for just over a yard. McNabb handed him the ball and Eckel (5'11, 237) ran to the right side. LJ Smith was down blocking. Eckel basically ran over Smith. He didn't want to go wide and give the defense a chance to get to him. He ran straight ahead.

Not all RBs are effective at this style of running. There is no vision or cutting ability involved. Quickness, agility, and balance aren't important. You just lower your shoulder and run into a wall. Eckel did this very well. There was no hesitation on his part. He wasn't worried about a big run. He knew that he'd either get the yard or be stuck on the bench.

Later in the game Eckel got some carries as the Eagles were trying to run down the clock. He looked pretty good. It was against the Cardinals and it was in garbage time, but was nice to see him running the ball.

When he did get the ball deep in the I-formation he showed RB skills. He had a 12-yard run up the middle that was created by a nice cutback. The offense moved to the right. The defense all flowed that direction. Kyle saw this and made a simple cut back to the left. He didn't go too wide. He kept as N-S as possible and was able to hit it right up the field.

Eckel was tough for the Cardinals to tackle. He ran 6 times and I'm not sure they got him on the ground more than 2 or 3 times. The other times he was pushing the pile and defenders were fighting to stop his progress when the refs blew the whistle. That is exactly what you want in a power back.

Running like that could have made a significant difference in the first Giants game. Hopefully it will today.

Big Red better have Eckel active. Buck is out. Booker had a good showing last week, but we need Eckel in a game like this. If Kyle is inactive and we have 6 WRs in the game, Reid should not only be fired, he should be deported. I think AR and Marty will play Eckel and use him in short yardage situations.


We must do a better job against the run:

* DEs and LBs must set the edge and force the RBs back to the middle.

* Akeem Jordan must play the FB better than Gaither did. Win that battle and you disrupt what the RB wants to do.

* The Safeties must come down and tackle. They have to come down quickly and have to tackle cleanly. That's a tall order when talking about Giants RBs.

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