Monday, December 14, 2009

Some Monday Thoughts

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I'm only about halfway done on the Game Review. I'll post it tonight or first thing tomorrow. Tonight gets complicated because our next opponent, SF, is playing on MNF. I want to see them and get a better feel for what they want to do.


About the defense...it was bad last night. It has been up and down this year. Keep in mind that this is a work in progress. We worked in 2 "new" guys in Hanson and Jordan for the first time in a month. Each had some good moments, but I'm sure the continued shuffling didn't help matters last night. Remember how the OL was struggling at midseason? Then we benched Stacy and made Nick the RG. The starting OL has been terrific ever since.

The DL is in place. The back seven is a different story.

The LBs are all over the place. I think you'll see the primary unit being Gocong-Jordan-Spoon when Akeem is able to fully start and play the whole game. Trot is a stop-gap. We need Akeem on the field. The DBs are adjusting to each other. Q and Sean are the Safeties. Hanson is now back in the slot. Those guys have to work together when covering the middle of the field. I didn't see a lot of Macho last night. Demps did play, as the 3rd Safety I think.

We need the guys in the back seven to get into some kind of a comfort zone because sloppy D will get us killed in the playoffs. It is hard enough to win when you play good D.

The pass rush was a problem last night. Give the Giants a lot of credit for that. Trent Cole normally is good for a few pressures, but they kept him blocked. We do need to cover better and I think we will as the players get in sync. We just need that to happen pretty darn quick.


SOME QUESTIONS

RE: turnovers

Trent's FF was completely legit. He hustled to get Jacobs from the backside and cleanly knocked the ball out. I'm not saying Trent intended to knock it loose, but that ball was forced out. Jacobs didn't just drop it because of wet conditions. The Eli fumble was pure luck. Sometimes you need a little of that.


RE: tackling

We did a terrible job of tackling in this game. It wasn't one guy or one part of the defense. Everyone had a hand in this. Normally we're pretty solid at tackling. We had some issues vs WAS, but did fine vs ATL. I'm not sure what to make of this. It definitely bears watching. Tackling is something that can be corrected. The coaches really need to get on the guys about getting in proper position and then wrapping up their targets cleanly. Too often we had guys reaching for players. The weather could have had something to do with that, but I think our players are at fault more than anything. I think the Giants 3 biggest plays were short passes that turned into long gains because of bad tackling. Can't have that at this time of the year.


RE: LeSean

I thought he ran pretty well last night. He only had 10 carries for 28 yards, but he passed the eyeball test. We got away from giving him the ball because Weaver was so effective and the passing game was so explosive. I'm still fine with LeSean. The fact Andy was feeding him the ball late in the game says a lot.


RE: Asante Samuel

He was brought to Philly to be a playmaker. That's it. He wasn't brought here to be a shutdown corner. He wasn't one in NE. Asante has always been a gambler. He comes up with enough big plays that it makes him a good CB. He had one bad tackle last night, but that area has been better in recent games.


RE: this group compared to JJ

The 2003 defense gave up a lot of yards. That group was lucky and prevented points. In 2006 we were 15th in yards and points. Injuries affected both units. Guess what our biggest problem is right now? Injuries. Put Stewart Bradley at MLB and you have a much better D. If Akeem Jordan was 100% and we had him all along the D would be much better. Heck, Omar would be better than what we've got now.

The defense was badly burned by NO, SD, and NYG. What do those teams have in common? They are 3 of the highest scoring teams in the league. They burn most teams they play. We're 10th in total defense. That tells you that more is going right than wrong.


RE: PR vs KOR

Completely different. KOs have all 10 guys flying upfield at the same time and they know where the ball is going. Blockers are at least 10 yards away so these guys get to really build up a head of steam. KORs need to be able to run N-S. Defenders start about 60-70 yards away. That means there should be some running room initially. KORs cannot dance. They need to attack the seams in the defense. Brian Mitchell was great. He would catch the KO and run up the field. He wouldn't worry about making any moves. He tried to use his blocks, but did so at full speed. The KOR wants to either get the ball to the 30 or have a 25-yard return. All depends on where he catches the ball.

Punts are more erratic. Blockers take on defenders at the line and slow them down. The ball can go all over the place because of wind and/or a poor kick. The PR's job is to catch the ball and make the first guy miss. His goal is to get 10 yards. The PR is only 40 or so yards from the defenders at the snap. He knows he'll be dodging defenders from almost the second he catches the ball.

KOR ... must be strong, fast, and a tough runner.
PR .... must be quick, shifty, and able to make guys miss.


RE: Spoon

I didn't think he played well, but he didn't stand out as a major problem. I'll let you know what I see when I'm done reviewing the game. I'll watch him as best I can.


RE: extra point vs 2-pt conversion

We scored to take a 36-31 lead. We kicked the extra point. That was the right thing to do. There is a lot of game left at that point. Make the lead 37-31. Then, if you come up with a FG you have a 40-31 lead, which is 2 possessions. If you go for 2 and miss it, you need a TD to build a 2-possession lead. One of the things coaches do is to think in terms of possessions. You have to see the big picture to think like that. How much time is left in the game? Is going for 2 worth it now? Etc.

I don't believe in chasing points until you get inside the 12 minute mark of the 4th Qtr. Going for 2 to extend a lead to 7 is chasing points. Only do that when you're desperate, time is critical, or it feels like the right thing to do.

When we scored with 5 1/2 minutes left in the game that was the time to go for 2. We did and extended the lead from 12 to 14, 2 full TDs. That was obvious, but the smart thing to do. At that point you know the Giants are probably only going to have time for 1 or 2 possessions. You want to put as much pressure on them as possible. You want as big a lead as possible. The risk was worth the reward. Luckily, it worked for us.


RE: Mike Vick

He is playing well the last 2 games. That's very encouraging. I'm now starting to wonder if the Eagles are contemplating keeping him around next year. He does help with our RZ issues. Can you pay a guy $5M for 8 plays a game? Probably not. We'll see what happens. He's become a good role player. I still have doubts about him as a starting QB. He is slow in making reads and his passes aren't on time or as on target as they should be. Good backup / role player, but is he meant to start???
_

12 comments:

Ben said...

5 mill would be pricey for Vick, but I'd absolutely do it. The great thing is that now that we're opening up his packages none of us know what's coming. I think a weapon like that is worth keeping. The defense doesn't know if it's going to be a run, a pass, a hand off, or if he'll just take off because nothing's open.

We're using him effectively and designing smart "risks" with him. Randle El was great for gadget plays with the Steelers. Vick fills a similar role, but much more dynamic. If Donovan were to ever go down and Kolb wasn't performing well, Vick at least adds another dimension in his part-time duties. Our offense with him is entirely unpredictable. If things are cold then he's the type of guy who can provide a big play and hopefully a spark.

A backup QB? Probably not. A key role player? Absolutely. And we've seen guys like that make impacts on teams before. He's great in short yardage and it makes us special because we're the only team in the NFL with this dimension.

Adam S. said...

Did anybody else notice at the end of the game with that little scuffle how it actually started. Diehl took a little push from behind just as the play ended, he then very deliberately marched over and punched the Eagles player (not quite sure who it was, Spoon?) in the back of head/neck. That then caused everything to get out of hand. I'm not usre why Cole lost it like he did but it's unfortunate. NOBODY mentioned anything about Diehl in anything I watched. Collinsworth went straight after Cole when they went to the replay. I'm curious to see what happens with fines. Cole will get one forsure but will Diehl even be mentioned, or noticed for that matter.

Tommy Lawlor said...

I watched part of that highlight. It did look like a Giant OL tried to sucker punch someone in the back. I didn't get a number. I'll watch carefully tonight.

Myron said...

Re: Asante -

All I'm saying is that if give a cornerback a huge multi-million dollar contract, I'd sort of expect him to play like Derelle Revis of the Jets, or Nhamdi Asamugha (sp) of the Raiders - both guys who can completely shutdown an elite receiver, tackle well, AND occasionally make plays. Asante can only do one of those three things well, and sometimes whole games will pass without him making a play. His playmaking ability is also too dependent upon the skill level of the quarterback - his interceptions mostly come vs. the mediocre quarterbacks of the league. Do you guys remember when Belichick released him? I think there's a good reason they did: he's overrated.

Re: Vick -

It's nice to seem him play a role in the offense, and indeed, the past two games it seems almost as if he's formed some chemistry with the o-line and even McNabb. The prospect of some kind of "two-headed monster" at quarterback is kind of intriguing, and if they work, those gadget plays are very entertaining. Also, consider that one of the big criticisms of McNabb has always been that he gets winded as the game goes on because he puts more of his time into strength training rather than cardio. Letting him take a few plays off during a game so that a fresh Vick can come in might enable the Eagles to better utilize McNabb. Just a thought. But anyway, regardless of how well he works out, next year you definitely want to let him start somewhere else. There are just too many teams dying for even a remotely competent quarterback, and Vick is clearly one of those players who resents not being the starter/center of attention. It will be better for both parties next year if they part ways.

em26jamie said...

Asante was not released by Belichick, he was a free agent. I think Belichick put the franchise tag on him the previous year too, if I remember correctly.

These refs are killing me every week. They call Mikel for a touch foul on one play, then on the next play they call a mystery foul on him (I was at the game and they never actually threw a flag on the play), then they "miss" the mugging Celek takes in the end zone. Last week, Demps gets a personal foul for a late hit when the runner was barely down. Last night, #20 for Giants clearly comes in way late on McCoy with the people's elbow and there's no call. This inconsistency is killing me.

Cliff said...

Myron, if you ask Asante to play more like Asomugha, he'll say, "Fine. Pay me the extra $5 mil per year GUARANTEED that Asomugha gets."

And you better believe Revis will get more than 5-years, $56 mil when he hits the market.

I guess what I'm saying is, Asante has been worth the cash.

izzylangfan said...

Asante is all right, but his up and down results with tackling indicate that he needs to be more concerned with his consistency. He can tackle, but he just doesn't bring it to a high level until he has a bad game or two and gets motivated.

The Giants mug Celek in the end zone and no call - not reviewable. The Eagles recover a fumble in field goal range with two seconds left in the first half, but the officals wrongly say time had expired - not reviewable. When will the rules allow officials to get the correct call. These calls are often difficult or impossible for human beings to make in real time with the naked eye. So if you are going to make these calls let them not be random.

Vick is not a great quarteback. He wasn't before at Atlanta either. However, he is clearly an extraordinary athlete with experience and significant skill at quarterback. What his experience with the Eagles suggests is that he is coachable. Atlanta and Nike did everything possible to bloat his then already overinflated ego. But for the second time around Vick might just be humble enough to learn how to be an excellent QB. Maybe not, but I'll bet that someone will be willing to take a chance.

Prem Prakash said...

Tommy, thanks for the pr:kr info.

Because Asante played in the AFC I was only familiar with his pick numbers, not seeing him play until playoff time. Watching him since he's signed with the Eagles, I'm of the opinion that Sheldon is a better all-around corner. This year Asante only has 2 more interceptions so far than Brown. He may be better at pass coverage, but Sheldon is a more physical cb and is better against the big receivers and against the run.

When Vick signed at the beginning of the year, a friend of mine who is a Giants fan said it terrified him to think of Vick and McNabb in the backfield at the same time. Funny that this happened for the first time against the G-men. Although that play didn't go anywhere, it points to a variety of options that a game-ready Vick can bring. Yea, 5 mil would be pricey, and Vick would probably prefer to be traded and start, but I hope they keep him as backup to McNabb (that's right, McNabb should start next year!). Presumably his value would only increase after a full year of play. Besides, isn't it a lot more fun to think of Vick as the #2 than Kolb?

Cliff said...

I'm not ready to say Sheldon is a better all-around corner than Asante. Sheldon tackles and plays the run as good as a CB can, but he gets burned more than a sorority girl on spring break.

OK. That wasn't very funny.

But he does get beat. Everyone makes a big deal about Asante jumping routes and getting beat by double-moves, but he's 4th in the NFL in INT's... so he knows what he's doing.

Sheldon is very good and very underrated, but he's never been a ball hawk. Asante has made our secondary deadly. Sheldon, on the other hand, has never had this many INT's or yards after INT. Is that an effect of Asante roaming the other side of the field?

Prem Prakash said...

re:Cliff

A bunch of my football buddies agree with you about Asante and Sheldon, so I've been disagreed with before on this. They'd probably also agree about most any sorority girl, but that's another story! I like your point about Asante being on the other side benefitting Sheldon. I hadn't really thought on that. Still, I think Sheldon has grown into his role. His pick numbers are solid, and there's few cbs that can hit like he does, especially in the open field. I can't agree he gets beat a lot, though it would be interesting to see some stats. For me, when I see an opposing qb double-pump, I'm hoping Asante is staying with his man and not going for the glory.

It's pretty damn cool to have this debate, isn't it? Plenty of teams would like to have 2 Pro Bowl caliber corners.

izzylangfan said...

I like Asante and I like Sheldon. But something is awry. The Eagles pass defense is the worst it has ever been during the Andy Reid era.

Myron said...

Ok, disregard Asamugha, he's a poor example because Al Davis likes to blow money needlessly.

Look at the two best cornerbacks in the league right now: Charles Woodson and Derelle Revis. Both getting paid alot less than Asante right now. Both of them can effectively nullify an elite receiver, tackle prociently, and occasionally make plays. Maybe they won't have quite as many interceptions as Asante, but close to it, and they most definitely won't bite on pump fakes and jump routes to the point that it actually *costs* us points.

What I'm saying is: if you pay a cornerback big bucks, you really expect to get positive value out of him. If Asanate is eventually giving up more points due to route jumping and getting burned than the points he earns by intercepting quarterbacks, he's not bringing any positive value to the team.

If the Eagles signed Woodson or Revis to a multi-million dollar contract, it'd be well, well worth it, as they would give the team the best possible player at that cornerback position, and plenty of positive value.