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New York Giants Final Monday Morning Hangover: a Quick Eulogy and Eventful Offseason Ahead

December 31st, 2012 at 10:20 AM
By Simon Garron-Caine

The biggest plays in Week 17 for the New York Giants weren't touchdowns by rookies Reuben Randle and David Wilson or any other plays in their meaningless 42-7 throttling of the Philadelphia Eagles…they were happening in Detroit as Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears held off a sloppy Detroit Lions team and ended the Giants season when he began taking a knee after the two-minute warning.

'Tom Coughlin and Grandkids' photo (c) 2008, Ted Kerwin - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

So, it's over.

We'll try not to spend too much time mourning it, as most of us have known it was over since the Atlanta Falcons debacle, if not the following week in a debacle encore against the Baltimore Ravens.

Sure, it was sort of nice to send Michael Vick and Andy Reid out of Philly on that kind of note…but it's hardly a consolation for a season that fell apart quickly and, even still, almost inexplicably. On offense and defense, the Giants just fell apart on the field.

It really is that simple, and as a result our soul searching is easier. We don't have a torturous "What if?" moment, we can't even blame our familiar old bugaboo the injury bug. None of the last seven Super Bowl winners have won a playoff game the following year and the Giants dithering performance down the stretch sure looked like evidence that trend is not quite a fluke. They were simply inconsistent and lacked the [insert x-factor here] to overcome it.

So we'll talk about what went wrong, what needs to be repaired, what needs to be changed…but mostly we'll look forward to what will surely be an eventful offseason for Giants General Manager Jerry Reese:

Familiar faces hitting free agency:

Osi Umenyiora, Will Beatty, Kenny Phillips, Martellus Bennett and Domenik Hixon lead the way as guys in line for either a new deal or a new team. Our best guess is that Umenyiora goes while Beatty, Phillips, Bennett and Hixon all return.

High-salary players in apparent decline:

David Diehl ($4.1 million in 2013), Corey Webster ($7 million), Justin Tuck ($4.5 million), Chris Canty ($6 million+ in 2013 and 2014), Ahmad Bradshaw ($3.75 million in 2013, $4 million in 2014) are all guys with contracts that suggest it's time to either cut them loose or renegotiate. Looks like there will be ample room for savings to be found for the above-mentioned guys and outside free agents.

Questions about the defensive staff:

With the grand exception of last year's playoff run, Perry Fewell has presided over a mostly bottom-ranked defensive unit. For a group that's not exactly starved for talent, the defense's recurring problems both up front and with breakdowns in the secondary, it's fair to wonder about Fewell's job security.

A loss of identity in the trenches:

Two tokens of the Tom Coughlin/Jerry Reese-era Giants were noticeably absent this year: the pass rush from the front four and the ability to consistently run the football. Scheme might be a part of it, but Reese has some personnel work cut out for him as both the offensive and defensive lines are really, really beginning to show their age.

And it's right there in those trenches that we'll probably spend a lot of our time this offseason. With Umenyiora likely moving on, with Justin Tuck and Chris Canty having really rough, injury-plagued seasons, no one will be surprised to see Jerry Reese invest a high draft pick on that defensive line.

But that's neither here nor there at this point. There will be plenty of time to dissect the Giants draft and free agency options. Plenty of time to talk about who is staying and who is going.

For now, fellow Giants fans, enjoy some NFL playoff football without the stress of watching our Giants face do-or-die games every Sunday.

Phenomenal rookie quarterbacks Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and {eta: second-year player} Colin Kaepernick have all led their teams to the playoffs. Peyton Manning has brought some of the best quarterbacking ever back to the playoffs, but in a new city, and looks likely for a showdown with Tom Brady in the AFC.

There's good stuff to watch. Enjoy it.

Meanwhile, we'll have all your offseason New York Giants needs here at Giants101.com.

Thanks for sharing another great season with us and much, much thanks for reading. Happy New Year from us all to you and your families and loved ones.

Also…

Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Andrew Luck, Andy Reid, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Football, Jay Cutler, Justin Tuck, Michael Vick, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Osi Umenyiora, Robert Griffin III, Tom Brady

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48 Responses to “New York Giants Final Monday Morning Hangover: a Quick Eulogy and Eventful Offseason Ahead”

  1.  tgowen says:

    Certainly a lot of work to be done this offseason. Will not be shedding any tears if Osi and Tuck head out (though I think Tuck is safe). We need to do whatever it takes to keep Bennett and Hixon around and get a deal for Cruz. All other work in my opinion needs to be done on the defensive side. Injuries continue to plague this unit and they show a total inability to stop the bleeding once it starts.

    Still very optimistic looking ahead toward next year, but I hope we can make some improvements on defense otherwise I fear it will be just another repeat performance.

  2.  Dirt says:

    It’s early, but at this point, you gotta feel good about road games against Dal, Phi, Chi, Det, Car, KC and SD.

    •  demo3356 says:

      Agreed but I believe that schedule G101 posted is wrong. We went to KC 4 years ago and hosted Oakland so I’m pretty sure we go to Oakland and host KC…

  3. Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

    based on Samards spreadsheet cutting

    Diehl saves $4,000,000
    Thomas will probably be cut saving $3,000,000
    Webster if he doesnt take a restructure cut him, saving $7,000,000

    If they can get Eli, Boley, Canty, Rolle, Bradshaw, and Tuck to restructure to save an average of $2 million per player, we could save a total of $21-$26 million not depending on whether Webster restructures or gets cut.

    Should be more than enough to keep the guys we need to and add a guy or two.

  4.  Valid says:

    I think Dirt pointed this out yesterday:

    What the hell happened to Boley in the second half of the season? He got off to a very good start this year, but then he just disappeared and wasn’t even on the field a lot of the time in the second half.

    •  Krow says:

      He’s an aggressive LB … playing coverage. Like many of our guys the Fewell scheme isn’t a good fit for him. He needs to be standing over Aaron Rodgers … mocking him with a Discount Double Check dance. Not chasing after a tight end.

      •  Valid says:

        Yeah. The dude was huge for us during the playoffs last year. No doubt about that.

        Wouldn’t be shocked to see him be a “surprise” cut this offseason, though.

        •  Krow says:

          I know I harp on this, but we need to play to the strengths of our guys. Not wedge them into a ‘system’. I’d rather turn Boley loose on the field than just turn him loose.

          •  Valid says:

            As would I, but given Fewell’s system I just don’t see that happening. The only time he has ever really turned his guys loose was during the playoffs last year.

      • Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

        I still wonder what made Fewell not use the same agressive scheme he used during the playoffs last year. Our secondary wasn’t that much worse.

        •  Krow says:

          My guess … is that he reverted to form. In his heart he’s a coverage guy. It’s what he knows … what he prefers. Comfort level thing. That’s not necessarily bad … but it’s bad for us.

          •  demo3356 says:

            I believe it has to do with the health of the back 7, particularly the Safety position. When Phillips is healthy and his top 3 corners are playing he gets really aggressive, when KP is out or CBs are hurt or under performing his butt puckers and he gets REALLY passive

  5.  Krow says:

    If we return the same team we’re likely to get the same results. But you want change for the better … not just change.

    After 2 years of very underwhelming performance I feel the defense needs a new coordinator. Fewell isn’t an idiot. He knows his craft. But he’s a poor fit for the team and the players. We’re at our best when we play an aggressive, pressure defense. Coverage-based schemes don’t work for us. And that’s Fewell’s bread and butter. Nothing personal, but he needs to go.

    • Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

      whose your first choice?

    •  James Stoll says:

      Unless Reese drafts to Fewel’s desires
      Hasn’t he sort of tried that
      Fast, undersized linebackers
      Faster CBs
      3 safety combinations?
      The fate of Fewel rests with Coughlin
      Unlike in ’06 when Coughlin had yet to produce a championship and thus could be and was forced to dump both his coordinators, I’m sure he now has carte Blanche over who stays and goes
      We all know TC is a loyalty first guy
      Fewell started with him in Jacksonville
      He is a Coughlin guy
      No way he gets fired

      • Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

        Well then lets hope Buffalo takes him back.

        •  G-MenFan says:

          Reese doesn’t ever draft to a coordinator’s desire.

          Reese drafts to his own desires: incredibly athletic football players with huge upside and of decent character. Then turn them over to the Godfather and watch them grow like Chia pets. That’s been the plan so far and he won’t deviate.

  6.  G-MenFan says:

    On the topic of the article, why are all writers referring to only the Bears victory as the reason the Giants did not make the playoffs? Had the Lions won, the Giants would still be out because of the Vikings victory over the Packers. The Giants had to win their own game, and then needed 3 other teams to lose. Two of them won. So, having won their own game, they still didn’t even come close, really.

  7. Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

    The Defense really just needs two things:

    A corner opposite Prince.

    A big mammoth DT next to Landfill. How many times did we see the ends come off the edge just to see the QB step up into a nicely formed pocket?

    •  G-MenFan says:

      Define “mammoth”. Chris Canty is 6’7″, 317 lbs. I’m pretty sure the league rules prohibit dressing a Volkswagen.

      If the Giants can’t find cheap labor at DT, and so far it looks like they’ve whiffed with Marvin Austin, they’ll have to live with Canty and hope his knee recovers fully for 2013. Kuhn looks promising but he’s coming off of a really bad injury and has a full year’s worth of rehab.

      • Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

        Yea but Canty plays small and doesn’t command many double teams. He’s a 3-4 end playing a 4-3 DT.

        I like the guy and think he can contribute but id rather see him moved around. Swing him out to end sometimes, sometimes at DT. We get gashed up the middle.

      •  Valid says:

        Canty is a monster and I think a big part of why he didn’t perform up to par for most of this year was certainly health-related, but as other posters here have pointed out, he isn’t a space-eater.

        Yes, he weighs 317 lbs., but he is a lean 317. He isn’t like an Alan Branch (a free agent whom I really want the Giants to go after) where he has the girth to shut down the middle of the line.

        I absolutely want Canty back on this team next season, but I would rather him be part of a rotation along with Joseph and another bigger DT.

        • Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

          Exactly. Not saying Canty should be gone, but if he doesn’t restructure it might be worth saving the 6 million

    •  James Stoll says:

      I still think there is something systemically wrong with this team. All this talent and it hovers around .500 year after year. Spurts here and there make them look like the best team in the league (and indeed they have been twice), but too too many times they flat out stink. Aside from the three blow out losses this season, we played poorly in both Dallas games, against Philly and Pittsburgh and in both Washington games.
      That’s a lot of bad football.
      The only constant I can point to is the coaches and Eli so it seems that that is where one needs to look. Obviously Eli is the franchise, so all that is left is coaching.
      Now I realize they aren’t going anywhere, so my guess is that no matter how JR tinkers with the team in the offseason, next year we will see more of the same.

      •  G-MenFan says:

        I think it was Krow who said it best. This team under Coughlin is like some complicated race car engine. If the slightest thing goes wrong, it doesn’t run. But when it runs right, it’s unbeatable. I tend to agree with this.

        So what you get is what we’ve gotten. Periods of dominating brilliance cycled in with periods of brain-damaging, window-licking futility. Every couple of years, get all the pistons firing at the right time and make your run.

        I’ll take it. As the late great W.C. Fields has engraved on his headstone, “At least I’m not in Philadelphia.”

        •  James Stoll says:

          Well I come away thinking that Coughlin gets less out of this team than the talent suggests he should. Watching Peyton come back and take a lousy Denver team to 13-3 without even the semblance of a running game, suggests that coaching is getting in the way.
          Watching Washington, Dallas Minnesota and Chicago all look like over achieving team’s makes me wonder why out talent laden team can’t sem to perform consistently at a high level.
          Maybe the system is the super complicated system that when it works is unstoppable, but why does the system have to be so complicated?

          •  G-MenFan says:

            I can understand why someone would think TC doesn’t get as much out of the team as he should, but I disagree with that.

            Denver, Washington, Dallas, Mionnesota, Chicago, et al. are not “over achieving teams”. They’re just teams that haven’t won a Super Bowl in a very long time (ever, in Minnesota’s case). So their schedules aren’t brutal. Their games are not circled on very many calendars. They’re not playing in the largest media market in the world and finding themselves in a lot of Sunday and Monday night games. Washington has been drafting in the top third of every round for years. Let’s face facts here: the NFL punishes achievement and subsidizes failure in the interest of parity. Teams like the Giants, Steelers, Patriots, et al, have to do things a whole lot better than everyone else to stay on top because they’re there so often.

      • Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

        A lot of it is the schemes and use of personnel.

        Why wasn’t Randal and Wilson used more at the beginning of the year?
        Why did the offensive look to have more creativity yesterday than the previous 16 weeks combined?
        Why did they use a 4-4 defense in a must win game with a deep threat like Torrey Smith?
        Why didn’t they use the aggressive scheme that won them a Super Bowl?

        And injuries played a part. The defense was completely different when Phillips played for whatever reason. We don’t have that devastating injury every year, but we have enough to impact our performance and for some reason never adjust like the Skins were able to do.

  8. Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

    Hopefully Thomas can find the same kind of luck Thomas Davis found. Davis recovered from 3 acl tears in 23 months to record 105 tackles for the Panthers. If by some miracle Thomas recovers that is huge for the Giants.

    •  Krow says:

      But we can’t depend on that. We have to act as if it won’t happen and plan accordingly.

      • Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

        Totally agree. I’d like to bring in Jammer since I think we need a veteran presence with Hosley and Prince.

        •  Valid says:

          I’d absolutely love to bring in Jammer. Always felt the guy was pretty underrated.

          As much as I love Thomas, I think it may be time to move on from him. It’s sad because I think the guy had the talent to be a top five corner in this league, but two ACL tears will likely end up being too much for him to overcome.

  9.  kujo says:

    Well, the season is over, and since I don’t have much more than a passing interest in any of the playoff teams, and the hockey season is about to be blown out completely, and the Yankees are going to suck this year (thereby draining my usual euphoria about being a little bit more than 50 days away from pitchers/catchers), I really don’t know what do with myself.

    Should I revert to my annual vaginations about our offensive line, and try to convince you all that drafting an interior lineman in the 1st or 2nd round is the key to our future success?

    Should I go back to 2009, and bang my fists on the table about the need for a big run-stuffing nosetackle that will help us against run-heavy teams like Washington?

    Should I pull a Terrence T and a rlhjr and start using my bully pulpit to drum up support for drafting a big time middle linebacker (coughcough Te’o coughcough)?

    Or should I just rely on the faith and knowledge that we have an excellent General Manager in Jerry Reese, an excellent head coach in Tom Coughlin, an elite quarterback in Eli Manning, a group of young talented wideouts and pass-rushers, who will surely make up the nucleus of this team going forward? I’m thinking this is the way to go.

    We will be back in 2013, you can be sure of that. Happy New Years fellas and ladies. Be safe tonight and don’t do anything stupid. One night is not worth the rest of your lives, or the end of someone else’s.

  10.  Dirt says:

    Wait, someone actually had “At least I’m not in Philadelphia.” engraved on their tombstone? That’s the greatest fvking thing I’ve ever heard!

    •  fanfor55years says:

      I think it’s actually “I’d rather be here than Philadelphia”.

      Old W.C. Fields was quite a character.

    •  G-MenFan says:

      Yeah, WC Fields. I’m not sure it’s true; I think it’s a rumor, but a famous one. There are several different ways of saying it. I’ve heard “All things considered I rather be in Philadelphia”, “I love Philadelphia–I spent a week there one night”, “At least I’m not in Philadelphia”, LOL.

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