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New York Giants’ Offseason: Time to Assess 2012

January 5th, 2013 at 12:30 PM
By Jen Polashock

While many of the Big Blue Faithful go into the Wildcard Weekend as disgruntled and unsatisfied fans, head coach Tom Coughlin is admittedly in pain and still reflecting upon what in tarnation happened to his New York Football Giants in 2012. He’s back in the film room and breaking down games, even if it isn’t in preparation for an upcoming game. The man wants answers and will undoubtedly use anything he finds to help his team improve.

This past Monday, seven NFL head coaches lost their jobs and six general managers are in a state of unemployment as the week bore on. Of the remaining 19 teams left that aren’t in the playoffs, several of them are still looking to the New York Giants in order to fill their vacancies. Clearly, General Manager Jerry Reese’s statements about believing that the Giants are still legitimate contenders aren’t far off.

"I don’t think we’re that far off, to be honest with you. This team will look different next year, but I think we’ll have a good core of players coming back and I think we can see what we can do in free agency in the offseason. Of course, we always have the draft. We'll start rebuilding a team and the evaluation process has started already. We put our heads together and we let our emotions die down a little bit and really step back and see what happened," he said.

Changes will be made as the word complacency has no home in East Rutherford. Some will not be as popular as others, but the main goal of improvement is all that matters. Signings have already begun and interviews are being conducted. Many are expecting change in the way of major ones, but unless there is already a better possibility set in place for that modification, stop dreaming. Calling for heads is for the fans; general managers and coaches research and conduct business with the entire organization and future in mind. One rash decision can place a break in a stable foundation.

While most interpret change as subtraction, the Giants seem to be heading in a direction of addition. The talk of NFL single-season sack record holder, defensive end Michael Strahan, returning in some capacity is plausible and could be a major locker room boost as well.

"I'm going to reach out to Michael Strahan this offseason to see if we can have some conversations with JPP and just tell him, 'Look, it's inside your chest, a lot of it,'" Reese said in an interview on WFAN radio. "'You've got to have the heart to do it.' I think he does, but I think if he heard it from somebody like Michael Strahan, that would really encourage him."

On the other side of the ball, the offensive line needs some enhancement of their own. While right now there are only rumors about bringing college offensive coaches in, don’t think that adjustments won’t be made. The Giants rarely put all of their information out to the public, but word can come before the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft in April. Ensuring that a once prolific offense will make a comeback is priority for Big Blue and will subsequently help the defensive side of the ball as scoring and time of possession shall again fall in favor of blue.

Whatever the winds of change will bring with them, know that it won’t be anything like building a bridge. Not this season.

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Tags: Football, Jerry Reese, Michael Strahan, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin

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11 Responses to “New York Giants’ Offseason: Time to Assess 2012”

  1.  Hardcharger says:

    Happy belated New Year to everyone! May 2013 bring happiness to all except for Dallas fans :). I really think we just need a few tweaks on defense to get that improved. To me we just need to get our pass rush working again, get a DT who can occupy some space and eat up two blockers and a MLB who can knock the sh** out of someone. I know everyone is complaining about our secondary but dame we got 21 INTs this year which I think it ranked 3rd in the league (correct me if I am wrong). If we could get some pressure on the QB and get crucial sacks (crucial sacks= 3rd dwn sacks or 2nd dwn sacks forcing 3rd & long). This should assist with increasing our INTs and turnovers. Now our offense really isn’t that far away from being great and unstoppable. We really need to fix the o-line and we are in business. We can all agree that Eli did not play like a top 5 QB this year. I think fixing the line, getting a healthier Nicks and our 2011 Eli (minus all those INTs) should do the trick. Say what you want about our defense but they created turnovers this year and our offense sucked in turning them into points. If our offense would have come to play this year, and even with our defensive flaws (not enough sacks or pressure), we could have easily been a 10-6 or even an 11-5 team. But would of, could of, should of! Now let’s just correct these issues and get that hunger back and I think we will be ok next year!

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Good thoughts. But see my post below. I think it may be that they need to make sure the offense works well and just add a few defensive pieces while assuming many players will have “bounce-back” years in 2013 (obvious candidates are Webster, Joseph, JPP, Tuck, Williams, and Eli).

  2.  Since 1963 says:

    I think the key is two words: Question everything. That doesn’t mean fire everybody, or even anyone in particular. Just review and sift through everything.

    The coaches will all be back, apparently. Unfortunately, in my view (and in that of many people who post here), but that’s how it is. However, there’s still room to examine philosophy. For instance, is it true that opposing defenses seem to know what’s coming? Why is that? Can the coaches break down their game plans, game by game, and see what they did right–and wrong? Does our defensive philosophy make sense, still? (If, under Fewell, it ever has.)

    One thing I liked about the final game against Philly, aside from the final score, was that a lot of old plays got dusted off. Running backs out on pass patterns intermediate or deep down the sideline. Multiple blitz formations. Did these plays work only because Philadelphia couldn’t get out of its own way, or because they just work? Why did we see them only when the season was virtually lost?

    TC’s looking for answers. One might be in the mirror. Had this team made the playoffs, the Giants would be SB champs two years in five. Now they’re the team that has missed the playoffs three years in four. Everyone says they gave up this year, maybe from emotional exhaustion. Is there something in the way that TC coaches that drains too much energy for no purpose? You can pick on the meeting style (if you’re not five minutes early, you’re late), but maybe that intensity runs through everything, places where it shouldn’t be, serves no point.

    But you get the idea. Everything should be challenged and reviewed. Fifty-three players and a coaching staff failed to make the postseason. Nobody should escape scrutiny. It doesn’t have to be mean, it doesn’t have to result in firing, but it does have to produce better answers than blaming Hurricane Sandy.

  3.  G-MenFan says:

    Personally, I believe that the Giants looked at their schedule and decided that there’s no way they can ratchet it up for all 16 games given their opponents and the logistics. So they started picking and choosing the games they wanted to play and hoped that they could mail in the rest. This never works, and by the time they got to the end of the schedule they were a discombobulated mess.

    I think this also explains why they played some great games against tough opponents and looked terrible against some teams they should beat.

    While changes need to be made, and will be for sure, I think we chalk up 2012 to “you can’t win every year” and move on. The way I see it, this coach/QB combo has 3 or 4 more years left in which to win another SB and become immortal with 3 Lombardis.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    Last year I argued, to a derisive chorus, that it was a major mistake to allow Mario Manningham to go over a few million dollars because this team needed THREE very fine wide receivers both to maximize their offensive firepower and as insurance against injury to any one of them. I know Manningham was hurt and missed part of the season, and was never a huge factor in SF, but I still believe I was right and that his presence (even at the cost of having lost another player they wished to keep) would have gained us a playoff position.

    Well, the argument I certainly hope I will NOT be making in March is that it was a big mistake to allow Martellus Bennett to go over a few million dollars. I’m afraid that could happen. And while I do not think The Black Unicorn is right now a star, and do think he drops too many passes, I think his growth over the next two years should be extraordinary. This is a guy with very little experience yet he seemed to master not only the edge blocking but also the route trees by the time the season ended. I think he was just hitting his stride. And he played well through injury, something that cannot be said for all that many players.

    I also think Marty B. brings a few assets to the table that are potentially critical to the Giants. First, he has personality, and I think that has real value on a team that has a few too many “cool, calm, and collected” professionals who don’t radiate enough passion for my taste. Second, he is one of no more than a handful of tight ends in the league who have demonstrated the ability to go deep (I remember at least two deep balls he caught and at least 3-4 times when he got open deep and either wasn’t thrown the ball or was overthrown by Eli). I think that will be critical for the 2013 Giants, who not only need to again get Victor Cruz some space in the middle of the field where he can use his quick cuts to do his best work, but SHOULD be making great use of getting David Wilson the ball in space. If Bennett can go deep and pull a safety and/or linebacker with him then Wilson can do some serious damage on offense and Cruz will not be forced to the outside as he was much of this season, which diminished his effectiveness.

    I think we should return next year with a roster that includes Bennett, Robinson (rookie contract) and Pascoe (veteran minimum, I think). Keeping Bennett, IMO, means we can live with a mediocre offensive line (because he really helps on blocking and allows for quick hitters from Eli); we can get maximum production from Wilson and make the offense extremely threatening by best utilizing Cruz and Wilson; and by probably maximizing points in 2013 allowing ourselves the loss of Osi and Phillips (the latter of whom should be kept if possible but probably won’t be if he gets a good offer elsewhere) and possibly giving up a few more points on defense if Hill and Brown don’t really step up.

    Looking at it from a holistic vantage point, I think keeping Bennett (and allowing him to really bloom next season) could be the next most important signing Reese needs to make after he ties up Beatty. I suspect they are going to let him go because the Giants feel comfortable plugging bodies into the tight end spot (and perhaps Robinson has shown a lot in practices), but i think that would be a big mistake.

    Keep Beatty, keep Boothe, keep Bennett, and make absolutely certain we have at least two run-stoppers who can also collapse the pocket at defensive tackle, and acquire a good corner by whatever means, and I think we’ll be okay in 2013. One of those defensive tackles will already be on the roster (probably one among the very disappointing 2012 Joseph and the emerging second-year player Kuhn). The other may well need to come from free agency. Reese will draft one too, but no one will expect him to contribute a lot in 2013.

    And one last thing: if Muasau isn’t an “answer” then find a linebacker who can fill a hole and make the runner go backwards instead of being dragged 2-3 yards after contact. Please. Otherwise Alfred Morris will be killing us for years to come.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I agree, I think Bennett must be kept. I really think too many have overlooked the vast improvement in the running game from last year. I think Bennett had a major role in that occurance. He’s like Boss but better in everyway accept consistent hands. I think he may improve there as well with the ball coming to him much more than he was use to. TEs that fit our system as ablocker and pass receiver with his talents are hard to fine. it seems liek he can be signed at a reasonable yearly price with some years and guarantees. I think him and Boothe are the 2 free agents that should be easiest to re-sign. Beatty must be kept be could be harder to negotaite with given his position.

  5.  GOAT56 says:

    Like I said the other day. These JR TT safety comments spell bad news for KP returning. But as someone mentioned TT must redo his beal because no way he makes 8 mil as scheduled in 2013.

    I saw soem talk a free agent CBs and the success the bengals had. Terrence Newman and Pac man Jones? Really? Yes, those have worked out but those were a lot risker bets than Webster was this year. And Clements was moved to safety. Vet CBs are a lot like relief pitching in baseball, total crap shoots. I rather bet on Webster if we can get him down to the 5 mil range. Now we still need CB help but that will come via the draft and Coe level free agents.

    •  Krow says:

      That might be some of it … but TT ain’t getting $8.000,000 next year. So before he plays a down that contract has to be dealt with.

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