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New York Giants May Benefit by Being Without Super Bowl Hangover in 2013

March 3rd, 2013 at 9:45 AM
By Jen Polashock

Coming off of a Super Bowl victory is the most mammoth high there is for an NFL organization. Having experienced it twice in a five-year span from 2008-2012, the New York Football Giants could tell you firsthand how incredible it is to be there when most teams barely come close.

'Final Score' photo (c) 2012, Ted Kerwin - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Part of the issue during the 2012 season was that as much as the Giants wanted to believe they were playing each game one at a time (for all intents and purposes, they were), they had the glimmer and gold from the XLVI World Champions ring still in their line of vision. Awareness was there, but not even close to the level that it needed to be. Deny no more.

Before the official kickoff to the 2012 NFL Season, “Build the Bridge” was the new mantra chosen by head coach Tom Coughlin – who wanted to continue the run that his Giants began in week 16 of the 2011 NFL Season against the other team from New York. While seemingly harmless, it wasn’t the way to begin a brand new season. They needed to let go of a 9-7 season that could have ended that same week and forge a less tiring way of doing things.

The 2013 season will be just that. Being forced to come back down to reality and get back to basics is just where the team is right now: baseline. No one is above team. Remember: “Team First. Team Last. Team Always.” This is the only intonation that should be behind every practice, play call, snap, and execution. Put everything on the field for your teammates and leave it there. Use the “underdogs” label that fuels the in-season fire as it burns within each player. Find Giants Pride again – the old school Big Blue pride that Wellington Mara instilled long ago. It’s time to make 2013 all about football – pure NFL-level football.

The fact that there will be not overblown media hype about a particular Wednesday night opening night versus a division rival should be a perfect place to start. There aren’t any “stars” here. A few of the players need to realize that before they, too, go by the wayside and become formers that wish they hadn’t wanted to “test” any market. As a particular team just down the turnpike can attest, money will not buy a Lombardi. Well, a real on that’s awarded on a Sunday night in February…

The front is fairly silent now, except for the obligatory, “We keep our options open” or “We will look into that” or “we will fully investigate our options” blanket answers from general manager Jerry Reese. The only thing that tells us is what we already know: anything is possible as every option is explored thoroughly to improve the Giants while also maintaining cap-friendly integrity for the franchise. Fair enough.

As the formal start to the 2013 NFL season is on the horizon, look for the New York Giants to be as quiet and serious as their general manager and as focused and motivated as their head coach. Expect more elementary, uncomplicated football – with less bold extrapolations on what the future will hold for blue. This time, they will play each game as it comes…one game at a time.

Also…

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Tags: Football, Jerry Reese, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin, Wellington Mara

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11 Responses to “New York Giants May Benefit by Being Without Super Bowl Hangover in 2013”

  1.  demo3356 says:

    Another great piece Jen! And happy Belated Birthday!

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    re-post, but first,, excellent piece Jen. Totally agree. More below…..

    Yeah, the running game. Well, in Wilson and Brown we have plenty of talent, way more than necessary to sustain a solid running attack. The issue is going to be all about the offensive line, which over the past few years has evolved into one that is pretty decent at protecting Eli but doesn’t dominate anyone at the LOS so requires the backs to be outstanding rather than just very good in order to consistently move the ball.

    Beatty is very good in protection and improving a bit as a run-blocker but not dominating there. Neither of our current guards are able to pull, which is a VERY significant defect in the run game (Snee was a great pulling guard in his prime, and we had a guard on the other side, most recently Seubert, who could do that too, and that was a very big element in the success of our running attack because of the ability to get more hats to one side of the field than the defense could handle). Baas needs to get, and stay, healthy to really help much at a position where his reaction time has to be almost instantaneous. And we need a solution on the right edge that is better than what we’ve had of late (since McKenzie “lost” it in 2011).

    I see some potential help in Mosley (who is a real mauler), whom I think has a real shot to be a solid NFL guard. Brewer is a big man with supposedly quick feet. Here’s hoping he wins the RT job in camp and goes on to show he was a great pick. If he can learn how to gain leverage despite his height he could really help in the run game as much as in the area where they are already counting upon him: to use that height and long arms to protect Eli’s right side.

    So my expectation is that the Giants think they now have in place three keys to the long-term “team” that will man the O-line: Beatty, Brewer and Mosley. I suspect they are still expecting Baas to work out well. Good centers can have long NFL careers and Baas still appears to me to be a potentially very good one if he can finally stay healthy (but I’m not counting on that since he has been hurt almost since the day he got here to varying degrees). I think they are hoping that McCants is going to be a long-term answer that gives them the third tackle that every team needs (remember, Nick Saban speaks highly of him and says he wishes he had been able to recruit him to ‘Bama, which is high praise indeed).

    But having said all that, Reese needs to draft offensive linemen this April and next, and among those players will have to be at least two interior linemen and another tackle. And for my money two of those picks should be the kind of players who are strong and mobile, and can pull to the opposite side of the line and allow a good running back to tuck behind him, wait patiently, and then explode through a gap created by that blocker in concert with one of the others who lined up on the side to which the team is running in the first place. These guys have to be big, relatively quick, and mean. I want David Diehl’s attitude, Rich Seubert’s (or even better, a younger Chris Snee’s) short-distance quickness, and at least 295 pounds of muscle.

    Get that done and we can stop worrying about our running game. When you have the above, plus Eli and his receivers, defenses will have very few answers that will work. And while I know many are worried about our defense, which is certainly legit, my view is that while we MUST solve a serious problem at defensive tackle and we DO need another cornerback, if we address those two positions while getting a real improvement in the offensive line and finding the right placekicker, we will be right in the thick of things again. The old saying was you win championships with defense. Well, in this new era of the NFL I think it should be you win championships with “good enough” defenses and extraordinary offenses. The Giants aren’t so far off that goal as many think.

    •  Nosh.0 says:

      I don’t know about pulling but I thought Boothe at times looked like a pretty good straight ahead run blocker.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        I think he IS a pretty good straight-ahead blocker. But guards who can pull are far more effective because you can line up with a tight end and a fullback, hand the ball to the running back, have the guard pull to the strong side and suddenly you’ve got more big uglies opening gaps than you do defensive players able to get there to close that gap. If the timing is right it’s almost impossible for a defense to hold that kind of a play to less than 5-6 yards if no one blows his assignment. The center seals the defensive tackle opposite him, the strong-side guard helps seal that tackle but also shoots out toward the MIKE to seal him off, the strong-side tackle attacks the defensive end, the tight end helps with either the DE or the OLB, the pulling guard gets through the gap to attack the outside linebacker or oncoming safety and the fullback addresses the other. The running back should be 3-4 yards downfield before anyone lays a hand on him and even if the weakside backer has been able to cut across the trash without having been sealed or the corner and safety on the strong side have engaged the runner, he should get at least a few more yards out of that. When you have the timing down these kinds of runs can get you nice chunks of yardage consistently. It also forces the safeties up after you’ve run it a few times and allows Eli to fake the handoff and attack downfield to one of his two receivers who should be able to beat the defensive backfield by going, in part, against the flow of the offensive line and the defense that is reacting in the same direction.

        Pulling guards add a lot to the offensive arsenal. Right now we don’t have one.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    Best things about not coming off the championship:

    1) Longer off-season so far better physical recovery;

    2) Much more hunger after being embarrassed by a lousy effort down the stretch;

    3) Much easier schedule in 2013;

    4) Far fewer distractions since no one is quite so anxious to rub shoulders with the players who were also-rans in 2012

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    Baas needs to figure out how to stay healthy enough to keep playing through the minor injuries. A longer off-season regimen should help.

    Tuck has to decide if he wants another NFL contract because his play last season will get him veteran minimum and not a nickel more (for which he wouldn’t play when he can raise chickens in Alabama). I think we’ll know all about him within a week of camp opening. He will either be re-dedicated to the rigors of the NFL or he will be the Giants’ Hamlet and on his way to a secondary role and to being shown the door after the season concludes.

    You know Webster is thinking he can still play and that he can still get another contract that can get him about $10-12MM guaranteed if he gets back to form this season, so this is a HUGE camp and season for him. I find it hard to believe a cornerback can get THAT bad THAT fast without a combination of lingering injury and total confusion surrounding him on the defense. I would not be at all surprised by a big comeback year for him in 2013. Having said that, I want a corner drafted in the worst way. I am convinced, as I have been for over a month, that if Rhodes or Trufant is there at #19 Reese should grab him. I’d accept going in another direction if it’s to get a total stud at one of the O-line positions or at DT, but I think given the depth in the draft at those positions we can still get really good players for those spots with the #48 pick and whenever our other early picks come up (I would not be at all surprised if it’s sooner than most assume).

    •  Nosh.0 says:

      I’ve been really critical of Webster but you’re right, he’s our best bet for a bounce back year. And he plays a position that has less wear than guys that play up front.

      The 2 guys I really think need to go are Snee and Deihl. Those 2 have no chance of returning to form and have been steadily declining for several seasons.

      I know we currently don’t have replacements, but I kind of want to just go the route of putting a young up and comer who’s hungry in there. Although then there is always the risk of a kid not being ready and getting Eli killed.

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