Monday, April 12, 2010

Giants: off season musings

Jets look like they will be a powerhouse next year. Even though they had a mediocre regular season and got into the playoffs only because their last two opponents, Colts and Bengals, laid down and let them win, they still had a very impressive run in the playoffs. Looking back at their regular season, most of their mediocrity and their losses came from uneven play from the rookie QB, Sanchez, who made questionable decisions with the ball and turned the ball over way too often. It is certainly understandable and almost predictable that a rookie QB will struggle, especially with a rookie HC and young OC that, though he is creative and has good experience in the job, had only coached veteran QB's in his career prior to Sanchez. In the playoffs, when they played a little more conservatively and when Sanchez had the benefit of having an entire year of experience under his belt, he played much better. The Jets crushed the Bengals and had a really good win against the Chargers before giving the Colts a good game in being booted from the playoffs. With Sanchez more seasoned, with a great OL, and now with the acquisition of Santonio Holmes for a 5th round draft pick (a steal based on his ability and production) they are very well situated offensively to have a great year. Rex Ryan was very creative on defense and the and the Jets had the number 1 defense in football. In addition, now it looks like they have the horses on offense. Ladanian Tomlinson looked like he was slowing down the last few years, but if he still has a little tread left on those tires, he should be productive behind that excellent OL. The Jets have all the weapons they need on offense: two excellent WRs in Edwards and Holmes, a good possession WR in Cotchery, a good looking young TE in Keller, a tough young RB with a veteran behind him in Tomlinson and an emerging QB. Not bad.

I am worried about the Eagles. They beat the Giants badly twice last year (after beating them twice in a row the previous year including knocking them out of the playoffs). They got very young last year and now have gotten even younger by getting rid of their QB. In addition, they surely have lots of financial flexibility, because McNabb was by far the biggest contract they were carrying. Even though there is no salary cap this year, there surely will be one whenever football resumes with its collective bargaining agreement and the Eagles will be in prime position to pay handsomely for the few FAs they may need to push them over the top. In addition to their quality and the youth on their current roster, they are well primed to get even better and even younger. They have 7 draft picks in the first 4 rounds in what is judged to be one of the best drafts ever. If anything, the Eagles need some improvement in the OL and DL and this draft is particularly strong in those two areas. Eagles are set up to be a real strong contender for the next several years in the NFC East as well as overall in the conference and the league. Of course, a lot depends on how good the QB play is. If Kevin Kolb proves to be the answer at QB, the Eagles will be very tough.

For a contrary view, from someone who thinks that the Eagles killed themselves with the McNabb trade and are heading to a 6-10 season, take a look at Gary Myers article in the Sunday Daily News.

I am still puzzled about the Cowboys cutting Flozell "the hotel" Adams. They had a very good season last year and won their first playoff game in a decade. They have been very quiet with changes this off-season, not doing so much as even tinkering with their roster, signalling that they are content with their team. A big part of their offense is their running game which is greatly helped by their massive OL, the most massive of whom is Adams. He is a dirty player, having ruined Justin Tuck's season last year with a dirty trip that injured his shoulder. He also went after Tuck and took a cheap shot at him on the last play of the half in the other Giants-Cowboys game. Because it was the last play of the half, the penalty would not carry over to the next half, so he had a "free" whack at him. But that doesn't bother the Cowboys - they have other players (G Leonard Davis is one) that also take their share of cheap shots. I just can't figure out why they cut Flozell. In my opinion, his play has declined slightly over the last few years and maybe they feel he's done. But you shouldn't cut your starting LT when you don't know what you're going to do to replace him. I know Jerry Reese cut Pettigout in 2007, but that was Pettigout and this is a real NFL caliber LT. In fact Flozell is a five time pro bowl selection. Maybe some of those pro bowls came from the hype of playing for America's team, but he was undoubtedly a strong player. He's also apparently hard to coach and doesn't have the best work ethic. But.... five pro bowls???? Someone tell me why they cut him and what they will do at LT in 2010.

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