Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another perspective on the departure of Smith and Boss

Reese and the departing FAs
As I said in a recent post, the big mistake Reese made in the post season negotiations with Boss and Smith was not the fact that he actually lost the players, but the way he went about it. He made an offer to them and left it hanging out there, giving no deadline for when a response was expected and therefore showing no sense of urgency to get a deal done. This, on the one hand,  gave the feeling to the players that the Giants did not particularly care about having them back. Worse still, it allowed them to sit with the offer until a better one came along. All it takes is one team to beat the offer and the players are gone; and the teams had a target to shoot at - an offer they knew they had to beat if they wanted the player. If you think I am wrong, take a look here  at the article in the NY Post for Smith's confirmation of this. He says that the Giants lack of urgency to sign him made him feel that they didn't really care about having him back.

Did he want them or not ??
This leads me to the next question about the GM's performance. Did he want to sign Smith and/or Boss or not? Nobody has a good read on their exact intentions or "the blueprint" as Reese called it. Since he didn't exactly tell us what the blueprint was, we are left with the task of trying to read his mind retrospectively, to do a theoretical  analysis without having the actual facts. It goes something like this: did he really want to sign them or was he just going through the motions to make the other players on the team, who loved these players, secure in the knowledge that if you're on the Giants, the management tries to take care of you. OR... perhaps he genuinely wanted these players and since he saw no other team was pursuing them, he tried to get them as cheaply as possible. OR....  did he sort of want the players because they fit in the system well, but he knew they were not star players and he did not want to overpay for them and give star money to good-or-very-good-players. OR... did he want them, but he was up against the salary cap and just couldn't offer more than he offered. It's so confusing. Bottom line is that Reese extended them an offer that was not terrible, so you have to feel he wanted them to some degree. This is a results oriented world and because they left when the Giants offered them a contract and that they were indignant that Smith didn't give them a chance to match, shows, I think that they misplayed and misjudged the situation.

Even though we like Boss and Smith and they seem to be good contributors on offense, they are not a requirement to make the offense productive. The Giants need the OL to come together and if it does, there are plenty enough weapons on offense to make it productive, assuming Eli decides to throw the ball to the guys wearing the same colored jersey as his own this year.

Giants Practice Notes
I went to Giants practice today at the Timex Performance Center and have the following notes:
  • There are two side by side fields where practice is conducted. There are drills and routines going on simultaneously on both fields. But when the offense goes against the defense for the simulated game practice, they did that on the field closest to the Timex building. Because the bleachers are set up on the side of the first field and fans must stay there, they are separated from the practicing players by the width of one football field and it does not afford a great view of practice.
  • The defensive backfield looks very strong. Terrell Thomas looks even better than last year and Corey Webster was all over the place.
  • Brandon Jacobs looks lean, spry and quicker to me than in the past.
  • Jernigan made some nice moves, catches and ran routes decisively, with real quickness.
  • Victor Cruz, the star of preseason last year, dropped a few balls, then committed the cardinal sin for WRs - he pulled up on one long throw by Eli instead of continuing his route and running under the ball. It looked like a perfect throw by Eli which fell incomplete
  • I didn't have a complete count, but I thought I saw 3 or 4 INTs that Eli threw today. One was a gorgeous play by Terrell Thomas on a long ball. Two were on balls that were slightly off target, were tipped by the WR and fell into the hands of the DB. Sound familiar? These picks include one that ended the practice. It was a two-minute drill, which would end with either the offense scoring or the defense getting a stop. Eli completed one or two balls, then threw an in cut to Victor Cruz which bounced off his fingertips into the waiting arms of Corey Webster who flew down the sidelines for what would have been a TD.
  • Maybe it's me, but it looks like David Carr changed his throwing motion. He's starting the ball lower and almost slinging it. He looked like he was throwing well and accurately.
  • The punters, some ST players and DBs were the groups that signed autographs or fans after practice today. They were very social and warm, joking and talking with the kids. Zak De Ossie was particularly friendly. I mentioned to him that he is the answer to one of my favorite trivia questions: the only father-son combination to win a Superbowl for the same franchise. He liked that.
  • You might think that punters are not "real" football players, that they are soft and unmuscular, but just have great flexibility in their legs that allow them to kick it a long way. I am here to tell you that's not true. Weatherford and Dodge are both extremely impressive physical specimens, with great upper body strength, no body fat and, of course, huge legs. I noticed that Weatherford's kicking leg (right) looked 50% bigger than his left. It was enormous.

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