Thursday, August 16, 2012

Roster moves

As you've already heard, Rogers is done for the season as is another DT Parker. Austin's back problem seems to be minor; he may miss some training camp time but it shouldn't affect his availability for the season. But with Canty still on PUP, Giants went out and signed a few other DTs at least to have enough bodies to go through all the drills in training camp until the cut down dates. Some of the players they signed have previous NFL experience and will probably at the very least be serviceable players until Canty and Austin get back to full strength. Giants also signed a kick returner, Laron Scott, a rookie undrafted FA from Georgia Southern. With all the depth the Giants have on their team, and the difficult decisions they will have to make to arrive at the final roster, I am sure they don't love the idea of carrying a specialist that does nothing but return kicks, that only puts more pressure on the "numbers game".  But with two muffed punts in the opener, they may bite the bullet and take him.

The interesting side note to these roster moves is that in addition to signing DTs Wilson, Skinner and Powell; and the rumored plan to sign Marcus Thomas who played in the league for the Broncos last year, the Giants also released two other DL/LBs: they cut Justin Trattou and Clint Sintim, both because of injury. Trattou had  a bad ankle and Sintim never recovered from his multiple knee injuries. The reason I am bringing up the Sintim thing is that it is one of the very few unproductive high round draft pick that Reese has ever made. I was always somewhat suspect of this draft pick, because he was a DE in college that was shifted to LB in the pros. I've gone back to a post I made on this blog on 8/25/2010,  the summer after he was drafted and wrote as follows:

One interesting player to watch is Sintim. When he was drafted, I was unsure of where he might fit. He might be a 'tweener: he played with his hand on the ground, as a pass rushing DE in college. But he is too light to play DE in the NFL and the Giants shifted him to LB. The question is, obviously, does he have the speed and the instincts to play in space in the NFL. He may be a good run stopper because of his size, but may have trouble tracking TEs and RBs running pass patterns on defense. The Giants may envision him not as a 3-down player, but with all the defenses and offenses so situational nowadays, they may view him as playing on running downs only. This is of course risky, because (if you know the rules of football) offenses are in fact allowed to pass on downs that appear to be running downs. He could be a liability if he cannot play in space.
In retrospect, I have to say that my worries back then proved to be well founded. Sintim made a few plays from the LB position - some sacks and some run stops, showed that he was strong and athletic, but had an unmemorable stint as LB and never quite made it. The coup de grace of course, were his knee injuries which put the nails in the coffin of his career. Drafting a guy who played one position in college and expecting him to make the shift to another in the NFL is very suspect. Kiwanuka seems to be managing at LB, but the Giants really use him as a blend DE/LB and there are many others who failed trying to do this. One notable example that comes to mind is Vernon Gholston of the Jets, who was drafted very high, was unable to make the shift and never had his pro career get started.

Reese has been a wonderful talent evaluator and an excellent drafter of talent. The reason the Giants have such talent and depth on this roster is all because of the the master skills of JR. Nobody has a 100% success rate drafting and Sintim is one that he missed on.

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