Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What needs fixing

The OL needs to play better. The coaches say Diehl was hurt and is now getting healthier which explains his spottty performance. I don't buy it, since he was playing poorly before he got hurt and Beatty came in at LT. But it does show that the coaches have evaluated Diehl accurately and do not have blinders on. The first step in fixing a problem is recognizing that one exists in the first place. They see that he is not playing well. It will be interesting to see if they give him another chance and consider replacing him after this week or even midgame if he is doing poorly. Or if they pull the trigger now off of the bye week and put Locklear in to replace Diehl at RT. It is an absolute requirement to upgrade the OL in the off-season. Locklear is decent, but is older and is not the long term answer at RT. Boothe is solid, and Baas is OK, but why can't the Giants have a stud somewhere in the OL?

Parenthetically, the coaches said, when they gave Diehl his job back that a player can't lose his starting position through injury. What a load of garbage. First of all, it is up to the coaches to put the best team out there and not follow some theoretical set of unwritten rules to keep veterans happy. Second of all, how did that rule get applied when Tom Brady took Drew Bledsoe's job up in New England a few years back? You remember - Bledsoe got hammered with a serious chest injury that kept him out a long time (8 or 9 weeks maybe?) and Brady replaced him and excelled.  Bledsoe never got his job back and Brady, well... is Brady. He won his first Super Bowl that year. Want another example - how did this 'can't lose your job because of injury' thing work out for Wally Pipp and Lou Gehrig ?

Stevie Brown has made some plays at S, but also got beat deep several times because he bit on underneath routes, gambling and hoping to make another big play, giving up his deep coverage responsibility. That is what happened on the blown coverage on AJ Green in the Bengals game. Webster passed him off to Brown expecting deep help, but Brown misread the play and was looking to come up on a shorter route. Even though Brown has made some plays, I would try to work Phillips back into the mix.

At WR, Giants hope Nicks will return to form, but if he doesn't, Giants just can't keep the status quo. They have to get some speed in the lineup, perhaps with Jernigan and David Wilson at RB. Barden and Randle should get some snaps - anything to open things up. Giants should also change subtly their route combinations and selections - they should add a few more posts and seams and use fewer short hooks and underneath routes, just as a change of pace. A double move off of a back shoulder fade would also be a big play, though it does require time to develop and good protection from the OL.

Andre Brown has been playing better than Bradshaw and I would not mind seeing Brown and Wilson in there with Bradshaw's role diminished. He took a big helmet-to-helmet hit in that Bengals game and looked dazed to me on the bench. I haven't heard anything about him getting a concussion or being out, but the Giants start practicing on Wednesday and we may hear then. He also has continuing problems with his ankles and feet and the early report is that he will not practice or will be limited in Wednesdays practice.

Back to the WRs: Hixon has an ankle problem and may not play.

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