Monday, August 12, 2013

Steelers game: other notes

On offense, it was a little disappointing that Eli and the offense could not punch it in from the 5 after the blocked punt. On the first play, Giants ran the fade route that Eli and Nicks always hook up on. Unfortunately Murphy was running it and instead of taking an outside path and running between the DB and the sideline, where he could "fade" to the corner, he took an inside route. He didn't get open, but more than that it threw off the timing since Eli didn't expect him to go there. On 2nd down, the Steelers stuffed the run and on 3rd down, Giants missed the best opportunity to score. Randle was 1-on-1 in the slot and had a lot of space to work, but didn't explode off the line and get enough separation from the DB. Eli's throw should have led him more inside, but it was knocked down. On the second possession, Eli missed an open Randle for a deep ball down the sideline. It looked like Eli overthrew it, but Randle, in another indication of his continuing maturity, did not blame the QB but rather said that he didn't get a clean enough release off the line and if he had, he would've caught the ball.

Giants OL was average in the running game, but Wilson and Brown both continue to show really good skills. Da'rel Scott has great speed but is not a great RB. Michael Cox outplayed him and IMO is ahead in the battle for a roster spot. Lots of teams carry 4 RBs, but Giants may carry only 3 this year, partly because of the extra QB they may carry and because of the extra OL-men and DL-men that they may want to keep. Larry Donnell looks like he has some good skills and there is a hint that the Giants like him - he came into camp as a TE, but did you notice that he lined up in the backfield several times as a FB. If he can play that position, then Giants will have two FBs, Pascoe and Donnell on the roster until Hynoski comes back. Donnell would then not be bumped off the roster as a 4th TE if the Giants will carry only 3; but could sneak in as TE/FB. If Donnell looks good, Giants will not rush Hynoski back and he could start the season on PUP, which makes him available only after game 6. Donnell almost had a big gain on a screen pass, but Capers missed a block - it was wide open and would have gone a long way. Two other balls he dropped, but he amde very good attempts on. One was a seam route that was thrown well behind him and the other was a ball that was thrown high, he jumped to reach for but could not hold on to. He was held by a DB

I know Cruz caught that TD, but he looked more slick and smart than he did fast to me. He ran past the secondary, so I guess I shouldn't complain, but I think he fooled them more than he did outrun them. Cruz is a real good player, but he is not a real speed burner and he looks a little thicker and slower to me this year. Giants had the leverage in the contract negotiations and seemed to sign him to the contract that they wanted to give him. But it really was a fair contract - Cruz is not as good as the big time outside WRs, no matter what his statistics say.

Moesly played pretty well on the OL and Giants have some tough decisions to make there. The five starters: Beatty, Boothe, Baas, Snee and Diehl are on. Pugh, Moesly, Cordle and James Brewer probably are on. But then Giants have to decide what to do with McCants, draftee Herman and Selvish Capers (who missed the block for Donnell on the screen I mentioned above).

More roster analysis as we go forward and things clarify themselves further.

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