It’s time to turn the page on this bunch

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

I had the feeling the Giants would not win in sunny San Diego, predicting a 30-24 loss. What I got instead was a 37-14 blowout that left no doubt in my mind that this team needs some wholesale changes.

Let me be clear, that over time, I have defended the front office and coaching staff of this team to the point where readers have told me to quit writing and that I was an embarrassment to my profession. It appears the readers were right. Patience has usually paid off for me in my life, but with this team, they have finally worn out their welcome.

Let me state that from this moment on: I will no longer stand behind this group. They have lost my confidence.

At this juncture, I really don’t care who stays or who goes. No executive, player or coach should feel safe. The fans are paying exorbitant sums to watch this team flounder week after week. At some point, someone’s feet has to be held to the fire. Someone’s got to be accountable.

Who’s to blame? Everyone. Tom Coughlin has done a nice job here for the most part. His two Super Bowl runs cannot be refuted, but there were many times during his tenure when this team didn’t answer the call. This year, they didn’t get out of bed until the season was nearly half-over. That’s on him.

Maybe Coughlin stays. But if he does, he needs new assistants. Bill Belichick changes coordinators, coaches and personnel like you and I change socks. He still wins. It can be done. The Giants need to expand their thinking and bring in some fresh faces. The offensive playcalling has been, well, offensive. The defense was saved by the schedule and the arrival of a legitimate MLB. The special teams are far from special.

I’m also done with Eli Manning. He’s got a long way to go to win me back. He has been horrible this season. I understand he is dealing with a makeshift offensive line, but there have been plenty of times where he could have made plays this season and just didn’t. He hasn’t gotten a lot of help this season, but in my eyes he hasn’t done much to help himself, either.

For a QB who has played nearly a decade in this league without missing a game, he sure makes a helluva lot of mistakes. Unconscionable ones too. Mistakes you would attribute to rookies.

After the season, I will give my recommendations for how to improve this team. It will be an extensive list.

Your thoughts?

41 comments
Jay Hesman
Jay Hesman

Regarding Eli:

Lets look at his "protection".  What a joke! A left tackle who is not a left tackle, overpaid,

a guard with no experience, a center who is just okay but has mainly played guard, a guard who was a good player at one time, but is long over the hill, constantly being pushed back into Eli and a rookie right tackle who is most likely playing out of position.

I wonder how Peyton or any other quarterback would fare with those players?

Yet eli has passed for almost 3300 yards and 16 touchdowns. How many dropped balls this season ? 22.  I kept track.  How many off hands which led to turnovers, numerous.

No running game for most of the season, a tight end used as a fullback, and in spite of all that, 3300 yards.


Isn't it interesting to note that in yesterday's game, the ONE time, Eli has excellent protection he completed a 56 yard pass to Nicks and he ACTUALLY caught it.


What about Mr.Reese. He knew that Bass and Snee were coming off surgeries. Yet he did NOTHING to augment their positions.

He signed a tight end who is a pass catcher, not a blocker. And then tried to make him into a blocking end, (Coughlin and Pope)

What about keeping Corey Webester for a million bucks? A complete waste.

What about going into the season without a decent middle line backer?


You have had it with Eli?  What about the GM who put this nightmare on the field.  What about Kevin gilbride who insisted for more than half the season to throw the long bomb down the field which resulted in numerous sacks because of the poor quality of the offensive line?

ken1010
ken1010

It's time to draft and sign a new offensive line.  That will go a long way towards fixing the offense.


On Defense, the line for years rushed the passer so well it hid problems in the secondary.  Osi's loss was big.  It's mixed emotions when I see him getting sacs for his new team.  We need to replace him.

Skookaloop
Skookaloop

Mr.F--

ELI and TC have nothing to do with this.......

ELI & TC aren't Squeaky wheels,

so they will never ASKed to be Greased...

They will give 110% ALL the TIME !!!

If a FOX is Killing your Chickens....

.... you don't go out and KILL the Rest of your Chickens...

you KILL the FOX....

So stop feeling Sorry for Yourself and WRITE how i know you can !!!

Tisch and Mara have let REESE MIS-MANAGE the DRAFT , FA & SAL-CAP...

FeWell has a BROKEN D-System, it's that simple...

REESE  has kept FeWell as a BUFFER (Fall Guy),

so he gets fired 1st... giving REESE 1 more Chance...

NO ACCOUNTABLITY is what got us HERE....

REESE, FeWell and Quinn MUST GO !!!

KillDrive is a Top OC until the REDZONE...

ELI needs a REDZONE PlayBook, thats it a REDZONE OC....

2014 DRAFT must build the O-Line, LBer's and CB's....

and the Giants can have a Shot at the 2014 Play-Offs


cj1786
cj1786

Wow, wasn't expecting to see this type of post here.  I usually read this site because of the insightful, realistic, level headed approach to analyzing the Giants.  Today, not so much.  


If I wanted to hear a bunch of "Manning has to go" or "Clean house" nonsense I'd just listen to the idiot callers on WFAN all day.  Of course changes need to be made, but like I said i usually read this site because the suggestion of changes would be realistic and well thought out, not reactionary and somewhat ridiculous.   


I know you are a huge fan, so like all of us you are probably just a little salty today, and hopefully you are just venting. 

Casey Manning
Casey Manning

Done with Eli?? Cmon Man!!!! That is the most ridiculous statement you could have possibly made. It's irresponsible and ludicrous!! I'm not one to tell people that they can't have their own opinions, but Good Lord.. you should have your brain examined!!

Jeff Comerford
Jeff Comerford

John,


As I see it, there are several areas that the Giants will need to change.


Coaching - 

I think that it is time for Fewell to go.  Even with a SB win under his belt, I am not sure his scheme was a good fit for the Giants personnel.  


Gilbride.  On him, I am a little torn.  Where I was never a fan of the run and shoot (or the 21st century version) - Eli has (prior to this season) done well with it.  I might be willing to give him a pass based on previous success - but I wouldn't be upset to see him go.


Coughlin - Coughlin will leave the Giants when Coughlin is ready to retire.  No reason to get rid of him.


Based on the number of injuries (thanks new collective bargaining agreement) maybe the Giants need to upgrade their strength and conditioning coaching staff?



Players-


Offense

Line - Going into 2014, the Giants will need to find 1) a LT, 2) a LG and 3) a Center.  I would move Pugh in to RG and move Beatty to RT.  Baas is gone, sadly Snee is unlikely to come back at this point.  Brewer is terrible, Diehl is a servicable "utility guy" for depth, and Booth has been underwhelming.  Issues with the line are reasons why Eli regressed this season - as he was spoiled previously by the solid play of this unit.


Receivers - With Cap issues that this team will have - I think it is unlikely the Giants will be able to afford to keep Nicks (and the money may be better spent elsewhere).  I am convinced that Jernigan has the same photos that Sinorice Moss used to have - as I have no idea why he is still on the team.  Good bye to Louis Murphy Junior as well. TE concerns me.  This is a huge hole for the Giants.  Pascoe is servicable at best.  Not sure that Brandon Myers is a fit for the Giants.  And what ever happened to the JPP of Tight Ends - Adrien Robinson?  Need for an upgrade here.


RB - I am not sure if David Wilson's career is over or not.  Assuming it is - they could live with the existing roster as adequate - but no home run threat exists.  Brown, Hillis - Jacobs (if he can stay healthy) along with Connor are ok for a team with many needs


QB- Eli had a rough season.  Sure, we can say he had no running game, and a poor offensive line, and more throws deflected into INT's than anyone I have ever seen - but something isn't right here.  Is he secretly hurt?  It seems there is a little zip missing on some of his passes.  I think his mechanics are off - but, there is no depth behind Eli.  Nassib looked lost this summer, and who knows how he has matured while on the practice squad.  I am not ready to give up on Nassib - but we may need to find a stronger backup or QB (potential) of the future.


Defense - a huge lack of talent


Line - This was supposed to be the strength of the team.  JPP has turned into the Tin man - and our only hope here is he is going to be in a contract year next season.  Tuck - has finally found the fountain of youth - and I would welcome him back - but at a discount.  Kiwi has been a huge disappointment - but due to dead money, not sure they can cut him.  I'd really like to see more of the young guys - Damontre and Jonathan - but obviously they aren't going anywhere.  Linval Joseph is tough - he is going to be an in demand DT, and I am not sure they can afford to keep him.  Sadly, there hasn't been enough pressure created by this unit to bail out the other units on defense.  When was the last time the defense actually stopped someone on third down?


LB - This is a really weak group.  Which is ok, if you have a strong Dline and coverage behind with the DB's.  Other than Beason, I am not sure if any of these guys would start on any other team.  Beason is a must to resign.  The others are questionable NFL players.  


DB - Stevie Brown's injury hurt.  The other injuries - Anyone Remember Corey Webster?  Never thought i would miss Aaron Ross.  Hosley has been hurt a lot - but has not been good when on the field.  Prince is a keeper.  Thomas gets credit for coming back - but his tackling is poor and receivers keep running past him.  Rolle is someone I am afraid of burning out - and asking him to play CB is not good.  An area that needs help.


Special Teams - Brown has been ok - Weatherford has had some moments - but the Giants could live with both.  The Return game is not good - and clearly misses David Wilson.




Finally - the toughest of them all - General Manager


Jerry Reese gets credit for 2 SB wins (with an assist from Accorsi).  But, to repeat in the league you need 3 things


1. Good drafting


2. Know when to say goodbye to Veterans/Manage Salary Cap


3. Luck


Let's look at these one at a time.


Good drafting - In a salary cap league, where your starting QB is going to eat up 20% of your cap - it is important to have low cost talent to balance out your roster.  Other than David Wilson (who may have to retire) - how many impact players were drafted by the Giants in the past few years?  Pugh is starting - but probably going to move positions.  Randal is a keeper, as is Prince.  Their drafting the last few years has been suspect at best.


2. Know when to say goodbye to Veterans/Manage Salary Cap.  This year there is 9 million in dead money.  Next year, if they cut Baas it will be $6 mill in dead money alone.  Until he turned it on recently, Tuck was stealing money from the team the past two years.  Corey Webster is costing the team $5 mill in cap space this season - but would have gained only 250k if he was cut.  I could go on - but they are not getting results from people who they are giving the contracts to.


3. Luck - the Giants have had more than their share of injuries this season.  There is $20 mill in cap costs sitting on the IR for them





psinap1
psinap1

This season is the punishment for years of success under TC and a Eli. It's a reality check to the FO because they have been grabbing square pegs and plugging them in to round holes for years and it didn't work this year. Also, Reese's countless misses in the middle rounds of drafts are haunting them now. It's all killing them. If you are going to tell me that nothing is going to change, I will be shocked. But I will be shocked even moreso if the Giants undergo drastic changes. With the cap room they have, I think they can very easily fix the OL and secondary. Fewell and Gilbride have to go. But I doubt it happens unless there is a mandate from ownership. It will be an interesting offseason.

Tim Gordon
Tim Gordon

John is absolutely spot on with his criticism. I've watched this team for 35 years and the last ten have been for the most part, our Golden Age. Regarding the '13 Giants, a predictable yet inconsistent offense led by a quarterback who appears to have lost all confidence in his poor offensive line, poor decisions at running back resulting in BIG BLUE signing FA's off the street, the utter disappearance of Hakeem Nicks as well as inconsistent play from Rueben Randle have severely hampered the offense. Injuries and lack of push from our once dominant front four, delayed elite LB play from Beason, atrocious CB play from Thomas, Webster and the Prince, as well as a bad scheme from both Fewell AND Gilbride, have not helped. Quinn MUST have naked incriminating pictures of Coughlin to still have a job in the NFL, less more with the Giants. How does a team reach the summit TWICE in six years but miss the playoffs FOUR out of the last FIVE years? I wouldn't trade the two titles for anything but this "boom or bust" philosophy must change. As much as I love Reese and Coughlin, I'm beginning to look at them suspiciously and I agree that Fewell, Gilbride and Quinn need to hit the streets as soon as the last game concludes. Changes must be made, the NFL's most loyal fans deserve NOTHING LESS!!!!

dave27a
dave27a

Done with Eli?  That's a bit much.  Yes he's had a bad year, but few QBs go a whole career without a few, and you certainly can pin some of it on the line, his receivers constantly running wrong routes and dropping balls, zero running game until Brown returned, and the offensive playcalling in general.


If the Giants put Eli on the market, 25 teams would be calling.  Is he perfect?  No.  Never was.  But to lay blame on him when the whole system around him is in flux, I'm not sure what you want him to do.

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

John,

As a fellow sports writer myself, I admire your honesty and understand your loyalty as well. Being a Fan of the Giants for nearly 40 years and I also cover them for another football website; I feel your frustration. As you mentioned, changes need to be made from the top down and of course; that includes Reese. I was blasted by many loyal Giant and Reese supporters when I wrote an article proclaiming that the 2013 NFL draft was the worse by far by Reese. Whether you agree or not is unimportant; the fact remains that the Giants will now miss the playoffs for the 3rd time in the last 4 fours. With the Giants having nearly $15m in cap space (According to OvertheCap.com) assuming the cap is around $123 million again; they could increase that even higher if they choose to void some hefty contracts. Point being, Reese needs to be more open minded with free agency and spend a little more than in years past to get this team back to respectability. In today's NFL, you can not only use the draft to build a franchise and must use all possible resources (draft/trades/free agency). This could very well be Reese's last chance to right the ship as his job is on the line. As for Coughlin, it should be his decision to return (he has earned that) however; Gilbride, Fewell and Quinn must go. Finally, gutting out the roster and replacing many players with younger talent should be the plan.

rico
rico

Hey every team is entitled to a stinker year and we got one.

They say football games are won upfront in the trenches and it's more than obvious that first the offensive line (has been offensive to us!) needs to be completely re-built.  Going into the season with Bass and Snee injured and contemplating retirement is on REESE.  You can love or hate Jerry as much as you like , I pretty much iike him but handing Coughlin, Eli and the O a gimped out O Line with no quality backups in waiting has spelled the Giants demise.


You can kill Gilbride all you want but if you can't run his plays nothing works. 

hashburry
hashburry

Reese rode Acorti's coattails.  Had one decent draft and fell into the trap of thinking he was smarter than everyone else.  I would love to have Pete Carroll in running this team.  Old school coaching and a GM who isn't as good as reputed have left this team old, slow and small.

rcampore
rcampore

A lot of changes need to be made this year, but the biggest one is the firing of Kevin Gilbride. If he is still here next year, I might have to just boycott watching this team until he is gone.   I love Tom Coughlin and want him to stay, but if he does not fire Gilbride,  then he can go too at this point.   Reese should be on the hot seat as well because a lot of his lack of talent selection when it comes to depth has really come to bite us.  The fact that it took an 0-6 start for him to realize he needs a NFL quality MLB is insane to me.  Oh and Pat Quinn needs to be thrown out with the garbage too.  


As far as the players are concerned, we need to start getting younger and giving these guys a chance to see what we have on our team.  Besides Justin Pugh, everyone else on the O-line is expendable to me.  


We need a new defensive scheme if we are going to keep some of these d-linemen.  The tampa 2 is outdated and does not work if you can not rush the QB.  Time to move on! 


I think we could easily get back to the playoffs even in one year, but we have to make these changes.  


Finally, Eli....oh Eli.   He literally makes me want to pull my hair out.  It's like Jekyl and Hyde or maybe dumb and dumber out there.  One moment he looks like an elite QB and the other minute he looks like Mark Sanchez.  It's the most frustrating thing i've ever seen.  How can a QB that has been in the league for 10 years still make the same dumb mistakes every single week!!  I just don't see things changing with him and we will live and die by his performance for a few more years.  I hope that improving our o-line will help, but only time will tell.

Michael Frias
Michael Frias

What I personally think is killing Giants fans the most is that, for the most part, we've seen this group of players succeed as a team, so we get frustrated/angry/outraged when they have bad games/seasons.  We all think to ourselves "We've seen this group go all the way, why aren't they doing it again?"


There is no denying that changes need to be made.  Wholesale changes? Not really.  But a lot of changes need to be made.

Eamonn Scollan
Eamonn Scollan

Nothing wrong with believing in and standing by your team John. We just stink this year and changes need to be made. This team is starting to transition and I expect a lot of new faces the next 2 years.

Michael Lemken
Michael Lemken

Coughlin has won 2 super bowls in 6 years.  I dont care how the other years turned out, I would not trade those 2 super bowls for anything; therefore, he has earned the right to stay if he wants.  All the other coaches need to go.  I love eli.  Look at what Cutler has done this year with a new coach helping him.  The Giants should hire cutcliff for the offensive coordinator position and see how that helps eli.

Perry Fewell has sucked since day 1.  He inherited a nasty defense that he ruined.  His defense only played well for about 6 games during that super bowl run.  That second super bowl season, eli carried the giants for most of it.  He should have been considered for MVP based on how much he carried the team.

Hopefully snee retired, and they cut baas and get some salary cap relief. This team has some gaping holes, but truthfully its not too far off for making a playoff run next year.  We know what this team can do IF they make the playoffs.

JamesWS
JamesWS

@Jay Hesman


Eli Manning has more turnovers than any QB in the NFL since 2009. Save for his MVP-like season in 2011, he's been downright awful.


I know I probably am coming across as an Eli hater, and that's not exactly the truth. He's the best QB we've had in my lifetime, possibly ever. He's won us 2 Super Bowls. He's a top-5 Giant of all time. But I'm not going to sit here like a doofus and pretend that Eli is the same QB that he was in 2008 or 2011.


He's going to be 33 in January. By the end of next season (when we can finally cut him and save $17 million in cap) he'll be 34. We can't be paying someone $20 million when they average OVER 20 turnovers per year over the last 4 years (and this season isn't even over yet!).


How long do you think he's going to play for anyway? He's obviously not Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. This guy is declining as he gets into his mid-30s. Why can't you just recognize that?

Major Pain 0303
Major Pain 0303

@Jay Hesman Listen the Giants have a lot of problems but Eli isn't one of them. He needs to play better, he does, but he also needs some consistency in front of him too. Year after year they sign new TE's and then let them walk the following year. Until this year they hadn't drafted an Olineman early in 6 years, took till week 8 to get a consistent running game, Nicks had a bad year, no consistent 3rd wide out to go to, and way to many miscommunications with his receivers. If they can correct some of those things they and he will be better. I think the best thing to do from this point on, which they won't do but should, is sit Eli, Brown, etc any useful peace that needs to be healthy next year and play Nassib, Moore, Hillis, Cox, Jernigan, Murphy, etc and lets see what they have there. Tank the rest of the season and get the highest draft pick they can get. Start bringing in some top 10 talent and get better. If you all recall 2009 all of you bashing Eli, Gilbride, and TC were saying the same things and 2 years later they won it all again. People want to be brash and boisterous fire him, get rid of him, but if you would tell me that the Giants would win the SB every 4 years I'd take it. We all get so spoiled, like Yankee fans, and expect championships every year but it doesn't work that way in the NFL. They haven't had the a truly awful year in a while and teams need that from time to time to replenish the team with higher round draft picks. I bet you if you put Eli on the market say cut him, 15 GM's would line up to recruit him and give him the Peyton treatment. He would have his pick of jobs. Teams like Minn, Houston, Chicago, Cleveland, etc would line up around the block at the chance to sign a 2 time SB MVP. Those don't come on the market very often. Be careful what you wish for cause you might just get it and see the Dave Brown/Kent Graham days all over again. 

cj1786
cj1786

To be fair, sometime things are easier said than done.  Like you say he knew about Baas and Snee but did nothing about it.  What could he do?  1) Those guys are still being paid.  2) Good Olinemen don't grow on trees 3) there is a salary cap.  Its not that easy to be 2 deep across your entire line with quality players.  It doesn't work line that.  Years like this happen.  Its been 10 years since the Giants last had a losing season.  Reese will have to turn it around but you can't over react to one bad season. 

JamesWS
JamesWS

@cj1786 You're right. 20+ turnovers per year since 2009 from our QB is not the problem.

JamesWS
JamesWS

@Casey Manning  My mistake, Eli leads all QBs in turnovers since 2009. That is mind blowing.

JamesWS
JamesWS

@Casey Manning


I disagree. Eli has not only been horrendous this season, he was equally terrible for the last 8 games of last season. True, a significant factor in his recent decline has been a poor o-line performance. But the proof is in the pudding: Eli manning has the most turnovers among QBs for two years now. That's not a slump - that's a decline.


I don't think we even have a choice to "give up" on Eli next year, as he is owed approx. $20 million. But we're only on the hook for like $3 million the following year, and can save over $17 million by cutting him after the 2014-2015 season.


We're entering one of the most stacked drafts for QBs in recent memory. We're going to have a relatively early 1st round pick. We need to take advantage and turn this program over quickly like the Colts were able to do with Luck.

btucker
btucker

I agree with all of your points - The Giants cannot make any meaningful progress if they continue to retain Gilbride, Fewell and Quinn.

JamesWS
JamesWS

@dave27a Since 2009, Eli Manning has more turnovers than any QB in the NFL. It's more than "just a bad year." Save for 2011 (career year), he's been underwhelming for quite a long time. Especially the past 2 years.


Like Jon, I'm not saying CUT him (since we'd be eating his entire contract), but I'll be very upset if we don't find our QB of the future in this year's draft.

SNYGiants
SNYGiants

@dave27a I'm not saying get rid of him...I just don't understand why he's playing so poorly. Is he losing it? I hope not.

btucker
btucker

Agree, Agree, Agree - " staying the course" (the Giants way) is no longer an option.

SNYGiants
SNYGiants

@Michael Stewart Michael, I do believe Reese will be the one on notice. He and Marc Ross have made too many reaches in the draft. Rather than taking players that can hit the ground running, they fall in love with these high potential guys.....and they've gotten burned big time with that practice

fast_eddie
fast_eddie

One correction Michael... it will now be 4 out of 5 years that the Giants will miss the playoffs, not 3 out of 4. So it's even worse than you stated. I have also been a fan for almost 40 years as well and I agree with your other points. Fewell and Gilbride NEED to go or we'll have more of the same next year...and Jerry Reese only gets one more shot to turn this around. His last two drafts were awful. No creativity what so ever and most picks were real head scratchers. Most of us felt that way right after the draft was completed so this is not a hindsight is 20/20 deal.

btucker
btucker

Two stinker years in a row.

JamesWS
JamesWS

@rico A very fair criticism. We can say all we want about the coaches, Reese, Eli, etc...but until we rebuild our o-line this team is going nowhere regardless of our leadership structure.

Tim Gordon
Tim Gordon

@hashburry, I think that's a little harsh. Accorsi, took over as GM in '98 and under his watch, BIG BLUE went to the Super Bowl and lost to the Ravens as well as presiding over the ugly Fassell years that culminated in him trading for Eli in '04. Sure, he made some moves to bring us Shockey, Barber, and some others but let's not pretend that his tenure was GREAT with BIG BLUE. He won with players from the George Young era, just as Reese is winning with players from Accorsi's era.

btucker
btucker

You are spot-on with your comments. I agree with you re: Eli - it's maddening - perhaps a new QB coach could help because he sure needs it.

JamesWS
JamesWS

@Michael Lemken


Agree that Coughlin won't be fired. He earned the right to go out on his own terms. (Although I wouldn't complain if he's fired).  But the rest of the coaches - they gotta go.


I think Snee retiring would be HUGE for us b/c he has a WHOPPING $11.75 million cap hit next year (2nd most on the team). We could cut him and save $7.25 million off the cap which is plenty to bring on another Guard - but it would be great to save that other $4 million as well.


Baas on the other hand - he's on the books for an $8+ million cap hit next year. If we cut him, we ONLY save $1.75 million on the cap.  I don't see who we're signing with $1.75 million to contribute at O-line.  I'd just keep him and hope he can get healthy for next year.

Brian Webster
Brian Webster

@Michael Lemken Cutcliffe is not leaving his head coaching job at Duke especially off a coach of the year quality performance for a coordinator gig. You'd have to offer him the head coach position to get him to leave.

cj1786
cj1786

The Colts finished with the worst record in the league 2 years ago which gave them the #1 pick to draft Luck, because their existing star QB missed the season.  Expecting other teams to be able to turn around from one star QB to the next the way the Colts did is just completely unrealistic. 

psinap1
psinap1

Eli had a good run but I can sit there at home and call plays. Imagine hat opposing teams can do. This team has plenty of weapons and if you can't block long enough, it doesn't matter. Personally, I would put Eli into the hurry up mode all the time. He is easily a better quarterback when he is in that mode.

Major Pain 0303
Major Pain 0303

@cj1786 There's no Luck in the draft and he'd go #1. They cant draft high enough to get him even if they wanted to.