NEW YORK GIANTS' SPECIAL TEAMS ARE SPECIAL AGAIN
"Most New York
Giants fans remember wide receiver and return specialist, DeSean Jackson in a
painful way. Let it go. It was two seasons ago. It happened so change could
As the New York
Jets let punter Steve
Weatherford hit free agency after two seasons, the Giants front office
signed him to a one-year deal and brought him into 2011’s training camp to
compete with Matt Dodge.
Next big difference-maker to be brought on board was former player in the AFC
East (and three-time Super Bowl Champion), Larry
Izzo. Izzo was named Special Teams Assistant to Tom Quinn.
He still had the mindset of a player and the knowledge on that level to reach
his peers from a new coaching level.
Besides having a punter that could put the ball inside the 20 again, the
Giants had faster guys that were able to focus on the “controlled chaos” that
special teams embodies while learning to also create opportunities. Special
Teams isn’t only about return. Big Blue began attacking the ball and
capitalizing on huge turnovers on this, the third side of the rock. Rookies,
especially, would take swipes at the football if the tackle couldn’t be made while others were
fully aware at all times in case the need to pounce on that fumble arose. This
proved to be game-changing at times. Getting the ball back in the red zone for
the Giants’ high-powered offense put the team in positions to assume leads and
also put the team in the Super Bowl this year.
Return men: Devin
Thomas, Will Blackmon, D.J. Ware, Da’Rel Scott, Jerrel Jernigan and Aaron
Ross had a few good returns, but never anything explosive. Thomas had come the
closest with a 73-yard kick returned against the Chicago Bears in the
pre-season. Their best return man, Domenik
Hixon, went down against the Seahawks with another torn ACL. Holding onto
seemed to be the major issue. Anyone for calling in Bill Parcells to teach them
a la the Dave Meggett and Curtis Martin School of
“Yell-At-Me-Until-I-Learn-How-To: plant, catch, then run it out”?
Part of Head Coach Tom
Coughlin’s philosophy is that there’s always room for improvement. So where
is the progress/upgrade needed? Perhaps it’s just more training/another year
with this new “organized chaos” system that should be on deck? Should the Giants
draft an explosive returner? Could part of the answer be as simple as finding a
ST gunner that’s been lacking for the better part of several years? Pick your
poison. This side of the ball is special once again."