Edit: there is a lot to read, but i think it is worth it
First off, I am a young college athlete and NOT a coach. I have no coaching experience, but I do have knowledge of the intricacies and techniques involved. I love the Giants, when the giants lose it ruins my week, when they win great all week, and when they win a super bowl (especially in the fashion of super bowl 42) I am eternally grateful.
I realize all (or most) of us fans are aggravated and upset, but you must realize that the wins are only great with losses to contrast. That win versus the Patriots will give me happiness for the next 40 years and then some.
This season was doomed at the start, we were ravaged by injuries, losses in FA (our leading receiver, our starting TE, our starting DT) , and were breaking in another new DC. Even when we had Spags, our defense took awhile to adapt to the schemes. To expect playoffs from that is asking for too much. Heck we've been starting free agent and late draft picks at linebacker from the start! We have a lot to be happy about.
FA Losses: Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, Barry Coffield
INJ Losses: Terrell Thomas, Jonathan Goff, Clint Sintim, Marvin Austin, Bruce Johnson.
That's 5 starters (two pro bowlers), 2 Fringe starters, and one accomplished backup
INJ during the season:
Domenik Hixon, Justin Tryon, Michael Coe, Michael Clayton, Will Beatty, Stacy Andrews, Brian Witherspoon (All on IR)
….Prince Amukamara, David Baas, Ramses Barden, Travis Beckum, Ahmad Bradshaw, James Brewer, Mark Herzlich, Brandon Jacobs, Mario Manningham, Spencer Paysinger, Henry Hynoski, Aaron Ross, Devin Thomas, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora (All missing multiple games)
… Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Phillips (Both Banged up constantly and missing a game each)
When you look through our roster, it is hard to find players that weren't injured during this season. Without a doubt, we were overwhelmed by these injuries which happened to everyone and especially to our best players.
If I were the Giant Front Office, I would consider this into my equation, but there is no way I don't fire Fewell. His schemes are terrible, especially for a team that lacks linebackers and lost many starters. Secondly, our medical staff and trainers must be one of the worst in the league with the amount of injuries we have every year.
Regarding Coaches, there are a number of head coaches that have been(or will be) fired this year that would make excellent coordinators. Norv Turner, Steve Spagnuolo, Todd Haley and Jack Del Rio come to mind. Norv Turner's offensive system would be incredible for us, reverting back to a run team with placation base pass plays. Spags is ideal for us, not only because he has been a coordinator before for us or that he is familiar with the personnel we have, but because he runs man press, cover 1 shells, A gap pressures, and runs a variety of different blitz packages. We have the firepower to blitz and play man to man press with larger corners. He is also a player's coach, he is very emotional and inspires his players with his competitive drive. Haley and Del Rio both had success as coordinators, but I wouldn't want them as much because of their schemes not fitting our personnel as well.
Eli Manning has graced us with a season deserving of an MVP under normal circumstances. He has been our offense, made up for the faults of the entire team, and entered the realm of the elite without a doubt. He is a bright spot on the team, and no longer a liability in the pocket. He moves very well in the pocket and has developed such a presence that rivals his brother's. He may not have the strongest arm, or any mobility, but he is extremely accurate and good at putting his teammates in a position to make a play by reading the defense. We have something now that not many other franchises have, this development is worth the losses and interceptions.
Victor Cruz replaced Steve Smith's production and then some. He is a threat in the open field, he runs creative routes and gets a lot of separation, he makes spectacular catches, and gave us miracles that other teams can only envy. We lost a pro bowl receiver, and gained another that is a threat to score on every play instead of just a possession receiver. Great body control, great hands, just needs more experience and to stop running before he catches. Eli now has two money receivers in Nicks and Cruz.
Jason Pierre-Paul became the monster that Jerry Reese thought he'd be. Despite what (site that ranks players due to stats) ranks him as, he is easily a top 10 DE. He hasn't even developed pass rush moves for god's sake! His raw talent has been put on spotlight, and with the right coaching (our DL coach, Osi, and Tuck) and playing, he should be a premiere DE in the league. Not many teams have this either, pass rushers don't come as often as we have had, and for that we should be thankful.
Jacquian Williams has a bright future. Despite some rookie mistakes and bad coordinating, Williams has been a good overall linebacker versus the run and the pass. This guy is going to start for us, and his speed, blitzing ability, and fluidity will be very useful once he gains some coaching. He is definitely physically gifted and has a high motor just like JPP, he just needs to be put in a position to utilize them in the right way.
Mitch Petrus was a steal. Many people don't watch the offensive line, but this guy has done a number on DL's in the run game. He was a walk-on at Arkansas (also a wrestler) and played TE, FB, G, and C. He isn't as inept at pass protection, but there is no reason to bet against this guy with the effort he puts forth. Guard of the future.
Jake Ballard impressed us all. He is basically an extra offensive lineman at 6-6 280ish, He is very slow, but he is good at route running due to his suddenness and hands (which have become inconsistent). Production-wise, he is better than Boss, but it is important to know that Boss did open up things for our receivers outside due to his speed which occupied the safeties.
Michael Boley is one of the best linebackers in the NFC. He neutralizes opponents TE's and RB's, he and Williams are similar and both are the reason why we didn't get killed by TE's and RB's all year. Previously quick RB's and TE's were our problem, but no more. Boley has always been a good coverage LB, but since joining us he has developed much more as a passrusher, and is above average versus the run.
Ramses Barden showed us another flash of his incredible potential. He isn't quick off the line, he doesn't run the best routes, but he sure as hell can use his body and long arms to snag balls away from DB's. I know it's early, but I think we've got another very good receiver here.
Mark Herzlich is a very good run defender and special teamer. He isn't washed up by any means, but he isn't 100% percent yet. The longer separated from cancer he is, the better he will be. To expect him or Greg Jones to pop up unexpectedly and fill the role of MLB especially with this offseason is ridiculous. But both have a fire that the Giants like, and whether they start or are special teamers, they will have an impact.
Da'Rell Scott is lightning in a bottle. How we don't play this kid more is beyond me, he is the only back we have that can take it all the way any given play. He has the speed, has some shake, but he needs to be more fluid in his cuts and more sudden. He hasn't displayed elusiveness despite the preseason, but we know its there at least.
Prince Amukamara is having growing pains and everyone shouldn't be quick to judge. When a player has an injury and misses camp there is a much bigger learning curve, couple this with the shortened offseason and not receiving the playbook until the lockout ended, there is no reason to hate on him. Looking at him out there you can tell that he is struggling to know his assignments. When you are struggling to know your assignments and have to remember and act on them in the seconds before a play. You aren't sure on your job, how do you do that with 100% effort? Apart from the results of his play recently, he played well man to man in his first two games. He has the size, speed, and fluidity to play corner, he just needs to adapt to the speed of the game.
Osi Umenyiora isn't worth starting anymore. He only goes for the QB by overshooting the LT. He is capable of using other passrush moves, but the sack fumble is the easiest way to get it, and he is all about himself now. I do not want him on this team based solely on that and his attitude in the offseason. He may be utilized better with other teams, but for now he is done in NY. Get rid of him, you might get a late 2nd, or 3rd, but its worth it now.
Brandon Jacobs has become a straight ahead runner only. He has hardly any change of direction despite weight loss, and now he can only use his speed and power to get yardage. Whatever happened that set him off in this stretch of productivity beats me, but I am still tired of the plays he had where he stopped at the line and did nothing. They became lost plays for Eli.
With this young talent, and Jerry Reese as our GM, we can be sure we will have a team with a bright future.
Right now, if we lose these next two games, we could wind up with a pick anywhere from 9-13ish which would be a significant improvement in draft position from 21 which would be a one and done in the playoffs. There is talent in this draft, specifically at linebacker, OL, and DL where we need some help.
If we make the playoffs there is a small chance that we do well, but it depends on our coordinator and Tuck. If Fewell runs these zone coverages and lets receivers run free we are doomed, its a free release and our personnel is not equipped to cover the middle lack of linebackers. Tuck being healthy is necessary because JPP cannot be the only person to generate a passrush, there is clearly something wrong with Tuck and either he plays through it and plays well or he shouldn't play at all.
All in all the major changes I want to see made are:
-Firing Fewell and Gilbride (gilbride should do so much better than he is)
-Firing the training and medical staff
-Hiring Spagnuolo as DC
-Hiring Norv Turner as OC (wishful thinking)
-Letting Jerry Reese do his thing in the draft
-Let our younger players play the rest of the year so we can see what we have
-Rebuilding our OL
-Trade or restructure Jacobs's deal, he is not worth that money