2011 New York Giants Need a Redemption Season!

January 27, 2011

The New York Giants front office and upper management have a lot of work to do this off-season. Management can either reconstruct or revitalize the current roster. I’m quite sure General Manager Jerry Reese is already hard at work. Pending the current CBA talks and a possible lockout, certain issues will arise. What I respect about the Giants management is that they do a fine job of preparing. Preparation has been the cornerstone of the Giants success throughout their history. The tradition and practice won’t cease this off-season. I carefully analyzed the roster and the challenges ahead for Big Blue and came up with a few recommendations.

Bring back Ahmad Bradshaw! This will be one of the most important re-signings the Giants will conduct in the coming months. I understand that he has put the ball on the ground during critical times and in critical games. However, the upside is whats important. Given Bradshaw’s work ethic and commitment to excellence, he will address the issue and solve the problem. Keep in mind, he is also young and durable. Ahmad will only get better and in my view he is already a franchise running back.

The verdict is still out on Brandon Jacobs. However, I believe retaining him will be an important insurance policy down the line. Remember, all NFL teams, have dream teams on paper. We must remember that injuries are what bring us back to reality. Depth is more important in this league than a featured lineup. Some have suggested releasing Danny Ware. I’m not so sure, I’ve seen a lot from him in the limited capacity he was used. In case of an injury to a starter, he could provide depth at RB and prove to be a gem for the G-men.

WR Steve Smith and TE Kevin Boss are also a concern. I respect Kevin Boss but Steve Smith is more of a priority in needing to be re-signed. Smith is the best possession receiver in the game. Boss has value but you can create packages for his loss. The Giants coaching staff did a fine job at putting TE Bear Pascoe in as a blocking tight end and using Beckum in the slot. It has worked and with time and repetition it will only get better.

We now have DE Mathias Kiwanuka and LB Keith Bullock to look at. Kiwanuka has more stock than Bullock because of youth and versatility. However, Kiwanuka’s stock value has dropped because of the neck injury. I would still let Bullock go instead of Kiwanuka because he hasn’t shown me any reason why the team should retain him. He looked confused at times in the defense and much too slow in coverage. Mathias has more value, period. A one year contract would be a safe and wise bet to determine his future as a Giant. I wouldn’t give up on LB Clint Sintim. I have a sixth sense about his potential in the defense and think they should give him another chance.

The signing of DT Barry Cofield is a must. Cofield’s production this season has been stellar. Big Blue’s front four is the bread and butter of the defense, so they need to maintain the core of the defense. This signing is just as important as Steve Smith and Ahmad Bradshaw in my opinion. I think there is a project in progress with DT Linval Joseph and it might take a while. As for the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft, we need to take a cornerback in the first round and offensive tackle in the second. OL Will Beatty has potential but still needs work and the team needs protection at his position.

“Heaven Yeah”

Andrew G – nygreporter.com

Is There Such a Thing as Zen in the NFL?

January 27, 2011

NEW YORK – The strength of the pack is the wolf. This is a very old military term that explains how the strength of a unit, depends upon the strength of each individual within the unit. The military and the NFL have many similarities to them and are often compared in analogies. Teams of men go to war on the field of battle and all of that. The other side of that coin concerns results and what derives from those results. Does the act of winning release endorphins in the brain that elevate the man to an omnipotent experience with the universe? I’m not sure because I’ve never played football at the professional level but this topic certainly deserves further investigation.

What brings a player to a personal state of Zen? Does it occur during the NFL Draft when they hear their name called? Perhaps, when a player arrives at minicamp or training camp and they see their name on a locker or jersey? Is it that first preseason game or regular season game when the ball is snapped? Is it the development process or working out and practicing? Is it getting voted into the Pro Bowl? Or does it simply and only come from winning a Super Bowl? I have just mentioned a bunch of tremendous “moments” in a players career but I’m not sure if any of them pinpoint the exact moment when Zen is reached. The only one that makes sense would be winning the Super Bowl but even then, is it that moment when the stage in on the fifty yard line and the trophy is hoisted up or is at the moment when the last second ticks off the clock? It could even be further down the road when a player finally receives his Super Bowl ring. Who knows?

It’s hard to separate the money players make from their achievements on the field because one dictates the other. The famous basketball coach Phil Jackson introduced Zen to his players and they seemed to turn out alright. He created a culture that was less about money and more about state of mind and won championships. Perhaps, it is more of a constant state of Zen, then any actual moment that occurs and then leaves. I’m not sure about that theory though. I do not see how a football player can be in a constant state of Zen when their very job is to cause violence. It would seem more likely to me that they reach that euphoric state from reflecting on winning and what they have accomplished on the field of battle. I don’t know how someone can feel at perfect peace and bliss with the world, when a 265 pound man is trying to rip your head off. I guess the only people on earth who truly know the answer to these questions are the players themselves. How many of them have separated ego from true happiness can be debated but I’m hopeful at least one player has taken their mind and game to the ultimate level.

What are your thoughts about this topic and do you think a state of Zen can be reached through playing NFL football?

RD – nygreporter.com