12/15/11 Christmas DAC Day 15, The NYG Special Teams

December 15, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants special teams have not been very good the past couple of years. This is not news for the true blue fan but it is still something we have to discuss here and now. The drop off from former punter Jeff Feagles, the greatest punter in NFL history, to anybody else is dramatic. The Giants seem to have fixed that problem by signing P Steve Weatherford who has been consistent all year. He doesn’t look like your typical punter because this guy is yoked. He works out and looks like he could take care of himself in a bar fight. The Giants brought back special teams standout LB Chase Blackburn to bolster the depleted linebacker corps. I love this guy and he has always been a fan favorite for playing hard and having a good motor.

Special Teams coach Tom Quinn has been getting a lot of heat. Injuries have effected his ability to scheme certain plays but that still doesn’t explain away some of the absolute atrocious play from this squad in 2011. They brought in assistant special teams coach Larry Izzo from the Patriots this year but I’m not sure how much it has helped. K Lawrence Tynes has been on a lot of Giants fans bad list for a while now. He seems to be having a good season so far, despite missing a few FG’s. I would love to see the G-Men bring in a 10 year kicker and be done with it. I do not want to think when it comes to the kicker and punter, I just want them to be consistent and to perform under pressure. It might be time to either draft or trade for a solid 10 year kicker in my opinion.

Yes, the injury bug has effected this group too. Losing WR Domenik Hixon for the year again really hurts the return game. The Giants have been using a merry go round of players at the returner position and have also addressed the issue in the NFL draft. I expect this group to get some more help after the season ends. Giants GM Jerry Reese will look to bolster this squad with explosive playmakers and consistent production. I really have to give Mr. Reese credit for putting together a solid team. Nobody could have predicted the epidemic of injuries the Giants have had to endure the past three years. Still, watching the growing pains of the rookies and second stringers live on TV doesn’t help. The Giants have also had a few bonehead plays where they allowed FG attempts to be blocked, this is unacceptable and thank goodness it doesn’t happen very often.

DAC Fact

Did you know that the New York Giants played their first game ever in Connecticut? October 4, 1925 was the date of the first ever game for Big Blue and their opponent was All New Britain. The Giants shut out New Britain 26-0 and went on to finish the season with an 8-4 record. The very foundation of the New York Giants was born with winning.

What do you think about the Giants special teams performance so far in 2011?

RD – nygreporter.com – Happy Holidays!

Please visit www.hampscamp.com and donate/contribute to Rodney Hampton’s football camp for kids!


Giants Sign Ware, Hixon and Reynaud to Short Term Deals

March 3, 2011

NEW YORK – It looks like Big Blue is sending a clear message that they intend to address the special teams issue very early. The Giants signed 3 players to short term deals over the past two days. I am surprised by two of them actually. The three players signed are RB DJ Ware (2 year contract), WR Domenik Hixon (1 year contract) and RB Darius Reynaud (1 year contract). All three of these players will see most of their game time on special teams. They may be brought into the game under certain conditions or situations but they will primarily be used on special teams. The Giants also put out tenders on a handful of players including WR Steve Smith, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, TE Kevin Boss, DT Barry Colfield and DE Mathias Kiwanuka.

I was surprised that the team locked up RB DJ Ware for another two years because he hasn’t been the most productive player. But I was even more surprised when they retained RB Darius Reynaud. This only means that they will not be unprepared if the injury bug pays a visit once again. I hope that Ware and Reynaud can contribute more in 2011 and I’m sure they do too because the whole world will be watching this group. Expect some fiery competition in training camp this season.

The return game was atrocious last season and I think there will be a couple of guys on that squad looking for some payback. I expect the Giants special teams to be much more aggressive in 2011. If Tom Quinn emerges with his job intact after last season, it will be the biggest upset since Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson in Japan. Punter Matt Dodge should thank his lucky stars too and do his best to maintain consistency. Coach Coughlin has no patience for inconsistency and he will be very vocal about it.

The CBA talks are not going well but they did decide to extend the deadline a bit which is a good thing. The team will need to devote all of their energy to the 2011 NFL Draft very soon. Some on the staff have already been on the job for months. It’s who they are and what they do. Now that the NFL Combine has winded down, there is nothing left but free agency and the draft to look forward to as fans. And then the quiet season returns in May and June where there isn’t much football news. I expect things to continue to happen with the Giants camp from this moment through the entire weekend. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Here is another look at the three recent signings.

1. DJ Ware, RB #28 – 6’0″ 234 pounds – signed 2 year contract

2. Domenik Hixon,WR #87 – 6’2″ 185 pounds – signed 1 year contract

3. Darius Reynaud, RB #15 – 5’9″ 201 pounds – signed 1 year contract

What are your thoughts on these recent signings by Big Blue? Are any of them a surprise to you?

RD – nygreporter.com – 1 year anniversary 3-6-11

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org