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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Giants 2006 season wrap-up

Ok so the Dust has settled, the pressers are over, and WFAN's Mike(Francessa) and the Mad Dog(Chris Russo) have even gotten in their licks(if you call Russo a "Broadcast Journalist"). Tom Coughlin is staying, at least for 2007, and probably 2008 as well. But I would have told you that if you had asked me, even after Sunday, even as i was leaving "the Linc", even as i was riding Amtrak back to New York's Penn Station. No reason to make a change. Sure, the coach might be considered abrasive at times. What does that have to do with running a football team? Most of the Coaches i have met in this business were nasty so-and so-s because they had to be. Football is a tough business, Wimps go home, period. Did you really believe that Bill Parcells was coming back to NY? Never. He wasn't even called. HE called John Mara early this morning to ask him where the rumors were coming from. No one in the Giants organization, thats for sure.

Point is, no matter how dissapointed you are over the Giants 8-8 finish(2-6 in the second half of the regular season) you can't blame the coaching staff or the Front office for the Injury bug that hit for the second year in a row. Ok, so there will be some Scapegoats among the assistant coaches. John Hufnagel is already gone, and infact, was released December 18th, the day after the Loss to the Eagles. He was asked to finish that week out to help prepare for the transition to Kevin Gilbride as play caller and offfensive coordinator. You could argue that his play selection could be vanilla at times(hey vanillia is my favorite flavor of icecream!), but no one said a word when the Giants were winning games. No one ever said "hey this offense with Tiki Barber running the ball reminds me of...of...Joe Morris and the 1986 Giants offense." That's because it wasn't. The 1986 and 1990 teams were so different then the 2000, 2002, and 2005-06 teams. The offense was better at times and the defense, while loaded with Quality, just wasn't there when they had to be.

And what of young Eli Manning? He surely suffered some setbacks this year, he even tired some with his "aww shucks" look on the sidelines. Guess what? All the Mannings look that way when things are bad. Doesn't mean they don't care. Peyton is probably a bit more emotional, and does better in commercials(That Sprint one is a pisser!). Dad Archie is more stoic, and Eli takes after Dad a bit more. He said it himself in his closing presser " i have to continue to learn and get better" Ok Kid, better said then done in the NFL. Former NFL coach Jerry Glanville once said "NFL" means "Not for Long" if you keep that up. I hear all the Giants fans(and probably my former self as well) groaning now " Phillip Rivers is still in the Playoffs." Quit your moaning folks. Eli is a quality NFL QB. It's just taking him longer to get himself together. It doesn't happen overnight. Greatness that is. "What about Vince Young?" Ok so he picked it up a bit faster. Some do and some don't. I don't see the Giants drafting another QB unless a Scouting report tells them they have to get Eli's replacement for 5 years from now and he's available with the Giants next pick. They have needs far beyond QB out of this draft.

So what about the Giants Defense that was supposed to be improved this year? Hey, they hung together when half of them were getting treatment and buying knitting needles to scratch the inside of their casts. Who knew Mathias Kiwanuka would be that good(I knew, but i'm supposed to know)? Mike Strahan will give it another go, but his statement of last summer at the Giants Kick-off affair for charity "i'm not going anywhere until we get rings" is getting hollow. He's going to be 36, and his replacement is already on the team. Surely this will be his last shot, if he gets it at all.

The few Giants players i truly feel sorry for are Tiki Barber, and the Offensive Line. Tiki because he deserved one last hurrah on his way out, and The OL's because they did all they could to get it for him and it wasn't enough. I also feel for the Giants fans that had to take it every week while they were slipping back down to reality in November and December. So that's it for the 2006 New York Giants. All they need to do now is replace the retiring Ernie Accorsi. He was only the second best GM the Franchise ever had, the first being the Late George Young. The announcement won't be this week.

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