Traded questions about the Bears and Giants with Andrew Furman of the UltimateNYG (Giants blog), here’s the questions I asked of him and here’s the questions he asked of me.
1)The Bears tried everything they could to land Perry Fewell the Giants’ new defensive coordinator, how is he working out in New York thus far? I personally do not like him. A good coach adapts to the players he is coaching and puts them in a position to succeed. For years the Giants have been drafting CBs who are big enough and strong enough to press at the line of scrimmage. Ergo, you press, you give your DL more time to get to the QB, you disrupt the opposing team’s timing and you thrive. The Giants won a Super Bowl this way. Webster, Thomas and Ross are better when they bring the game to the opponent. But Fewell has them playing in off-coverage, and in Tampa 2, passive read and react. Two days ago Thomas noted that the Giants would press at the line of scrimmage this weekend. If they do, it would be a welcome sign. Separately, Fewell used a dime 4-1-6 vs Peyton Manning and the Colts… how did that work out?!!
2) Has Eli Manning reached the level of consistent top level QB in the NFL? No. Eli is a solid starter. He is not a consistent all-pro. He is the kind of QB who can help this franchise win another Super Bowl, but he is not skilled enough to lead them over the mountain top. QBs get better with age, so it is possible he can reach a time where he does play consistently at a very high level, but he is not there yet.
3) How has Brandon Jacobs fallen out of favor in New York so quickly? Last year he got hurt in Week 1 and has not been the same since. People are mocking him, calling him the tiptoe burglar. He is not running with the same power, speed and intensity. I thought after off-season surgery that he would regain his form, but he has not. Now with him playing behind Bradshaw, he is even less of a factor.
4) Jason Pierre Paul was considered by some to be as athletically gifted a pass rusher as Julius Peppers, how is the rookie performing thus far in New York? He plays mostly on passing downs and on special teams, where opposing players run AWAY from him. He looks like he has some good skills, but the risk reward was wrong at #15 and the Giants had other needs that made the pick a luxury.
5) Much like Lovie Smith is on the hot seat in Chicago after taking the Bears to the Super Bowl, Tom Coughlin is on the hot seat in New York, what is the overall feeling of what has led to Coughlin’s struggles in New York? Coughlin does not make his coordinators better. There are questions about ALL THREE coordinators. From our perspective on the blog, the Giants were a terrific team when Steve Spagnuolo was the Defensive Coordinator in 2007 and 2008. Without him, the Giants have been lost. So the bottomline is that Spags was the reason why the Giants got the ring, not Coughlin. Lots of people come to Coughlin’s side, supporting the guy. All we see is that minus Spags, he is the same retread from Jacksonville.
6) What is Giants’ greatest strength and weakness? Strength-WRs Nicks/Smith/Manningham, TE Boss, RB Bradshaw, QB Manning, DE Tuck, the ENTIRE secondary. Weaknesses- OL is getting older, the Linebackers s*ck, and our special teams are horrendous. I underlined the “greatest.”
7) Final score. Giants 26- Bears 17. The Bears are a better team than the Giants, but the Bears made the mistakes of winning on Monday night. The Giants have a lot to prove, the Bears already proved it in primetime against one of the best teams. Logically, Martz will be throwing out of the backfield to the RB and exploit our LBers. Hester vs our weak punter?! Yikes. But somehow the Giants will get it done.