Tag:Derrick Ward
Posted on: February 10, 2009 1:02 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2009 1:02 pm
 

NY Giants '09 Offseason 'To Do' List

Expect Big Hellos and Sad Goodbyes when glaring needs are addressed

 

*The opinions and ideas expressed in this article are those of The Blue Streak, and do not necessarily represent the feelings or intentions of the New York Giants organization, it's coaches or players. In other words, if The Blue Streak were running the show, this is how it would go...
The Receivers

Let's start with the 800-pound gorilla in the room, Plaxico Burress

His time as a member of the New York Giant is done. Forget about the lateness issues, refusing treatment for injuries and going AWOL on September 22nd. Forget about the insubordination he displayed in arguing on the sidelines with Tom Coughlin during the San Francisco 49ers game, or the stupidity of putting himself and his teammates in danger by carrying a loaded pistol into a night club. Burress' time as a New York Giant is over because the team has learned how to play without him. I'm not saying they're better without him; I'm saying that they've moved on and know that they have some talented receivers in the wings looking to work hard and contribute in a positive way. Plax's poor judgement did something to this team that's unforgiveable - it took away their big-play threat downfield and made life easier for opposing defenses, while placing the burden on everyone else to pick up his slack at the most crucial point in the season.

There are two shining beacons at the top of the mountain, options with great upside for the Giants - one is more attainable than the other. Anquan Boldin would be the first choice as a replacement for Plaxico. The problem here is two fold;

First of all, Boldin is still under contract with the Arizona Cardinals, so this would be a trade scenario. With Steve Breaston on their team, the cardinals may not look for a wide receiver in return and focus on their aging & lackluster linebackers. Would multiple draft picks over a few years and perhaps a desperately needed outside linebacker be enough for the Cardinals to swing a deal with Jerry Reese? Maybe, but since Arizona's primary needs are at OLB and offensive line, the Giants would be forced to chose which very critical piece to remove from their puzzle: The offensive line is not to be touched, and at this moment we will see Mathias Kiwanuka move back to OLB when a healthy Osi Umenyiora takes the field this season. This means that Kiwanuka and Chase Blackburn would be the primary targets Arizona may want for Boldin. If the Cardinals would go for the greatly improved Blackburn (who has two years remaining on a relatively reasonable $3.3 million contract), who can also contribute on special teams, the giants might look to test the waters and extend an offer. If it's Umenyiora they want, I say all bets are off.  

Secondly, as great as Boldin is, he's spent the later portion of a very successful year for he and his team publicly complaining about his contract situation and feelings of being disrespected by Cardinals management. Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and others on the team have come to his defense, claiming that Boldin would not be airing his dirty laundry like this unless there was a good reason. No matter the reason, Giants brass might be squeamish about entertaining the notion of replacing one problem with another - even if it's the lesser of two eveils. OK, much less.  

Enter the free agent market and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Not as physical as Boldin, not as dominating. But he's a gamer, he's handled himself much better this past season in dealing with a losing team, a maniac for a partner at wide receiver and losing his starting QB for the majority of the year. Granted, T.J. is in a walk year and that's a huge factor in the behavior pattern for any player. Houshmandzadeh and Boldin are the same height (6'1"), but Boldin is three years younger and outweighs T.J. by almost 20 pounds. But both have amazing hands, and T.J. put up incredible numbers this year when you consider that he had Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing to him instead of Kurt Warner.

Reese will investigate both possibilities, but the Cardinals - while shopping offers for Boldin - will be looking for ways to keep Boldin in Arizona (Larry Fitzgerald has already offered to restructure his contract - one of the many bugs up Anquan's butt - to convince Boldin to stay). Houshmandzadeh would not only be the easier fish to catch, but would be a more stablizing presence in the locker room and on the field. He'd be the new guy, but his experience and maturity would greatly benefit the Giants offense, especially since it's quite possible that Amani Toomer could be left unrestricted. 

Amani Toomer. One of the must under appreciated and most gifted receivers in the league. My gut tells me that with Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, Mario Manningham and potentially a pro-bowl caliber replacement for Burress on the squad that The Giants may just walk Amani to the door and thank him for everything. Because Eli Manning has shown confidence and comfortableness with the aforementioned receivers, it's easier for the Giants to make this tough decision and let Toomer go. This may depend on what happens with Derrick Ward, and the chances that Toomer stays increase if Ward decides to go out and get starter money somewhere else. If it's a choice between the two and Ward is willing to stay for the right price, old reliable #81 will most likely have played his last game for Big Blue.

The Running Backs 

This will be short and to the point - just like the situation itself. Without question, Derrick Ward is a priority for this team, and there's been little stated publicly by Ward or the Giants regarding his situation. Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese had both said during interviews over the course of the season that Ward is a top priority for them, but they also seem to understand that he's looking forward to going for a starting gig - seemingly resigned to let Derrick make the decision for himself. Coughlin appears confident that Ahmad Bradshaw and Danny Ware will be able to take the next step and move one rung up the ladder in Ward's absence.

The Draft 

The Giants have needs at linebacker and receiver, but Jerry Reese will likely target a potential franchise offensive tackle here. As good as the o-line has been, they aren't getting any younger and odds are this line - that's been pretty healthy and in tact for the past two seasons - will start to break down physically sooner rather than later. He most likely won't fall far enough for the Giants to snag him, but offensive tackle Michael Oher out of Mississippi would be the best pick for Big Blue. They need an OT with the build and pro-level strength to fit right in, preferably allowing David Deihl to move back to his natural position on the right and the injury prone Kareem McKenzie to be the swing tackle (a great option for spelling the starters on a regular basis). He most likely won't fall far enough for the Giants to snag him, but offensive tackle Michael Oher out of Mississippi would be the best pick for Big Blue. If Oher is gone (which he will be), then William Beatty out of Connecticut or Ebon Britton from Arizona would most likely be available, but both are significant drop-offs in value despite their talents. If Reese is undecided about eiter lineman, he may not wait until the second round and grab his other need at linebacker with ILB James Laurinaitis of Ohio State if he's available (Never too soon to start thinking about Antonio Pierce's replacement) or OLB's Larry English (Northern Illinois) or Clay Matthews (Southern Cal).

 

Posted on: December 28, 2008 6:54 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2008 12:39 am
 

RECAP: Vikings 20, Giants 19

And Now, We Wait...

 

Giants close out the season 12-4; Big Blue backups push the Vikings to the brink in grabbing the NFC North Title.

Grey Reugamer. Kevin Boothe. Adam Koets. Those were three of the five offensive lineman in front of QB David Carr. Ahmad Bradshaw and Danny Ware were his runningbacks. Mario Manningham, Sinorice Moss and TE Darcy Johnson were Carr's receiving targets. These were the players on the field for the majority of the second half of today's game - the players that contributed in taking a 19-10 lead on the Vikings with 5:31 left in the 3rd quarter, and the players that held the lead until the last second ticked off the clock as Ryan Longwell kicked a 51-yard field goal for the 1 point win.

The victory gives an NFC North division title to head coach Brad Childress' team who'll host the Eagles on Sunday at 4:30pm. Philadelphia made it to the dance, thanks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears collapsing like a house of cards. Oh, yes - and a very impressive 44-6 walloping of a Dallas Cowboys team that shocked many of us into realizing we actually thought were good just a few weeks ago.

Getting back to our game... The highlight for Giants fans was Derrick Ward, who's 77 yards on 15 carries today pushed him past the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season. In tandem with Brandon Jacob's 1,089 yards, they become the fourth pair of backs to rush for over 1K in the same season for the same team. The other three paires were Larry Csonka & Mercury Morris (1972); Franco Harris & Rocky Bleier (1976); and Kevin Mack & Earnest  Byner (1985).

The backups were solid today, and put forth a valiant effort against a very good defense and a hot quarterback in Tarvaris Jackson. Ultimately, Terrell Thomas slipping and falling to the turf as Bernard Berrian bolted down the sideline was the difference in this contest. Berrian's 54-yard touchdown pulled Minnesota within 2 points in the fourth Quarter. John Carney, who hadn't missed a field goal all season that made it past the pile up at scrimmage, missed slighty wide to the right on his fifth attempt of the game with just 3:22 remaining (Carney finishes the season with an amazing 35 of 38 - other than the miss today, the other two "misses' were blocked attempts). The Vikings took over at their own 38 and managed 30 yards in 9 plays, but it was enough to allow Longwell a shot. Adrian Peterson also had a big play for a touchdown in the first half, when he found a seam to the right of the line and sprinted 67 yards for the end zone. Other than that run, Peterson had 20 carries for 36 yards as the Giants D-line held him in check all day. 

It was an interesting game from the perspective of a Giants fan. The loss means that Tom Coughlin's team lost three of it's final four games down the stretch, which is definitely not the way you want to head into the postseason. But this loss doesn't feel like a loss in the traditional sense; The Giants certainly didn't hand this game to Minnesota, and they played hard right through to the end. But I look at the names above, and remember that it came down to the very last play. And I remember that it was without the services of Kevin Boss, Brandon Jacobs, Fred Robbins, Barry Cofield, Aaron Ross - and without Eli Manning, Amani Toomer and the majority of the starting offensive line for the second half.

And I remember seeing veteran CB Sam Madison carted off the field in the 3rd quarter with a broken ankle.

I'm OK with this loss. I'm OK with waiting for two weeks to see who'll make the trip to the Meadowlands.

I'm OK, and I think the Giants are OK. And now, we wait.

 

Posted on: December 22, 2008 1:52 am
Edited on: December 22, 2008 10:12 am
 

RECAP: Giants 34, Panthers 28 (OT)

Running down a Dream

   

Ward runs for 216 yards; Jacobs' 3 touchdowns lead Giants to OT victory.

The road to Super Bowl 43 will go through East Rutherford. 

Who was that guy wearing #34 tonight?

Derrick Ward has been as valuable a member of the Giants offense as anyone this season, but the effort he put forth tonight was nothing short of unbelievable. So it's appropriate that on a windy night in East Rutherford, New Jersey that "Wind" howled for 216 yards rushing as the offensive catalyst. "Earth" provided the points, as Brandon Jacobs rumbled in for 18 of them to help Tom Coughlin and his team finish off a terrific football game in overtime and claim the top seed for the NFC playoffs. The Giants running game regained its mid-season form to the tune of 301 yards, averaging 7.3 yards a carry as a result of Ward's explosives.

After the game Derrick Ward told NBC-NY sportscaster Bruce Beck "We knew that coming into this game tonight, we had to come out and play like the more desperate team... we needed this, we needed it more and we played like it"

Brandon Jacobs simply said, "Sweet as candy".

This game could have easily ended in regulation; The Panthers attempted a 50-yard field goal on 4th and 5 with :09 seconds remaining, but John Kasay appeared to stutter-step a bit as the ball was snapped, and it sailed just wide to the left, missing the post by no more than two feet. That was just one of the many magical moments in this game, as both teams came to claim home field in the playoffs. They came ready, and they came able - but Derrick Ward came in just a bit more willing than everyone else. Just as important was the Giants offensive line reestablishing itself as a force to contend with and to game plan around. Eli Manning was sacked three times tonight - a trend that needs to be dealt with  - but his overall pass protection was otherwise solid, and the run blocking was as good as it's been all season.

The Giants came out flying as fast as the arctic wind swirling around the Meadowlands. On the fifth play of the game, Manning scrambled away from the grasp of Julius Peppers and tossed a perfectly targeted 40-yard strike into the chest of a double-covered Domenik Hixon. The Giants eventually settled for a John Carney field goal for the early lead. For the remainder of the first half it was the DeAngelo Williams show.

Williams shredded the Giants defense for three touchdown runs in the first half, as the Panthers found themselves moving the ball very effectively thanks to the precision passing of Jake Delhomme who completed 8 of 10 to start the game. Particularly crushing blows were landed on a 60-yard completion to Mushin Muhammad, and a 35-yard strike to pro-bowl receiver Steve Smith; but when in range, DeAngelo got the call. Williams added a fourth touchdown in the second half on a beautiful 30-yard run to the outside, and would have been the toast of the coast had Carolina pulled this one out (the loss, along with Derrick Ward's performance, will unfortunately overshadow an otherwise phenomenal night for him). 

The Giants defense did not look sharp for the better part of the first three quarters, despite the return of sorely missed DT Fred Robbins; Justin Tuck - who did not show up on the injury report - was playing with the flu and was clearly in a haze for most of the night. He actually appeared to vomit on the field following a play in the 4th quarter, forcing the Giants to take a time out they would have preferred to save for later in the game. I don't know if it was better or worse for Justin to be taken in and out of the game as much as he was in the final minutes; understandably, the coaches wanted to give him some rest between plays but the man was literally wobbling at points. I wasn't sure if I should be applauding his efforts or screaming at him for not taking himself out of the game. Eventually the defense buckled down through some halftime adjustments to stop the run, as well as changing coverage schemes on Steve Smith.

As is usually the modus operandi  for defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, he focused on the one player he felt could hurt the Giants the most; not that the tandem of Williams and rookie Jonathan Stewart can't do a lot of damage, but Smith is the guy that will kill you if too much attention is payed to stopping the run. Whatever Spagnuolo did, it worked; Smith finished the night with 3 receptions for 47 yards. It was Smith's second lowest output of the season and halted a 4-game streak of 100+ yard performances. He was shut out the entire 2nd half and the overtime; his last reception occurred with 4:34 left in the second quarter. That play was a 3-yard quick out to Smith which was initially ruled a touchdown, but was overturned on a Tom Coughlin challenge because Smith's knee was down before the ball broke the goal line. It only delayed the inevitable however, as Williams plunged in from the 1-yard line on the very next play to put Carolina ahead 21-10.

The Giants scored another 3 before the half came to a close, but at 21-13 appeared to be as out of it as they had been the past two weeks against Dallas and Philadelphia. After exchanging punts to start the second half (twice for Carolina, who received the opening kickoff), the Giants put together one of their quintessential drives... they took 8:36 of the clock on a 12 play, 84-yard drive that culminated in a TD pass to tight end Kevin Boss that pulled New York within a point at 21-20. Boss had another key grab on the drive, when faced with 3rd and 10 form their own 16 yard line, Manning found Boss on the left side for 11 yards which kept the drive alive. Four plays later, Derrick Ward ran for 22 yards that put the Giants at the Carolina 33 yard line.

Following DeAngelo Williams' fourth TD run, the teams exchanged punts again. The Panthers found themselves pinned back on their own 5 yard line, and punter Jason Baker could only muster a 49-yard kick with so little room to work with. The Giants took the ball from the Carolina 44 and rammed another one in - Jacobs' second touchdown of the night brought them within two points, 28-26. Kevin Boss was again a key contributor on this drive, as his 12-yard catch on 3rd and 5 planted Big Blue right on the Carolina 5 to set up the score. Coughlin emphatically waved at the offense to stay on the field for the 2-point conversion. A nicely designed play faked the handoff to Jacobs running right, as Eli dropped back and hit Hixon to the left as he ran under the coverage of cornerback Ken Lucas. Tie Game. Carolina got the ball back with 3:15 remaining in regulation, and executed a perfectly constructed drive to get them within field goal range with just :09 seconds left on the clock. As I stated earlier, Kasay's kick sailed left... overtime.

The Giants won the toss and went 3 & out on their first drive. Carolina returned the favor, and punted deep into Giants territory. R.W. McQuarters fielded the kick at his own 19, but misjudged the ball as it came down; it bounced out of his cradled arms as panther blue & white jerseys descended upon him. Luckily for the Giants (and McQuarters in particular) he was able to regain control as he fell ass-backwards, but now Eli Manning had to start this drive from the 13. Here's how it all went down from there:

Derrick Ward: 51-yard run up the middle to the Carolina 36... Brandon Jacobs: 3-yard run to the Carolina 33... Manning: incomplete pass to Hixon... Ward: 14-yard run right to the Carolina 19... Ward: 17-yard run right to the Carolina 2... Jacobs: 2-yard touchdown run left guard.

Don't you just love those full play-by-play charts?

Two heavyweights standing toe-to-toe in the center of the ring. This was a fantastic game to watch, and the Panthers showed what a heck of a football team they are. Despite the lackluster play of the Giants in recent games, it's not easy to go on the road and face the defending champs in their house, frigid temperatures and windy conditions to boot. And yet they almost left New Jersey with a huge win had it not been for a boot a few feet to the left - and they would have more than deserved it. 

For the Giants, the goal they've tried to reach for weeks now is securely in their back pocket. The team swagger that Antonio Pierce had talked about "getting back" is back - for now. It will be interesting to see how the Giants handle next week's game in Minnesota. Everyone talks about the fact that last year, they played all their starters against the Patriots in week 17... there's no denying that decision - and their performance in that one game - set the stage for one of the most incredible and unlikely playoff runs in NFL history. But then, at that time, they needed that game - they needed that effort against an undefeated team. They needed to see that they could play with the best of them, and needed to gain the confidence that would fill the tank for the long drive to Glendale, Arizona. Some will rest; I would be shocked to see Fred Robbins, Aaron Ross (who suffered a concussion in tonight's game) or perhaps even Jacobs on the field at the Metrodome this Sunday. I don't know what to expect, and I have no thoughts at this point. I just know it feels different this year, so I'm not expecting the same all-out effort I had the pleasure of seeing live in week 17 last year.

In his postgame press conference, Coach Coughlin said, "You talk about losing two games to divisional teams, but losing them really in not good fashion - particularly offensively. So to go out and to play well... to hang in there - to have the opportunity to get the thing to overtime, was a very very good sign."

A very good sign indeed coach. A very good sign indeed.

 

NOTE:

*DeAngelo Williams' touchdown in the 4th quarter was his sixth rushing score from 30+ yards this season.  It puts him in the record books, sandwiched between the great Jim Brown and ...the great Jim Brown. "First Down" did it 7 times during the 1958 season, and 6 times during the 1963 season. Congratulations to DeAngelo on an amazing year.

 *According to play-by-play man Al Michaels, the pass interference call on Panthers CB  Ken Lucas was the first defensive pass interference call on Carolina this season

Quote sources: WNBC-TV, New York

Posted on: November 5, 2008 2:33 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2008 12:44 am
 

New York Giants 2nd Quarter Report Card - Offense

Big midterm exam vs. Eagles counts heavily towards final Grade

 1. An NFL teams' _____________ is directly proportionate to its _____________.

O  credibility; win-loss record

focus; discipline

O  overall ability; individual accountability

rushing success; offensive lines' performance

All of the above

Click on this link for Defense & Special teams report cards: http://www.sportsline.com/mcc/blogs
/entry/10752270/11536496

At the halfway point of the season, the Giants are 7-1 and find themselves on top of the very competitive NFC East. Despite Monday night's lackluster performance against the Ben Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington (6-3) is going to be a force in the division along with Philadelphia (5-3) and Dallas (5-4), who is crackling with anticipation at the likely return of QB Tony Romo just in time to save their season - and potentially a few jobs. 

Most pundits, analysts and commentators have declared that as many as three of the four NFC East teams should make the postseason. The road to the NFC East Title, however, is paved with land mines and pockets of quicksand. Make no mistake about it - that's the road these four teams are going to be looking up on 'MapQuest'. The land mines are the divisional matchups taking place between now and December 28th - 7 games between the four teams to be exact - waiting to pick each other off one by one as they head towards January. Anyone who suffers a blow by tripping one of those landmines will undoubtedly find their way into a pocket of quicksand - in the form of a crushing defeat at the hands of non-divisional teams such as Arizona, Minnesota or Carolina - that will seal the deal for them and shut the door on a playoff berth. These obstacles, trap doors and explosives are merely tests - tests that impact the final regular season grades these NFC East teams hope propell them into the postseason. 

With these tests looming straight ahead, there isn't much study time. Not enough time to go over everything there is to know. The big midterm exam for the New York Giants is this Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field. The first half of the year has shown us where the strengths are, and where the areas of concern might be. This is a crunch-fest - a good ol' fashion cramming - a time to have faith in what's worked consistently (what we know) and focus more on what hasn't worked consistently (what we don't know). Grades of "A" or "B+" signify what the Giants should feel comfortable in answering correctly, but a grade of  "B" or below means they need to crack the books if they hope to lock down a playoff spot.  

 

OFFENSIVE LINE:  A  ( last quarter - A+ ) Masters Seubert, Diehl, O'Hara, Snee and McKenzie - This unit continues to be the backbone of the team. The successes of the defensive line are more glamorous, more noticeable; the D-line and O-Line have contributed equally to the teams' ability to control the battle of field position and time of possession week in, week out. The Giants have slipped to 2nd in the league in rushing offense (behind Atlanta), but by only 6 yards with 26 fewer rushing attempts. New York still leads the league in average per rush, and are 2nd to Baltimore with 72 rushing 1st downs. They have also provided excellent pass protection; despite giving up four sacks to Dallas last week, they're ranked 5th overall having only allowed 10 sacks on Eli Manning in 8 games. Philly will be the third tough matchup in a row for this O-line - it will be interesting to see how they perform.      

QUARTERBACKS:  B  ( last quarter - A ) Eli Manning was sporting a 99.7 passer rating after the first four games, with 6 TD's and 1 INT. He's since dropped 10 points in rating, down to 89.7 and has 6 TD's and 4 INT's over the last four games. Whereas manning appeared to be seeing the field better and not telegraphing his passes early on, he started off this grading period with a bad outing against Cleveland (which accounted for 3 of his 4 INT's) and an unimpressive performance against San Francisco - where he was lucky he wasn't picked off three more times. Of course, the disruptions of the Plaxico Burress situation haven't helped matters. In Cleveland - the first game following Plaxico's suspension - it was very obvious that Manning was forcing the ball to Burress, which was a mistake. Last week against the Cowboys, Manning's sideline pass intended for Burress was intercepted for a TD by Mike Jenkins. Just as obvious was the sense that Burress broke his route and expecting Manning to follow his lead downfield when it was too late. The dropsies have also plagued certain Giants, most notably Burress along with FB Madison Hedgecock and Brandon Jacobs out of the backfield. But drops and distractions aren't to blame for Manning's questionable performances - his ability to scan the field and avoid throwing into danger is. Since he was able to play with more focus and awareness in the Pittsburgh & Dallas games, it looks like he may be moving in the right direction. Let's see what happens in Philadelphia.  

RUNNING BACKS:  A+  ( last quarter - A In the 1st quarter report card, I made the statement that it's hard to determine sometimes how much of the actual work Earth, Wind and Fire does, and how much of it is a byproduct of the ability of the Giants O-line. As the season moves forward the running backs and the line will get tired; a few more bumps and bruises with emerge. Brandon Jacobs has been the workhorse for the squad carrying 66 times for 300 yards (4.5 YPA) with 4 TD's in the last four games, and has taken the bulk of abuse from opposing defenses. That said, the contributions Derrick Ward has made to the offense has been arguably the most valuable. In that same 4-game span, Ward has 39 carries for 220 yards (5.6 YPA) with a TD, but added 12 receptions for 120 yards. The difference in their running styles, speed and skillset has kept opposing defenses on their heels. Jacobs still needs to improve his nose for finding the gaps, as he still tends to run directly into piles from time to time. The reason for the increase in grade to A+ has more to do with Kevin Gilbride's recognition of this tandem's possibilities; their ability to remain effective at their roles without fighting for playing time, and the impact it has on the offense as a whole.

RECEIVERS:  B+  ( last quarter - B )  Mr. Burress will be held accountable for his own actions, and will no longer affect the grade for the rest of the students. Therefore he will be graded seperately from here on out. 

Stop the presses - there's been a Kevin Boss sighting. In the last two games, against their toughest opponents, Boss has 7 receptions for 64 yards. Whether they kept him on the line to hone his blocking skills or he's simply running crisper routes, Boss is starting to rebuild that report with Manning they had during last year's playoffs. Steve Smith has become the primary target for Manning with 21 receptions for over 200 yards in the last four games. While the yardage might seem low, it's due to Eli spreading the wealth to include other's - like veteran Amani Toomer (who seems to make at least one incredible catch every week), Derrick Ward, Domenick Hixon and now Boss. The weak link for the passing game is the backfield (minus Ward). Jacobs and Hedgecock have combined for 8 catches and 9 drops. 

Plaxico Burress: D-  Plaxico is a disruptive young man who is pushing his coaches and teammates to the point of no return. Since his last report card Plaxico has run poor routes, missed a mandatory therapy session, has yelled at both his head coach and quarterback on the sidelines and has had very little overall impact on the offense with the exception of demanding defensive respect by sheer virtue of his presence. Here's the cold, hard fact: The Giants don't need Plaxico as badly as once thought.

Would they, I, and every other Giants fan prefer to have Plaxico? Absolutely. Would his loss be devistating? Maybe, maybe not... his skills and raw talent, his toughness are all undisputed. His route running ability -  once his strong suit - is now questionable. They need a receiver like Plaxico Burress, but they don't need this. How long will Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese continue to put up with his tirades and dismissal of team policies? If the Giants continue to win while Burress averages 30 yards a game, it won't be for long. Besides, Mario Manningham is waiting in the wings to take his place in more ways than one.

 

Stats courtesy of sportsline.comnfl.com

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com