Land of the Giants: Getting to know Aaron Rouse

With the news Thursday that our New York Giants have Kenny Phillips on Injured Reserve and received safety Aaron Rouse on waivers from Green Bay, I reached out to Brandon, our Packer blogger at Acme Packing Company, for thoughts on Rouse.

Here is what I got from Brandon who, interestingly, had written about Rouse Thursday morning.

My post on his release from this morning is a pretty good summary. My bottom line (don't know if the hyperlinks worked):

Most comments on his release have been negative. That was my first reaction too. But, as McCarthy said, this isn't a decision made after one game. After a good rookie season, he had some bad games last season in pass coverage and he took some bad angles to the ball. The disaster last season in New Orleans stands out in my mind. And 2008 wasn't a one-year fluke. The scouting report, when he came into the NFL, said he struggled in pass coverage.

I would add that his big problem is that he doesn't have great speed, in addition to taking bad angles, so he's a liability in deep coverage.

Brandon termed Rouse's last game as a Packer "a disaster."

Here is what the Green Bay Post Gazette wrote following Rouse's release.

The Packers clearly were deeply dissatisfied with Rouse’s play last week and thought it signaled a lack of development for a third-round pick from the 2007 draft.

Rouse also had a series of short-term injuries that had sidelined him, including an ankle and hamstring that kept him out of seven games during his first two seasons, and the hamstring injury in camp this year.

Against Cincinnati, Rouse made nine tackles but also had glaring errors on several key plays. Those included taking a bad angle on a screen pass to tight end Daniel Coates, who converted a first down on a crucial third-and-34; leaving his deep zone on a flea flicker that allowed a 44-yard pass to Chad Ochocinco; and being caught unaware when Chris Henry broke open behind him for a 5-yard touchdown pass.

So, Rouse is an "iffy" player, but probably the best talent available considering that the season is in full swing. He was a third-round draft, so he has talent. If he was on Phillips' level he would not have been available, would he? We just have to hope the Giants' coaching staff can get through to Rouse in ways the Packers seemed unable to.

"I would have rather them said he tore his ACL and his MCL," said Dr. Craig Levitz. "That’s a much better injury to have. We can fix that. If he tore his meniscus, we can fix that. Even if he tore his knee ligaments, we can fix those. It’s just a matter of how good he rehabs whether he gets back.

"Arthritis, we can't fix that," he said.

Levitz said that Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui is suffering from the same situation. In that case they drain his knee regularly and inject him with cortisone shots every three months or so. With Phillips, that wouldn’t be an option. And Levitz said he doesn’t think surgery will help either.

"You can’t stop it from progressing, you just have to hope it doesn’t progress," he said. "Arthritis only goes in one direction. It only gets worse, it never gets better."

By strengthening the quadriceps and other muscles around the knee Phillips can help to support the joint and reduce the pain. But the arthritis will never go away without a knee replacement.

"The reason why they’re probably weighing their options is not because they don’t know what to do," Levitz said. "It’s because there are no good options and they are trying to pick the best option for him with no good option. There’s no option that will give him an extremely high chance of feeling a lot better."

That is not something I wanted to hear. If you are a Yankee fan and you have watched Matsui try to run this year you know it's not a pretty sight. Let's hope KP's best days aren't already behind him.

"As long as we have eleven on the field, that’s all that matters," Pierce said. "You have to move on man. No difference if Antonio Pierce, Justin Tuck or Osi (Umenyiora) is out. Next guy has to step up. Like I said, we always feel like we have 25 starters on this defense and whoever wants to step in for Kenny, if he is out, that’s what they have to do."

"You move on, there is nothing to dwell about, you are too busy getting ready for the next practice or the next game and getting the lineup set the way you need to. It’s always difficult but the way we perceive it is it’s just matter of fact, playing to the next and moving on," Sheridan said.

Sheridan spoke before the roster move with Rouse was announced, but said fitting a new player into the defense in just a couple of days should not be that difficult.

"there is so much carryover from team to team and the kind of defenses that are played. I mean everybody plays two deep and three deep and man coverage and that type of stuff. So yeah you can get them up to snuff very quickly."

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