The very under-appreciated Patricia Traina of Inside Football recently posted a great breakdown of free agent tags and what our New York Giants are likely to do with their eligible free agents.
I can't find anything in Pat's analysis of the Giants FAs to argue with. Oh, and I also can't fault her assertion that the Giants should make a run at Houston linebacker DeMeco Ryans if he is still a restricted free agent come March 5 when teams are able to begin signing players.
Given a choice between Arizona's Karlos Dansby and Ryans, I would take Ryans in a heartbeat. He is a two-time Pro Bowler and is still just 25. Why wouldn't you at least see what the price tag is? Of course, the Texans will have a lot to say about whether Ryans actually hits the market.
By the way, Pat and I will be teaming up on a few occasions throughout the off-season to bring you some Giants coverage we hope you will enjoy. We might have something coming up soon, so stay tuned for that.
On Sirius Radio the other day Arizona Cardinals free agent linebacker Karlos Dansby expressed interest in playing for the Giants.
SNY's Adam Schein wrote on his Twitter page that during the radio interview, Dansby said of the Giants, ""If they have interest in me, why not? let's go.
Special teams rankings not kind to Giants
We know the Giants' special teams were, to put it kindly, not very special in 2009. Well the annual breakdown by the Dallas Morning News shows just how bad. Using 22 categories, the DMN assigns points for each, with the lowest score being the best. The Giants finished 20th among the league's 32 teams using this measure.
The best team in the league? Amazingly, it was one of the league's worst overall teams -- the Cleveland Browns. The Browns finished with 215.5 points, 41 ahead of Tampa Bay. Yes, they have Josh Cribbs but the Browns' success can't be all about one guy.
Here is what the DMN said about the Browns' special teams.
Cleveland's [special teams coach] Brad Seely has worked this magic before in the kicking game. He was special teams coach of the top-ranked Indianapolis Colts in 1992, then won three Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots this decade before joining the Browns in 2009.
"It's an attitude," Seely said. "It's guys taking pride in what you're doing and wanting to be good – feeling like they can be a positive factor in a football game.
"We've always stressed that wherever I've been – special teams can help us win games. It's a tangible thing ... a belief that we can be the best at what we do this year."
I spent some time a few weeks ago trashing Giants special teams coach Tom Quinn. When I read Seely's remarks, this makes me think even more about what Quinn doesn't do. I spent weeks at training camp last summer listening to Quinn call out the return formations -- "Doube R 4" and "Double L 4" and a bunch of other mysterious names.
What I never once heard from him was any motivation, any verbalization challenging players or stressing how much of a game-changing role special teams players can provide. Maybe he does motivate, but I certainly didn't hear it on the field in Albany.
As I asked a few weeks ago, why does Tom Quinn still have a job?
(E-mail Ed at email@example.com. Follow Big Blue View on Twitter.)