Some of you expressed interest in continuing the 'Friday Five' series with Pat Traina of Inside Football. Not promising that we can do it every week, but we will try when there are major events to discuss. This week we wrap up several items having to do with the end of the season for the New York Giants. Be sure to stop over at Pat's place for my answers to her questions.
Ed: Pretty much the same question you had for me. Give me your biggest surprise and your biggest disappointment of the season (player, unit, statistic, etc.)?
Pat: Biggest surprise is DT Barry Cofield. Not only did he play lights out ball all season long, but he did so with a severely banged up shoulder! Disappointment? Probably the tight ends - I expected a lot more from them this year, especially after the injuries started hitting the receivers.
Ed: Perry Fewell has been offered interviews for head-coaching jobs with four teams. From what you know right now, what is the likelihood he lands one of those jobs and the giants are looking for their fourth defensive coordinator in four years? If Fewell does land a head-coaching gig, which team do you think it will be?
Pat: Well based on the information I have at this moment, I would say Carolina might be the likely destination. Fewell is from North Carolina and I have to think that having the chance to draft a franchise quarterback to start a program from scratch also has to be appealing.
Ed: The Giants decided quickly to keep Tom Coughlin as coach. Do you see that as the right call, and do you think Coughlin is still "getting through" to the players on this team?
Pat: Absolutely! Look, Coughlin might have his warts - we all do - but the players respect him and what he stands for. Now with that said, I firmly believe that he MUST make some changes to his coaching staff. I know the coaches don't miss the tackles, fumble the ball, drop the passes, etc., but I think if you were to go down the list of assistant coaches, it would be pretty obvious who rose to the occasion and who didn't.
Ed: If you were in charge what is the biggest change you would make with this team for 2011?
Pat: Longer media sessions. OK, seriously? Linebacker. I get what they're trying to do - create a strong front four and a solid back end, but as we've seen, if either of those two units doesn't bring their A game, guess what unit gets exposed in coverage? Seriously, I don't understand why the Giants, who claim they want good players, constantly refuse to spend a first-rounder on a stud linebacking prospect. It's almost like buying a Porsche with all the trimmings, but settling for the engine of an old jalopy.
Ed: Among the big-name free agents the Giants have (Boss, Cofield, Kiwanuka, Grant, Bradshaw, Steve Smith) which of those guys do you see as most likely to leave?
Pat: I think Cofield for sure - they have Linval Joseph waiting in the wings and I often thought that the plan was to get him into the lineup by the end of the year, but with Cofield playing so well, it was hard to justify removing him from the lineup. I think Grant might depart as well - he proved that he still as a lot left, and I believe he desires to be a starter (even though he was like a starter having played as much as he did this year. The others? Well, ask yourself if a team is going to plop down big money on Kiwi and Smith knowing that both are coming off major injuries and are question marks to start the season. Boss? I think he comes back. Bradshaw? I think they try to bring him back, but the question is how badly do they want him? He's an electric runner, but the fumbling problem has to be a concern, especially since it hasn't' been fixed yet. (I do think they look to add another running back this year in the draft - just a gut feeling I have).