There really is no better place to turn for insight into the New York Giants than to Carl Banks, the former great Giant linebacker and current radio analyst. Today, Banks shares some of his thoughts about the current Giants in a 'Five Questions with Carl Banks' segment.
Let's get started.
Ed: I asked my BBV contributors if the Giants are playoff 'contenders or pretenders' this season. What is your answer to that question.
Carl: They have playoff talent both sides of the ball. The division will be a roller coaster ... That said unless the Giants can prove that they have the mental endurance to do the "little things" for 60 minutes they will not get close to a playoff appearance this season. There are things that haven't been corrected that appeared in preseason.
Ed: Regardless of the answer to the first question, or how this season turns out, I see lots of reasons to be optimistic about this team in the long term. I see a franchise QB with several years left and I see a solid core of young players beginning to emerge and develop. Agree or disagree?
Carl: I agree that the foundation of young talent gives fans a reason to be optimistic about the future.
Ed: I get tired of hearing Giants' defenders talking about how teammates went outside the defense, didn't stay in their gaps, didn't trust each other, didn't follow their assignments, etc. Is this an issue with lack of belief in what is being called -- meaning lack of trust in the coach? Or, is it simply a matter of needing different players in some instances because some guys are undisciplined, and aren't going to change?
Carl: I firmly believe this is a majority player issue. Discipline, lack of fundamental consistency is a function of lack of focus on the little thing and lack of dedication to perfection when players leave the facility during their free time. It is difficult for the defensive staff to call the correct defense when 11 players are not accountable to their fundamentals.
Ed: Jason Pierre-Paul can be a free agent. Two-part question: Other than J.J. Watt do you think there is a better defensive end in football? Two, do the Giants have any choice other than to sign him to a massive long-term contract?
Carl: JPP is having a very good season and no doubt a top tier talent. He will have plenty of suitors in free agency. That said, he can be even more dominant -- he has tremendous upside. He is worth the investment by the Giants. There are not a lot of every down DEs that can play on his level.
Ed: The offense has been up and down for a variety of reasons, and we know that the Giants probably don't have all the pieces in place that they would like to have. What is your assessment of Ben McAdoo at this point? Is he the rising star people thought he might be when the Giants hired him?
Carl: Ben McAdoo is a developing story. He has to be flexible as his Oline development takes shape. He as shown great leadership and holds players accountable. He is competent, talented, and his star will rise in conjunction that of the OLINE the skilled players are in place. A very good hire.
Thanks to Carl for taking the time to share his thoughts. Hopefully, we can continue to do these every so often.