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Valentine's Views: Five things I think I think about the Giants

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Time for this week's thoughts about the struggling New York Giants.

Antrel Rolle
Antrel Rolle
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

It comes a day later than usual thanks to the Monday Night Football game, but it is time once again to delve deep into the mysteries of my mind with this week's 'Five Things I Think I Think' about the New York Giants.

I think we need to talk about Antrel Rolle's remarks. For reference, here is much of what Rolle said Tuesday on WFAN:

"On our sideline it's very dead. Throughout the course of the game it's dead. We need a pulse.

" ... what we need to do as coaches and players ... lay it on the line. Call it what it is. Call a spade to spade. You don't need to save anyone's butt at this point. It is what it is. If a player's messing up, call him out. If they're not getting the job done, call him out.

"You have to play the game with passion," he said. "We have 53 players. You should never have to talk to another grown man about playing this game with passion . . . I'm not responsible for no other man. I'm responsible for myself. I'm responsible for being a leader and trying to contribute the best I can, I'm responsible for trying to keep things together. I will never ever in this world be responsible for another man's emotions or passion for this game. That's not what it's supposed to be about. Every man has to be accountable for his own actions and right now I'm not seeing every man going out there fighting and scratching and clawing like dogs."

I think I love Rolle's passion. I think I sometimes wish he wasn't so brutally honest with his feelings when speaking with the media. I think I wish that everyone cared about the end result as much as he does. I think if players are simply resigned to not winning games that's a sad state of affairs.

I think it's still more about lack of talent. With all of that said in support of Rolle's passion, I still think the biggest issue for the Giants is lack of talent. They are 0-5 against teams with winning records and it is for the simple reason that they don't have as many top-tier players as those teams do.

Look at the injury list: Victor Cruz, Jon Beason, Prince Amukamara, Walter Thurmond, Trumaine McBride. Jerrel Jernigan, Cooper Taylor among those gone for the season. Rashad Jennings and Geoff Schwartz sidelined for long periods of time. Weston Richburg perhaps about to join them.

I still believe what I wrote Sunday -- that even with all of those players the Giants still had holes to fill  and many young players who have yet to develop into what they may eventually become. They didn't have a championship caliber roster to begin with, despite what anyone in the organization may say, and simply getting to the playoffs would have been a great accomplishment.

Ben McAdoo

Ben McAdoo [right] with Eli Manning. [Brad Penner -- USA Today Sports]

I think the honeymoon is over for Ben McAdoo. Well, if it wasn't over several weeks ago it most definitely is now. General manager Jerry Reese is bemoaning the lack of down field passing. Tom Coughlin says constantly that the Giants' biggest issue is that they don't score enough points -- which they don't. They average 22.2 per game, 20th in the league. McAdoo's game plan Monday against Indianapolis came under heavy fire, especially from ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden. Listen to sports talk radio and there are even those wondering why the Giants got rid of Kevin Gilbride and changed offensive systems in the first place.

When he was hired by the Giants, McAdoo said "We're going to be sound, smart and tough. We're going to be committed to discipline and poise, and at the end of the day, we're going to hang our hat on the fundamentals."

The Giants aren't sound. They turn the ball over too much, despite Eli Manning having only five interceptions. They drop too many passes (17 officially, sixth in the league). They aren't tough. A tough team wouldn't be 24th in the league in rushing at 3.8 yards per carry. A tough team would be better than 21st in the league in third-down efficiency.

The Giants don't have enough play makers on offense. They have Odell Beckham and ... well, they have Odell Beckham. Still, though, McAdoo needs to take a hit for the lack of fundamental execution and the fact that there doesn't seem to be any improvement from week to week.

McAdoo may be the head coach of the Giants one day -- and that day might even be next season. It would be nice, though, if the results on the field would actually begin to show that he is good at his current job before he gets a promotion.

I think I want to see more of the Perry Fewell we saw Monday. The Giants were incredibly aggressive defensively Monday night. They didn't have much to show for it, giving up 40 points before Indy basically shut it down and only getting to Andrew Luck for one sack, but I liked the approach. I don't have the numbers, but Fewell blitzed much more than normal. Pressure came from the inside, the corners, there were six- and seven-man rushes. He used Damontre Moore and Mathias Kiwanuka as stand-up rushers at times. Where has that Perry Fewell been for the last few seasons? I think I want to see more of that guy. Honestly, as limited as the Giants are in the secondary, pressure is really the Giants' best chance of getting anything done defensively.

Weston Richburg

Weston Richburg during the preseason [Kirby Lee -- USA Today Sports]

I think when Weston Richburg returns it needs to be center. I have no idea how long Richburg will be out with the ankle injury he suffered Monday -- we should know later today. I think, however, that when he returns it needs to be at center. Richburg was taken in the second round of the draft to be the Giants center of the future. Whether he comes back later this season or not until next season, the future should begin at that time.

The J.D. Walton experiment at center isn't getting the job done. Walton is a decent NFL center, but probably no more than that. For the Giants, he is really little more than a placeholder until Richburg moves there. Richburg has done the best he can at guard, but he is mis-placed there. Walton (-5.1 Pro Football Focus grade) and right guard John Jerry (-7.4) are the Giants' weakest run-blockers.

When Richburg returns the Giants need to put him in the middle where he belongs, then figure out what players to put on either side of him.