It is time for this week's 'Five Things I Think I Think' about the New York Giants, and this week I think I am going to try to do the impossible. I think I am going to make this week's 'Five Things' a Tom Coughlin and Odell Beckham-free zone. Let's try talking about some other things.
I think the Giants and Antrel Rolle need to part ways
I go back and forth on Rolle, and I may change my mind again before the Giants ultimately have to make a decision on the free-agent-to-be. Ask me right now, and I think I would clearly prefer that the Giants move on without their defensive captain in 2015. What we have seen from Rolle the past two weeks has everything to do with that stance.
Two weeks ago, Rolle embarrassed his team and his head coach with a ridiculous -- and flagged -- end-zone celebration with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Then, despite repeated statements by his coach that he didn't like it, Rolle tried to justify the celebration rather than apologize for it.
Sunday against the Washington Redskins Rolle provided another, far more important, reason why the Giants should let him walk at season's end. Plain and simple, he wasn't very good. He dropped an interception, for probably the third time this year. He got torched for a 61-yard completion, bailed out from allowing a touchdown by DRC's hustle. He committed a foolish personal foul on a hit out of bounds. Worse yet, after the game Rolle made an excuse for the big play, saying someone else should have been there. True or not, be accountable and don't blame other people. It's also not the first time this season he hasn't owned up to plays he should have made, but did not.
Rolle's play has not matched his reputation, and at 32 it certainly hasn't been good enough to justify the big-money deal he will probably want. His too often self-serving comments to reporters and on WFAN have become examples of how not to lead.
I think the Giants have already changed their draft approach
It is no secret that the Giants didn't do very well in the NFL Draft from 2009-2012, that GM Jerry Reese and the Giants' personnel department have to take a hit for that, and that those failures are largely to blame for the sub-.500 records of the past two seasons. Co-owner John Mara admitted last offseason that the Giants had missed on too many draft picks, and that perhaps they had taken too many risks.
The 2014 draft class looks like it could be the best class Reese has drafted to date. The 2013 class yielded Justin Pugh, Johnathan Hankins and Damontre Moore. It can't be just dumb luck. The Giants appears to have changed something in the evaluation process.
If I had to guess I'd say there are higher premiums being placed on character and organizational fit, rather than just finding athletic projects and trying to make them fit.
I think these guys need better nicknames
Odell 'Scooter' Beckham? Devon 'Nardbog' or 'Narddog' or 'Nard-whatever' Kennard? Those nicknames are just not going to cut it. At least rookie Nat 'The Missile' Berhe has a cool nickname. The rest of these guys. Not so much. Apparently, Weston Richburg is sometimes called 'Westy.' I think you guys need to get to work coming up with some real, lasting nicknames for some of these guys.
I think I don't understand rooting for your team to lose
I know there are people who call themselves "fans' who do this, and I know some of those reading this are in that category. I will never understand it. As Herm Edwards said "you play to win the game." Isn't it better for these young players who will carry the Giants into the future to learn to win, to gain some confidence from doing that, rather than just getting beaten up week after week and learning to lose?
The whole "but winning messes up the draft slot" argument is mis-guided. It is never about where you pick in the draft, it is about making the right choices when you do pick.
I think JPP is making himself a ton of money
The Jason Pierre-Paul who has shown up the past three weeks is a dominant, sometimes unblockable, player who is among the NFL's best half-dozen defensive ends. That's a far cry from the too often ordinary player we saw in 2013 and much of this season.
When he is right, Pierre-Paul is a game-changer. And he is still only 25 years old. I don't see how the Giants can let him get away, simply because you can't replace what Pierre-Paul is capable of when he is at his best. How much will it cost them to keep him in East Rutherford? A whole lot more than it would have a month ago.