I'm going to take a moment for an aside on Damontre Moore and the Giants' pass rush. This is going to be something that Ed, a good number of Giants fans, and Tom Coughlin are going to disagree with me on:
Damontre Moore needs more snaps. A lot more.
Other than Robert Ayers, Moore is easily the Giants best edge rusher, and in this past game, the Giants hurt themselves by not playing him. Drew Brees' was rarely pressured and shredded the Giants' defense. However, his passer rating dropped from 155.1 to just 63.3 when pressured. The problem? The Giants only pressured him on 20 percent of his passes, second worst in the league.
And in a game that saw Brees drop back to pass 50 times, Moore was only on the field for 14 snaps, one of which was a fourth-and-1 rushing attempt. At best, he was only on the field for 13 passes, or 25 percent of Brees' drop backs.
Despite his short area quickness and savvy for getting into the backfield, Moore is not the kind of SPARQ monster who can be dropped into a game and win on just three or four snaps a quarter. Moore does not have the traits to dominate offensive linemen with sheer athleticism like Von Miller or Aldon Smith, or through an extreme mismatch like Nikita Whitlock. Even going back to college, Moore's sacks often came in bunches, and later in games after getting a feel for the snap count and how the linemen were playing. But he is natural pass rusher who can win over time.
However, the Giants' method of teaching him discipline from the sideline is clearly not working. Yes, he has 17 penalties in 38 games. However I believe, quite firmly, that Moore's penalties aren't the result of dirty play, ignorance, or anything of the like. Instead, I believe they are, by and large, the result of zealousness to make a play. Whenever one of the Giants' coaches talk about Moore, they talk about his talent, but they also talk about his effort and enthusiasm on the field.
It is commonly held that it's impossible to replicate the speed and intensity of a game in practice. How then is Moore supposed to learn to control himself and channel his enthusiasm if he is never put in a position that tests his abilities to control himself?
The common refrain is that he is a third year player who has played in 38 career games, so he should know better, be more disciplined.But he has only played 611 of 2,772 possible defensive snaps to date. That is just 22 percent of the potential defensive snaps over three years. How well can Moore learn to keep his head in the heat of a game when 78 percent of his career has been spent on the bench?
By the same token, exactly how much pressure, how much of an impact, can the Giants expect him to make on an average of 20 snaps a game? To put this in perspective, if Moore got just four QB "pressures" (hurry, hit, or sack the quarterback) in a typical game, that would give him a Pass Rush Productivity rating of 20. That would be BY FAR the highest rating in the NFL. In 2014, Justin Houston was first in the NFL with a PRP rating of 15.7.
So not only are the Giants asking Moore to play at an All-Pro level, but also to grow and develop into a disciplined difference maker ... On the bare minimum of snaps.
Tom Coughlin's abilities as a motivator, his preparation, and his attention to detail have absolutely helped the Giants to a pair of world championships in the past decade.
However at the same time, Coughlin's coaching staffs have consistently fielded players who are among, or are, the absolute worst at their position in the entire NFL. Players like David Diehl, Mike Patterson, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Markus Kuhn, who always knew their assignments, but rarely won their battles.
And on a team starved for a pass rush, the Giants are willing to accept dependable mediocrity rather than make a leap of faith on a potential difference maker who hasn't had the opportunity to develop in game situations. At Texas A&M, when Moore was an every-down defender, he racked up 12.5 sacks, 80 tackles, and 20 tackles for a loss in his very first season as a defensive end. That year he was also lauded by scouts for his effort and discipline as both a pass rusher and as a run defender.
I'm not going to suggest that Coughlin be fired over Damontre Moore. But what I am absolutely saying is that a change of tack is needed with him. The Giants have time and again given him the minimum snaps unless their hands are forced, then explained it with "He hasn't learned yet".
Different people learn in different ways. So perhaps it's time to stop punishing the student for not learning, and for the teacher to look in the mirror and find a new way of teaching. Because to keep repeating the same actions and expecting a different result is simply insanity.