Lawrence Tynes authored two of the most memorable kicks in New York Giants history, field goals that propelled them to Super Bowls they ultimately won. These days, when it comes to the Giants, Tynes is just like you. A frustrated fan trying to figure out where it all went wrong and how or when it’s going to get better.
Tynes recently joined the ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast to offer some thoughts on a team and organization he obviously still cares deeply about.
On how hard has it been to watch the Giants the past few years ...
Tynes, of course, was a Giant through their most recent stretch of glory as he was the placekicker on the organization’s last two Super Bowl-winning teams. He makes no secret of continuing to be a fan of the Giants.
“It’s tough. It’s hard to watch. To me it’s almost, it’s not unexplainable because we can all point to reasons why but in some regards you see other teams doing more with less so then it becomes frustrating in terms of a fan,” Tynes said.
“I still put something Giants on, a shirt, a hoodie on Sundays no matter what our record is. I go to the grocery store in it. I’m such a fan, but you know it’s really hard to put my finger on it. I watch and I played the game and I was in the locker room and I don’t know what it is. I think there is some talent deficiencies defensively, but I don’t really know who the leaders of this team are.”
Tynes expanded on his idea that the Giants lack on-field leadership.
“It just doesn’t seem like on the field they have any clear cut leaders, motivators,” he said. “I think it’s important to identify leaders … who’s the Antonio Pierce, the Justin Tuck, who’s the Strahan, who’s the Chris Snee, the Shaun O’Hara? I don’t know. I don’t see or feel that with this team.”
On the struggles of rookie cornerback DeAndre Baker ...
“I know everyone’s down on Baker. Listen, I would say cornerback is the hardest position to come in and play right away. If anyone remembers a great success story, you look at Corey Webster. He was kind of in that same boat,” Tynes said.
“He was a second-rounder. Struggled, struggled, struggled … I wasn’t there when Corey struggled but I had heard the stories. Goes out and has an unbelievable playoff run and turns it into some really solid years after that. I would give Baker some time. That is a tough, tough job. … just let him develop a little bit. I like the pick. Obviously time will tell.”
Tynes did admit that Baker’s lack of hustle on a play vs. the New York Jets was “a litle bit of an alarm for me.”
“I always say and everyone says attitude and effort are free. You don’t need talent to run to the ball,” Tynes said. ”That is a little bit of an alarm for me. I wouldn’t hold it against him but I’m never going to forget that he did that because if he does it again in critical moments as he progresses in his career then you probably have a real problem. But he is a young player, his head is spinning, it’s a tough position.
“I know for a fact that Justin Tuck or Antonio Pierce … those guys would have handled that internally … You get in there and you just look at the guy, pull him to the side professionally and I know Justin would do this, Strahan would do this, Antonio would do this, whoever, Antrel Rolle and just talk to him. He’s a young player trying to figure it out.”
On the down year placekicker Aldrick Rosas is having ...
A year after making 32 of 33 field goals and 31 of 32 extra points Rosas has made just 8 of 10 field-goal attempts and 19 of 22 extra points.
“I think he’s uber-talented,” Tynes said of Rosas.
Part of the problem, Tynes believes, is lack of opportunity. Tynes has had only one game this season where he has had more than one field goal attempt, and three games where he has not had any.
“He literally has half the amount of attempts that he had last year,” Tynes said. “As a kicker in-game reps are really, really important … in-game reps are different than any other reps you’re going to have in practice or in pre-game.”
Tynes also believes that Rosas could, in a way, be a victim of his own success.
“I don’t know that you’ll ever do that [2018 success] again,” Tynes said. “He missed one field goal, one PAT. It’s a tremendous season ... If you do that when you’re young you’re going to consistently be compared to that number and chase that number.”
On the end of Eli Manning’s career as a Giant ...
Not only was Tynes Manning’s teammate for six seasons and two Super Bowl titles, he lockered next to the quarterback every day at practice during each of those years. So, Tynes is uniquely qualified to offer perspective on the best quarterback in franchise history.
“It’s tough because of all the things he’s done for us and for the city and for the organization. I think it’s more strange than it is tough. Father Time is undefeated in football and Eli had an unbelievable run in a really tough market for the greatest football franchise in the NFL,” Tynes said.
“I think it’s just strange to see him standing with a ball cap on and an ear piece and not playing, but I will give management and the coaching staff my full backing on that. It was the right thing to do. There’s clearly kind of a drop off.
“I still think he could do it if he needed to, but I just think where we were as a franchise, you draft Daniel Jones sixth overall you gotta play that kid.”
Tynes said Eli would “never agree” to a ceremonial start at the end of this season.
“He just wants the best player to play, who right now is Daniel Jones … he’s the ultimate great teammate. He’s just the best.
“I have an enormous amount of respect and love for Eli Manning. Always will.”
On Sterling Shepard and his health ...
After leaving the Giants, Tynes has a scary battle with MRSA. While it’s not the same as dealing with concussions, I asked Tynes for some perspective on the situation Sterling Shepard is dealing with. That, of course, is repeated concussions and lingering symptoms that have limited him to four games this season and turned the focus to his long-term well-being.
“I think obviously you listen to all the information that’s been given to you by the experts and doctors that you’ve seen and you just go from there … you just have to listen to the people that get paid to give you information,” Tynes said.
“Part of the equation is 2-8, right? For me as an organization I would sit him. I would do what’s best for him. I just don’t want him going out there playing with any kind of fear which is probably natural after having a couple this year. Then the recurrence two or three weeks after is probably scary.”
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