Did you think I forgot the BBV Mailbag this week? Of course not! It’s a day late, though, simply because of my travel back from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Nat Lipstadt asks: Doesn’t the Hog Mollie concept seem outdated, given the way improved mobility of the NFL, the mobile defenses, the increased use of stunts and shifts? More old school thinking by a traditional coach and management and ownership team?
Ed says: Not to me it doesn’t. Then again, I’m only 10 years younger than Dave Gettleman which, basically, means I’m also an older, more traditional thinker.
Seriously, I’m still a believer in building teams from the inside out. If you don’t have good offensive line play the quality of your weapons doesn’t matter, because you simply can’t optimize them. On defense, the best way to stop offenses these days is to rush the passer. You can’t do that if you don’t have a quality front seven. You can’t really do anything on defense if you don’t have a quality front seven.
Pat Shurmur said the other day that you can call yourself a Super Bowl contender if the best unit on your football team is your offensive line. Here is his quote:
“We’re going to constantly look to improve that unit. I believe that you can win it all when you can say the strength of your team is the offensive line.”
I will buy what Shurmur is selling there.
John Neubauer asks: Ed, what do you think of a 3 game Super Bowl series? Each team would get a Home game with the third game at a neutral site, if needed. You would have a bye week in between the second and third game , so that people could travel. The Pro Bowl could be moved to the first pre season game the next year. Thus allowing all those voted in to participate. Plus the fact that there would be more interest since we are all starving for football before August. …. Fans from both teams can get to see them at home... It would extend the season for another week or two ... Plus more money for the NFL and more football for us.
Ed says: Nope. Nope, nope, nope, nope. Why would you mess with the greatest single-day event in sports and turn it into a three-week long series? And who cares about the Pro Bowl?
Philip Gross asks: I have been a follower for a long time and a Giant’s fan much longer. I would love to have you call out the Giants and Gettleman for being so short sighted for the way that they looked at the team last year and the poor choices that they made in free agency and the draft. They had a chance to free cap space and pick up many premium picks. Instead they signed poor players, let go some good players and picked a running back (great) that can’t help them win. Now they are in a terrible position and might draft the next Dave Brown. How do you see this mess working out in a good way?
Ed says: Sorry, Philip I won’t do that. I think the Giants hoped they could win a few more games last season while trying to rebuild the roster. I don’t, though, think they were short-sighted or made poor choices in the draft.
They made a decision at No. 2 overall to take Saquon Barkley rather than a potential franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold. If it’s me making that call I take the quarterback. If I don’t want the quarterback I trade down and add picks. I can’t, though, kill Gettleman and the Giants for taking the draft’s best player. Will Hernandez, Lorenzo Carter and B.J. Hill are also all good players. It’s hard to complain about the quality of the Giants draft.
Yes, they had some mis-steps in free agency. You are never going to get every move right, especially when you turn over as much of the roster as the Giants did. Maybe it would be nice to have Romeo Okwara back.
I do think Gettleman is right that the Giants made some strides. I think there is a lot left to be done. I have said it before, but it took nearly a decade of bad decisions to get the Giants into this mess. It’s going to take more than one offseason to get them out. As for drafting the next Dave Brown, they might. The flip side is they could draft the next Phil Simms. It’s a roll of the dice.
Michael Daniels asks: I truly don’t understand why everyone is saying the Eli’s playing is regressing. I still believe Eli still has a minimum of 3 good to better than average years left. Do you think Eli has that left in him IF!! they can give him a stable offensive line to protect him?
Also, given the fact that Eli hasn’t had a decent O-Line to play behind, do you think this is part of the reason his playing has shown regression some? and that’s why everyone is wanting to replace him?
I sure believe that he hasn’t had a good O-Line to protect him since the SB’s. What about you? What’s your theory?
Ed says: Michael, I think Eli Manning takes too much blame. I think everyone knows that’s where I stand. Three more years, though? If that’s the case, they better not all be with the Giants. As much respect as I have for Manning, I just can’t keep debating the Manning topic for three more years. I just can’t. My fingers hurt and my brain wants to explode just thinking about it.
I do believe that the offensive line deficiencies have hurt Manning. Like Dave Gettleman, I still he CAN make every throw. I do see that he doesn’t always make them. I think the biggest regression in Manning’s game has been consistent pocket presence. He has been so poorly protected for so long and taken so many hits because of that poor protection that I believe the biggest issue is he’s not comfortable in the pocket. Sometimes he sees a rush that isn’t there, and sometimes he’s getting rid of the ball too quickly. Is that reversible? I really don’t know.
Bruce Frazer asks: Gettleman made a point of how much franchising Landon Collins would cost against the cap potentially leaving very little money to deal with some real needs. Holding back 8 to 10 million for the unknowns and franchising Collins would leave the team with next to no money for free agents. Do you get the feeling that they might actually let Collins hit the open market so they can try to negotiate a more cap friendly contract, or do they look to replace him with a lesser free agent and a safety from this year’s draft?
Ed says: The closer the March 5 franchise tag deadline gets the more you do begin to wonder if the Giants actually will let Collins test the market. I would still be surprised if that happens. There might be a discrepancy between the kind of player Collins thinks he is and what the Giants think he is, but he’s young and talented and I can’t see the Giants just watching him walk out the door.
Eric Chavis asks: My question is: “Why aren’t people as concerned with Kyler Murray’s starting experience as they are with Dwayne Haskins’? It looks like Kyler Murray played in some games at Texas A&M as a freshman, but in both of their college careers, Haskins has more overall pass attempts. I was just wondering why there is so much talk about Haskins having limited experience, but not Murray.”
Ed says: I don’t know that I agree with the sentiment that “people,” whoever they are, are more concerned about Haskins being a one-year starter than Murray. Not sure where that impression comes from. It’s the same for both guys.