The calendar has turned to December, and the New York Giants are surprisingly playing meaningful football. With that in mind, let’s open the Big Blue View Mailbag and see what questions we can answer.
Jay B asks: Do the Giants have a problem? The Wayne Train is in the last year of his deal he has almost 400 yards rushing and 6 TDs and they really didn’t start using him regularly until Week 5 when he got 10 carries and they have steadily increased. So who knows what his stats would be at if they gave him a full workload right after Barkley went down. What do the Giants do here? Let’s say he ends the year with 700 yards and double-digit TDs?
You don’t know when Barkley will return and what he will be like when he does and you have already invested a bunch money in Barkley even on the rookie deal. Even if you resign Wayne he has earned a bigger share of carries but did you draft Barkley second overall to be splitting carries with Gallman? Not to mention Barkley will want big time money or at least the carries to prove that he deserves big-time money.
Even though trading Barkley at this point would be trading low do they need to consider it given all the above contract and playing time issues that might come down the pipe soon. A second and third round pick? Remember you can’t necessarily use the franchise tag on Wayne because they have to possibly use it on Williams or Tomlinson. Do they try to extend Wayne now to a team friendly deal before he hits the market?
Ed says: Jay, slow your roll. Wayne Gallman is having a nice run this season, doing a nice job helping the Giants in the absence of Saquon Barkley. But, he’s not Barkley. Not even close.
Gallman is a backup running back. Sorry to burst the Wayne Train bubble, but that’s what he is. He’s a pretty good one, a better one than he had the opportunity to show the past couple of seasons, but he’s not a guy who is going to command big money on the free-agent market. Especially in a year where the salary cap is expected to go down.
Franchise tag? Long-term deal? Sorry, Jay, but you are way over-valuing Gallman. Remember Orleans Darkwa? He was a nice running back. For years, I thought he deserved more opportunities than he got. When he finally got a full-fledged opportunity in 2017 at age 25, he ran for a career-best 751 yards (4.4 yards per carry).
Did he get a big-money deal somewhere? Nope. He didn’t get a deal anywhere, and hasn’t played a down in the NFL since.
Gallman, 26, doesn’t have Darkwa’s injury history but no one is breaking the bank to sign him and build a running game around him. If anything, he’s probably earned a decent raise to come back and be the Giants’ No. 2 back next season.
What the Giants do here is get Barkley healthy and give him the rock.
Larry Jamieson asks: Do we really want to make the playoffs? Let’s face it, none of the NFC East teams deserve to be in it this year, but some team has to go. Whichever team gets in will likely get knocked off in the first round, and what’s the reward? A lousy draft position in 2021.
I am not a big fan of tanking and think that every team should go out and try to win every game, but getting to the playoffs seems like a short term Pyrrhic victory. Any thoughts on this?
Ed says: Larry, I do not understand anyone not wanting their team to win games or make the playoffs. Period. I. Do. Not. Get. It.
Of course, the Giants should want to win games. Of course fans should be rooting for that to happen.
Playing and being successful in big games has to be something that is beneficial to all of the young players on the Giants’ roster who have never done that before at the NFL level. Just playing in those games has to help make them better. Succeeding? That breeds confidence that they belong, that they can play at that level. This season is a building block, and a successful run to a playoff berth would be a nice building block.
I have said it for years — winning is better than losing. You don’t ever want players to learn to lose, or to accept losing. Haven’t Giants fans had enough of losing, getting a high draft, losing again, getting another high draft, losing again, getting another high draft pick?
Just because you pick seventh or eighth doesn’t mean you automatically get a better player than if you pick 19th or 20th. Root for the Giants to win. Enjoy the fact that, for a change, you have meaningful Giants games to watch in December. Worry about the draft when it happens five months from now.
Jeff Newman asks: What would you do on offense to take advantage of Colt McCoy strengths and minimize his weaknesses and do you think with such a game plan we could beat the Seahawks this week? Assuming of course we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot and we play solid defense and special teams.
Ed says: Jeff, listen I’m not an offensive coordinator and I haven’t studied McCoy’s game tape the past few years the way some might have. What I will say is that I very much like what I heard from offensive coordinator Jason Garrett this week. Garrett said he would “customize” the play sheet for what McCoy does well and that it was his responsibility to create a “comfortable environment” where McCoy was tasked with doing things he felt good about.
To be honest, this is one of the things I love about Joe Judge and his coaching staff. Coaches always say things like “it’s about the players, not the plays,” but very few of them actually coach that way. Too often, coaches are married to systems and aren’t creative enough or flexible enough to make an honest assessment of what the players they have can and can’t do, and tailor their schemes to maximize what their players do well.
As the season has gone on, I think we are seeing the Giants do that exceptionally well on both sides of the ball. It’s a credit to Judge, Garrett and Patrick Graham.
if you want more detail on a what a call sheet for McCoy might look like, check out the piece Mark Schofield did on that earlier in the week.
Bruce Frazer asks: Logan Ryan has been as advertised and better than, for the Giants this season. What are the chances he is not re-signed?
Ed says: Bruce, I have to believe that with the way he has played, the leadership he has shown and the history he has with Joe Judge and Patrick Graham that re-signing Ryan will be a priority for the Giants.
What will a deal look like? Similar to the free-agent deals the Giants agreed to last offseason, I can’t imagine them going beyond three years. Ryan will be 30 next season, so that wouldn’t make any sense. I haven’t asked around, to be honest, but I would guess three years and somewhere between $25 and $30 million.