Now that most of the team’s problems have been identified, we can examine potential solutions on the coaching staff and defense for the New York Giants. These solutions will not work overnight, but they will help the team in the future, and possibly get them to the Super Bowl in future years.Solutions:
HEAD COACH- The Giants need to fire Tom Coughlin. The players and fans hate him with an everlasting passion. Why do you think Tiki Barber is retiring? He has not had enough; he is sick and tired of Tom Coughlin running the show, regardless of all the nice things he has said. The statements that he made about play-calling and being outcoached are the ones that reflect his morale and attitude about being a New York Giant. Coughlin should be replaced with a defensive-oriented coach or one that knows discipline.
Potential Coaches Available (and comment): Tom Coughlin, Giants; Jim Mora Jr, Atlanta (Call him Jim Moron; it is clear that his heart is not in the NFL, instead, it is at the University of Washington); Nick Saban, Miami (There is a slight chance that he will go, but I do not think it will happen); Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh (He has two choices: Pittsburgh or Bust); Art Shell, Oakland (Look at the Raiders now. Okay, enough said.); Bill Parcells, Dallas (A brutal playoff performance may get him out because the clubhouse is already deteriorating thanks to T.O.); Joe Gibbs, Washington (Nascar, Washington, or a rocking chair; no chance that he will come to New York); Dennis Green, Arizona (He will never get hired by the Giants, look what he has done in Arizona); John Fox, Carolina (An old Giants defensive coordinator, may get the hook after Carolina’s morale decrease); Romeo Crennel, Cleveland (May get fired due to team’s performance over three years, but he is not the one to blame); and Jon Gruden, Tampa Bay (Doubt it, just a possibility for Chucky).
Wild-Card: Steve Marriucci, NFL Network
THE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Here is where John Hufnagel fits in. The lowest-paid offensive coordinator in the NFL is having a bad season in New York for many reasons. The quarterback, predictability, injuries, and penalties have killed this unit all year long. When Brandon Jacobs comes in for one play, eight players from the other team will key in on him. No wonder why he does not pick up 1-2 yard runs because it is one versus eight. Hufnagel has to go because you still need to produce, even if Luke Petitgout (fibula), Sinorice Moss (quadriceps), and Amani Toomer (knee) go down on offense due to injuries. Granted, Moss is playing now at 100%, but he had a quad injury for four months.
Replacement: While it is hard to find available offensive coordinators, paying somebody enough cash can lure them away from their current NFL team. The Giants need to hire someone who establishes play-action, the ground game, trickery, and deep balls.
DEFENSE- The defense is near the bottom, so they need to sign a free agent or two, and they need to focus on that side of the ball when draft day comes around.
At cornerback, there are several fixes in the free agent crop. Nate Clements, the ball-hawking 27 year old from the Buffalo Bills, is available, but at a cost of $6-9 million per year (he made $7.2 million this year). An adequate three year deal for Clements should be for 24.8 million dollars, with a bonus of $3.78 million. Roderick Hood, a Philadelphia Eagles nickel back and key special teamer, is a cheaper fix to the special teams/defense. Hood made $382,500 this season, and should not get a deal for more than $10 million when he hits the free agent market. Signing Hood for three years should cost about $7.72 million, with a signing bonus of $780,000. Another potential free agent, and a great pick-up, would be Asante Samuel of the Patriots. The ball hawking, speedy corner has eight interceptions this season, along with sixty-three tackles. He is making around $721,600 this year, and a great three year deal should be worth about $15 million, with a 3 million dollar signing bonus.
The defensive tackle position is rather thin, but Vonnie Holiday (now with Miami) has played very well this season, and has an uncanny ability to stop the run. He is not going back to Miami, a team that is strapped for cash, and will likely sign elsewhere. Holliday, 31, would be a good fit for the Giants alongside Fred Robbins to solidify the middle of the defensive line. He also has seven sacks this season, and should command about $13.9 million for a three year deal in free agency, with a 2.58 million dollar signing bonus. Tank Johnson is a restricted free agent, but he needs to clean up his life before he goes anywhere. The last thing the Giants need is a jailbird in the locker room.
Aside from Gibril Wilson, there are several interesting options for the Giants at safety. On first thought, Yeremiah Bell (Restricted Free Agent, Miami) is an exciting young safety who has a good future in the NFL. Bell is also useful on special teams, a position in which the Giants need a lot of help on. He should command a deal worth no more than $5 million (4.25 is ideal) over three years, with a signing bonus of $690,000.
Current Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin (unrestricted) is an above average starter who, like Bell, is young. Hamlin presents a special ability to accelerate. However, he seems to be injury-prone, which is something the Giants do not need. Hamlin’s total deal should not be for more than $8 million, with the ideal three year deal being worth $6.62 million, with a bonus of $1.26 million.
Current Eagles safety Michael Lewis is the best safety available, who is excellent on the strong side. Lewis is a heavy hitter, and a reliable tackler, however it comes at a price. In big situations, Lewis has lacked toughness, which is something the Giants are trying to avoid. In a good deal, Lewis should get about $9.5 million over 3 years, with a $1.5 million dollar signing bonus. Inflation should raise it to no more than $12 million over three years.
LINEBACKERS- The Giants have these linebackers of their own as free agents: Chase Blackburn, Chris Claiborne, Brandon Short, Tyson Smith, and Reggie Torbor. Aside from these linebackers, there are only two that I would pursue.
Rob Morris, of Indianapolis, is a decent linebacker, but he is slow. However, he makes up for it with his awareness and tackling abilities, both of which are good. The thing that worries me most with Morris is that he is part of a defense that ranks 32nd in the NFL in total run defense. The BYU grad should get a three year deal worth $8.57 million (no more than 10) with a $1.2 million signing bonus (no more than 1.5).
It is a proven fact that Cowboys linebacker Al Singleton will not get the same kind of money he is making now. (1 year, $7.5 million; most of it in bonus money) Expendable in Dallas because of Bobby Carpenter, Singleton wants to start. He will make the money of a starter, getting a three year deal worth no more than $8 million. (6.45 is adequate) Singleton should also get $1.65 million courtesy of the signing bonus. With Singleton, you are inheriting a 31 year old outside linebacker with average speed and a good ability to tackle. Also, Singleton is aware of everything on the field.
Instead of having one 5000 word post (which would be a pain to read), I decided to break the Giants down in three separate, smaller posts. The last one will dissect the offense in complete detail.