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Cruz done; McAdoo Stands Pat

Sadly but inevitably, the salsa-strutting Victor Cruz was let go by the Giants. My colleague Peter Furman’s succint take on Victor Cruz:  He was, and is, a star! Victor was, and is, a role model for our kids and the game!

Below is a video about the Giant revelation Victor Cruz.

Meanwhile,  besides Cruz,  the Giants’ oft-injured declining running back, Rashad Jennings, was let go, too. Jennings, who seemed to run in place for the entire 2016 season, was a smart cut by the team. However, what is concerning is the behavior of head coach Ben McAdoo.

After my analysis of the Green Bay playoff debacle,  I urged McAdoo to fire some of his coaches. A month later,  McAdoo has not done anything.  It is a crime to retain the following coaches:

Crime 1:  Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. The 2016 Giants offense stunk!  With our calculations,  the Giants averaged 16 points per game. This putrid point average should have cost him his job. How on earth, with Eli Manning at quarterback and OBJ at wide receiver, did the Giants could only muster 16 points per game? Guess what! The Giants highest point total was 28 points versus the Eagles. In their last six games, which includes the playoff loss to the Packers, the Giants averaged a measly 13 points per game. This is a guy who made an idiotic remark about another team’s behavior regarding prized wide receiver OBJ.

The only reason a guy tries to get him off his game is because they’re not confident enough in their abilities. They’re afraid to match-up against him one-on-one, mano y mano. If that’s going to be the approach, you can put that when you’re ranking and say, ‘Obviously the guy is not courageous enough or brave enough or not man enough to go ahead and play it straight up.’ If they need those types of tricks, then so be it. We’re going to rise above that. Mike Sullivan

If this is Sullivan’s reasoning, how come, with a depleted Packers secondary in the playoffs and for the entire season, the Giants could not score more points? McAdoo should not be afraid. Get rid of the stench. Fire Sullivan.

Crime 2: Tight Ends coach Kevin Gilbride, Jr.:  Kevin Turkey Jr. should not be a coach in the NFL.  My guess is when his dad “was let go,” a deal was made to keep his son on the coaching staff. The production out of the tight end position has been absent since Gilbride, Jr. took over. One can make an argument that Giants’ GM Jerry Reese failed to obtain quality tight ends for his team. There is a kernel of truth to this argument; however, this does not hold water. If one looks at a team like the five-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, their staff does a phenomenal job of coaching players up. When Julian Edelman was drafted, who thought he would turn out to be the best possession receiver in the league? It is time for Gilbride, Jr. to join his dad on the golf course.

Crime 3: Offensive line coach Mike Solari. This guy has done nothing to improve a weak offensive line. The Giants pathetic offensive line has two first round draft picks: Justin Pugh and Ereck Flowers plus second-round selection Weston Richburg. Indeed, the Giants also have retreads in John Jerry and journeyman Marshall Newhouse. The question is, what has Solari done to make improvements? Some have pointed out that the Giants do not give up many sacks. When I checked Profootballreference.com, the Giants allowed a total of 22 sacks, but keep in mind Eli gets rid of the ball quickly. This is a signature of McAdoo’s scheme. What we can deduce is this small number of sacks is deceiving. Speaking of sacks,  Giants tackle Ereck Flowers is a major disappointment, which we predicted. His questionable play and behavior off the field has been alarming. Bumping a Giants reporter is inexcusable but what is more egregious is his lack of technique.  He is so vulnerable dealing with speed rushers. Quite frankly, his play has been an embarrassment. I hold Solari responsible for not coaching him up. Besides Flowers,  the Giants have Pugh who was injured for part of the season. At times, Pugh has played well, but if he was top-notch, he should’ve been able to create daylight for Giants’ running backs. As a matter of fact, the Giants ranked 29th in the NFL in yards rushing with a paltry average of 88 yards per game. This indicates Solari is not getting the job done. In defense of Richburg, he played out of position his first year and now has two years under his belt at center. Richburg has been a solid center. What I do not like is how the Giants have invested resources in a line that has not paid dividends. This is why I hold Solari accountable. Like the other two offensive coaches,he must go, too.

Crime 4: Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn.  As a blog, we have been calling for the firing of Quinn for some time. Inexplicably,  Quinn still has a job. He has been the Giants’ special teams coordinator since 2007.  Last year, the Giants made strides in upgrading their special teams.

Quinn’s units finished second in the Dallas Morning News’ annual comprehensive ranking of the NFL’s special teams. The Giants were seventh in the league with a 10.2-yard punt return average, and 10th with a 24.9-yard kickoff return average. They were fifth in the NFL in kickoff coverage, allowing just 20.3 yards per return.

This was a major improvement because historically, the Giants had been a bottom feeder when it came to special teams performance.  

What is even more insulting is blatant cover up by the Giants’ organization of Tom Quinn’s record. Quinn, the Giants’ special teams coordinator, has been with the Giants organization since 2006. If you read his biography on giants.com, you would think he has done an admirable job, especially since his longevity as special teams coordinator has been eight years and counting. However, this is far from the truth. Instead of balancing Quinn’s shortcomings with his modest accomplishments, the Giants organization does a disservice to Giants fans.

For example, over the last 18 Giants games, under Quinn’s leadership, the Giants have allowed an astounding FOUR punt returns for touchdowns. No mention of this ignominious statistic on giants.com! Of course, the latest was Cardinals punt returner Ted Ginn’s 71 yard scamper, which put the Cardinals ahead for good at 19-14. The Giants’ kick returner, Quintin Demps, fumbled the ensuing kickoff. His fumble was recovered by the Cardinals. In turn, the Cardinals scored three more points. Quinn’s special teams gave nine points to the Cardinals. That is unacceptable.

Also unacceptable is Quinn’s overall record as special teams coordinator. Eminent pro football writer Rick Gosselin is known for evaluating NFL special teams units. According to Gosselin’s formula, Quinn’s performance has been dreadful. Over his seven seasons at the helm, the Giants have finished in the bottom half of the league FIVE times. If the NFL is a results business, how does Quinn still have a job?

Gosselin’s rankings of Quinn:

2013-28th

2012-7th

2011-22nd

2010-30th

2009-20th

2008-4th

2007-17th

In the playoff game versus the Packers, the two units which let the Giants down were the offense and special teams. As the Giants begin to prepare for the 2017 season,  McAdoo has not dismissed any of his offensive coaches or Quinn. This is mind boggling. If the Giants are going to improve, McAdoo must bring in guys with fresh ideas like Tom Coughlin did when he chose bright-eyed McAdoo in 2014. In two years as offensive coordinator, McAdoo improved the Giants. Let’s hope he heeds his former boss and makes the necessary coaching changes.

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Author:

New York Football Giants blogger since 2007. Appeared on ESPN radio, New York Times, Long Island sports talk 1240 am.

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