Oct 032001
 
New York Giants 21 – New Orleans Saints 13

Game Overview: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more poorly officiated game in my life. The call against DT Keith Hamilton in the Super Bowl was the worst call I’ve ever seen (when you consider the context), but from start to finish, this was the worst overall. Two very bad holding penalties in the third quarter prevent the Giants from putting this one away early. Some very strange play-calling by Offensive Coordinator Sean Payton late also gave the Saints a chance to tie the game.

Because the Giants were able to run the ball better than the Saints, the Giants were not forced to put their quarterback in harms way as much as the Saints had to. Simply put, New York’s run blocking and New York’s run defense was better.

This was a big win, but the Giants cannot afford to let down this week against a desperate Redskins team. Philadelphia looks impressive this year and the Giants must win the games they are supposed to win in order to keep pace with the Eagles.

Tight Ends: I’m going to start off with the tight ends this week because I want to emphasize how impressed I am with the overall improvement in Dan Campbell’s game. He’s not making much noise as a pass receiver, but his blocking on Sunday was once again excellent. There were two instances where I marked him down negatively. On the first drive, he missed a block on a pull to the right that would have allowed Tiki Barber a bigger gain. He later looked shaky in pass protection on an attempted blitz pick-up. However, he had some very impressive blocks. On Dayne’s 55-yard carry in the second quarter, Campbell completely handled Pro Bowl DE Joe Johnson all by himself and took him out of the play at the point of attack. Anytime you can get a tight end to take out a defensive lineman by himself, that is a tremendous asset. In the second half, another example that stood out to me was the 20+ yard Dayne run that was called back due to a bogus holding penalty on Glenn Parker. Campbell and Howard Cross first took out the defensive end on the strongside, then Campbell peeled off an nailed the linebacker in the hole. In effect, he took two guys out on the play. On the Giants last drive of the game, Cross got a good block at the point of attack and Dan Campbell sealed off his man – leading to 17-yard pick-up by Dayne.

You never hear me talk much about Howard Cross, but the thing fans should appreciate is that he rarely makes a mistake and the man he is supposed to block is hardly ever a factor in the play. It’s amazing to me that after missing so much of the preseason that Cross is still a major factor as a blocker. The Giants are fortunate to have two strong run blocking tight ends. They are hard to find in the NFL.

Offensive Line: Don’t read too much into the five sacks. In my opinion, two of the sacks were coverage sacks. And as I said in my game preview, the Saints are not the type of defense that you are going to shut out; they will make their plays. The key thing for the Giants was to keep their composure and they did just that. Most impressively, they really did a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage for the ground game. And aside from other three sacks, pass protection was fairly solid. However, it is important to keep in mind that New York didn’t pass much.

To me, the star of the game on the offensive line was Dusty Zeigler. I don’t know of many centers in the NFL I’d rather have right now. What I like most about him is his ability to not only get out and engage opposing linebackers, but his ability to pull. Luke Petitgout had an up-and-down game. Once again, I came away impressed with his straight-ahead run blocking. He doesn’t look like a power player to me, but the last couple of games he has been blowing the defensive end off the ball. Luke got flagged for a bogus holding penalty on a 3rd-and-9 play where Kerry Collins hit Ike Hilliard for a first down in the third quarter. He did nothing wrong on the play. But Luke did have his problems in the second half of the game. He was flagged for a false start right after the bad holding call. Petitgout also was legitimately flagged for a holding penalty on the Giants’ last scoring drive. On the preceding drive, he got beat to the outside and gave up a sack on 3rd-and-2.

Lomas Brown played very well in pass protection against a top-flight defensive end (Joe Johnson). Johnson’s only sack came against Glenn Parker. The only time I saw a negative from Brown in pass protection is that he didn’t pick up a late inside blitz from the linebacker and Collins was sacked. Parker was up-and-down. What I liked about his play (like last week too) was his straight-ahead drive blocking. He got movement. (Interestingly, I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised by the straight-ahead drive blocking from the entire line this year). But Parker had his up-and-downs on the pull again this week; sometimes making the block, sometimes getting stymied in the backfield. Ron Stone played very well overall despite playing with a shoulder injury. He did have one false start penalty.

Now for some specifics. On Barber’s first touch of the game, Petitgout got a very good block at the point of attack. On the second drive, Dayne pick up nine yards behind strong blocking from Petitgout, Stone, and Zeigler. He then picked up the first down behind Zeigler and Parker on the next play. Parker then got beat by Joe Johnson for a sack (Ziegler made a heads up play by recovering the fumble). On the third drive, Dayne got nailed in the backfield when Parker missed his block on a pull. On Dayne’s 55-yard run, as I mentioned, Dan Campbell got a great block at the point. But Zeigler also made a nifty play when he pivoted and pulled to nail a defensive back and Lomas Brown clobbered the safety. Parker also got a good block at the point. Dayne’s 7-yard TD on the same drive came behind some great inside blocking from Parker, Zeigler, and Stone (Greg Comella also made a nice block).

On Tiki Barber’s 14-yard TD run caused by a strong Petitgout block on the end and a fine kick-out block by Zeigler on a pull. One play that seldom seems to work is where Lomas Brown pulls to his left. Dayne was hit with a 3-yard loss on one such play in the third quarter. I guess Payton is trying to keep the defense honest. Luke got a good block on Dayne’s last big run: the 17-yarder late in the 4th quarter.

Running Backs: What can you say about Ron Dayne (19 carries for 111 yards and 1 touchdown) other than the fact that he continues to show tremendous strides with a greater understanding of the offense that can only come from experience and improved conditioning. He had his finest day as a pro in his young career, highlighted by a 55-yard burst down the left sideline. However, that was not the only strong play from Dayne. He did a good job of keeping his feet moving and powering his way into the endzone on his 7-yard TD run. There was also a great run that was called back where he made a real nice cut, flashed a burst, and then carried two tacklers for an extra 10 yards – very “Bavaro-esque”. I’ve talked about the improvement in keeping his feet moving in previous game reviews. But where he is also improving is that he starting to understand the Giants’ blocking schemes now and how he is supposed to react to them (like Tiki Barber said he would). Ron’s vision is improved and he’s making much better decisions on when and where to cut. Dayne also made a nice one-handed catch for seven yards.

Tiki Barber (3 carries for 21 yards and touchdown) showed good outside speed when he bounced outside on his 14-yard TD run. Barber also helped to set up Dayne’s TD with his short catch on 3rd-and-4 over the middle for a first down. Greg Comella got a key block on Dayne’s TD run, though he did miss his man on a Dayne run in the second half. (By the way, Comella got tackled before the pass arrived on an attempted screen pass on the first drive. Keith Hamilton got flagged by barely touching the back in the Super Bowl – but no call on this tackle? Hmmm).

Quarterback: Not a real good game for Kerry Collins (9-of-18 for 135 yards, 1 touchdown, no interceptions). The best news is that he didn’t throw any interceptions. But just after I recently commended him for doing a better job of holding onto the ball, he fumbled the ball twice on Sunday. He was lucky that Zeigler did a great job of recovering his first fumble; his second one on a quarterback draw gave the ball back to the Saints with less than four minutes left in the game.

My biggest problem with Kerry on Sunday however was his decision-making. He threw to well-covered guys and missed receivers running wide open underneath. Twice, Kerry almost got Comella killed by throwing to him despite solid coverage by the corner. On the third drive, on 3rd-and-13, Kerry took a coverage sack despite Joe Jurevicius being open in the middle of the field. On the next drive, he tried to force the ball to Jurevicius down the middle despite tight coverage. Collins did find Tiki over the middle for a first on 3rd-and-4. He also found Hilliard for a first down on 3rd-and-5 on the next drive.

In the second half, Kerry did a good job of scrambling for a first down on 3rd-and-4. But he then again forced the ball to Jurevicius over the middle, despite a receiver being wide open over the middle on a crossing pattern that would have gone for big yardage. Kerry misfired for an incompletion on 3rd-and-5. On the second drive of the second half, he found Jurevicius for a first down on 2nd-and-13, but then was sacked when he held onto the ball too long. I thought his best play of the game was the one brought back by the bogus holding call on Petitgout. With the pocket collapsing around him on 3rd-and-9, Collins stood tall in the pocket and delivered a perfect strike to a well-covered Hilliard for what should have been a huge first down. Kerry also threw a perfect pass on the post-route to Jurevicius for a touchdown.

Wide Receivers: Relatively unproductive though Jurevicius’ 46-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was huge. Amani Toomer had only one catch for 25 yards. That did help to set up Tiki’s touchdown. Although it didn’t work, I like the play design on Toomer’s reverse where the left-side of the offensive line pulled to the right. Opponents of the Giants are jumping all over these right-side pulls and the Giants have to keep opposing defenses’ honest.

The most pleasant development was the return of Ike Hilliard who made some noise in key third down situations. On the Giants’ first drive, he caught what should have been a first down reception on 3rd-and-2, but was flagged for a questionable offensive interference penalty. His first down reception on 3rd-and-5 kept alive a drive that culminated in Barber’s TD. Ike later had a 25-yard catch-and-run over the middle on 2nd-and-13.

Defensive Line: Strong game up front, especially by DE Michael Strahan who dominated one of the best right tackles in football – Kyle Turley. Strahan had three sacks, a forced fumble, 7 tackles, and many pass pressures. It was a game reminiscent of Lawrence Taylor. DT Keith Hamilton (4 tackles) played the run well and got more heat on the passer as the game wore on. DE Kenny Holmes played his best game as a Giant against Pro Bowl LT William Roaf. While Kenny didn’t get much heat on the passer, he played the run well. DT Cornelius Griffin continues to have some problems against the double-team, but was more stout this week.

Where the defensive line really did well is maintaining a uniformed, disciplined rush in order to prevent Aaron Brooks from killing the Giants with his feet. Only a few times did he get outside the rush. The Saints were also not able to generate much movement for their ground attack.

Now for some specifics. On the first drive, Griffin forced a bad throw by chasing down Brooks. On the second drive, Strahan sacked Brooks on 1st-and-19 with a fine shoe-string tackle of the elusive quarterback. On the next play, Kenny Holmes did a good job of stringing out a run that Jason Sehorn finished off. A personal foul penalty gave the Saints a first down. Strahan then chased down a run for no gain. Hamilton batted a pass down. On the third drive, Strahan and Griffin pressured Brooks to force an incompletion. Holmes and Hamilton then stuffed a running play. After a first down, Griffin got good pressure on 2nd-and-8 despite a cut block. Strahan finished the threat with a sack on 3rd-and-6. On the fourth drive, Strahan spun off a double-team block and stopped the back for no gain. Kenny Holmes then tipped away a screen pass.

In the second half, Griffin got crushed by a double-team on a short gain. Strahan forced a holding call on the next play. Holmes did a nice job of defending a shovel pass for a short gain. On 3rd-and-12, Jessie Armstead (who was credited with the sack) and Hamilton crushed Brooks. On the next drive, Strahan sacked Brooks and forced a fumble on 2nd-and-1. On the third drive, Armstead and Hamilton pressured Brooks into throwing a bad pass that was intercepted. On the next drive, Holmes made his only poor run defense play when he got caught too far inside on a 15-yard run by Ricky Williams. But Hamilton again forced a bad pass on 3rd-and-6 for an imcompletion. Hamilton continued to shine on the next drive by first pressuring the quarterback and then stuffing a run. “Hammer” got some good pressure on one play on the Saints’ last drive too.

Linebackers: Best game of the year for Jessie Armtead (4 tackles, 1 sack) who was a major factor on the pass rush. Aside from the sack on 3rd-and-12, he also had key pressures that forced an incompletion on the second drive of the first half, forced a quick throw on the third drive, forced a bad throw on Shaun Williams’ interception, and forced a quick throw on the last drive of the game. He also combined with Will Allen to tackle Williams on a screen for a six yard loss.

Mike Barrow (10 tackles) had yet another strong effort. He made a nice play on the second drive of the game when he played off a block and nailed Ricky Williams for a short gain when Strahan and Brandon Short got caught out of position. However, his personal foul on the same drive hurt, especially given the fact that it came on 3rd-and-23. Barrow’s pressure on Brooks on 3rd-and-3 saved a touchdown as the receiver had gotten behind Will Allen and/or Emmanuel McDaniel. Mike did overrun the play when he missed tackling the receiver short of a first down – this came on the Saints’ field goal drive at the end of the first half. Barrow’s blitz on 3rd-and-5 forced a quick throw on the Saints’ second field goal drive.

Brandon Short (5 tackles) played the run well and combined with Barrow for a couple of nice stuffs at the line of scrimmage.

Defensive Backs: SS Sam Garnes was awful in the tackling department. He also had problems sticking with Ricky Williams in coverage (though did do a good job of covering one attempted screen). Garnes also was flagged with a personal foul penalty. On the third drive of the game, Garnes missed an easy tackle on 3rd-and-8 and this allowed the receiver to pick up the first down. He badly missed a tackle on Willie Jackson’s 32-yard TD catch-and-run. On the next drive, the Saints’ field goal was set up when Shaun Williams and Garnes badly missed tackles on Ricky Williams and this led to a 42-yard run after a short reception. Garnes did have one very good hit on a receiver coming over the middle. Sam looked good on one blitz on the last drive. He also may have saved the day with his deflection of a pass in the endzone on 2nd-and-goal at the end of the game.

I was impressed with Shaun Williams’ composure in not throwing a punch when Kyle Turley head-butted him. That was as big of a play as a 15-yard quarterback sack. Shaun also looked good on the blitz a number of times, forcing incompletions. His missed tackle on Ricky Williams was costly however.

CB Jason Sehorn (7 tackles) played well and kept his man quiet for the most part. I didn’t like his wussy attempt at a tackle on Williams late in the first half however. He had great position on the 4th-and-1 pass late in the game, but didn’t knock the ball away.

Will Peterson and Will Allen are both learning and not making any major mistakes, but they are still giving up too many plays. It seems to me that Allen is primarily concerned with getting beat deep and is playing pretty soft (understandable for a rookie). Thus, while he is doing a very nice job of defending deep passes, he is getting beat short quite a bit, especially to the inside of the field. Will Peterson is sometimes guilty of the same. He got beat for 15 yards on the last drive, but also saved the day with his defense of the 3rd-and-goal pass. These two should continue to improve with experience, but a real sophisticated passing attack is going to take advantage of their inexperience at some point.

I thought Emmanuel McDaniel played pretty poorly. He had good coverage on one deep pass over the middle, but he was beaten a few of times. He gave up a first down on 2nd-and-10 on the Saints’ last drive of the half. He then got beat for a first down on 3rd-and-4 on the same drive where he gave up the 32-yard touchdown. E-Mac had good position, but didn’t play the ball on the TD.

Special Teams: Rodney Williams is punting at a Pro Bowl level. He averaged 46.5 yards a punt on eight punts and did a good job with his efforts inside the 20-yard line too. He only had one bad punt.

For some reason, Owen Pochman had a really poor day on his kick-offs. Let’s hope he doesn’t have a problem with the turf. One of his kick-offs landed at the 19 yard line, another at the 23 yard line (the latter coming off a five yard penalty was also a line-drive).

Kick coverage on the first kick-off was a disaster as the entire left side of the coverage unit was not to be seen, resulting in a 68-yard return. After that, the coverage was pretty strong with Clayton White making a big hit on one return. Punt coverage was strong, aided by Williams’ booming punts. Emmanuel McDaniel made a nice play as a gunner on one return.

Tiki Barber had another nice punt return, showing good balance for a 20-yard gain. Amani Toomer continues to look terrible on punt returns as he is very reluctant to take the ball directly up the field. Ron Dixon had a very nice return on a kick-off for 43 yards.

The Giants need to do a better job of defending the onsides kick – they were lucky that the one in the 4th quarter took so long to go 10 yards.


These Are Football People

by David Oliver

Lomas Brown told me, and “you respect them for that. It’s not like they’re booing you and they don’t know what they are booing you about, because they do, and you respect that.” The theme of today’s battle was fan appreciation day on the part of the players. Jessie Armstead confirmed the relationship for me, about the love affair between the fans and the players. He said, “That’s a great feeling when you see the fans and you hear them cheering; you see the eyes of the firefighters and you try to not get caught up in it too much, I don’t care who you are, you can be tough all you want to, but the best fighter out there on the field, sometimes it makes you weak” (the emotion); you try to see it and don’ t see it, you try to shake it off as quick as you can.” But this is what NY is to Jessie, as he continued to tell me, “no matter what you keep fighting to the end, that’s what the people in NY are all about, keep on fighting until the end.”

The Giants and the Saints – Ricky Williams and Ron Dayne, Kerry Collins, and two strong defenses – it promised to be a rock em sock em game and it was. But before the game let’s talk about the setting. The skies were gray and gloomy. It was windy. My first view of the skyline, and it looked empty. There were state police everywhere, but, as always, it was worse for the media. The same guys have been coming here for years; the security guards recognize us by face. But cars were stopped on the way in, trunks opened, the police had flak jackets and arms. I’ve been in a lot of third world countries and armed police don’t make me feel safe, not when the search takes place against the familiar. Same thing in Government buildings – we always were searched, but any Tom, Dick or Harry could get in through the basement. On the positive side, let me say, I wasn’t angry, it just makes me sad. To everyone’s credit, Bill Squires, who manages the stadium for the Authority, did a great job. He’s a little bit of a control freak, but he is efficient and effective. And the police and stadium security were polite, treated everyone as human beings, and were not overly officious. They did what they felt they had to do, and the manner in which it was done was exemplary.

The opening ceremonies were beautiful, well-orchestrated and appropriate. The police, firemen and EMT representatives brought a rousing chorus of appreciation and more than a few tears. Tony Bennett and the Harlem Boys Choir were a special treat. Tom Benson was on the field for a presentation. All in all it was overwhelming. The jumbotron screens had messages from past Presidents, and photo montages of Dr. King and the tragedy aftermath. I kept my mind off the subject by snapping photos. Even with the bad lighting, I just kept the camera going.

The game was going to be won in the trenches and the Giants won it there. There were salutes from everyone in the locker for the D line. Strahan was a monster with 7 tackles, 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. But the stats don’t show the job done by Hammer who continually took on double teams and more and crashed into the backfield. He had 2 tackles, 2 assists and a pass defensed, but he was a force. At the end of the game he was so tired he couldn’t chase Brooks very far out of the pocket but he never stopped moving. CGrif (Cornelius Griffin) had a tackle and 3 assists and Holmes picked up his play with 5 tackles, 2 assists and a pass defensed. He was also just a step away on many plays. Several times I saw he and Michael Strahan charging in from the same side of the play, causing all kinds of problems for N.O. Michael Barrow was again insane with 7 tackles and 3 assists and Shaun Williams had 7 tackles. Everyone contributed something to the effort.

Will Allen told me there wasn’t much talking out there at the end, everyone “was just making sure we had the coverage, everybody wanted to make a play.” He laughed and told me how he watched Garnes on that knock down, saying he was transfixed as “it was sooo close.” I talked to several players about the intensity and Jessie said it best, about maintaining throughout the game. He told me, “The good part about it, the D-Line was just hot, then the linebackers stepped up, then the D-Backs started knocking down the ball; when one fire started going down, another fire picked up, that’s what you need.” Kenny Holmes talked about the defensive line and said, “We’re the same guys that everyone said could possibly be the best front four in football; we know we’re the same guys, it’s just that different schemes, protection by other teams, try to negate that. Some weeks, it’s your week, some weeks it’s not; this week was definitely Strahan’s week.” Kenny now feels a complete NY state of mind and he likes it. His theme is that the D is going to get better. As he told me, “The tougher the battles are, the closer your team will be” and then he went on “that was one of the toughest battles I’ve been in besides the Super Bowl two years ago…coming down to a final play in the end zone and these guys knocking the balls down in the end zone is great; it makes the team even closer. Any time you have guys go out and give it their all, those type of plays happen.” And as Dan Campbell told me, “Good game, wasn’t it? Golly, I almost had a heart attack. I’ll tell you what, our defense, that’s the NY Giants defense right there. ”

The offense also made its presence felt. As Jason Whittle told me, “They’re a good team. Obviously, they’ve got a great defensive line. We came out and matched them in intensity and did what we had to do.” Jason also told me, “It felt good to go out there and run the ball like we know we can.” We talked about his development and he told me he feels good about going in there, that he “has a lot of confidence in myself. I know I can go in there and do a good job.” Jason echoed the defensive guys when he told me that the visit to Ground Zero had a profound impact on the team. He said, “It really hits you hard, the look of exhaustion” the efforts of the police and firemen and other rescuers. Jason said the team is “fired up to go out there and play for these guys. This isn’t going to be a one or two week thing. We’re going to play for the fans in NY and those people there. It’s going to be a meaningful season for us.”

Dan Campbell talked about the feeling in the trenches and how it was the big run by Dayne that convinced the offense it could win the game. He said the line was “killing ourselves” in the middle of the game with penalties and turnovers, but “that right there is a good sign, because when you are killing yourself, you can correct those mistakes. If we were getting beaten the whole game by LeRoi Glover and Johnson, that’s a different story.”

So the evaluation starts in the trenches. The front seven of the Giants’ D played their best game of a young season. Ricky Williams is a big bull of a back and he was held to 53 yards, with a long run of 16, on 16 carries. The Giants also nullified a good tight end. But Willie Jackson ran lose in the secondary and showed that the young guns have some more learning to do. EMac (Emmanuel McDaniel) didn’t have a good game, but the pundits are cutting Allen and Peterson a little too much slack. Aaron Brooks moves around, but he is no Donovan McNabb or Brett Favre. And Willy Jackson is not Randy Moss or Chris Carter, or any of the 4 horsemen on the Rams. The young corners have confidence and that’s important. They make a play now and then and that reinforces confidence. Shaun Williams is developing into the player Phil in L.A. promised and he deserves his props every week. Sam Garnes can hit, but he seems to be a step behind the play this year. Hopefully this will work itself out as the corners develop.

Can we say enough about Michael Barrow? No. This week he was joined by his partner in mayhem, Jessie. Jessie may have had a little awakening the past two games, and like Lomas Brown, maybe he realizes he can still do some things very well, but it will take him a little longer to recover. As Lomas told me, he doesn’t feel as if he’s lost his game, “If I didn’t feel that way then I’d know it was time for me to step away. I feel good about things I can do out on the field. Now, there are definitely things I can’t do like I used to do, but I feel good about the certain things I still can do and I don’t think I’ve lost that much right now.” If Jessie gets there, he will certainly be valuable for another 2 or 3 years.

So the defensive line gets a solid A, the linebackers a little weaker A. The secondary played to a B level, but had an A finish. Of note, Ralph Brown is not dressing. EMac was pretty low in the locker. His diminished playing time is having a big time effect on him. But I don’t think he played as badly as some others feel. One good game will lift his spirits – look for him to get an INT against the Skins.

The Fox man was back on his game . There were multiple blitz packages, stunts, zones – every trick in the book and it had Brooks hesitating. Brooks was actually hit more than Kerry, which was real nice.

The real kudos go to the offensive line. Lomas was on top of his game. Campbell and Cross got the job done, Ziegler and Stone got the job done, and Parker’s performance was heroic. Not once, but twice was he examined over on the bench for his concussion. The man is a legitimate Clydesdale – he can pull the wagon. Keep in mind that this was a premier front 4 on the other side of the line. The most surprising thing was the push the O-Line got. Dayne’s big run was through a very nice hole on the left. The run called back was through a nice hole on the right.

And then there is Dayne. The big man was motoring. He went through the holes and as tacklers tried to grab on, he looked like John Riggins, carrying them along like lampreys on a shark’s back. He doesn’t really run square which limits the places where defenders can grab him. The big difference this year is that when he gets hit low, he doesn’t stop, he just picks up his feet and keeps going. An A+ effort by the big guy.

The passing game wasn’t great, but Ike shook free for a couple and Amani made a nice catch when needed. JJ (Joe Jurevicius) ran a beautiful post pattern, the pass was right there, picture perfect. This is the play JJ ran in college – the deep post. They need to run it more for him. Kerry had an off day – he wasn’t doing his rotations. He is a great pocket passer with protection, but when the defenders get close, he lapses. The Redskins game ought to be interesting.

The kicking game – Rodney “Boom Boom” Williams is proving to be a find and a legitimate super star. He says he is just happy that someone took a chance on him. He is surprised to be leading the League in average per kick, but not in net because, “I know our guys are crazy; they’re very intimidating.” Very high praise for the Giants beleaguered specials. Rodney has a very casual manner and does not take himself too seriously. He says, “We’ve got a good supporting cast; the guy kicking off, the old guy hitting the FGs and the guys up front blocking and covering.” I asked him if he getting comfortable kicking the ball out of bounds and he says he was “especially doing it in here (Meadowlands). I was very anxious to come out and kick the ball well”.

Pokemon Pochman told me that his style was to just get as much ball as he could. “I try and have a straight up ball so I can see as much of it as I can, I don’t know if there’s any rhyme or reason to it; there’s not much you can do with those one-inch tees. He said this was his first experience with the wind and he will make adjustments. Also, he told me that he was already learning from Morton Anderson “that it’s all about developing a routine and becoming a technician and sticking to what you do and developing confidence in what you do, and not deviating from it.”

Fred Von Appen is getting the job done and appears to have gained the confidence of his troops. This could be a big turn around for the Giants this year. This threesome and some hawks running downfield could mean two or three games for the Giants.

There you have it. A good game; a game won in the trenches; a game in which both offense and defense contributed equally, but the defensive side of the ball had 60% for its half. Oh, I’m not going to discuss the officiating – trying to get control of a very chippy game is one thing; taking over the game is another. Seems to me every time Boston is on an officiating crew in the Meadowlands, that crew, well, bring back the replacements.

(Box Score – New Orleans Saints at New York Giants, September 30, 2001)
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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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