Game Preview: Miami Dolphins at New York Giants, December 15, 2019
I’m going to be honest with you guys and gals, I just want this season to be over. This is as depressing a season in my late middle-aged life as I can remember.
So rather than dwell in the current bleak state of affairs, and in the spirit of the holidays, let’s look to t he future!
Here are my 12 Days of Christmas wish list:
- Fire the defensive and offensive coordinators. I don’t care what James Bettcher did in Arizona. I can only judge him on what he has done the past two years in New Jersey. His defense is a confused mess that routinely allows struggling offenses have their best days. On the offensive side of the ball, I’m still not sure what Mike Shula even does. Only a case can be made for Thomas McGaughey (special teams), but let the new coach decide his fate.
- Fire the position coaches. Has any position on this roster gotten better under the tutelage of the position coaches the past two years? Running back (Craig Johnson), offensive line (Hal Hunter), wide receivers (Tyke Tolbert), tight ends (Lunda Wells), defensive line (Gary Emanuel), linebackers (Bill McGovern and Mike Dawson), and defensive backs (Everett Withers)? Think about it.
- Fire Pat Shurmur. Last Monday night should have convinced even fence-sitters that he is the wrong guy. I don’t want him anywhere near the team. We’re in Bill Arnsparger, Ray Handley, and Ben McAdoo territory here. Heaven help the Giants if ownership’s take is that Shurmur is fine and he just has to replace assistant coaches.
- Fire the General Manager. Dave Gettlemen said before the season that he did not know if this was a playoff team but he should be judged on whether the product is getting better or not. It’s not. Moreover, Gettlemen is near retirement age and the next GM should not be encumbered with Gettlemen’s coaching staff and roster. The trade for Leonard Williams should be the final nail in the coffin. Not moving Evan Engram and Janoris Jenkins also looks bad. The Giants are going to have another top five pick in the draft and tens of millions of dollars to spend in free agency. I wouldn’t give that responsibility to Gettleman, especially since his free agent decisions have been terrible.
- Tell Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Chris Mara that his “expertise” in no longer needed. He’s been a failure. His position is duplicative and probably causes unspoken internal confusion. Time to focus on his horse racing career.
- Conduct a real general manager search. Don’t just pretend to do so and give the job to Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams. He’s responsible for the failed product too.
- Do not hire Ernie Accorsi to serve as a consultant. I shouldn’t even have to explain this.
- That said, ownership should not rely on just their own instincts on who to hire as general manager and head coach. Those instincts have caused the Giants to fire Tom Coughlin while keeping Jerry Reese and Marc Ross, hire Ben McAdoo in a panic for fear of the Philadelphia Eagles “stealing” him, and hiring Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur. In other words, their instincts are dreadful. Seek professional outside counsel.
- Strongly consider hiring a defensive-minded head coach. While Tom Coughlin worked out marvelously, I’m sick to death of “offensive gurus” like McAdoo and Shurmur. Get back to your franchise roots and build this team around a kick-ass defense.
- For the love of God, fix the freaking offensive line. It’s been almost a decade now since players like Kareem McKenzie, David Diehl, Rich Seubert, Chris Snee, and Shaun O’Hara hung it up. You ruined the second half of Eli Manning’s career. You are ruining the young careers of Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones before they have entered their prime. What good are the second and sixth picks in the draft if they don’t have a line?
- Find some players who can cover the middle of the field. Again, the team’s linebackers and safeties have been chronically abused for years. Jason Witten should pick John Mara to give his Hall of Fame induction speech.
- In the spirit of the season of miracles, go get Bill Belichick. Call me stupid, naive, foolish, hopelessly unrealistic, but I think he can be pried away from New England. There have been whispers of a break-up with Patriots for years. The Tom Brady era is coming to an end. This is the time to strike. We have a need. He may be looking to leave. Offer Bill full authority to run the entire football operation. When he’s done with coaching, he can still build the team. He loves the Giants. Don’t play it safe here, swing for the fences.
THE INJURY REPORT
- QB Daniel Jones (ankle – out)
- WR Golden Tate (foot)
- TE Evan Engram (foot – out)
- TE Rhett Ellison (concussion – out)
- RG Kevin Zeitler (ankle/wrist – out)
- CB Corey Ballentine (concussion)
THE FINAL WORD
The Dolphins suck but they are playing hard and having fun. The Giants just mailed in the second-half against the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Giants haven’t hit rock bottom yet. It’s coming.