Banks looks back at a disappointing season with Joe and Evan on WFAN.
To Carl “to win 10 is no small feat but obviously the bar was higher.” In the end “scrutiny is all fair” and the “failure was collaborative” from players to coaches. As we look to next year “everyone has to be more accountable,” which is interesting since we heard it yesterday, and indirectly all year, from Rolle.
On the offensive side of the ball you have to look at the “coaching staff (and) are you creating an environment for which a quarterback can take risks at times when maybe he shouldn’t?” In addition, “schematically are you getting the most out of your offense? Are you putting plays in that call for the big play when you don’t necessarily need it?” Finally, Banks quips “are you giving your players the ability to optimize” their performance?
We move on to the defensive side of the ball where Banks wonders why “all of a sudden people are pointing to a lack of talent” for their poor performance down the stretch (like Mara stated to Francesca on WFAN). Banks believes that “they’ll probably look to upgrade” the linebacker unit. In evaluating the defense’s performance the concern is how the Giants “give up .. 15, 18, and 20 yard passing plays on a regular basis.” This is “something you have to review in the schemes” as the “defensive structure failed at times.” Here is where Banks appears to question whether Fewell possible reliance on cover 2 has it’s downfall. Besides the linebacker personnel, Fewell’s “tendency (to) fall in love with pressure defense.” It stems from the fact that “your tendency is to think that the pressure will get there and your guys don’t have to cover.” Is this Banks additional shot at in-game adjustments? He goes on to state that “you’ve got to keep your finger on the pulse of the game…because there were times when the pass rush got there but there were guys running open in the middle of the field.” To Carl “all of this started to show up later on this year.” Overall Banks gives Fewell a grade “at half way through the season a B+ but now (he) would give him a C+.” Bottom line with this team down the stretch: “when you need ‘em they didn’t make the plays.”
When Joe gave a pointed question about shaking up the coaching staff Carl’s response was, “wow that’s a good question.” An evaluation measurement for Banks is the injury scenario. We all know “injuries happen. But when you plug in players into your offensive scheme, or even your defensive scheme, and if those players can’t catch on to the schemes and you don’t allow your offense or defense to be marginally efficient with inferior players then you’ve got to examine that.” To sum it all up “good coordinators have to adjust based on the personnel that they have.”
Finally Banks was questioned about the last 3 years under Coughlin and their dismal Decembers. He mentioned this after the Eagles game about how “as a team you’ve got to look at your mental toughness.”
Many of us are weary about the last 3 years of very subpar finishes by this team under the current coaching staff. But this is a “collaborative effort”; so we can include the entire organization.
We here on this blog have harped like a broken record about the very points Banks discussed directly and implied. Those points are about coaches: whether “schematically you are getting the most out of your offense, good coordinators have to adjust based on the personnel that they have” and the blindness of thinking “that the pressure will get there and your guys don’t have to cover.” Let’s not discuss the first point because we have beat that one to death. But on the second point we can look back to how a coordinator adapted to the loss of Plaxico Burress. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers gameplanned to what schemes the Giants would predictably give them. But the response from Fewell’s schemes was about 2.5 quarters late.
Banks also mentioned the Special Teams unit and their “collective lack of accountability” for their performance since the beginning of the season. Banks adds that there should be a clear message of accountability from the coaches upon exiting training camp for the unit as a whole. If you cannot hold your Special Teams unit accountable this past season (i.e. guys who are on the fringe), then why would you think your front line players would be at risk? Mental toughness to “close out games”, much less “a season”, starts from accountability at the top. At the end of the season you’re going to play the cream of the crop. In 2008 it was Philly, Dallas, and Carolina. In 2009 it was Philly and the Vikings. This past year it was Philly and Green Bay. Their record against these playoff teams was 1-6.
The League is faced with a lockout. So is Coughlin staying on due to the frugality of the franchise in avoiding hiring a new Head Coach while ponying up for the remainder of Coughlin’s contract (in what could be a lockout year anyway)? My father related a story to ponder as it relates to this franchise. When he was 10 years old at Jack Mara’s wake he asked Mrs. Mara if they would hire a current coordinator of the Giants as the next Head Coach, Vince Lombardi. Her response was, “no son, he wants too much money and a house as well.”