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Banks on Giants’ #1 in 2004

Carl Banks checked in on WFAN yesterday and touched on the #1 pick of the Giants in 2004 along with a quick comment about their upcoming game after the bye week.  In Part II, Belichick, Pompeii and Bruschi talk about the spread offense.  Click ‘Read More’ to continue.

Banks had some very critical comments about Phillip Rivers.  He goes on the state that “I don’t know if Phillip Rivers is hurt but if he is they should say something.  If not then you can take him out of that conversation with elite quarterbacks because that may have been the worst decision making series I have ever seen on the last drive.  You can take any of these young quarterback right now and they could have played that bad.” In addition he was very critical of the “coaches (that) were making calls that were questionable too.  You could see when he got conservative…people were calling out ‘here we go, Norv Turner getting conservative.’

At the end of his interview Banks touched on what Giants fans should expect from the team after their bye week.  Banks is hopeful “they learned a valuable lesson from the Seattle game” as “you can make a bad team hang around long enough, (then) they can make a play or two to win it.”  On the upcoming matchup Banks believes that you “can’t let Brandon Marshall get into the game.  They got to come into the game focused, get on them early and show that they are the better team.  Banks echoed the sentiment around here lately that “they’ve got to build momentum for this next stretch of the season.  The Patriots have their problems but the Giants got to show this week that they can handle the team in front of them before they can think about being competitive against” the Patriots.

Paul here.  It’s refreshing to hear someone call out Rivers on being an ‘elite’ quarterback.  Rivers played in a consistently weak division, the AFC West.  His numbers were padded against poor teams in garbage time.  Let’s also not forget he had the elite of elite running backs behind him for most of his career along with a dominating tight end in Antonio Gates.  We have always wondered here at UltimateNYG how Norv Turner has held on to his job as long as he has.  Turner is still in the 20th century school of coaching with playing not to lose.

Dan Pompeii, of the National Football Post, wrote a great article on the trend of the spread offense in today’s NFL.  Patriots coach Bill Belichick discussed the spread formation with Pompeii. “Look at league numbers with three receivers or more on the field, the number of times the quarterback is in shotgun.”  There is a distinctive advantage for an offense “if your team has the weapons to operate it.”  Aaron Rodgers also stated that “when you go in the spread, it makes teams have to show their hand a little more.”  He adds that you either “have to bring pressure or go to coverage. It’s a little more difficult to disguise a ton of things without leaving guys uncovered.”

Teddy Bruschi goes into more depth:

“It puts defenses in a bind because the run game is still prevalent in the defensive read.  How do you match up to it? Nickel or dime? Regular personnel? Sometimes they spread with two tight ends. You have to decide which personnel group to match with. The quarterback looks at it and picks the most advantageous play for success. Even before the snap the offense has an advantage. Okay, they are in nickel or dime, let’s run the ball. They are in a regular defense, they’re outmatched in the passing game, let’s throw it.”

Drew Brees loves and thrives on the spread formation “because it gives him control.  You have five guys to choose from.  You can get in a great rhythm. You get the ball out quickly. You’re already five yards behind the line of scrimmage so you are already away from the pass rush. I feel you have a lot of control in the spread offense. You can check to a lot of different things. It allows you a lot of flexibility, especially if you have a quarterback who can run. If they want to drop and cover every play, you can run. It’s a very quarterback friendly offense.”

A concern for the strength of the Giants defense is that the “defenders usually don’t have much time to get to the quarterback in the spread. You’re seeing quarterbacks not hold the ball, said Belichick, who has spent offseason time studying the offense with Urban Meyer. They just get it and throw it. It’s not the run and shoot, but it’s not far off.”

This is the trend right now up until someone figures out how to stop it.  There is a premium on linebackers who can run in coverage and are physical enough to come up and stop the run.  These 3-down linebackers with speed, strength, instincts and quickness are going early, often in the first round.