Phillips is out for the year. I really did not want to even post today. Losing Osi last August was worse than this, but this is up there. Francesa said it is big, very big. He did not back away, kept on repeating how big a loss this is for the Giants. And he is right.
A quick word on Phillips- this injury could mean his playing days are in jeopardy. This is no layup. Good luck to him and may he successfully rehab his knee.
This blog is about one thing- championships. Can we win a title without Kenny Phillips. It will be much harder, but not impossible. It means we will need more help from the offense, and that means we’ll need Gilbride to remove his head from his butt and get this offense to operate at great efficiency while the defense gets out of intensive care.
Let’s list the problems that need to be addressed in order for the Giants to win a title in 2009-10:
1) GET HEALTHY
2) FIX THE RED ZONE
3) FIX SHORT YARDAGE
4) PATCH UP SAFETY
5) FIX THE RUN DEFENSE
6) FIX KICKOFFS
7) FIX KICKOFF COVERAGE
Safety is not, I repeat NOT, a critical position on the field. These guys are some of the lowest salaried people in the league. But go try telling that to the Steelers after they lost Troy Polamalu. Or the Colts w/o Sanders. When you have a player like Phillips who was coming into his own this year (See link above, Coughlin said he was on course for a Pro Bowl season) IT IS A BIG LOSS. But this loss is not a death blow.
HOWEVER> IF the other problems listed above are NOT addressed satisfactorily, the loss of Phillips WILL be a death blow.
There are simply too many things that need to be straightened out before the Giants can be considered contenders. Fwiw, Wonder still thinks the Giants will win the next 3 games with the B team. IF, IF the Giants can GET HEALTHY, IMPROVE THE RED ZONE EVEN MODESTLY, FIX THE GAP/LANE RESPONSIBILITIES ON DL, GET HIXON BACK ON KICKOFFS in time for the Saints, there is a reasonable expectation the team can be 4-1 at worst, or 5-0 and be in a position to move forward.
How many losses on Defense can the team get handed before the whole ship implodes? Alford, Phillips, … Canty, Tuck, Boley, Ross, Dockery. Folks, that is almost an entire unit! Let’s take care of TB this weekend, buy some more time, fix the problems, get people back healthy, keep improving and somehow get to the point where the team can legitimately vie for a title. The season is very early. That is the opportunity. Potential.
We saved the best for last. I am not going to link to everything that was said here on the blog, the regulars know this to be true. We asked for help at Safety 1) before the Draft 2) after the Draft 3) warned about it before Camp as one of 5 issues for the team 4) during camp when we saw CC Brown 5) after camp was over when the roster only had 3 safeties 6) again after seeing CC Brown vs the Redskins AND 7)THEN FINALLY WHEN IT WAS DISCLOSED THAT PHILLIPS WOULD POSSIBLY BE PLAYING INJURED ALL SEASON. Reese has done a great many things right, but he blew it here. There may have been slim pickings out around the league, but this was not a new problem. Now we have a guy named Aaron Rouse (Wonder: “decent fill-in, obviously no star”) as the PRIMARY backup on Sunday and he has never worn a Giants jersey. This was not handled well, not at all. Maybe in the next 3 weeks CC Brown will learn the defense well enough to at least be okay out there. If we were playing Brees this weekend, it would be a clinic.