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Phil Simms Goes Around the NFL- Week 2- 2011

Phil Simms joined Mike Francesa on WFAN for Week 2.  As is the tradition here for UltimateNYG, we recap Simms’ comments for this NY Giants blog on Sunday mornings throughout the season.  Year in, year out, Phil Simms is consistently the best analyst.  His observations around the NFL help keep us up to date.  Simms has credibility because he holds himself accountable, admits his mistakes and acknowledges he will be wrong.  Just like a good QB is going to throw some INTs, Simms is frank and we benefit from his openness, right and wrong.

Simms made some typically candid remarks about the Giants.  See the transcribed quotes below on Stokley and Simms’ observations on how the Gmen do not handle adversity well. 

Simms ate some crow on Cam Newton and the Ravens struggling in Week 1.  Underestimated the Ravens’ OL and emotion.  Extremely impressed with a lot of things the Ravens did.  Reed is back and healthy.  On to today’s games.

NE-SD.  Doesn’t believe the Chargers can win a shootout.  So Turner needs to manage the Pats offense by trying to stay on the field on offense longer.  The Pats can run it well because opposing defenses play with more defensive backs vs Hernandez.  Gates healthy for the Chargers for first time in a long time.  The good health of the Chargers is a big story.  Patriots hit Henne a lot.  

MIA beat man to man coverage, Henne made a lot of really good throws.     

GB-CAR.  Cam Newton played well in first outing.  Stepped into his throws, was able to drive the ball down the field.  A lot of man to man vs him.  AZ played too much man, needed to confuse him with some zone.  GB is going to make it a lot tougher than AZ did.

KC.  KC is a weak team this year, one of the 4 weakest.  Cassel gets pounded way too much, as much as any QB in the league.  OL is much weaker.  Defense is the strength of the team, yet they got weaker and now Eric Berry is gone.  The offense, without a reasonable OL, puts the defense in too many tough spots.  

NYJ– Very good pressure team.  In Q4, they can overcome.  QB is resilient.  The persona of Rex Ryan comes through.  Not many teams can turn it on in Q$, but the Jets are one of them.  Good positive that Sanchez was able to get the ball down the field.  The Jaguars are a two-back offense, so the Jets defense matches up well.

NYG– “(Stokley) is a good player, and he’s a tremendous situational player.  He’s battled injuries the last few years.  Does he still have the quickness to make the cuts and plays inside?  Because that is what he is.  An interesting and very good pickup by the Giants to see if it works. 

“The thing that bothers me about the Giants, they don’t handle adversity well.  As soon as something goes bad, it stays bad for a long time.  A lot of times that’s talent.  Talented guys can turn it around.  But it could be the mentality too.  Professional football, 80% of it is adversity.  Something is always going wrong in the game (of football).  The Giants have to correct that.  You do that a lot of ways.  Of course you do it with leadership, with players making plays, coaches designing things to get the football team out of that situation and get them rolling again.  When the Giants roll, that DL, the WRs,  Eli Manning, when they are hot, they are as good as there is in the NFL.” 

Francesa- Do you see it damning, and lack of paying attention to detail, the Washington INT off the audible?  Simms- Teams have to change the audibles, the onfield play-calling, hand signals all the time.  You have to change them because everyone is watching the telecasts for the snap counts.

ATL-PHL.  Andy Reid does a lot of good things w Vick.  Deep drops.  This gives Vick more running lanes. Vick is smaller, so it also allows him to see better.  But the bad news- he takes a beating.  Even the Rams gave him a beating.  Falcons have speed on defense.  Martz did a great job vs ATL.  ATL can throw it and run it.  Emotion, 0-1 team coming home, two even teams, ATL should win.

UltimateNYG here.  Note a few things that Simms said about the Giants and how they handle adversity poorly.  (1) The Giants do lack leadership on the field.  Rolle and Jacobs want to be leaders but they are hotheads too.  Manning and Tuck need to be the leaders because they are the franchise players with the tenure to do it, yet that is not in their makeup. (2) The comment about the coaches helping by making the situational calls to settle down a team is huge.  We do not see it with Gilbride by any stretch.  As an example, when the opposing team is pass-rushing galore, sometimes it can take Gilbride multiple quarters to finally call a screen (or even a flare) to slow down the pass rush so that Eli Manning and the OL can get some relief.  (3) Phil’s comments about the Giants being good when they get hot remind us of the underachievement, because it is coaches that enable consistency through good practice/s.  Bill Walsh would practice some plays over and over and over and over until the execution was flawless.  When the play was run in the game when he needed that flawless execution, it was there.  Every time I see a Manning checkdown to Bradshaw’s feet I know that Gilbride has not practiced that bread and butter play to move the sticks.  Result?  The team doesn’t move the sticks.  And the Giants don’t answer the adversity.    

For all of Phil Simms’ predictions, go to Showtime.