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My Game Observations (Lots of Players Discussed)

Rich in L.A. : 8/14/2011 6:45 pm
Just finished the replay, and made some notes.

I'm not going to say much about the veterans, but a couple of quick things:

Two players, Kiwi and Phillips, played like they were worried about being reinjured. They were very tentative at times, not looking like they were playing full speed. (On the first big completion that Clausen had against our first team D, Phillips looked about as hesitant and wary as a player can look.) Both guys will need to work through that.

Goff was a big disappointment in terms of play recognition and getting from point A to point B. He's our MIKE and you can't be getting caught up in the trash as many times as he was.

Our first teams on both sides of the ball seemed to play with a lot less energy than Carolina's. They were a step faster and they were hitting harder. I find that unfathomable in a game where you finally have an opportunity to hit somebody wearing a different color jersey.

With all of that, some vets that impressed me: Rosenfels (as long as the pass was inside of 10 yards), Snee, Canty, Boley (at times), Bradshaw (had one decent hole the whole night but ran hard), Jacobs. Obviously the real star of the night was JPP, but enough has been said about him already on this board.

Baas is our new center and I know everyone is excited about him, but in this game as well as in most 49er games I saw, he was just okay. A decent NFL player. Not great. Not a mauler. A smart guy and a technician.

Now to the younger players and/or those fighting for starting jobs:


Andre Brown in particular looked like he was ready to prove something; he ran hard and angry. Charles Scott strikes me as the kind of RB who needs a 10-yard wide hole to do anything. He's toast.

Hynoski was hard to evaluate at times, because he'd go meet his guy but someone else would blow an assignment and get the RB nailed in the backfield. I loved this signing but I'm going to hold off on thinking he's the next Lorenzo Neal quite yet.

Props to Jake Ballard for getting out in space and actually making a play in the early part of the game. I wasn't sure he had that in him.

Jernigan showed some good stuff but I have the feeling he has no idea what he's doing out there yet. I'm not sure how much he'll contribute this season but it was nice to see the ball going his way a lot.

Victor Cruz is a guy I'm looking for big things from this year. He was up and down in this game. I'm looking forward to watching more of him.

James Brewer's technique is in need of work. To say the least. He's a complete mess in terms of footwork.

Petrus looks like he might be an okay player, but he gets fought to a standoff one too many times for my taste.

Boothe is very quick coming out of his stance; I was impressed. He might have starting ability.

Stacy Andrews can still play, so that was a relief. We may need him. He wasn't blowing people off the ball by any means, he was more of a shield-blocker the whole night, but he hustled around and stayed on his man.

Jarriel King from South Carolina looks like he might have some talent at tackle. On one play he completely overlooked a guy on his outside shoulder and almost got Perilloux killed, but when he DID know what he was doing he displayed some ability.

Speaking of South Carolina tackles, Jamon Meredith looked okay in pass pro. Didn't really get a chance to focus on his run-blocking ability.

Chris White is a journeyman NFL center who almost got (I think) Danny Ware killed on one of his first snaps when he whiffed on a block. After that he displayed good agility but less-than ideal (read: tepid) base blocking ability.

Finally, Ryan Perilloux. He was a wunderkind coming out of high school and it was great to see him perform in front of that crowd and not blink last night. I thought he did a very nice job considering he probably knows about 2% of the playbook at this point. The kid has an arm and now, it appears, he has the one thing most people though he lacked: moxie.


I'm happy to announce that Mark Herzlich looks like an NFL player and potential contributor (someday) for the Giants. He is always around the ball and he is one smart guy reading keys and getting to his spots. His physical ability does not always match his diagnostic acumen, so sometimes he's a step or two late... but he has a nose for the ball, and we desperately need players like that on this team.

The other young LB's weren't terribly impressive. Greg Jones jumps around a lot and is active, but he gets completely swallowed up by a sea of humanity on too many running plays. If he can't wade through the trash and make plays close to the LOS, he's not much use for us. But I'll hold off on final judgment until we've logged a few more games.

Jacquian Williams looks the part at OLB and seems to have a world of ability; I'm just not sure how long the team is going to wait for him to start making plays. He's late arriving to most tackles because his instincts and experiences don't align with his physical gifts. Hopefully he improves sooner than later.

Spencer Paysinger, to me, played better than both Jones and Williams (despite being undrafted); he has instincts and (like Herzlich) a knack for being around the football. He might be a keeper.

Adrian Tracy plays a bit lost in space, doesn't look totally comfortable out there settling into his drops. Going forward, it's a different story, he is clearly very capable coming hard off the edge and playing downhill. He's got a long ways to go as the complete package, though.

Similar in many ways to Tracy was Kenny Ingram. Not terribly comfortable playing OLB, not really a read-and-react type player. Has a tough time disengaging from blocks, like Tracy, and seems most comfortable rushing the QB.

Phillip Dillard didn't impress me. There was one sprint-draw early where he was still backpedaling even after the RB had taken several steps with the ball. He looks the part physically and might have just had a cruddy game, but the guy needs to make plays near the LOS, not 7 yards down the field.

Our DL was a mixed bag. Alex Hall made some plays but that was only when people didn't touch him and he could burst upfield freely. (Same as with Adrian Tracy.)

Marvin Austin came off the ball way too high on a number of plays and got driven backwards; on other plays, he showed his speed and agility to help run plays down, but we need him to be great at the point of attack, not a "pursuit" player. I think the coaches will have a lot to show Austin on film this week.

Gabe Watson looked okay. Hard to believe that this guy was expected to (perhaps) be a great DT in the NFL someday.

One kid who looked pretty good to me was Craig Marshall, the FA rookie from South Florida. He held his ground on running plays very well, maintained excellent technique to seal off the edge and turn the plays inside. He might be a sleeper/contributor type.

The young DB who impressed me most was FA CB Brian Witherspoon. He fought very hard on every play, marked his man beautifully, and was a real thorn in the side of whomever he was asked to cover. It's a shame that he got blatantly held on that late TD pass where he could have easily made the tackle had he not gotten mugged.

Another guy who flashed was CB Woodny Turenne, who was once a heralded high school recruit. He looked to have good instincts and ability out there, and wasn't afraid to stick his nose in there on tackles.

Tyler Sash, though overmatched by the likes of Greg Olsen, was mostly in the right place at the right time and may be a nice find for us. He still needs to learn the defense and figure out what he's doing, but even on plays where he got beaten, he was close to making a play. We'll have to see how he progresses as the season goes on.

Not so sure about Michael Coe. He appears to have only so-so instincts, though he's clearly a good athlete. Cary Harris (formerly of the Bills and USC) might be able to help this team but he didn't do much last night.

chris r : 8/14/2011 6:57 pm : link
a lot of good stuff there.
Joey in VA : 8/14/2011 7:02 pm : link
Agree 100000% about KP and Kiwi, very tentative and quite frankly disappointing night by both.

I concur on Austin, Brewer, Witherspoon as well. Austin did show physical ability but he needs some more live action work he just came up way too high on a number of plays. Brewer looked lost a bit but he is MASSIVE.

Jernigan disappointed me a bit, he doesn't look nearly as quick as I had hoped. He might be a big fat nothing.
First exposure to NFL  
Phil in LA : 8/14/2011 7:08 pm : link
speed for most of the rookies. And only 11 practices. Let's give them a few more games.

Btw, I hope the Giants let passrushers like Tracy and Sintim just be passrushers. Let's be relentless there.
Bruce in Marin : 8/14/2011 7:10 pm : link
Jernigan as a returner last night looked just like Raynaud did last year: he was a pile-seeking missile. It's like watching Wile E. Coyote tie an Acme rocket to his back and blast off into a cliff.

But he did have one pass reception where he looked shifty and got some yards after the catch. His highlight reel is fantastic, there's got to be something there.
Jernigan I'm giving a pass  
Headhunter : 8/14/2011 7:11 pm : link
he didn't look sure of himself out there which could be a case of nerves or a lack of playbook knowledge. It's hard to show skills when you are not comfortable. I'm waiting to see another couple of games
Mason : 8/14/2011 7:13 pm : link
what game did you watch were Herzlich where it looked like he was a NFL player? Were you impressed that he stood over the action while guys like Jones and Tracy were trying to make plays? Is that instinctive? To save your stamina for other downs? SMH, I knew this would happen.
JonC : 8/14/2011 7:14 pm : link
You are really barking up the wrong tree here.
Mason : 8/14/2011 7:19 pm : link
Please explain. I get it. But why can't we let these young guys prove themselves on the field??
Rich knows football  
JonC : 8/14/2011 7:20 pm : link
as does Joey and Phil, they're giving their observations.

If you're going to try and counter their opinions, bring some facts and knowledge.
How about watching the game  
Mason : 8/14/2011 7:22 pm : link
as my fact. What play did Herzlich stand out to them on to let them know that Herzlich was a NFL player in waiting?
You haven't posted anything  
JonC : 8/14/2011 7:24 pm : link
that proves you have football accumen, try it.
what play(s)?  
Mason : 8/14/2011 7:26 pm : link
Did he stand out over the other young LBs?
Headhunter : 8/14/2011 7:26 pm : link
that is lame "watch the game" crap, we all did, you say he didn't play well, back it up by giving us play by play diagnosis of how he was running around, or getting caught up in the pile or misreading, but this watch the game shit don't cut it. Specifics, specifics, specifics
Rich in L.A. : 8/14/2011 7:27 pm : link
There were plays on the opposite side of the field where Herzlich actually arrived there before Williams (whose side the play was on) and Jones. Watch the game again.

The one play where Herzlich looked bad was when he took a bad angle on the TD play on which Witherspoon got held. He had no chance of making a play taking such a beeline (flat) angle.
Witherspoon didn't just get held  
Greg from LI : 8/14/2011 7:29 pm : link
He was flat out tackled. Gotta love the Carolina homer announcers lauding the TE for his "block" on that one.
Rich in L.A. : 8/14/2011 7:31 pm : link
True, the rookies tend to think too much and play slow and tentative in their first NFL games. But I do wonder if Tracy and Ingram are cut out to be playing out in the flat. It seems to work completely against their instincts.

Kiwi made the transition but so many others don't, you have to wonder.
Headhunter : 8/14/2011 7:32 pm : link
Ingram is a converted safety, he should be at home in the flat.
Marshall is a player I'd been waiting to see  
JonC : 8/14/2011 7:34 pm : link
Would like to him or Trattou push Tolly.

I didn't see much from Ingram, Dillard, or Williams in terms of instincts. Hopefully it's alot of rust and nerves.
Thanks Rich.  
ChathamMark : 8/14/2011 7:34 pm : link
Good stuff.
Mason : 8/14/2011 7:37 pm : link
I know what play you are talking about with Williams who was taking bad angles and whiffs on a couple of plays. My point was that he had miss tackles, a chance at a recovery right in front of him (didn't jump on the ball) and along with Jones got swallowed up at times. To me he looked slow to the action on virtual every play. That's just my take.
Rich in L.A. : 8/14/2011 7:45 pm : link
Whatever Ingram's history, he was not comfortable in the flat. There was a major disconnect between what his legs were doing and what his mind was formulating. He took few if any "confident" steps.

Mason, I'm not saying Herzlich played great, I said he looks like an eventual contributor for us. You can tell he's a born-and-bred LB who knows what he's seeing on every play. What he needs to do now is play faster, no question, but I saw enough to tell me he should be okay (assuming he's physically up to it). He's not a conversion project with a steep learning curve like so many of our other LB's (Tracy, Ingram, and in past years, Sintim and Kiwi).
I thought Austin looked terrific .....  
Manny in CA : 8/14/2011 7:47 pm : link
Especially for his 1st NFL game. There were many plays, where he had two men on him. He even played at the Nose, and held his own.

I agree, he's more of an under tackle. I think he's just as strong as most players at that position, and faster than most.

If you look at his college tapes, he was standing straight up, and throwing guys around; Not going to happen in the pros, it's about getting low. We have one of the very best D-line coaches in the NFL(Nunn),he'll straighten him out.

AcidTest : 8/14/2011 7:50 pm : link
is a fabulous analysis. Thanks for taking the time to put that together and share it with us. Stuff like that is definitely part of what makes this board worthwhile.
I get that  
Mason : 8/14/2011 8:02 pm : link
about him being a pure LB with experience at the position. I just don't see NFL athleticism (or enough of it). I think Jones has the instincts but still got engulfed by linemen. Ingram looked well in coverage but had trouble with playing the run.
Phil in LA : 8/14/2011 8:26 pm : link
none of us have ever seen whole units of kids playing in the preseason with only 11 practices and no offseason supervision. Never. That's why I trust virtually nothing that I saw last night. I looked at is more as, "can he run? Does he have useful positional attributes, if not skills yet?" Because I had nothing to compare their level of experience to.

I would like to see the Giants take some of these natural pass rushers like Tracy and Sintim are, and let them rush the passer. They wasted enough time with Torbor and others, whose most effective role is rushing the passer. Bring it from all levels...
It's going to be really hard to judge these players  
lt56giants : 8/14/2011 8:44 pm : link
by last night's game. Just as JPP said last year he played slow because he was always thinking, how do you think players with no OTA's or training camp are going to play? This is a unique training camp and i think a lot of the rookies won't have value until later in the season if at all this year. I argee that Kiwi and KP are tenative and those are the guys we're really going to have to trust if we're going to have a good season. None of the young players impressed me on specials and that's where they'll be needed.
Good stuff Rich  
ChicagoMarty : 8/14/2011 9:53 pm : link

You kind of expect tentativeness from the rooks

I was disappointed in Philips

Also Tollefson played horribly imo. He continually took an inside slant and left contain wide open no matter which end he lined up on.
Jerrigan and Ingram  
BBurns : 8/15/2011 12:30 am : link
looked tenative ,they just need more reps .I like the size
that Ingram brings as well did not see enough of Williams
or Delray Scott . Witherspoon had himself a game hope he
continues to improve might be a good find there ,
Austin is time bomb and when he starts getting it look out .
Jay in Toronto : 8/15/2011 4:51 am : link
Missed blocks and if has value to the team it will be primarily as a blocker.

Tracy flashed and I hope he continues to develop. Interinstingly he lined up at DE quite a bit.

I may join the Garfolo Witherspoon bandwagon.
Just two points I disagree on  
Wellington : 8/15/2011 7:57 am : link
1) I thought Goff looked really good out there. He was consistently either the first guy there or finishing off the tackle. I am *really* excited to see what he does this year. Never hesitated and shot through gaps like a mad man. Haven't seen a Giants LB play like that in quite a while. (Last time was Mike Barrow's one insane year here)

2) Sage Rosenfels looked good, even past ten yards. The only pass that was completed that I didn't like was the one that Clayton had to come back for between the two defenders and caught with his body. A lot of other balls hit receivers dead in the hands and they couldn't real them in (deep along the right sideline to Thomas sticks out). I think Mike G said it, but this really ups the ante for Carr in the backup competition. (Weird considering the financial side of it)

Other than that, good stuff.
Oh and Greg Jones  
Wellington : 8/15/2011 7:59 am : link
He might be worth keeping around if his special teams contribution is like what we saw early in the game. He's no DeOssie, but we already know how hard it is to find special teams contributors.
Good post,  
dorgan : 8/15/2011 8:13 am : link
Rich. I didn't get to see much of it due to some family commitments, so I appreciate the info.

I agree that Dillard was unimpressive,  
Section331 : 8/15/2011 8:51 am : link
in fact, I'd say he was flat out horrible. He got sucked inside way too often. I thought Tracey played pretty well though. Goff's problem last year was getting caught in traffic. It's not a good sign that he hasn't made progress in that area.

I'm not ready to make a definitive judgement on Baas just yet. He's still trying to get comfortable with his linemates, so we need to give him some time. Everything I've heard about him says that he is a roadgrader type, I'll be disappointed if he's not.
Dillard was a fuckin mess.  
Davisian : 8/15/2011 8:58 am : link
Rich in L.A. : 8/15/2011 10:35 am : link
I was exaggerating about Rosenfels, but It appears to me that when he has to put air under the ball, he becomes the kind of QB that safeties like to face. The ball stays up and the WR's body becomes exposed to killshots.
Brewer had a ruff going, but he played RT and was in a LT  
jwowcm : 8/15/2011 6:05 pm : link
so way to early to reach any conclusion.

King played RT with ten plus minutes in 4th QTR and he looked really good blocking and moved really well. Did not see him miss a block, moves forward better than taking DE wide right, but was doing really well.
Personally, I never thought Kiwi would play again, but if he did,  
Big Blue '56 : 8/15/2011 7:29 pm : link
my question was, would he play with his head on a swivel?
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