* EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ*
- Welcome to "Michael Eisen's Mailbag." Every few days, Giants.com's exclusive Writer/Editor Michael Eisen will pick some of the best questions and comments we receive via email* and answer them right here! If you'd like to submit a question or comment to Michael, click here.
Michael, My question has to do with the Wildcat offense. I feel like as strong as the Giants running attack was last year, when teams stuffed the run and the passing game was off for some reason (bad weather, Eli having an off game) the Giants became very predictable and beatable. The Philly playoff game was a prime example. Mixing things up with 5-7 plays of the Wildcat offense could provide a spark in those situations and soften up the D. Have you heard anything with the Giants implementing this in 2009? If so, any candidates on who would run it? Lastly...any word if the Giants would even entertain bringing Michael Vick in as a #2/#3 QB to run the Wildcat and just be a solid citizen/teammate behind Eli and possibly David Carr? I know its not their style to sign someone like Vick, but he would certainly provide a spark and give defenses something else to have to gameplan for.
Are you trying to get me fired? If the Giants were working on the Wildcat or any other offensive wrinkle and I wrote about it – well, it wouldn't be pretty. The offseason is a time to try new things, so I'm sure there is some experimentation going on. But our coaching staff, like all others, prefers to keep those things under wraps until unveiling them during a game. Did you ever hear a word about the Wildcat before the Dolphins sp[rung it on the Patriots last season? As for Vick, I highly doubt he will be wearing a Giants uniform anytime soon.
I absolutely love the Giants 2nd round pick of Clint Sintim. The Giants have been lacking a disruptive linebacker who could also rush the passer for a long time and I think this guy is the guy. How do you think the Giants will use him in his first year? Is he capable of playing on first and second down or will he be mainly used on 3rd down to rush the passer? Also have you seen him in practice and how does he look?
I saw him in the rookie minicamp and he looked quite good – he's bigger than I thought. But you can't make definitive judgments on anyone until training camp begins and the players put on pads. I think Sintim is certainly capable of playing on all downs at strongside linebacker. But my guess is he will be used more as a situational pass rusher early in the season as he gets accustomed to the NFL.
Hey Mike, I'm a big Eli fan, but it's been pretty evident that as the season wears on, and the weather gets worse, Eli tends to struggle. I understand that all quarterbacks have difficulties in bad weather, but Eli seems to struggle even more than the opposing quarterbacks, and certainly more than prior Giants QBs like Simms and Collins. I know that teams will soak footballs in practice in order to prepare for rainy conditions, and they will often pipe in stadium noise to prepare for loud crowds. Isn't there anything that Chris Palmer and co. can do to help this kid better prepare for the windy conditions of Giants Stadium? Thanks, Ed
The Mailbag has received a few letters in this cycle about Eli's throwing in windy conditions, particularly in Giants Stadium. Are you folks looking for something to worry about as we approach June? Manning works hard to prepare for the conditions in the stadium – most significantly, the Giants practiced in the stadium several times late in the season. I really don't think the offense's problems late in the season stemmed from any inability Manning might have to throw in the wind. That might not be the perception had Domenik Hixon not dropped his perfect downfield pass in the first Philadelphia game. And in the playoff game, the Giants outgained the Eagles, 307-276. The problem was an inability to score from in close. The Giants advanced as far as Philadelphia's 17-yard line three times – and had a first down on the 11 on their initial possession – but settled for field goals each time. That had nothing to do with the wind.
Michael, I have been Giant fan my whole life, 60 years; and even though I have been living in California since 1970, I have never stopped being a Giant fan. My concern for the gmen is in our defensive backfield. I know we have great linemen and linebackers, but I am concerned about the consistency of the defensive backfield. How is the Giant organization addressing this need because we need faster and bigger (taller) people in this area?
Well, think we're pretty well set at cornerback with Webster, Ross, Thomas and Dockery. That's a talented young foursome – and we brought in two draft choices at that position. At safety, we're moving last year's No. 1 pick, Kenny Phillips, into the starting lineup. Not to disparage James Butler, but I think it's fair to say that's an upgrade. The Giants signed C.C. Brown, who has 47 NFL starts, as the third safety. I don't know about bigger, faster or taller, but I think we have a lot of good players in the secondary.