Zero wins and four losses is a tough pill to swallow.
To say we are surprised might be a bit of a stretch. This year’s squad left even the most optimistic fan a little weary. We had too many projects and were too dependent on journeymen and the hopes that no one gets hurt.
The harsh reality is that we will not make the playoffs. This, however, leaves us with an amazing opportunity. What lies ahead is a 12 game tryout, meaning that Coach Coughlin must push those players that are part of the future and forget about those that are simply riding the wave. These players include David Wilson, Reuben Randle, Damontre Moore, and Cooper Taylor.
David Wilson: In his one-plus years in the NFL, Wilson has shown amazing feats of athleticism combined with baffling mental mistakes. He has been in and out of Coughlin’s dog house time and time again.
Mr. Coughlin, with all due respect, this must stop now. For the rest of the season, David should get 15-25 touches every game. If he fumbles, put him back in. Let him learn. You want a player to know that if he does mess up, he will get the opportunity.
To date, David has a paultry 130 yards, 0 touchdowns, and is averaging just under 10 carries a game (NFL.com). With opportunities so scarce, David feels the need to break it big every play. This is plainly seen every time David tries to dance and cut back instead of getting whatever is available.
I truly believe that Wilson can be the type of back McCoy is for Philly. The Giants have a full year to get the kinks out.
I was fortunate enough to attend the Giants Vs. Saints game last year. It took David only 17 touches to gain a team record 327 yards and 3 tds. Watch this highlight video courtesy of NFL.com and make your own opinion of him. David Wilson Highlights
Reuben Randle: This was supposed to be the year Reuben broke out. Aside from the Dallas game in which he had 101 yards, he has been limited to 6 catches for 61 yards (ESPN.com) . Hakeem Nicks’ future with the Giants looks bleak. It doesn’t seem like they will have the type of money to keep him around. Reuben does not need to be Nicks. He needs to be a speedy possession receiver who is capable of getting the occasional jump ball.
Whatever Nicks’ situation is, the Giants should think about targeting Randle on more high pressure plays (third downs, red zone, etc.) The Giants will then see if this kid can be clutch on a consistent basis.
Damontre Moore: It doesn’t seem there is a single person not on this kid’s band wagon.
Moore has blocked two punts since preseason started. He has been in on almost every special teams play, and he showed that he could push the pocket. Face the facts: Tuck is done and no one knows when JPP will be himself again.
In the first four games, the Giants have 4 sacks (ESPN.com) The fans can deal with a mediocre LB corps and secondary if you deliver on the promise of a stalwart D-Line. Since the Giants do not have that, the defense is just a big mess. There is no rational reason not to give Moore a shot. By next season, Moore should be playing opposite of JPP. If Tuck is around, he should be delegated to third DE in the rotation and an inside rusher in the NASCAR formation.
Cooper Taylor: Alas, the biggest project of them all. Cooper is a safety that calls to mind the Seattle secondary. His combine measurables were amazing: 6’5, 228 lbs, 4.45 40, 23 reps at 225 (NFLDraftScout.com). Taylor has a combination of size and speed you rarely see.
His issue right now is gaining the coaches’ trust. Right now, the playbook and game films should be his two best friends. Just like with David Wilson, Taylor should be in there making mistakes. Nobody knows what kind of player Stevie Brown will be next year.
If Brown comes back healthy, Cooper can play as the hybrid LB/safety to combat against high powered offenses. If he’s not healthy, the hope is that Cooper can fill the void. Safety has a chance of being a real position of strength for the Giants.
The possibility still exists this year that the Giants can turn it around. But if playoffs are not in our future, perhaps the worst thing that could happen is the Giants rallying to get 7-8 wins all while losing a high draft pick in the process.
New Yorkers do not like the term “rebuilding season” but we may have had one fall right into our laps. Now we need to use it wisely.
Frank Deeg | NY Giants Rush Contributors