Take A Walk On The Wild Side ……………….

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

In the cold light of day this upcoming season within the NFL will tell us a great deal about a number of teams. The NFC East in particular with a number of teams having made changes in their rosters. There’s a belief that finally we could see the Washington Redskins actually amount to something. Having acquired Donovan McNabb in a trade from the Philadelphia Eagles . It looks as if Dan Snyder might finally have the quarterback the organization desires. Well with McNabb and a new coach in Mike Shanahan now joining the team . It could we be that the tide could be turning for the team and the organization. However the caveat may well be that each season the expectations are high but more often than not they end up to be a disappointment.

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Now while the Redskins are looking to be a competitive force within the division the other occupants are looking to do likewise. The Dallas Cowboys , Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants are looking to make their own waves within the division. And for their part the Giants are looking to redeem themselves as a team who’ve under achieved. If anything, one could say that apart from their Superbowl_(SBXLII) winning season the Giants have remained extremely quiet over the last couple of years. There’s continual talk as to the perceived expectations of the Cowboys and like groundhog day they’ll make their presence known only to disappoint. The Giants for their part, you’re never sure as to what to expect. Consistency has never been something that one could say with a certainty is something that has become a part of the team’s psyche. OK, so we’ll hear their fans say we’ve had injuries. My question is what about the roster of the Giants ? Isn’t that the reason behind having one in the first place?

As an avid fan of the NFL I want to see competitive games as well as competitive teams . Too often we’re being told that there’s parity in the NFL and that when it’s there it makes the NFL all the more appealing to the fans of the game. Isn’t that akin to saying that Rosie O’Donnell is appealing in a thong when you’re incapacitated from being blind drunk ? The league much like baseball has become about the haves and have not’s ! What I for one believe we’re now seeing in the NFL is a gradual dilution of talent and to an extent some poor coaching in the NFL ! Perhaps at no other time over the last decade have I seen the coaching in the NFL look so mundane. Granted we still have the likes of Bill Belichick and now Mike Shanahan. But in that respect , Shanahan hasn’t had a presence or any resonance in the NFL since his heyday with the Denver Broncos and those Superbowl winning years with John Elway at the helm of the team as its signal caller. Now the veteran coach has been entrusted to resuscitate the fortunes of the Redskins.

The Dallas Cowboys have been an entertaining joke for the past decade, with the thought of the team being perennial contenders for the Superbowl . Over the past decade the Cowboys have failed to win a playoff game. And what’s more pertinent was in their last playoff appearance they were so handily dismantled by the Minnesota Vikings. Any pretense as to the Cowboys being amongst the elite within the NFL is simply just that , pretense ! Tony Romo is no more a leader than Ricky Martin could be considered a viable candidate for the US Marine Corps . But yet these asinine pundits who continually come out with their assertion that the Dallas Cowboys are to be considered amongst the elite of the NFL.

Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones who has never seen a free agent he’s never liked , now has a team that has about as much substance as a wet paper bag. Anyone who’s still of the belief that the Cowboys are worthwhile watching merely because of their new gargantuan $1.6 billion dollar edifice might as well stay at home in the confines of their abodes. Because as sure as the day is long,the Cowboys simply aren’t worthwhile seeing, well not when playing football anyway ! You’re liable to get a great deal more enjoyment seeing the Cowboys’ cheerleaders entertain the crowd during the pre-game and at halftime . ’Enough said! Wade Phillips while often thought of as a great defensive coordinator, his attributes as a head coach still leaves a lot to be desired.

The Philadelphia Eagles are still something of an enigma and seeing this team repeatedly come so close only to fall at the final obstacle has you wondering what else can happen to this organization. Andy Reid as the team’s long tenured coach has been the one constant along , with the since departed Donovan McNabb. Now with the veteran quarterback having been traded to a divisional rival . It remains to be seen whether or not McNabb’s successor Kevin Kolb is ready to assume the quarterback and leadership role on this team . Inasmuch, as McNabb could be considered a success and the face of the franchise, in many ways he was most certainly blamed for the team’s failures. But to solely blame McNabb would be idiotic, when one considers he was essentially surrounded by marginal talent for the greater part of his career with the Eagles. And in the team’s lone Superbowl (SBXXXIX) appearance against the New England Patriots. Let’s just say in spite of Terrell Owens’ heroics it has to be said that rest of the team was about resourceful as boiling water would be in a vat of molten lava.

The New York Giants under their coach Tom Coughlin and their quarterback Eli Manning have sought to show us that they belong amongst the elite of the NFL . While I’ve no doubt in my mind that they are one of the better teams in the NFL. I personally don’t consider them amongst the elite teams within the league. Granted the NFC East has to be considered one of the best if not the best division in all of the NFL. Impressive as they were in their unexpected triumph over the then undefeated New England Patriots and the momentum that they carried from that victory. I have to say that I expected more from this team from that great run ,the following season. As much I now how difficult it is to successfully defend a Superbowl title the thought was that this Giants’ team were as capable as any other team , who’d been perceived to be good enough to make a successful defense.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Jacobs needs to reassert powerful presence

By Doug Farrar , Yahoo Sports

Biggest problem in 2009: Jacobs’ power loss

The New York Giants had two problems that kept them out of the playoffs for the first time since 2004: a defense that suffered a severe downturn from the one that helped them win Super Bowl XLII, and a rushing attack that lost almost all of its power. It’s thought that the defensive issues will be solved with three additions: new coordinator Perry Fewell, first-round defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul(notes), and big-time free-agent safety Antrel Rolle(notes). The rushing attack is a more complicated matter.

The “Earth, Wind and Fire” trio of Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Derrick Ward was reduced to an inconsistent duo. With Ward in Tampa Bay, Bradshaw got more carries and took advantage with his best season to date. Still, that left him with 778 rushing yards and just two games with 100 or more yards on the ground. Even worse, Jacobs, the main man, experienced an alarming drop in power and production.

Jacobs signed a new four-year contract with the Giants in February of 2009 after an ’08 season in which he set then-career highs in carries (219), rushing yards (1.089), 100-yard games (four) and rushing touchdowns (15). It was the second straight season in which he had gained five yards per carry, and though he was bothered all season by a knee injury, that’s part of physical style – Jacobs has dealt with different nicks throughout his career. With a more featured role, Jacobs had high expectations put on him for 2009.

Safe to say, those expectations were not met. Jacobs, formerly one of the league’s best power backs, started hesitating at the line, and the effects were immediate. Jacobs gained just 835 yards on 224 carries, had no 100-yard games, and scored just five rushing touchdowns. More than one analyst questioned Jacobs’ ability to run between the tackles, but the man himself remained unconcerned. “I feel like I’m running the same way I was running [in 2008],” Jacobs told the New York Daily News in early October. “Getting a little bit smarter, being patient, let the scheme happen for me. You just can’t run in there and think that you can outrun your blocks.”

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An offense built around a terrific running game from Ahmad Bradshaw , Brandon Jacobs and a stout defense led by Michael Strahan , bolstered by Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora . One year on from that triumph and it were as if the team forgot how to play and what got them to their triumph. And for the team’s quarterback Eli Manning, his game seemingly regressed to the point where the player himself seemed to have lost confidence in his abilities and to an extent in his teammates. At times it showed in his game and the fact that he was trying to force plays instead of playing to his and his team’s strengths. How much this had to with Manning or with Coughlin’s coaching, one can but merely speculate. The one thing that is clear however, is that if the Giants are to be taken seriously as a contender this upcoming season . Then they’ll have to raise the level of their play back to where it was when they marched their way to the Superbowl and upended the aspirations of the New England Patriots and shocked the NFL world. Is the task beyond the scope of the team ? Clearly the organization doesn’t believe it is. And neither does Coughlin and his coaching staff or for that matter GM Jerry Reese.

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This past NFL Draft the organization has made sure to supplement the team’s needs with some prudent choices that are their prime areas of need. If things should pan out with the players in question then there’s strong possibility that we could see this team contending in the postseason. But that’ll be also predicated upon the play of Eli Manning , as we all know he’s nowhere near as competent as his elder sibling. So are you prepared to take a walk on the wild side and support the New York Giants this upcoming season ? Well I suspect the vast majority of Giants’ fans are ! While the minority of them will later jump unto the bandwagon if they’re actually showing signs of life.

NB : Click here to view the 2010 NFL Draft picks of the New York Giants.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………………………….

Lou Reed ………………….”A Walk On The Wild Side”

If anyone has figured out exactly what it is that Reed is singing about then they’ll realize how close to the edge this song really was.