Ed Valentine, the SB Nation editor from the Giants' Big Blue View, and I had a brief gmail chat regarding the game Monday night. For those Redskins fans not up on the Giants, I should preface that the Giants defense is going through some major drama. Their defense has given up the 5th worst points per game (25.4) while having the 9th best pass and rush defense. Obviously, that leads to a lot of frustration since their playoff chances are in limbo. Kiwanuka stated there are "communication" problems that he described as players "getting calls and understanding what you're supposed to be doing." Tom Coughlin had to publicly state this week that defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan will remain the defensive coordinator the rest of the season amongst some calls to remove him.
KevinE: The Giants defense is 9th best in yards against, but 5th worst in points against...why is that? Bad offensive turnovers?
Ed Valentine: It has nothing to do with the offense. The offense has been terrific. It has to do with not being able to make a play when they need one. Blowing assignments that lead to big plays, not being able to get a run stop when they have to. Oh, and the fact that the kicking game/coverage teams have been awful. So, it always seems like a short field.
KevinE: Did you agree with Coughlin's decision to keep Sheridan?
Ed Valentine: Yes, I did. Switching coordinators right now is pointless, really. Can't change the whole system or staff right now. Sheridan is not without fault, and if the season goes up in flames he won't be back. But, a lot of this is on the players. A lot of guys have not lived up to their names and blown assignments, linemen getting ridden off the ball and poor tackling are on the players. Not the coordinator. So, plenty of blame to go around.
KevinE: Not to mention his secondary is depleted...Corey Webster and Aaron Ross both got banged up...u heard if they're going to play?
Ed Valentine: Webster is day to day. Ross is fine, and he has been playing at safety, and playing pretty well for being new to it, for several weeks now.
KevinE: Right tackle Kareem McKenzie is out and William Beatty the rookie is in. Is there a big drop-off there and should the Skins overload that side?
Ed Valentine: I'm sure the Redskins will try to work Beatty over. But, Giants fans are actually happy about this. Beatty, a second-round pick, is a player. McKenzie is a fading veteran and the job should belong to Beatty next season, anyway. The kid is going to be good, and we want to see him on the field.
KevinE: Ok last question, back in May when we chatted, I asked you if you had any concerns w/ the new WR core...you thought you'd be OK if Mario stepped up and Ramses Barden came on...Nicks is a stud like we thought...how would you rate the WRs now? What happened to Ramses?
Ed Valentine: The wide receivers, believe it or not, are actually a strong suit on this team. Our Steve Smith is the best Steve Smith in the league. He has already broken the team's single-season reception record, and might get to 100+. He is uncoverable (think Wes Welker) on short to intermediate stuff. Nicks, like you said, is total stud. Love the kid. Mario Manningham is frustratingly inconsistent. He is a game-breaker with the ball in his hands, but his route-running needs work and he drops too many balls. Barden is a mystery. In camp I thought he would be a star, but he has only been active for a couple of games. The Giants say they would like to activate him, but he is a liability on special teams and the 4th or 5th WR has to be on the coverage teams. I think Ramses will get his full opportunity next season to surpass Domenik Hixon and maybe even Manningham. I can't wait to see what he does with it.
KevinE: Hard to believe the Giants are ranked 23rd in +/- turnovers at -4...what's your prediction for Monday?
Ed Valentine: Well, I'd like to say we'll kick your butt all over the field and make you wish ... well, you get the point. But, I have no idea. Will the Giants team that played its guts out the last two weeks show up? Will the team that gave zero effort against Denver show up? Will they continue to make stupid mistakes on defense and special teams? I don't know. This team should be much better than it is. But it isn't getting the job done. I just know we need to win.