Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Big Blue Morning: Pride, without prejudice
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
Your daily morning check-in on news and notes about and of interest to the New York Giants
The news of the day: With the Giants eliminated from playoff contention, everybody wants to know whether they'll take a look at some of the younger, untested guys on their roster in their remaining three games. Thinking guys like Damontre Moore, Adrien Robinson, maybe Brandon Mosley... I don't know. Might be worth finding out what they have in some of those guys so they have as much information as possible when it's time to make their offseason plan. Coach Tom Coughlin said, "We may be able to do some things in terms of maneuvering some numbers of plays or perhaps even getting someone a suit that hasn’t had one. But we’re going to try as hard as we can to win football games and the guys who deserve to play are going to play." So while they may get a look at some newer guys, that's not going to be the focus of the final three games. The Giants believe the right thing to do, as long as people are still paying for tickets and parking and they're still getting their paychecks every week, is to give an honest effort to try and win the games. That's what they call playing for pride.
Behind enemy lines: The opponent this week is as tough as it gets. The Seattle Seahawks are 11-2, which ties them with the Broncos for the best record in the league. They are led by dynamic young quarterback Russell Wilson and bruising running back Marshawn Lynch on offense and a deep, tough bunch of very large players on defense. They rotate defensive linemen as effectively as any team in the league, keeping their big guys fresh for late in the game. Their defensive backs are large and physical, led by cornerback Richard Sherman. They are likely the best team the Giants have faced this year, because they're likely the best team anyone in the league has faced this year.
Around the division: Things have turned very ugly in Washington. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan now says he's considering sitting quarterback Robert Griffin III down for the rest of the year because Griffin is getting hit too much and it's important for him to be healthy next spring so he can have the full offseason program he didn't have this year. Of course, the larger question around Washington right now is about whether Shanahan will still be the coach next spring. Lots to be sorted out there, for sure.
Around the league: Officiating continues to be a weekly source of gripes in the NFL, and the situation isn't getting better. Mike Sando thinks the league needs to train former players to be officials, cultivating officiating crews who don't operate out of fear of criticism or reprisal. Not a bad thought. They have broadcast "boot camp" for players either on the verge of or just starting retirement. Why not an officiating boot camp?