Thursday, December 15, 2011
Giants don't want Boothe to be Knoblauch
By Matt Ehalt
At least he hasn't hit a fan in the stands with a snap yet.
When discussing Giants center Kevin Boothe's recent struggles snapping the ball, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride seemingly joked about how the team doesn't want it to develop into what happened to a former New York Yankees second baseman.
"I don't know what it is," Gilbride said with a laugh about what causes Boothe's sometimes-errant snaps. "I wish we knew. We tried to assess his technique. It's one of those deals you don't want to make it too big of an issue of it or it becomes a Chuck Knoblauch, can't throw from second base deal. We look hard at the snaps and the hands."
Gilbride, of course, is referring to the problems that ailed Knoblauch at the end of his career with the Yankees when throwing to first base became a challenge for the veteran, eventually causing him to have to change positions.
While Gilbride said that Boothe has been "flat-out outstanding," he said that some of the snaps have been "unnerving." Boothe, who is filling in for David Baas at center, sometimes has had his snaps go too high or too low. In Sunday night's game, a high snap over quarterback Eli Manning's head almost cost the Giants at least 10 yards on their final drive but was negated by an offsides penalty on Dallas.
"The bottom line is you got two responsibilities: you got to get the snap back but you have to still block somebody," Gilbride said. "When you're doing it on air, it's so much easier, you get it back no problem, but when you have to reach one side or the other and you know how important is it to get to that guy and you got a guy like (Jay) Ratliff that's a terrific pass rusher, it's easy to understand how it happens. But it's scary to see it happen."