Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Osi Umenyiora Tribute

My favorite image of Osi has to be his sack of Matt Ryan (and tackle Will Svitek) in the 2011 Wild Card game. From that moment on, I knew the Giants were clicking, and indeed they were as Osi and the Giants went on to capture their 2nd Super Bowl victory in 5 years.

“Umi” was a 2nd round pick to the Giants in 2003 out of Troy University. He recorded 1 sack in 13 games his rookie season but followed that with a promising 7-sack sophomore campaign. In 2005 Osi recorded 14.5 sacks (good for 2nd in the league) accompanied by 4 forced fumbles and was selected to the Pro Bowl as well as receiving the prestigious “All-Pro” tag. He missed 5 games in ‘06 but got back up to speed in 2007 and teamed up with Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, and Mathias Kiwanuka to combine for 36.5 regular season sacks (6 of which came from Osi in one game vs. the Eagles) en route to a Super Bowl victory over the then-undefeated New England Patriots.

Strahan retired after the ‘07 Super Bowl victory leaving Osi and Tuck the keys to the kingdom, but things took a turn for the worst when Umi injured his knee in the ‘08 preseason and missed the regular season.

Nobody knew what to expect in 2009 coming off the injury but Osi still managed to sack the quarterback 7 times and recover 4 fumbles. Not knowing if Osi was truly back, the Giants drafted a raw defensive end by the name of Jason Pierre-Paul with the 15th pick of the 2010 draft. Paul got to the QB 4.5 times as a rookie which was nothing compared to Osi’s 11.5 sacks, and maybe more impressively his 10 forced fumbles. Umenyiora was perhaps snubbed by the Pro Bowl voters that season but had bigger plans in 2011. He missed a lot of time to injury that year, but in 9 games he still had 9 sacks, and he added 3.5 more sacks in the postseason - a postseason that ended with Osi and the Giants hoisting another Lombardi Trophy.

The following season, the 31 year-old Osi only had 6 sacks in 16 games (only 4 starts) and the Giants appeared that they were more committed to their new star, Pierre-Paul. Osi spent the last 2 seasons in Atlanta where he tallied 10 sacks and had a couple big return touchdowns.

It was only appropriate that he retired as a Giant. I thought that he might reunite with Coach Spagnuolo for one last run in a blue uniform but that was not the case. 85 sacks, 5 touchdowns, and 2 Super Bowl victories later, what else is there for Osi to prove? I wish him the best of luck in his life after football and thank him for his 9 years of playmaking for the New York Giants.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The (Proposed) Manning Deal

Eli Eli Eli. Highest paid QB in the NFL? Come on now. Making Eli Manning the highest paid QB in the league would be a contract solely based off what he’s done (2 Superbowls - of which I’m very grateful for) but a sane front office knows that a contract should be based on predicted future performance, to avoid leaving, what I call, dead money, on the table. Eli’s 34 now and it’s hard to make the argument that his best days lie ahead. Yes, he does have one of the best young receiving corps on his side but the Cruz-Nicks duo of 2013 wasn’t bad on paper and Eli still threw a whopping 27 picks (yes, I suppose that offense was a debacle all around). I say see what Eli can do this year. 2nd year with the new offense, healthy RB’s, uber-talent receivers, the o-line is so-so but it has been and will be until they can find a legitimate anchor. If Eli can get the G-Men back to the playoffs, which [t]he[y] haven’t managed to do since winning it all in 2011, then sure, go ahead and pay the guy. But if you pay him now and the Giants struggle, then what? In that scenario (one where the Giants miss the playoffs), Coughlin is most likely gone (McAdoo too?), and you’ve spent all this money on Eli that could be allocated towards other upcoming team free agents (Amukamara, J. Brown, DeOssie, Jenkins, McClain, RANDLE, J. Jones? Fells?) and the outside free agency pool (which the Giants never seem to win). I’m just saying, letting Eli go isn’t the worst thing for the future outlook of this franchise. Especially if the timing is right for him to leave with Coughlin, paying Eli his due diligence - if there is such a thing. There’s plenty of good young college QB’s (Hackenberg, Cook, 12 Gauge, Goff, Kiel, Kessler, etc.) that will be draft eligible in the upcoming drafts that would look mighty fine in big blue. 

I love the goof ball and I think in the end he will be a Giant, but I think Jerry Reese needs to look at this proposed deal long and hard before any ink is set to paper.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Seth Curry Signs With Sacramento

^That’s SETH not to be confused with STEPH ( Don’t worry GSW fans, you have Steph locked up until 2017). Seth Curry is the journey-man younger brother of Steph who’s played in 4 career NBA games with 3 different teams over the past 2 seasons (most recently with Phoenix). He’s spent the majority of his first 2 professional years in the D-League with Santa Cruz and Erie where he’s torn it up appearing in the D-League All-Star game both seasons. Last year in Erie he averaged 24 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 1.5 steals and shot 47% from three in 43 games. 

I’ve never been an avid fan of Seth until I really got to see him play on a consistent basis in this past Summer League (for New Orleans) where he was practically running the show. In 6 games he averaged over 24 points (to lead all players), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. The kid’s performed well at every level he’s played at and at 24 I think he’s finally ready to step into the shoes of dad and brother and be an everyday guard in the NBA.

This evening, Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that Seth has signed a 2 year, $2 million contract with the Sacramento Kings where he’ll play 90 minutes away from his big brother, Steph. The signing will make Seth the 8th guard on the Kings roster. However, I think this guard is here to stay if he continues where he left off in Vegas (hopefully what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas won’t apply). Forget Rondo & Cauley-Stein, I really think Seth could be low-key, vital, signing for Sacramento and I think this team is now a legit playoff contender.