New York Giants Search For Answers Outside Of White Lines

The New York Giants ended the 2016 NFL campaign on a sour note. All the goodwill the team had built up in the previous 17 weeks, went out the window in a 38-13 drubbing by the Green Bay Packers. As Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden once said, “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” 

Hopefully the offseason has been a time of reflection for the G-Men, which an emphasis to strengthen their resolve. Only time will tell.

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Jan 8, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) cannot catch a pass between Green Bay Packers inside linebacker Jake Ryan (47) and free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21) during the second half in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 8, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) cannot catch a pass between Green Bay Packers inside linebacker Jake Ryan (47) and free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21) during the second half in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Reflections of the Boat Trip

Good for Victor Cruz.

Our society today avoids discussion. Let’s also point out that some healthy debate remains a positive aspect of our society as well. With regard to the now infamous Miami boat trip, I remain steadfastly in the “bad idea” realm.

Those who say it didn’t matter have to also understand that theirs is an opinion as well. Except their opinion has less basis in fact than mine does. The dropped passes in the Wild Card weekend dud against the Packers bear that out. You can’t say it had no effect because you don’t know that!

Thankfully Victor Cruz addressed the issue.

“Looking back on it, it definitely wasn’t worth it,” Cruz told SNY during the Timeout with Taylor Rooks podcast. “At the end of the day, you want to put your mind in a place where you want to succeed at whatever your next task is — especially in a football setting, in a football atmosphere.”

“You just win a game,” Cruz continued. “Granted it’s New Year’s Day and you’re an adult and you pay your own bills and it’s an off-day, so you want to just go out and enjoy yourself. I think the photo is what made it because a picture is worth a thousand words.”

If Cruz comes back to the Giants next season, it will be for his leadership primarily. Ultimately, he may be judged in that regard off of this event, and that’s fair game. But if he does comeback, hopefully these words are a sincere reflection.

Oct 23, 2016; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz (80) carries the ball on a 25-yard reception against the Los Angeles Rams during game 16 of the NFL International Series at Twickenham Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 23, 2016; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz (80) carries the ball on a 25-yard reception against the Los Angeles Rams during game 16 of the NFL International Series at Twickenham Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Beckham At Pro Bowl

ESPN reported on Feb. 1, 2017 that Odell Beckham was praised for his conduct at the Pro Bowl. That praise came in the form of a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell by Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president. In addition, Giants’ brass was copied on the letter, as well as Beckham’s agent, Zeke Sandhu.

“I would be remiss not to acknowledge how engaging and professional Odell Beckham Jr. was during the entire week of the Pro Bowl,” Vincent wrote in the letter obtained by ESPN. “By far and away, he represented the New York Football Giants and the NFL with great poise, congeniality, and professionalism.”

Uniquely, Beckham has been an affable and accessible superstar for the New York Giants. His difficulties have come about between the white lines. Perhaps this becomes the first step for OBJ to understand that he can bring these same attributes to the playing field.

Beckham has reached the crossroads of his journey. This becomes the point where Hall of Fame careers are determined. Will he be known as a receiver who put up gaudy statistics? Or will he become a steady locker room presence?

A player with an uncluttered mind turns into a productive player. Hopefully, the greatness that is Beckham will be released the offseason. It would be a joy to watch.

Jan 26, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) works out at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 26, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) works out at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Brown Still Doesn’t Get It

In what seems like an attempt to revive his career, former Giants kicker Josh Brown was interviewed on “Good Morning America”. The oft-criticized kicker was re-signed by the Giants in an ill-advised move. We can safely assume that the G-Men knew that Brown was potentially a liability. He was involved in a domestic violence issue at the 2016 Pro Bowl that was handled by NFL security. In addition, the team was almost certainly aware of the allegations raised by his former wife, Molly.

“I had put my hands on her,” Brown says of his former wife in a Sports Illustrated report on Feb. 2, 2017. “I kicked the chair. I held her down. The holding down was the worst moment in our marriage. I never hit her. I never slapped her. I never choked her. I never did those types of things.”

Either Brown is playing semantics, or he is flat-out lying.

In either case, his interview probably did not get the desired reaction. The Giants hopefully learned the hard way about trusting Brown, and I would venture to guess that most NFL do not have an appetite for this type of distraction.

And the Dallas Cowboys have Dan Bailey as their kicker, while the New England Patriots employ Steven Gostkowski. From afar it seems like Ray Rice had actual contrition for his transgressions, while Brown ofuscates.

Nov 8, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants kicker Josh Brown (3) kicks a field goal against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 8, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants kicker Josh Brown (3) kicks a field goal against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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