By Curt Macysyn
Albert Einstein famously declared that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Two separate incidents this week may give Giants’ fans hope that the team finally gets that patience is not always a virtue in the “new” NFL.
The New York Giants (6-7) currently sit in first place, or third place depending upon if you are a glass half full person or not. In all honesty, Big Blue’s victory on Monday night was expected, as the Dolphins are trying to sort out a plethora of issues that have plagued the franchise for several years now. Now the heavy lifting begins against the undefeated Carolina Panthers, which will show if the Giants are actually contenders or pretenders.
As Big Blue ambles toward a possible playoff run, New York has continued to tinker with its roster, even if the starting line-up, absent injuries, remains largely the same. Last week, the G-men jettisoned troublesome defensive send Damontre Moore after a reported altercation with Cullen Jenkins. In addition, conspicuous by his absence late in the Miami game was wunderkind safety Landon Collins.
Are these moves an anomaly, or do they represent a change in the paradigm for the Giants?
No Moore Is More
On Friday, the Giants released 2013 third round draft pick Damontre Moore and few were surprised at the events as they transpired that ultimately led to Moore’s release, even if the timing was suspect. General manager, Jerry Reese, released a cryptic statement late Friday afternoon that indicated the move was “in the interest of both parties.”
At the same time, word began to leak that Moore had reportedly gotten into an altercation with Cullen Jenkins over Beats by Dre headphones that were being given away by Odell Beckham in the Giants’ locker room. In essence Jenkins then became the face of the issue with the media and general public, even if he does not think so.
“I’m not going to get into that,’’ Jenkins said. “It’s gotten a lot of attention lately. I’ve heard stories all over the place on it, but I’m not going to get into that. There are a bunch of different stories so every one of them can’t be right. It was all that was being talked about. I was getting text messages. Everybody wants to know what’s going on. That’s what becomes a distraction.”
Ironically, Moore was claimed by the Miami Dolphins, but he could not dress on Monday night, because the transaction became official on Tuesday.
“You have a relationship with players you play with,’’ Jenkins concluded. “We all wish him the best. We wish him well. Hope he does well.’’
Landon On The Bench
It was late in the fourth quarter on Monday night, and the Dolphins had possession of the football, trying to march downfield for a game-tying score against the Giants. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo had to trust his strongest unit, since closing out games has become the Achilles heel of this Giants’ team. So where was safety Landon Collins?
According to Jordan Raanan of NJ Advance Media, Collins was on the sidelines, ready to step in, but watched as Craig Dahl and Cooper Taylor handled what would eventually become a three-and-out for the Dolphins.
“Collins, the Giants second-round pick out of Alabama, didn’t have a particularly strong first half. He missed multiple tackles and the Dolphins did serious damage in the middle of the field against the 32nd-ranked pass defense. Coach Tom Coughlin still insisted that Collins’ absence on the final drive wasn’t performance related,” Raanan wrote on Wednesday.
If there is one aspect of the Tom Coughlin regime that should be changed, it is the countless times that the head coach steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the obvious. Last year, Coughlin famously declared that Odell Beckham’s absence from practice due to a hamstring issue was not a “setback.” The wide receiver then missed the rest of the preseason and the first four games of the regular season.
This summer, Coughlin insisted that Collins was not being handed the starting safety position, yet when on the first day of practice, Collins was with the starters. This most recent episode perhaps indicates that the coaching staff is not pleased with Collins play, and for good reason. Fans certainly remember that Collins famously dropped a game-winning interception against the New England Patriots earlier this season. The rookie safety is ranked 80th out of 86 graded safeties by Pro Football Focus with a (-5.7) grade.
Big Blue backers may not know the specific X’s and O’s of the game plan, but give them a little credit, they can see who is performing well, and who is not.
Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past four seasons for Examiner.com, and he is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA). Born and raised in New Jersey, Curt attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, N.J. and is a graduate of Rutgers University – New Brunswick. Follow him on Twitter @CurtMac23 for the latest NFL and New York Giants news.