I played 5 Questions with James who has a New York Giants blog. Below are the answers to my questions, and you can click over to his blog to see my answers to his questions.
James: Eli has progressed for two main reasons. One is accuracy. While he still has a tendency to overthrow his receivers (such a thrown caused
one of his interceptions against Atlanta), he's throwing too high less often. He's also throwing more high percentage passes, like short passes to a running back. These kinds of passes are a great way to get the ball to Tiki Barber away from the line of scrimmage.
BTB: The Giants secondary has been a problem spot for the team over the past few years. How have they played so far this year?
James: They looked good in Atlanta but were helped immensely by a few drops. The play from our safeties has been disappointing. Our cornerbacks are decent, but Corey Webster is often giving up a comfortable cushion and reacting to the receiver rather than dictating to him. Look for Dallas receivers to get open.
Dallas' two tight ends are an even bigger concern. The Giants have been vulnerable to passes over the middle as the zone often leaves plenty of open spots. The Giants have been unable to make teams pay for throwing in the middle of the field. They'll need to get better here if they want to be considered a good defense.
BTB: Besides Umenyiora and Strahan, who should Dallas be most concerned with in terms of the pass rush? Are the Giants blitzing a lot, a little, or an average amount?
James: Giants fans have been calling for more blitzes and a fiercer pass rush. We got it against Atlanta but previously we hadn't been blitzing effectively. Both Giants defensive tackles can penetrate so if I'm Dallas I'm worried about my interior offensive line and how they match up with Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins. The Giants linebackers are not particularly fast, but that shouldn't stop them from blitzing Bledsoe. I would expect each linebacker (Short, Pierce, and Arrington) to have one or two blitzes during the game.
BTB: Is there any reason that you can see for the Giants slow starts in games this year? What have the players or the coaches been saying about this problem, if anything?
James: They haven't been saying much, just that it's an execution problem. The slow starts have been fairly stressful for fans like me. I wish I
had more to say about this subject because the Giants need a solution. I don't have one. Hopefully the coaches do.
BTB: There was some turmoil on the team between Coughlin and some of the players (Shockey, Buress) earlier this year. How has that been working out and has it affected the team at all?
James: Most Giants fans feel that the turmoil is mostly invented by the press. Shockey did call out the coaches a bit. He's got a big mouth, but most fans thought he was right so he was quickly forgiven. Coughlin had a private chat with Shockey and since he wasn't benched or anything I think that the team is coping with this situation fairly easily. Burress' benching was due to a back issue rather than an attitude issue so I'm not sure there's any problem there.
BTB: Bonus question: If Tiki retires and goes into movies, will he be more "Jim Brown action star", or more " O.J. in the Naked Gun movies"?
James: I don't remember any Jim Brown movies and I can't see Tiki in a Naked Gun type movie because he's been very careful constructing his public
image. I think his thoughtful athlete image is a little too serious and worth too much to Tiki for a role in a slapstick comedy.