But this time around it seems to go much deeper than the usual ‘out with the old, in with the new' mindset. Steve Spagnuolo has gotten the Giants defensive players excited, mostly because he's always excited. And so far, he's been nothing but positive and reinforcing as well.
Tim Lewis grew weary of being passed over for head-coaching jobs and must have started to take it out on his players. They all liked him when he took over for Johnnie Lynn before the 2004 season, but they quickly grew tired of his condescending ways and sometimes vicious verbal assaults. Lewis was known to scream at players while Spags is clearly taking the ‘you catch more flies with honey' approach. And the feedback has been wonderful.
Granted, the game ultimately comes down to whether or not you're good enough – as a player or a coach – but it sure doesn't hurt when your players not only respect you but like you as well. Heck, John Fox took that coaching style all the way to the Super Bowl with the Panthers in 2003.
Follow the leader – By all accounts the topic of Eli Manning and his leadership abilities has been discussed more than Paris Hilton and her recent incarceration. So, as much as we'd like to pass, TGI must weigh in here as well. We've heard that Archie stated that his son was much different during his senior season at Ole Miss. That he became much more comfortable, and, as a result, much more vocal. Whether that happens here remains to be seen, but anyone thinking that Manning is just going to turn into Brett Favre overnight is obviously kidding themselves in a big way.
As far as his media relations go, there really hasn't been any difference. We're well aware that how he deals with the reporters does not affect how he plays on the field on Sundays, but there's no question that we get a better peek into his personality than most. And from what we've seen there really hasn't been any noticeable difference.
The bottom line, for the 1,912th time, is that if Manning plays well, no one will care if he shows emotion on the field or in front of the microphone. But if he continues to play inconsistently, his lack of fire and leadership abilities will remain easy to point to as a reason why he continues to come up short.
Piller to post – The signing of Zach Piller has basically flown under the radar. It shouldn't have. We would be very surprised if the former Titan who has tons of playing experience is not in the starting lineup come opening day. Piller has started close to four years' worth of games and if not for an injury that he said is no longer an issue, he'd likely still be with Tennessee. From the little glimpses we saw during minicamp, Piller looked very solid physically and athletic enough during the drills to think he'll make a strong run for the left guard spot. As much as everyone is rooting for Rich Seubert, who's one of the best guys on the entire Giants roster, Piller is less likely to be able to successfully bounce around between multiple positions the way Seubert can. That's why the smart money remains on Piller opening up the season in the starting five.
Kiwi leads pack of LBs – One thing fans love to predict is who's going to make the roster. Make that fans and media members alike. The linebacking situation appears to be easy, but that doesn't take into account the exact number of LBs the Giants will keep, not to mention injuries and surprise performances, both positive and negative. This humble writer's prediction is that only six will stick and that Reggie Torbor's Giants career is only a month or so away from coming to a close. As fast as Torbor is, he never seemed to grasp the whole art of playing linebacker, the reads, reactions and lateral movements involved. That leaves the Pick Six. The three starters – Mathias Kiwanuka, Antonio Pierce and Kawika Mitchell – as well as their backups: Zak DeOssie, Chase Blackburn and Gerris Wilkinson.
Park your complaints – Still not sure what all the uprising is about not being able to park at Giants Stadium due to the construction. Everyone does understand that the construction is for the new stadium that Giants fans are going to be oohing and ahhing over in a few years, right? So you have to get there a little early and maybe take a shuttle bus. Believe me, it'll all be worth it down the road. Once you walk into that new state-of-the-art building you'll forget all about the previous inconveniences.
And things aren't all that bad anyway. Yes, about 5,000 spots were lost, but season ticket holders were still given the right to park at Giants Stadium. A season pass to park in the Meadowlands complex is $150, which is $15 a game, exactly the same price as last year. And if you either get squeezed out or opt out of parking at the stadium, the remote lots in Lyndhurst are only about two miles away. It could definitely be a lot worse.
Players thrilled with Spag's positive 'tude
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