Game tape: Bear Pascoe, and the Giants’ need for a true FB

I'm just going to keep on saying it. Two words, Giants... Vonta. Leach.

I was going through some of my edited youtube game film videos and came across game tape of all the Giants’ running plays against the Eagles in their first matchup of 2010.  I had been wanting to take a closer look at Bear Pascoe to see what he’s all about, so this game tape was perfect for evaluating his effectiveness against the run.

I watched the tape a few times, and it’s pretty clear to me that Pascoe isn’t remotely close to being a legitimate NFL FB, at least from what I saw in this one game.  I should note that it’s not really all that fair to evaluate a player on one game, but I didn’t even see a hint of a true NFL FB in this film.  I should also mention that the Giants were miserable running the football in this game, as Ahmad Bradshaw had just 29 yards on 12 rushes, with 17 of those yards coming on one carry, and Brandon Jacobs carrying the ball 5 times for 10 yards.  So maybe this wasn’t Pascoe’s best performance – I really don’t know.

Anyway, Pascoe isn’t on the field for every play here, but I wasn’t going to re-edit the entire tape.  With that disclaimer in place, let’s just get right to the tape:

1st Half

0:00 – Shawn Andrews cleans up Trent Cole, leaving what could have been a wide open running lane around the end off left tackle, but Pascoe misreads the play, and Ernie Sims is able to easily run right around Pascoe and stops Bradshaw in the backfield with Antonio Dixon for a loss.  Bradshaw saw the open lane on the left side, but Pascoe’s missed block on Sims kills the play dead.

(Cont after the jump)…

0:35 – Another bad block on Sims.  Pascoe gets a shoulder into Sims but is knocked off his block way too easily when Bradshaw runs into him from behind, and Sims again is in on the tackle.  Off balance, poor technique.  I watched Ernie Sims get blown up by FBs with regularity all season last year.  Pascoe easily has 20-30 pounds on Sims – You have to be able to make that block if your team is going to be able to run the ball effectively in the NFL.

0:56 – Pascoe is lined up left side as the offset TE.  I don’t even know what he’s doing here.   Let’s just skip this one.

1:30 – Sloppy.  And slow.  The Giants run a little misdirection here, and Pascoe is far too slow executing his fake to the left and looking for someone to block on the right side.  There’s just nothing sharp here.  Pascoe need to take two steps to the left, then bang, come back to the right and hit somebody.  Pascoe actually winds up making a block anyway as Stewart Bradley essentially runs right into him.

2:11 – Tentative.  This is a pitch left, and Pascoe tip toes into the line, getting no push whatsoever.  FB is a violent position.  On a toss play like this you have to seek out contact and drive the defender off his spot… violently.  Pascoe looks like he’s just going through the motions here.

2:56 – Finally, a good block here. Ernie Sims is going full blast into the hole, and Pascoe redirects him directly to the dirt.  Opens up a gaping hole (with the assistance of a blatant hold by Snee, haha) for Bradshaw.

3:32 – This one looks like a good block, but it really isn’t.  Pascoe is offset right side, comes in motion and settles as the FB on the strong side.  Moise Fokou basically just cleans Pascoe out of the way, leaving his teammates to easily clean up on Bradshaw.  Again, tentative into the line, no drive, no push.

4:00 – Good block here. Pascoe gets into the hole and stones Sims.

5:18 – Tough to put this one on Pascoe, as the Eagles have the right play call on here. The send 8 on a run blitz.  But again, no push. Pascoe fails to move Darryl Tapp off his spot and Bradshaw has nowhere to go. He tries to bounce the run to the right, but is gang tackled and stripped.

6:17 – This is just awful.  Bad play call, no effort whatsoever from Pascoe, and a bad run by Jacobs.

2nd Half

0:00 – Another timely run blitz by the Eagles, as Moise Fokou kills this play by blowing up Pascoe (slow to get to the line again) in the backfield.

0:14 – Good block here.  Good effort.  Pascoe finally gets the better of Fokou.

0:51 – Good job again here.  Pascoe allows Ernie Sims to take a dumb angle, and simply rides him into the empty backfield.

1:08 – Pascoe kind of looks like one of those 1970’s plastic vibrating electronic football players here.

The intent here isn’t to bash Bear Pascoe.  He was asked to fill in at a position he doesn’t play, and did so without complaint.  But like I noted in the intro, based upon the tape from this game, he’s not a real NFL FB.  He’s tentative, gets absolutely no push in the run game whatsoever, and appears to even shy away from contact at times.  He’s not a hammer.  I think the Giants need a hammer, and I’ve said repeatedly that Vonta Leach of the Texans would be an immeasurable addition/upgrade to the Giants’ run game.

In fact, Vonta Leach has even mentioned the Giants specifically as a team he’d like to play for.  I wouldn’t even take this film exercise as a negative if I were a Giants fan, by the way, because frankly the FB play can only improve.

12 Comments

  1. brisulph says:

    So the Giants who have no cap room should shell out a whack of money for an older FB? What side of this makes more sense from your perspective? Spend when the cap situation is brutal? Or just go with what you can find and save some dough?

    1. I don’t really think it’ll be a lot of money to sign Leach, even if they make him the highest paid FB in the game. When the Eagles signed Leonard Weaver a couple years ago, he became the highest paid FB in the league – That deal was for 3 years, $11.2 million (less than $4 mil/season). Without having researched it, I’m not sure if any other FB’s have since been paid more since then, although I doubt it.

      So let’s say Leach gets a 3 year deal for $12 mil. You’re adding a player that drastically upgrades an important piece in your offense without really breaking the bank too badly. The Giants could give him a nice signing bonus that prorates over the course of the contract, and backload the salary numbers.

      Leach is affordable. They might have to clear a little room by re-working a current contract or two, but they could get it done if they really like him.

      1. plektor says:

        Let’s not forget that Leach had below average 08 and 09 seasons (according to Texans fans blogs). So yes he did have a great 2010 campaign but so did Osi. Yet nobody would make Osi the best paid DE in the league.
        Let’s not get carried away here.

        1. Nobody would make the Osi the best paid DE in the league because he isn’t the best DE in the league, by a longshot. Leach IS the the best FB in the league, at least for what he does. LeRon McClain ius really his only legitimate competition. (By the way, McClain is another nice option for the Giants, who is also a FA).

  2. plektor says:

    I just did the same thing with our game at Seattle and it’s not pretty either.
    Sometimes he blocks the wrong guy (not the vision of a FB), sometimes he finds his target but get ran over. He has some nice plays in this game but most are in the 4th (garbage time, we won 41-7).
    I’m no specialist but his technique doesn’t look good (no surprise there) : he stands up too much, his center of mass is too high. When he initiates a block he doesn’t give that “hive” that he should so the initial mouvement on a block is against him most times.

    I have two other games to analyse (Cowboys2 and Eagles2 – boy this one is gonna be hard to go through again).

  3. […] I’ve read in a number of places that Pascoe filled in “admirably” for Madison Hedgecock last year.  The game tape disagrees. […]

  4. Shouan says:

    Agreed. Pascoe didn’t do an adequate job. Unfortunately, I don’t know if the Giants will have the cap room to be in the market for Leach’s services.

    1. He wants to be the highest paid FB in the league, and he probably will be. When Leonard Weaver signed with Philly a couple years ago, he was the highest paid FB in the league. I’m not sure if anyone has since gotten a better deal, but Weaver’s deal was for 3 years, $11.2 mil. So even as the highest paid player at his position in the league, it’s wasn’t an overwhelming large amount of money. I think it’s the one position that the Giants can drastically upgrade without shelling out an absurd amount of cash.

  5. Number5 says:

    Don’t the giants have Hedgecock

    1. Bunch of injuries, and just not the player he used to be.

    2. Gary says:

      Oh yeah that’s right.

  6. Gary says:

    Leach is a free agent? That would be a wise signing for a Giants team that clearly needs a strong lead blocker. Was Bear Pascoe filling in for a starter? When I think “Giants’ fullback,” no name comes to mind.

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