The season is coming. The Giants are still undefeated, so optimism reigns supreme. Everyone seems to look good (amazing how defense and offense can both look good going up against each other). Every rookie will be an All-Pro even though they haven’t hit anyone yet or been hit. Of course, this is before graduating to dominating against 3rd stringers likely to be cut.
Given all of that, here is my take:
The Giants did address many of their issues in free agency. The line was the biggest and Schwartz was an excellent signing as a guard. Snee going down is not good but between the rookie Richburg, and Mosley you hope they find an adequate replacement. Walton should also be an upgrade over an injured Baas.
This will help their anemic running game.
The biggest issues facing the Giants this year will be:
Manning, the offensive line, tight end the pass rush (JPP in particular), new offensive system
JPP - last year he was the Adrian Robinson of defensive ends. The good news is that he has declared himself 110% healthy. Since last year he at some point declared himself 100% healthy, so we can expect a 10% improvement in his performance.
Manning – it’s hard to know how much was throwing behind a crumbling line which would hurt every quarterback, or age catching up to him. It’s doubtful he lost his mental edge and ability. There were times however when his arm strength didn’t appear to be what it had been. A good way to recognize this is on Hail Mary’s, where he came up short. It could be that age is catching up with him at 33. He is not as blessed as brother Peyton to make up for it with guile. He will be helped by both a combination of a better line and by a better running game. I’m actually bullish on the trio of running backs they have now. Jennings is solid, Wilson potentially exciting, and Williams looks like he could be a stud who slipped to round 4 because nobody believes in drafting RBs anymore. The real question will be their ability to pick up and fit their skills into the new offensive system. Former OC Gilbride is killed by fans, but his offense did win two Super Bowls.
I do believe one of the tight ends will step up this year and Robinson is the most likely to do so. He has the tools and guys tend to mature and learn how to play in the NFL over a couple of years. He may never be the JPP of tight ends, but he could be a Kevin Boss quality. Larry Donnell interests me as well, and is an intriguing athlete. As far as the veterans, if they would have made something special of themselves, it already would have happened.
Ari has been an avid Giants fan since 1979. He attends many home games and has attended the Giants last 2 Superbowl victories. This blog will talk about anything related to the New York Giants. Ari also blogs about the New York Knicks, at http://www.ariglassknicksblog.com