Category Archives: Giants

What New York Giant Fans Have To Look Forward To This Season

David Wilson could be in store for a breakout season with the departure of Ahmad Bradshaw.
David Wilson could be in store for a breakout season with the departure of Ahmad Bradshaw.

The 2013 season was a disappointing one for the Giants and fans alike. Corey Webster had a tough season getting burned on many occasions for touchdowns or long gains, the offense struggled in the red-zone failing to capitalize on rather solid drives. Overall inconsistency plagued the Giants in 2013 but there are plenty of reasons to stay optimistic.

Signing Brandon Myers

The tight-end carousel continued into the 2013 off season as the Giants lost promising tight-end Martellus Bennett to the Chicago Bears in free agency. Not long after, the Giants signed former Raider Brandon Myers. Now, I could lie to you and say I knew how good of a pass catching TE Myers was but I had no idea. Myers ranked 4th among tight-ends in 2012 with 79 receptions for 806 yards and 4 touchdowns. All of that with Carson Palmer throwing to him, imagine what he and 2 time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning could do. I believe the Giants may have found their version of Jason Witten. Excited? So am I

The Defense

The Giants did an excellent job creating depth with relatively little spending money. In free agency Jerry Reese and co. added players such as Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Ryan Mundy, Aaron Curry and Shaun Rodgers. That added depth came at some cost though when the Giants lost defensive tackle Chris Canty and Kenny Phillips, both big pieces of the defense. The Giants continued to add depth on defense by drafting defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins and defensive end Damontre Moore. Hankins is a big, run stuffing defensive tackle who has a nose for the ball. Once thought of as a top ten pick, Damontre Moore fell to the Giants in the third round of last years draft due to a rough go at the NFL Combine and a troubled past at Texas A&M. Don’t let the numbers confuse you, Moore is an absolute beast on the field, with a quick first step that gets him past o-lineman and into the backfield, and the ability to track down running backs. The former Aggie finished his 2012 season with 12.5 sacks ranking him third only behind potential first round pick Jadeveon Clowney and former Georgia Bulldog linebacker, Jarvis Jones. Due to Jason Pierre-Paul’s back surgery that will have him sidelined for likely most of the summer, Moore could see more snaps than expected which could be a blessing in disguise for the Giants.

When the Giants lost injury-plagued Kenny Phillips to the NFC East rival Eagles the reaction of the big blue faithful was, well, there really wasn’t one due to the emergence of Stevie Brown. The ball-hawking strong-safety had a breakout season accumulating 8 interceptions ranking him 2nd in the NFL behind Tim Jennings. In addition to Brown, former Florida Gator Will Hill had a solid season as well. Hill, an undrafted free agent signing by the Giants in 2012, was once a highly though of college safety but saw his draft stock dwindle due to multiple suspensions. The Giants added former Steeler Ryan Mundy early on in free-agency. Mundy hasn’t seen legitimate time due to Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu being ahead of him on the depth chart however, Mundy adds great depth to the safety position for the Giants.

David Wilson

Giants fans saw their first glimpses of David Wilson’s playmaking ability primarily through Kick returns, not the backfield because of a fumble on his second career carry against Dallas in the season-opener. Statistically speaking, David Wilson was the best kick returner in the NFL last year averaging 26.9 yards on 57 attempts for 1,533 total yards and 1 touchdown. Wilson’s longest run came in the week 14 game against the Saints where Wilson broke out a 97 yard touchdown run. Without Ahmad Bradshaw in the picture, Wilson is expected to be the Giants lead back, I believe that’s something to get excited for. David Wilson is an incredibly quick and shifty running back that could be another explosive weapon on an already stacked Giant offense. Not only was he a great running back at VT, he was also a great leader on the field and in the locker room which is something Giant fans would like to see in Bradshaw’s absence.

Overall, Wilson definitely has the potential to be a stud running back on an already great offense. However, Wilson will have to prove that he can handle an increased carry load, that he can hold onto the ball, and something that he has struggled with, pass blocking.

The Battle For The Third WR Spot

Towards the end of last season Ruben Randle showed potential as the third wideout for the Giants. For most of the season, Randle failed to make an impact for the Gmen and constantly found himself at the fourth spot on the depth chart. Randle has the tools to be an elite wide receiver in the NFL but will have to work his way onto the field. In the off-season the Giants signed wide receiver Louis Murphy who formerly played for the Carolina panthers. Murphy has the ability to stretch the field and make big plays which could make him an asset to the Giants offense in 2013. This will definitely be a camp battle to watch and it will be close from beginning to end.

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New York Giants Training Camp Preview

Giants training camp holds the answers to the many questions fans have going into the 2013 NFL season.
Giants training camp holds the answers to the many questions fans have going into the 2013 NFL season.

In one week’s time the New York Giants will open training camp and begin their quest for a third Super Bowl since 2007.  After another monumental collapse at the end of last season there are still many questions surrounding the team, most of which are on the defensive side of the ball.

The biggest concern I have for the Giants is their linebackers. General Manager Jerry Reese said at the end of last season that he was not happy with the LB play and he made changes. Michael Boley was relieved of his duties, Chase Blackburn was not offered another contract and signed with the Panthers, and young players with little experience are going to have to come in and fill their spots. The Giants signed Dan Connor to provide some veteran presence for the young Line Backers, however, I don’t think he is a starter week one. Aaron Curry (who was the fourth overall pick of the 2009 NFL draft) was also signed. He has an opportunity to turn a career that has not lived up to the hype around with the Giants. Keith Rivers who is entering with the second season with the Giants also has an opportunity to step in and contribute this season. All of the mentioned have a great opportunity to step in and make an impact this season but the guys who I look at are Mark Herzlich, Spencer Paysinger, and Jacquain Williams. These are all young, athletic, Line Backers and we play in a division with QB’s like Robert Griffin III and Michael Vick who can run. I look at those three players and I feel they all NEED to step up in order for the Giants’ run defense to be successful in the coming season.

Another area of concern on the Giants’ defense for me is their Corner Backs. Going into training camp we have  ten corner backs on the roster. I think the five that will be kept on the roster are  Corey Webster, Prince Amukamara, Jayron Hosely, Aaron Ross, and Terrell Thomas. Within those five guys there is a ton of boom or bust potential. All five of those guys could have amazing seasons, and some of those guys could have some bad seasons. I think Prince Amukamara becomes a staple to our defense this year and begins to consistently play at a high level. I also think Jayron Hosely grows a lot this season. I hope that Corey Webster has a rebound season and personally I think he will but there is a chance that he no longer has the ability to produce at a high level. Aaron Ross is in the same boat. Terrell Thomas was an excellent CB throughout the 2010 campaign but hasn’t played since. After two ACL tears in back-to-back years it may be tough for him to play at a high level. These five guys all have the ability to be excellent players for the team who make a huge impact, but they also may not play at a high level and they could hurt the team, and that is what scares me with this group.

On the offensive side of the ball, I am extremely excited with the talent we have. I think we are extremely deep at WR this season. Brandon Myers is an upgrade at TE over Martellus Bennett. Our running back situation may be an area of slight concern due to lack of veteran presence but I think David Wilson will be a dynamic player this season with guys like Andre Brown and Ryan Torain being change-of-pace type backs for us. Andre Brown said he expects to be the short yardage guy this season and I think he is more than capable of doing that. I do think we see more three Wide Receiver sets this season with the emergence of Rueben Randle. I think he makes huge steps this season to improve his game and I believe he will eventually be better than Manningham or Hixon as the third WR. Louis Murphy was also signed this offseason. The University of Florida product has never fit systematically in with any of the teams he has played for (Oakland and Carolina) and I think with his breakaway speed he will definitely hit some big plays for us this season. Jerell Jernigan also has made strides of improvement this offseason and I think we do see a bit more of him in the coming season, especially in the kick return game. Eli Manning will have a lot of weapons at his disposal this season.

Another battle that intrigues me is our kicking battle. For the past six seasons this position was manned by Lawrence Tynes, who was a clutch kicker but had little success beyond 50 yards. The two guys now fighting for the job are David Buehler and Josh Brown. I give the edge to Brown because he has a better track record of kicking outdoors and he is more accurate. In the leg strength category Buehler has a slight advantage but both can kick it pretty far.  Week 4’s game at Philadelphia still haunts me when Tynes kicked a 53 yard kick short, I don’t think either of these guys will have a problem nailing from 50+, possibly even 55+ any given Sunday (or Monday or Thursday).

Another offensive battle that I am looking forward to seeing is the battle for the starting Right Tackle job. Barring any injury the LT,LG,C,and RG positions are set. The RT job can go to potentially three people. The incumbent David Diehl is getting old and last season he was injured a lot. He also seemed to have lost a step even when he was on the field. Rookie first round pick Justin Pugh is my leading candidate because he has a lot of upside, he can probably play at the same level as Diehl now, and he will have some time to grow. The dark horse in the race is James Brewer. This will be Brewer’s third season with the team and if he plays his heart out in training camp and preseason there is a slight chance he gets the job. It will definitely be interesting to see.

The battle I am most excited for is the Defensive Tackle battle. I think we have a ton of talent there and we have made some improvements. Chris Canty has signed with the Ravens and we have signed guys like Cullen Jenkins to come and try to replace him. As of now (this could change throughout the preseason) I think the two starters will be Lindval Joseph and Cullen Jenkins.  I also feel that Shaun Rogers (if he can stay healthy) will make an impact. A guy who impressed me last year was Markus Kuhn, unfortunately he tore his ACL towards the end of last season so there is no telling if he will be ready by week 1. Marvin Austin has something to prove this season, I believe this could be his last season in blue if he doesn’t start showing up  now. Rookie 2nd round pick Jonathan Hankins will also be looking to get some snaps. This battle could go any way and I am super excited for it.

For updates throughout training camp stay updated with New York Sports Hub.

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Projecting the Starters: Defensive Tackle Edition

Cullen Jenkins could be about to see a lot of snaps at RT next season.
Cullen Jenkins could be about to see a lot of snaps at RT next season.

Last season was a forgettable one for the Giants especially for the interior defensive lineman who gave finished 25th against the run. Early in the off-season the Giants brass decided to bolster the D-tackle position through the free agency by signing Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Shaun Rodgers, and Frank Okam. They didn’t stop there however, as Jerry Reese and co. drafted the massive, run-stopping Jonathan Hankins in the second round of this years NFL draft. With the added depth, defensive tackle will definitely be a strong point going into training camp and should produce some interesting camp battles.

Right Defensive Tackle:

When the Giants lost Chris Canty to the Ravens early on in free agency, they were left with a huge hole to fill. The Giants filled said hole when they signed Former Eagle, Cullen Jenkins. Jenkins, who was a part of the Eagles ‘dream team’ signings, had a decent two-year career with the divisional rival racking up 66 tackles and 9.5 sacks while not missing a single game. In March, the Giants signed Jenkins to a 3-year $8 million deal with $2 million guaranteed. Jenkins is a hard-nosed, defensive tackle who excels at pass rushing but, also has the ability to get sideline to sideline to make a play. Later on in free agency, the Giants signed Jenkins former teammate Mike Patterson who, despite having off-season brain surgery in 2011 and seeing limited time, has yet to live up to expectations. The real battle to watch in training camp with be between Mike Patterson and Jonathan Hankins (who I feel will see time in situational downs anyway) to see who secures the back-up spot to Jenkins. Barring any serious injury, this is Jenkins spot to lose.

Projected Starter: Cullen Jenkins

Left Defensive Tackle:

Linval Joseph has been one of the most underrated part of the Giants defense. Over the past two years, Joseph hasn’t missed a single game while posting a respectful 108 tackles and 6 sacks. The Giants signed the former Saint, Shaun Rogers before the 2012 season had started but was cut before the regular season started because of a blood clot in his leg. In early February the Giants re-signed Rogers to a 1-year $960,000 deal. The 13 year veteran was great in New Orleans but that is yet to be seen for big blue. The 2011 second round pick Marvin Austin has yet to live up to high expectations. In his first season, Austin tore his pectoral muscle landing him on season ending IR list. In the season following, Austin posted an underwhelming 8 total tackles in 11 games. This is most-likely Austin’s last season to prove he can be a productive member of the Giants defense. Frank Okam is a large man (6’5″ 350 lbs) but is a wildcard coming into training camp having not played last season and seeing limited time while in Tampa Bay. Training camp and preseason games will tell if Okam can use his size to be a dominant run-stuffing d-tackle. Markus Kuhn was starting to see time in the DT rotation before his rookie season was cut short due to an ACL tear. Kuhn, Okam, and Austin will battle in camp to make the 53-man roster. Consistency like at any position, is key and Joseph have proven he can be a healthy contributor to a high octane Giants defense.

Projected Starter: Linval Joseph

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Make Or Break Season For Many Players

This is going to be a make or break time for Tuck if he wants to continue playing as a Giant.
This is going to be a make or break time for Tuck if he wants to continue playing as a Giant.

The upcoming season for the New York football Giants is a make or break season for many players.  Some are young, but are always injured and need to stay on the field. Others are seasoned veterans who are in contract years and need to show that they still have some football left in them.  Below is a list of five players who need to have a productive season if they want to stay with the Giants long term.

1. CB Terell Thomas

Terell Thomas has an interesting story. In 2010 he was our best CB who looked as if he was on the brink of becoming one of the better corners in the entire league. The following preseason in a game against the Chicago Bears he tore his ACL which had him sidelined the entire 2011 season and Super Bowl run. He was poised to come back in 2012 when in training camp he injured the same ACL which sidelined him for the entire 2012 campaign. In order for Thomas to make an impact for the Giants he first needs to be able to get onto the field and that has been a problem for him the past few seasons. I think that if he can get on the field he will make an impact and give our defensive backfield solid depth. However, how productive can someone who has had 3 torn ACLs (one in college, two with the Giants) be? Only time will tell.

2. DE Justin Tuck

It is no question that Tuck’s production over the past two seasons has been mediocre at best. He has a combined nine regular season sacks and his only good stretch of play was during the 2011 Super Bowl run and he has at times looked like he does not want to be out on the field. Tuck says he is hungry to win and he thinks he has at least five more years left in the tank. In his contract year, he needs to step up his game or this could very well be his last season in blue.

3. CB Corey Webster

Corey Webster’s play in 2012 was sub-par and he looked like a shell of his old self. At times it seemed as if the Giants only had ten people playing defense because of him.  He could not guard the deep ball to save his life and I constantly found myself questioning how he was the best CB on our team during our Super Bowl run in 2011. He was forced to take a pay cut this offseason to remain with the Giants and in his contract year, he has to prove that he can still play football at a high level or his days in a Giants uniform are numbered. I believe that Webster will have a rebound year and contribute greatly to the Giants this season.

4. DT Marvin Austin

Marvin Austin has seen little of the field in his two seasons with the Giants but the second round pick is on the brink of being cut if his injury woes continue. Austin spent his final season of college football injured and his rookie season he was injured. In 2012 it was his first time playing football since 2009. When he did see the field (he was only active for eight games) his play was poor and his snaps were limited. Even worse for Austin, the Giants have eight DT’s on the roster heading into training camp, and there is a chance the Giants decide to part ways with him prior to the regular season even beginning. I don’t think that is a likely possibility, but the Giants will need to deeply evaluate the situation to see if he is worth keeping.

5. OT/OG David Diehl

Since David Diehl has come into the league in 2003, he has always been a staple on our offensive line. He played in every game in his first seven seasons and we have seen him play three different offensive line positions. He has always been a solid player for the team. But last season he slowed down a bit. He lost his starting job to Sean Locklear but later gained it back after Locklear had a lower body injury. With the Giants using their first round draft pick on OL Justin Pugh (who can play any position on the offensive line) and with the emergence of OT James Brewer, Diehl’s time in New York may be dwindling down. He needs to show that he still has some left in the tank in order to be with the team long term.

Projecting the starters: Linebacker Edition

Jacquian Williams could have a chance to be a starter come next season.
Jacquian Williams could have a chance to be a starter come next season.

Coming off of a disappointing 2013 campaign, the Giants Linebacking core will feature new faces at almost every position

Strong-side linebacker
2013 starter: Keith Rivers
Acquisition: Aaron Curry (Via free agency)

Keith Rivers started 11 games last season and although that isn’t an outstanding number, he was a solid when he was in the game. That’s just the problem, Rivers has yet to live up to his expectations after being drafted eighth overall in the 2008 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Rivers saw limited time in games because of a lingering hamstring injury. The Giants made a splash in the off season by signing former Raider Aaron Curry who has also yet to play up to expectations. While Curry is working to revive his career with the Giants, he’s a long shot to beat out Rivers for the starting job.

Projected Starter: Keith Rivers

Middle Linebacker
2013 starter: Chase Blackburn
Acquisition: Dan Connor (Via free agency)

With the departure of Chase Blackburn to Carolina, the Giants MLB position is presumably up for grabs. The Giants signed the former Cowboy Dan Connor to compete with Mark Herzlich for the starting job. Fans saw there first real glimpses of Herzlich last season when Chase Blackburn missed time with an injury and didn’t preform the way he was expected to. Connor is great at stopping the run but due to his lack of speed isn’t great in coverage.

Projected starter: Mark Herzlich

Weak-side linebacker
2013 starter: Mathias Kiwanuka
Acquisition: N/A

Mathias Kiwanuka was one of the most durable players on the Giants defense in 2012 (starting all 16 games) Kiwanuka did a decent job at WLB for the Giants, but will be moving back to his natural position at defensive end. Enter Jacquian Williams. The 2011 sixth-round pick has yet to see legitimate reps at WLB with Kiwanuka starting all sixteen games for the past two season. He has the measurable a and the athletic ability to become a very solid linebacker for the Giants.

Projected starter: Jacquian Williams