By: Lawrence Edwards
It’s here folks! Football is back. All across the league training camps will be kicking off this week and we get our first real taste of some football action starting this Friday. Hopefully this will provide us with somewhat of relief of our football withdrawal. I got you covered from now until seasons end on what’s going down in Big Blue. We get our fist look at the new defense on Friday when the Giants take on the Dolphins at MetLife stadium in preseason match up. So with that being said let’s get right into it.
The Giants are looking to hit the ground running and get off to a fast start. They come in the 2016 season sporting a new look expensive, but young, defense and a new face calling the shots. McAdoo is looking to turn the fortunes of the Giants organization around and get back to winning ways. This isn’t as easy as it sounds but it is truly in the realm of possibility for the Giants to make a complete turnaround this season.
Last year the Giants lost most of their games after having the lead going into the fourth quarter. That’s a heart breaking way to lose week in and week out and it didn’t sit right with the big boss. A lot of the blame can be shoveled onto the Giants Swiss cheese defense that marched onto the field in 2015. The Giants front featured names like Robert Ayers, Damontre Moore, George Selvie, Markus Kuhn, Mark Herzlich. I shouldn’t have to go on for you to realize this unit couldn’t get it done.
The pass rush was absolutely non-existent which caused for the secondary to be exposed outside of the play of DRC. The Giants had no true free safety that could roam the field and cover receivers efficiently. Landon Collins is at his best playing closer to the line of scrimmage so he couldn’t give them the type of ball hawk center fielder they were truly lacking. With all of this holding true, Jerry Reese had to go through drastic measures to try and turn around the defense and get it back to at least respectable. Yes, it was expensive but bringing in young play makers in Olivier Vernon, Damion Harrison and Janoris Jenkins as well as drafting potential key contributors in ball hawking safety Darian Thompson and CB Eli Apple to pair with a healthy JPP, Jonathan Hankins and DRC, was a risk worth taking.
The Giants could not afford to let the defense continue to be the Achilles heel for this team again. With all the moves in FA and the draft, the Giants defense should see a huge improvement from last year. However, fans could only hope this comes to fruition because Jerry Reese job depends on it.
Although most of the blame can go onto the defense, the offense wasn’t without its faults. Even though the Giants offense was ranked in the top 10 overall in total team offense, there are things this unit could have done to help pull out some more games. There were times where the offense would be in a grove then hit a wall for the remainder of the game and there were also times where they just didn’t decide to show up until midway through the 3rd quarter.
Clock management was also an issue in at least 2 of those losses. Bottom line is, that can’t happen. If the Giants want their season and offense to truly take off, they need to hit the ground running at the start of every game and don’t let up. The G-Men know this and they have addressed it in the draft. Adding Sterling Shepard to the receiver mix and plucking Paul Perkins out of UCLA in the fifth round should pay huge dividends for the Giants this season. Shepard is basically a clone of Cruz with better hands. His route running is exceptional and he will cause defenders to play more one on one with Beckham which should lead to a pretty sick passing offense for big blue. Paul Perkins could be a steal in this draft. What he lacks in size he makes up for by constantly making people miss and being the most elusive back in the draft. He can pass block and catch the ball out of the field. He has the potential to be a 3 down back for the Giants and get their running game back to help open up the passing game even more.
I haven’t mentioned the major possibility of Cruz also coming back into the mix because we have to see if he can not only come back, but play to at least somewhat of the degree he used to. But, if he does, then the league should really keep its eyes open for the potential receiving core the Giants could boast this season.
If all the pieces come together, the Giants could be a team on mission and could very well be serious contenders this year. For the first time in 4 years the Giants actually have a real shot at turning things around. They fixed their offense with hiring of Ben McAdoo in 2014 and now he’s the head coach. Could he work his magic with the entire team and get the big FA spending spree to pay off? Those are big ifs but the potential is clearly there, now it’s just all about tapping into that potential and if they do, sky’s the limit for this year Giants.
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