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What’s the plan Jerry?

“What does this all mean” I asked myself that after we signed Merculles Bennett from the Dallas Cowboys. What is the master plan to make the Giants a better team and win another super bowl considering we have the toughest schedule of any team next season. It is possibly one of the most difficult ever in the NFL as far as I can remember. The problem with this kind of guessing game article is that as fans we are not privy to so much player/personnel information, we only get dribs and drabs every now and then. So who knows what players are truly making strides, which ones are back from injury, which ones are working on their technique and putting the time in to rehab or just improving themselves. Like who is sitting on the couch watching TV and who is working like they want to win another super bowl. Sometimes even the coaches are fooled and a player comes into camp out of shape and overweight when they swore to the coach that they were diligently working with trainers and nutritionists

 

Now what about some other issues with the Giants roster, let’s look at them position by position. I think the one position that does not need to be addressed is quarterback, we have in my opinion the best QB in the NFL right now and probably one of the best backups, so we’re good. The other positions we are set at are punter and kicker, although I am still not feeling the love for Tynes. Tynes has a weak leg and is inconsistent, I must admit he has come through many times, but those short kickoffs give me anxiety attacks.

 

I was not surprised we lost Manningham, I don’t think it was a big deal, that is until either Cruz or Nicks have an injury. The gift that defined Manningham was his ability to take the ball all the way when he did catch it. A receiver that can do that is hard to find and makes a defense have to account for him, but his other deficiencies negate that homerun ability to a degree. So it’s about replacing him and I think the Giants already have that player on the roster in Jernigan and/or Barden. I still have hopes for Barden who has great potential as a possession receiver and red zone target, Jernigan has that homerun potential. I think Reese will draft a wide receiver, this draft is loaded with good ones from rounds 1-7 and even UDFAs. As far as tightend goes Reese found a starter as I mentioned at the beginning of this article. Bennett is a player with a high ceiling, a proven very good blocker who is young and wants to improve. We need to fill in with a few players for depth, there will be some late round possibilities that can fill in well enough. It’s also when and if Ballard and Beckum can come back. If Reese has temporally replaced them with upgrades even for depth, they both might not be Giants in 2013, that’s the way the NFL is. I liked Fleener in the first round but with a 4.45 40 yard dash he’s going in the top 20, I thought that was the issue with the three top TEs in the draft, who had the sub 4.6/40, the one who did went into the first round the ones that didn’t would drop depending on their 40. So much for those who say the combine/prodays mean nothing, there are a few mid round possibilities like Egnew.

 

I also wasn’t surprised that Jacobs was not retained, he just plain talked too much and his production was down, way down. He’s a power running back who decided when and where he would do it. You can’t do that, you have to be consistent and he was not, he sometimes danced and hesitated waiting for a hole to open, that is not the way a power back runs. Too many times I would see him slide across the line instead of squaring his shoulders and powering for yardage. We all know how good Bradshaw is but he cannot carry the full load, especially with those lower leg issues no matter what he says. I expect a lot of who gets what will depend on Da’Rel Scott, who is not only a speed back as advertised. Scott has some real power and I can see his lower body looked better developed when the season ended. I am hoping he does the Tiki Barber thing and takes the talent he has to a much higher level by putting the time and work into it. Also on the roster is Andre Brown a promising multi-talented back who tore his Achilles tendon. It takes a long time to come back 100% if ever. He’s the guy who sang “I got a ring”, or something like that. He has talent and if he too is working hard don’t count him out of the mix. DJ Ware brings up the rear, as a backup’s backup he is technically sound, just not a great runner. As for the FB position, Hynoski is a pleasant surprise and can actually run the ball. I wish Killdrive would have given him some chances to run, he did catch the ball well in the flats and made some YAC. We also have Bear to back him up. Hynoski might be a successful short yardage runner if given a chance. So are we set at running back? Honestly only Reese and Coughlin know that, if Reese drafts an RB early we know the rotation is not set. Although if someone like Polk falls in the Giants laps you have to draft him, but not with the first pick, he looks great but runs a bit upright. There are a lot of good backs in the draft but few great ones. It has been proven you don’t need a great one, a few good ones in a rotation are more effective over a full season and playoffs.

 

The next group brings us to the offensive line. I think the starting lineup looks like this on paper, Beatty, Boothe, Baas, Snee, Diehl. I am going to say Diehl should watch out for Tony Ugoh……..who you say. He has a ton of talent but was thrown into the fray way too fast by the Colts. They were desperate for a LOT and drafted him in the early second round. He needed a season or two before he could start but they could not wait, he was not playing in the NFL when the Giants signed him. I think if he works hard he will be at least a good backup at both tackle positions, the Giants have a history of developing offensive lineman that other teams dis-guarded or overlooked. I thought one of Ugoh’s problems was his base, he has slim hips and legs and is not built like the typical offensive lineman, at ROT I don’t think that is as much an issue and he can use his footspeed to an advantage, hopefully the Giants coaches can get him in the weight room and develop that lower body otherwise he might not make the team. He’s at an age where there is still growth potential but time is running out.

 

I also liked Petrus when he played, he has a lot of potential, people forget how he wowed everybody at the combine with his bench press reps, his strength is not an issue and he got better with every game. Boothe I think is best left as a backup since he can pretty much play every position on the line, although Petrus didn’t blow me away, he played well. Compared to the play of Stacy Andrews there was no match, Petrus has a long way to go to play at that level, most lineman never do, too bad about the chronic injuries and Andrew’s health, he was one of my favorite lineman even his bother could not match his talent. I’m thinking the best lineup would be Beatty, Petrus, Baas, Snee and Ugoh, they might have some growing pains in preseason but they should get it together and be a good line, maybe a great line given some time without injury. That group is younger and more athletic. Yes I would love to see Reese move deeper into the first round to get one of the big dominating guards like DeCastro or tackles that will be there but Reese just doesn’t work that way. I expect to see an offensive lineman within the first five rounds though. Brewer is another unknown, he is a project, in this draft there are a lot of similar types of offensive lineman, maybe some with better potential that can be drafted in the mid to late rounds.

 

Moving onto defense, safety was an issue and Reese added another back end player in Chris Horton from the Redskins. He’ll play specials and add depth. Sash will come on and improve, I don’t think Grant will be here and I am hoping Chad Jones comes back and plays at a high level, although the chances are slim. I am figuring Reese will draft a safety within the first three rounds if a good valued player is there like Iloka who ran much faster at his proday. People talk about the 3 safety formation like it was something special, I think it was done out of desperation at not having cover linebackers. I hope that it is put on the backburner and we improve our linebacker corps. Although if a quality safety is drafted and plays well the triple safety formation might just be the best way to handle teams trying to use the two tightend set or bigger slot WRs to overmatch smaller CBs and slower linebackers. This is where a player like Iloka comes in being about 6’4” and being able to cover those types of players. Rolle plays better as a true SS, honestly KP never lived up to his potential because of that knee, he was supposed to be the monster in the secondary, a game changer and someone that made receivers heads swivel for fear of the big hit. He plays very well but not exceptional like expected, maybe this being a contract year he has healed and reaches his full potential, we’ll see. If he wants too much money we need to have his replacement on the roster.

 

We lost Ross and Terrell Thomas is coming off an injury, again only the Giants really know how far along he is, we don’t. Prince is an unknown and he too is coming off injury, right now he’s wearing das boot, hopefully he becomes the great player everybody thought he would be. I had my reservations, he was ranked higher than he was drafted and fell a few picks, I wonder why, scouts said the Giants scored again like we did with JPP, we’ll see. I hope Reese didn’t error on this pick. I saw things I liked about the kid, he was really not ready when he did get a chance to play, it could have been due to injury or just inexperience. He will get a lot of playing time for the Giants to find out. Webster is the unheralded player in that secondary he would be very hard to replace or even impossible to replace right now. Another position with a lot of potential in the draft is CB and I expect as usual Reese picks one.

 

Next is linebacker, we have a lot of them on the roster but who will play the middle? I don’t think Chase will be back, Goff is in the process of contract negotiations and I have no idea how he is physically, like I said before we don’t have information that Jerry Reese does. It looks like Reese lowballed him and he’s moving on like Tollefson. Is Herlizich going to be the starting mike coming into camp? I think we will use a pick in the draft for a linebacker probably somewhere between a second round and a fourth rounder. Like tightend there are NOT a lot of outstanding players for this position. I am still hoping the Giants sign a veteran like Lofton, the Lions resigned Tulloch. In my mock draft I mentioned Nigel Bradham, he is moving up the draft boards and getting a lot of attention, he might just be the second best 4-3 linebacker in the draft, NFL ready and can probably play all 3 positions I keep reading about Mychal Kendricks who is rated higher yet he gets easily handled by average college sized offensive lineman, Bradham stacks and sheds those same types easily. I hope Reese drafts this kid. By the way Jerry how is Sintim doing? Nobody is talking about these issues so it makes it so hard to guess who the Giants are targeting in their draft, maybe that is being done on purpose. The hopefully ex-redskin London Fletcher might be a good idea for a 1-2 year contract if he comes cheap.

 

Which of course brings us to the defensive line, if available does Reese use his first round pick on a pass rusher and the answer would be of course. The Giants live and die with their pass rush, this team was designed with that in mind. I agree with the concept, put pressure on the opposing quarterback, that creates disruption which creates fumbles, interceptions, safeties and allows the Giants offense to get good field position. It’s a winning formula and everybody knows it, that’s why good pass rushers get paid so much, like left tackles and quarterbacks. If you have a pass rusher who can play the run then you have a star like JPP and Tuck when he’s healthy. Tuck and Osi are always banged up and in my opinion cannot provide consistent top notch play anymore. So if Reese makes a move to get another DE that’s fine with me. There might just be a top rated DE sitting there when the Giants draft. If Mercilus is somehow there or if Perry or Branch is there at #32 does Reese take one of them? Yes. I think Perry can play DE in a 4-3 although he does look a little small and might be better suited as a rush linebacker in a 3-4. No DEs in the draft are near JPP’s physical presence, which just amazes me when he plays. None wow me but they do have potential, they are not in Coples’s league who looks like the best pass rushing DE prospect, he can also play the run. I’m liking Cam Johnson who plays bigger than he is and has a lot of explosive force and tenacity he might be a late second round or early third round pick.

 

Having won the super bowl is the pinnacle of success in the NFL, there is a down side few teams overcome. That is having terrible draft picks and usually a terrible draft, so I say either do one of two things. One would be to move out of the first round and use some of the other picks to try and get three middle second round picks. If you look at the history of the Giants as many second round picks become great players for us as first rounders. I think with this draft there are some amazing players that can be had in the middle of the second round. After that you really are not getting the same talent level. I have said this before, I just don’t think we need a lot of players, especially those mid-late round projects that take a few years, we have enough of those types on the roster already. We need some young fresh players who have the potential to make an impact.

 

Another possibility is to use the picks you have to move deeper into the first round and get a stud at a specific position. I trust Reese’s ability to draft and find a “can’t miss” type player. I’m not saying do what Mike Ditka did when he traded all his picks for Ricky Williams but something similar, if Reese can get in the top 15-20 he can find another JPP. How would Gordy Glenn look at left Guard, he does remind me a bit of Stacy Andrews. How about Michael Floyd or Stephen Hill WR to take Manningham’s place, I think Michael Brockers DT is going to be a beast or Jonathan Martin at ROT unless he beats out Beatty at LOT, maybe Whitney Mercilus DE who looks like he’ll go around #15. It’s possible there will be some players as good maybe even better professionals in the second round but I just don’t see the talent after the second round, this draft is weak. I do see a lot of potential wide receivers and some CBs but not many other positions that are even close to as deep. Again the issue is this, I feel the Giants have enough talented developmental projects at a lot of positions and need one or two can’t miss players for the future. With this draft it is possible that only one or two players out of up to 10 stick with the team, if that is so why bother drafting 9 or 10 players? I think my logic is clear and has merit, we already have so much potential talent we need some closer to can’t miss talent, higher end possible pro bowl talent. It’s kind of self-defeating to bring in players you know will not make the team, again why bother. Trade the picks and go for a stud or two. If you need fodder for camp there will be plenty of UDFAs this year, maybe more talent there than any other season especially wide receivers and there will always be other team’s castoffs to fill a preseason roster.

 

This team just won a super bowl and everybody seems worried about the talent level, could it be because our record was 9-7? There are only two positions I am worried about and that is a starting middle linebacker and some depth at tightend. There are a few other positions what may need some depth but backend type players, not ones that will see a lot of playing time, they might already be on the roster though. I am hoping Jerry is not done and signs Lofton for the MIKE since Tulloch is gone and he seems like the best choice in free agency right now, I think that would put the finishing touches on the defense. Maybe London Fletcher would be a good one season stop gap. As far as the offensive line goes are there any free agent linemen out there that play better than what the Giants already have that would come cheap? I don’t think so.

 

So for now I think that sums it up, free agency for the Giants is pretty much over because of the cap. Reese may find a way to pick a player up but who? Other than Lofton or Fletcher I don’t see anybody that would really help the team that would fit within what the Giants have cap wise, can they even afford Lofton, I don’t know. It seems all the top players are signed and to big contracts, we all know within a season or two so many will be cap casualties or have to restructure their contracts. So now it’s about the draft, Reese is a very conservative GM and thank goodness for that but sometimes you have to think outside the box. I have mentioned two ideas thinking outside the box, one is to get deeper in the first round to get a stud, the other is to get a few picks in the middle second round to get some players with upside who would contribute in the very near future, may even turn into future probowl players. Having 9-10 picks is a waste of time on a super bowl team, there are just not enough holes to fill, use those picks to move up for better quality or even for a trade. So what is Jerry Reese’s master plan to win another super bowl? Does he have one? Whatever it is we won’t know what it is for a while. Remember one thing, Tom Coughlin doesn’t like playing rookies so the team we have right now is probably the team we go into the season with.


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7 Responses to “What’s the plan Jerry?”

  1. Jason C. says:

    Don’t get too raveled into the combine numbers, I still don’t think Fleener cracks the first round, there just isn’t the necessity to draft at that position from any of the teams in the middle of the first round, and traditionally teams don’t trade up to draft tight ends unless they’re can’t miss prospects. Just remember how Bruce Campbell flew up the draft boards 2 years ago, projecting into the top 10, ended up getting picked on day 3. There’s a chance Fleener goes, but I’m thinking he could be had when the Giants pick if they decide to go in that direction. The only teams who may look at a player of his type in the first round, IMO, would be the Texans, who probably need to draft linebackers first and foremost, and the Falcons, who after coming up (4th and) short of expectations again will probably try to bolster their interior O-line. Oh and let’s not forget about Belichick, he’d be the one asshole to make that move.

    • royhobbs7 says:

      Jason,

      Very good post. Agree about Fleener. However, I have a strange feeling that Jerry is thinking DE again (due to injuries to Tuck and Umenyiora – who is a goner next year). Mercilus might be the pick if he’s still around at 32. That will pretty much insure that the strength of the team is fortified for awhile.

  2. GMEEEEN says:

    Fleener to San Fran at 30 could happen, have seen it mocked a fair bit and it does make sense. I actually wouldn’t complain about a DE as long as it’s a value pick.

    • Jason C. says:

      I see that in a lot of Mocks too, but I just don’t get it. They added Moss and Manningham, already have Davis and Walker at TE, and are usually pretty smart on draft day. They know what it was that got them as far as they did last year, and they know in this league you need to keep your strengths solidified. For the same reason most of us feel a pass rusher is in the cards for the Giants in the first round, you’d have to think the 49ers bolster their defense in some way, most likely in the secondary.

  3. Michael S says:

    Nice post bro! I agree that jerry should trade up and try to get potential superstar talent instead of just depth picks. We don’t need cuz we already have that. So trade up and draft potential superstars.

  4. Big Daddy says:

    It looks like I might be wrong about Ugoh, he was not resigned as of yet. Is Reese looking at a right tackle with the first pick? Maybe he’ll pick either the best offensive tackle or DE available.

    I’m liking Zebrie Sanders for a ROT. He’s a little raw but his upside is as big as his thighs and butt. A few technique issues but he has NFL quality to his game and he’s a mature hard worker, not some flake, that’s a Giants type player.

    The more work I do with the draft the more I am liking players like Sanders OT, Bradham LB, Iloka S, Cattouse S, Quick WR and Greenwood CB to name a few.

  5. Jason says:

    The giants can only dream of having Melvin Ingram can play DE and LB if he slips past 15 look out

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