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Keep Calm, the Giants Will Carry On

The Giants fan base is up in arms over their 1-6 start to the 2013 season, and they have every right to be.  Aside from a few players, the majority of personnel put on the field this year has under performed, including Eli Manning. Who’s to blame for this disastrous beginning for Big Blue? Honestly, there isn’t any particular person who should shoulder more blame then the next guy.  Scapegoats like Reese, Coughlin, Gilbride, and Fewell each deserve some criticism for the team’s performance up to this point in the season, but the reality of it all is we should have seen this coming. This team was built on the understanding that the veterans could each generate one more year of solid production and the 2014 off-season would be used to fill holes with solid free agent acquisitions and draft picks.  Unfortunately, the veterans’ play on this team all declined rapidly at the same time. After winning 2 Super Bowl championships in the past six years, the Giants were due for down season. But don’t expect this lost year to become a trend.

For the first time in a long time, the Giants will have money this off-season to upgrade personnel positions on their current roster. The Giants have holes in their roster at numerous positions, but by no means is there a need for a full blown overhaul. John Mara is right when stating that “As long as Eli Manning’s behind center, the Giants have a chance to win and compete for Super Bowls.” The offensive line needs to be addressed, the pass rush needs to become a pass rush again, and, aside from Prince Amukamara and Will Hill, our secondary is beginning to age. I’m leaving out the linebacker position for the time being because Jon Beason has transformed the center of our defense with his outstanding play so far, but this too has been an issue. Other then these holes, some bigger than others, we have the foundation to get back to being NFC contenders sooner rather than later. One strong off-season and a solid 2014 draft will get this team back to where it needs to be.

A perfect example of a veteran position group failing at the same time would be the New York Giants’ offensive line.  A lot of guys on this line have been with the team through two championships, and were major cornerstones to one of the best O-Lines in the league. Guys like David Diehl and Chris Snee should be admired by the Giants’ fan base, even though their prime has passed them by. Justin Pugh has improved drastically since being thrown to the fire earlier this year as our starting right tackle, as has Jim Cordle in the time he has spent replacing David Baas as our center. One more young stud and this O-Line will get back to giving Eli Manning the time he needs to pick apart defenses. Jake Matthews out of Texas A&M may be that solution. No doubt, the Giants will have a top 7 pick in the 2014 NFL draft, and Matthews needs to be a name every Giants fan should be paying attention to moving forward.

Justin Tuck has been a leader on our defensive line ever since Michael Strahan hung his cleats up after the Giants’ 2007 Super Bowl victory. Unfortunately, the decline in his play has been a key reason to the Giants’ lack of pass rush for the past 2 seasons. I’m giving JPP a pass for the 2013 season due to his recent comments about needing this season to fully recover from his recent back surgery. There is no reason why JPP cannot return to his 2011 dominant self once he is back to 100%; he simply has too much talent. Reese has done a good job through both free agency and the draft in stocking up on quality interior defensive lineman; we have the depth at that position to remain successful at stopping the run and pushing the pocket for years to come. When it comes to being an edge rusher and the 2014 draft, no prospect will have a more immediate impact at this position then Jadeveon Clowney out of South Carolina. Based on where the Giants stand at this point in the 2013 season, I truly believe Clowney and Matthews are the two prospects the Giants will be monitoring for their first round pick in the 2014 draft.

The deficiencies on this team may appear glaring, but the foundation for success remains intact. The pressure to perform will be higher than ever after this lost season, and it’s up to Reese and the coaching staff to use this off-season and upcoming draft to make this team a force once again. I understand this season has been a frustrating one for the fans of the New York Giants, but have hope that they will return with a vengeance next year.

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One Response to “Keep Calm, the Giants Will Carry On”

  1. DP says:

    If you call 8-8 coming back with a vengeance then maybe. You identify numerous holes on this roster including LB which has been troublesome for some time and without mentioning RB and TE. I don’t see how one off-season draft and FA selections can fill all these holes in one year. Eli and JPP of 2011 would be great, lets see what they show the remainder of the season to give us comfort that a return to top form is a possibility for 2014. RB is a big issue, I don’t know if Wilson can be viewed as a feature back moving forward. Health and his current type of injury is a big concern. When healthy, questions remain about his toughness and effectiveness in the passing game both from a pass protection and route running perspective. I hope I am wrong, because he was high on everyone’s draft board when he came out, but at this point he looks like a ‘situational’ running back type that shares the load.

    The Giants made the decision to stay the course for 2012 and 2013 following their most recent SB victory, and understandable, yet incorrect decision in my opinion, for 2012. To continue along the same path for 2013 in my opinion is where I really fault JR and TC.

    I don’t like to compare organizations or their approaches necessarily, each team has their own issues while developing plans for moving forward. However, this past off-season I did watch with interest at the apparent Ravens approach coming off a SB win. They paid their franchise QB and then traded off assets and let other assets leave via FA or retirement. They have played their draft picks and moved the next guy up on the depth charts into the starting roles. They are experiencing the struggles probably expected by their management team, while remaining competitive. However, by making the cold hard off-season decisions they did make following a SB win, are they better positioned to return with a vengeance in 2014 or our Giants? Time will tell, but its clear the Giants stayed the course following a SB win, the Ravens chose not to.

    The Giants must find out what they have in Moore, Cox, McBride, Hosley, Wilson, and Robinson to name several. Hill and Prince must continue to develop and the Giants should have a nice going away goodbye forever end of season party for Ross, Thomas, Webster and others.

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