The New York Giants have played one preseason game and the expected has occurred. The team looked rusty and they loss the game 20-10 to the Carolina Panthers. It was a gloomy game for both teams playing in the rain. Though the sky was dark and cloudy with rain pouring there were a few bright spots on the field. These are the things that need the most attention during the pre-season.
The Brightest of all was wearing blue and the number 90. Jason Pierre-Paul seemed more than ready to play that first pre-season game against Carolina. He had 2 sacks in 1 quarter of play for the Giants. He looked every bit as good as the coaches have said so far during training camp. The Defensive Line doesn’t seem like it’s going to be an area of concern for the team. Osi Umenyiora is practicing this week which makes the Giants even stronger. Just think Umenyiora, Chris Canty, Justin Tuck, and Pierre-Paul rushing the quarterback. There will be plenty of sleep deprivation going on in the hotel rooms of quarterbacks before the game. Who knows maybe the D-Line will get a few cheap sacks just on fatigue. One thing we know for sure though is there will be plenty of quarterbacks being slammed to the ground.
Another area of concern before the game seemed to be wide receiver. The team knew someone needed to step up after the departure of Steve Smith and failed acquisition of Plaxico Burress. It turns out there was one amongst the few that was ready to do so. That one person was 7 year veteran, Dominik Hixon, who had been out the entire season after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee. He looked sharp in his first game back since his injury occured during last years training camp. He caught 5 passes for 86 yards. His route-running was superb and his hands looked as good as ever. Though it’s still early it looks as if he could wind up as the slot receiver. His main competitor for the position Victor Cruz caught one pass for 10 yards. This is a healthy competition amongst teammates that will only make them better.
An area of concern which still remains is the tight-end position. Travis Beckum is currently out with a hamstring injury and what remains on the roster is a group of unproven players trying to make the team. Someone has to step up or the team may need to search the waver wire once teams start to cut players.
Special teams play was sporadic. The team alternated between punters Steve Weatherford and Matt Dodge. They both punted pretty well but the punt coverage was horrible. Also, Lawrence Tynes was injured during a field goal try as Carolina’s Sean Ware ran into his leg and caused a thigh bruise. Me personally, I don’t care to have Lawrrence Tynes on the team. He doesn’t have superior leg strength and he isn’t that accurate. So maybe it’s time for an upgrade.
Giants Fans are the Best in the World!!!
The season hasn’t started and I’ve noticed how the Giants fans are in a state of panic. Never fear I am here to try to ease the stress that our team has caused plenty of our fans. Right now I will break down each issue that many fans are dealing with. If after I explain each issue you still feel the same way, all i can say is I hope your love for the team allows you to show your support to the fullest. After all, we could all be worse off. You could be cheering for the Jets who by the way have gone to no Super Bowls in since 1969.
Here are a few issues:
“Oh my gosh Kevin Boss is gone.”
Kevin Boss was a key contributor to the New York Giants his first four years with the team. No one can deny the impact that he had on the team. He was a good blocker and a nice big target for Eli Manning to throw to. Last year he caught 35 passes for 531 yards. Those were some great numbers for a tight end. Though great, It’s not like they can’t be attained by the current group of Tight ends on the roster. I think when Jerry Reese drafted Travis Beckum in his mind he believed beckum’s time would come. In 2007, Beckum shattered the Wisconsin Badgers tight end record, catching 75 passes for 982 yards and six touchdowns. He’s not the blocker that Boss is but he is an extra receiver who’s faster, has better hands, and his agility makes him less likely to endure all those brutal hits that Kevin Boss was taking. As far as blocking goes the Giants have a group of tight ends that include Bear Pascoe, Daniel Coats, and other tight ends trying to make the team that can fill that void.
“Just Keep Osi Happy”
Umenyiora isn’t happy with his current contract situation. This is an unfortunate circumstance that our best defensive player of last season has to deal with. I won’t argue and say he doesn’t deserve it. Umenyiora deserves to be paid as a top defensive End in the NFL. I think the main reason that he hasn’t been paid the money he deserves is because of the depth that the team has. Believe it or not Jason Pierre-Paul is a 6′ 5″ 270 lb “BEAST” or even a “Freak of Nature”. The Giants aren’t interested in investing 5 more years of top money to a player who’s successor is waiting in the wings. “He’s a very unique player. I’ve been around the league 12 years and I have not coached one that he compares to. He’s kind of his own guy – how strong he is and how talented and how much range he has” said Defensive Line coach Robert Nunn of Pierre-Paul. Life isn’t fair so everyone can’t be happy. If he doesn’t play the “Beast” is unleashed. If he does Osi goes to the Pro Bowl again and the line rotation is totally ridiculous and unfair.
“We haven’t signed anyone and the Eagles are getting better. Oh My gosh, they took Steve Smith.”
Were we really that bad that we needed to make drastic changes? As i remember we went 10-6 last season and barely missed the playoffs. I know what you’re saying “but the Eagles beat us both games” In the first game Hakeem Nicks was hurt and that really affected the game from that point on. The second game we played with a group of receivers that was just a flat out odd trio. Derek Hagan, Michael Clayton and Mario Manningham. Not to take anything away from Manningham but that isn’t exactly the trio of receivers you want going against the Eagles. Even with that dilemma we commanded the majority of the game. If not for a hiccup by then rookie Punter Matt Dodge we would have won. The Eagles were the ones who needed to get better. Don’t forget Chemistry people. They have all these new players that have to learn a new system. If you thought Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Dewayne Wade had a hard time with the Miami Heat in a 5 on 5 sport, try 11 on 11. You’re gonna have players out of position all over the place. Meanwhile, our players who’ve been in the same system they’ve always been in will have the edge. Even, our very own Steve Smith is gone to the Eagles. Yes, Even I can admit that it hurts to say that but look at the bright side. He missed 7 games last year and is coming off of an injury that will force him to sit the beginning of the season. His last good season was 2 seasons ago when he had 107 catches for 1220 yards and 7 tds. He had a total of 11 TD’s in his career. How many did Hakeem Nicks have last year? If you couldn’t remember, it’s 11 in an injury shortened season. I think Hakeem is underrated by even our own fans and that’s just crazy. Can someone please tell me where all the Victor Cruz fan’s who were screaming for him to be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame after last years sensational pre-season performance went. Where are you? Has your belief in the almighty Victor Cruz dwindled? “BLASPHEMY!!!!”. In other words give him a shot and in essence you will be giving us a shot. -JM