All I've been hearing from the pundits around league circles is how Philadelphia is stacked and could make a run at the Super Bowl. How Dallas has finally revamped the secondary and could be a major player in the NFC East this year, and how the Redskins now have a franchise QB and will finally turn the corner. Just as usual the Giants don't get any attention and I personally wouldn't have it any other way...just remember you stupid stupid pundits that we are the DEFENDING REIGNING 4 TIME SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS!!!
I thought I should take an in depth look at the current roster and guys that are virtually guaranteed a spot on the 53 man roster. I'm going to leave out guys like David Carr of course seeing how I don't feel he will make any impact this season. Besides holding a clipboard and bringing Eli water of course...
QB- It's Easy baby, yea I'm talking bout Eli Manning. For starters he's finally getting some respect around the league as one of the top QBs in the league. I don't really give a damn if you want to put him at #1 or #5. The fact of the matter is that Tito has been right since day 1. The dude is ELIte, a stone cold killer, the GUNslinger and the most clutch player in the league today. When this dude lines up behind Center, as a Giants fan you always know we have a chance to win the game. This includes being down 2 TDs with under 5 minutes left. I never doubt this man because I have faith that he will deliver. Stats are for dudes like Tony Romo, rings are for dudes like Eli Manning.
RB- The two guys here that are definite locks to make the squad are of course Ahmad Bradshaw and the first rounder David Wilson. We all know that Bradshaw is a warrior on the field, he plays through pain consistently and grinds out the tough yards. He is one of the premier run blockers in the league for his position which certainly adds to his value. No one really knows what David Wilson will bring to the table this season. He could surprise everyone and be that second guy right behind #44 who gets 10 touches a game, or KG could make him wait and learn the offense to perfection. But the talent this guy possesses was worthy of a first round pick and seeing how every one of JR's first rounders in the past few seasons have faired talent wise (JPP, Mook, Nicks) he likely have a gold mine on our hands. (Yea I know Mook was injured but the talent is clearly there). Debating between guys like Da'Rel, DJ Ware and AB2 can be for someone else. I don't expect any of them to become that guy at this point.
FB- Henry Hynoski did a pretty decent job as a rookie last season. No reason for him to stop his development and become a consistent cog in the running game. He's got pretty soft hands too and you can't just forget about him in the passing game or he will move the chains. As a Giants fan you gotta love lunchpail players like this. They don't get the praise they deserve but they clearly have an impact on gamedays.
TE- Let's face the facts here. The Giants don't rely on the TE to be a stud. There is reason for that. See WR position...What we do count on our TE's to be is good blockers. So JR went out and got the best blocking TE in the league. Yea Chachy I did that for you. Martellus Bennett may have come into camp a bit overweight or he could just be packing on the muscle. I don't really give a damn if he's 271 or 290 to be honest. The dude is a physical specimen and he was brought in to bolster the running attack. If he can go out and catch 30-40 balls for 600 yards and 5-6 TDs we got exactly what we needed/wanted. A monster in the block game and a guy who can help move the chains a few times per game. This was really a JR type move at it's finest. JR analyzes the roster and always gets us a player who we sorely need at a specific position (Canty, Rolle, Baas). Yea 2 of those guys I mentioned were injured during their initial Giants season but when healthy they are definitely good football players. Now moving on to Adrien Robinson. When JR specifically comes out and labels you the JPP of tight ends you should probably check your skivvies. Give Mike Pope some time to develop this kid and we have a possible Gronk/Graham clone on the team. I don't expect much out of this kid right now as he's just a fourth rounder, but clearly when your GM comes out and gives you that type of praise it will definitely raise some eyebrows around the league.
Theres no way I'm posting a pick of Bennett in a Cowboys uniform lol...
OLine- Yea, Yea I get it. This probably is the weakest link on the team right now. Due to last season of course with the amount of hurries ELI faced and the worst statistical running game in the league during the regular season. What I can say for those numbers is the Giants trailed in several games last season. Yea, we did...we lost 7 ballgames and we had 6 come from behind victories. Which means we did not run the ball nearly as much as we would have liked due to circumstances in the game. It also increased the amount of pressure Eli would take as he would step back to throw more than we would probably have liked. This observation is based on rational thinking. The more times you pass, the more pressure the QB will face and the lower amount of rushing yards the team will accumulate. This is not me attempting to defend the play of the OLine last season at all. This is where I will defend the OLine. Beatty played well last season, and he clearly has room to get better. He got hurt (detached retina) put on IR week 10 I believe. David Baas played through neck and back injuries for a better part of the season and missed a few weeks here and there. Chris Snee who was our best lineman, had offseason surgery and was not the guy we are used to seeing on Sundays. David Diehl is clearly in decline but he also surgery this offseason on his finger. Kevin Boothe was a bright spot on the Oline filling in admirably when Beatty went out for the season. He went from a super sub to a consistent starter anywhere KG plugged him on the line. Mitch Petrus has the ability to be an excellent run blocker he just needs to put it all together. This line will be fine if we can maintain some health this season. The revolving door and musical chairs played last season by this collective group certainly added to the troubles they experienced last year. And you guys can't tell me trying to block behemoth men who literally are trying to bulldoze the line can be combatted effectively when all your starters are battling injury. BLOCK BEHEMOTH BULLDOZE BATTLE. Yes the KILLER Bs will BE BACK THIS SEASON WITH A VENGEANCE.
WR- This group is just flat out nasty. Quite possibly the best WR group in the league right now. Hakeem Nicks is a top 10 WR in the league. There really is no debating it. Unfortunately he gets "Nicked" up from time to time or he would be putting up some very gaudy numbers. Regardless this is the guy every team should have picked in 09 when they took some other receiver. He has the whole package and is a star on this team. Comparing Dez Bryant or Desean Jackson to him is absurd. OptiNicks Prime is a stud on Sundays and everyone and their mothers KNOW he is going to show up on gameday. Those other two primadonnas well who knows if they show up at all. Victor Cruz is the best slot receiver in the league. All due respect to Wes Welker, but Victor Cruz makes plays after the catch, he doesn't curl up in the fetal position after the catch. Victor is electric on gamedays. Some will argue that he is just a one year wonder. He proved it every game last season. The kid can ball and he will take the rock to the house if given just a crease. Going all the way back to the preseason game against the Jets where he scored 3 times. Looking back at it, you don't do that unless you've got serious potential. Potential being tapped now, Victor taking off, and doing the salsa bizness in the Endzone. Reuben Randle has all the physical tools that you want in a WR and has that potential as well to be a star for this team. Guys like Jerrel Jernigan, Dominek Hixon and Ramses Barden have the inside shot over RR to be the Y receiver on this team but none of them have the talent like RR. Jernigan could be extremely effective in the slot but we already have Cruz there. Hopefully he will make some contributions in the return game because that's where I see JJ getting the most burn on Sundays.
DE/DT This is the deepest position on the team. It is also the best unit in the league. The king of the strip sack is back and happy. Osi is a gamechanger for the defense. He is the definition of a playmaker. The Ed Reed of the Dlineman. Sure he may not be the most astute run defender, but who are we trying to kid here. We don't pay Osi to play the run...we pay him to destroy QBs and cause the forced fumble. Justin Tuck is the consummate pro. Comes to work every day and does his job. By the way he's an allpro and maintains that level of play throughout the season. Sure he was hurt last year and the defense was clearly effected by his injury but when he got healthy the defense became the dominant unit we all knew they could be. Plus his new facemask is straight BEASTMODE. Moving on to the Cracken. Jason Pierre Paul is turning into one of the best players in the entire league. The man is everywhere on the football field and constantly gives 110%. Not to mention he is a physical freak. I really want to see him do a Bobby Boucher type of backflip and then powerbomb a QB this season. Who you looking at punk? The interior features the mammoths of Linval Joseph(featured in PFF as a secret superstar) and Chris Canty. You can't really expect to block any single one of these guys just one on one. You got to pick your poison. I don't even know how to explain how the hell you expect to block that tandem on any given Sunday. It's like playing red rover, someone is going to get their arm broken and a QB will be getting carted off the field. And I haven't even mentioned Marvin Austin. The Giants know he's got loads of potential and another physical freak, and hopefully he can stay healthy and get on the field this season because that is a BAAAD man right there.
CB/Safety With the return of Terrell Thomas this unit becomes very deep. Let's hope he can return to form this season as TT was breaking out to be a top CB in the league. We all know what Corey Webster brings to the table. He quietly goes about his business and shuts down the top receivers in the league. He also rarely gets mentioned among league circles as a top CB. Andiamo knows his shit people. CWeb is a baller and he is the best CB on this team right now. Prince Amukamura battled through injuries last year. But during the playoffs when called upon he made some plays. I didn't see him get burnt once in the playoffs. Hes a solid tackler and has the potential to be the best CB on this team. I'm hoping he can lock down the #2 CB slot so TT can play the nickel CB(slot) where he is suited to play. TT is a monster run defender and an excellent tackler. Having him closer to the line and allowing Antrel Rolle to team up in the secondary with Kenny Phillips will likely increase the amount of turnovers we create. Antrel Rolle can play CB, just that really isn't his cup of tea. The dude is a playmaker but he needs to be playing his position, not out of position. And that brings me to the man Kenny Phillips. He is the best safety in the NFC East and played like a top 5 player at the position in the league last season. I can not recall a single play where Kenny got beat deep. He is a sound tackler and a great in the box defender as well. The forgotten man here is TMFS. Yea our special teams ace along with JWill. I definitely see Tyler getting some burn on the big Nickel sets and sharing some time in that regard with TT as I believe the Giants will want to make sure TT is actually ready to play major minutes. Kind of like when they brought KP back from that micro fracture knee surgery. Take it slow ya know...I realized I missed Hosely and Tyron, guys like that but I don't feel like they will be huge contributors this season.
LBZZZ- Ah everybody's favorite position amongst the fanbase here. I actually really like the LBzzz we got on the team right now. Mathias Kiwinuka plays the hybrid Joker role in the defense and will line up and rush the passer as well. Currently he is the starting strong side linebacker (SAM) on this team and there is no way he is going to lose that roll. He is one of the best 11 defenders on the field and Perry Fewell isn't just going to take him off the field. Michael Boley was the best LB on this team last season. He clearly was missed last season in the Philly and NO games. He is the weak side linebacker (WILL) on this team but he can be used as the Mike in terms of lining up the defense and calling the plays. He is our best current LB in coverage and will cover the opposing teams best TE during games (along with rotating safetys of course). At this point it is tough to know whether or not the Giants will actually keep Chase Blackburn on the team. I don't see any reason not to though. He should be our starting Mike LB when the season starts but I expect Mark Herzlich to give him a run for his money. Herzlich, JWill and Greg Jones could be the future at the LB core in future seasons to come but it will be tough for any of them to pry away a starting spot this season. The last guy I want to look at here is Keith Rivers. Keith was a top 10 pick in the 2008 draft (#9 overall) and has all the physical tools you want in a guy to play the LB position. He can play any of the 3 LBs (W,S,M) positions for us and I believe he will take Blackburn's spot before the end of the season. The LB position is going to be one of the interesting battles we will see during camp.
STs Zak De Ossie is a very good long snapper. Does his job well and I can't recall a time when he's messed up. EVER...Exactly what you want out of him every game. Lawrence Tynes may not be the most accurate kicker in the league or have the booming leg of Janikowski or Crosby but he does get the job done. He's also kicked us to two Super Bowls. Pretty clutch if you ask me. And then there's everyone's favorite punter Steve Weatherford. After the Matt Dodge debacle this guy is a friggen hero if you ask me. Constant and accurate. That's exactly what you need out of a punter.
I believe I covered just over 40 players who are all but guaranteed roster spots this season. Sure theres going to be some guys who we don't think will get cut and others that do, but these players will all be on the 53 man roster. We are stacked at the WR and DLine positions. The secondary is very strong as long as they can stay healthy. Our QB is ELI friggen Manning, not Tony Romo or Mike Vick. But go ahead and pick us to finish 3rd in the division. We like playing pissed off. We like being forgotten. We like playing with a chip on our shoulders. AND WE LOVE WINNING THE MOTHER EFFIN SUPER BOWL!!
This squad is loaded with talent. There is a reason we won the Super Bowl last season and it's not called Luck. We have an extremely talented deep roster from 1 through 53 every season. It is absolutely tough to repeat but we got no other options this season but to win another Lombardi.