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Street & Smith's doesn't like Big Blue

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Being the thorough, conscientious blogger that I am I picked up a copy of Street & Smith's Pro Football preview edition a couple days ago to see what the S&S experts had to say about the Giants.

That, and the fact that there is a six-page spread of cheerleader photos inside.

Anyway, the magazine didn't have very many nice things to say about Big Blue.

Here are some samples.

On Coach Tom Coughlin.

"Coughlin was given a one-year extension through 2008, which means he must win in 2007 to stay. ... Coughlin's often-frantic sideline demeanor is reflected in his team's undisciplined nature and penchant for mistakes and penalties, a connection his bosses either ignore or don't recognize."

On Eli Manning.

"This is a big year for Manning. He's shown steady, but slow improvement his first three years, but he still isn't a 60 percent passer. ... He just hasn't made that jump yet to where he's a quarterback you win because of. You can win with him, but now without Tiki in there, the Giants are going to have to win because of Eli."

On replacing Tiki Barber.

"(Reuben) Droughns joins large-framed holdover Brandon Jacobs as the Giants try to make up for Barber's absence with two backs, neither of whom are accomplished receivers like Barber. If Jacobs and Droughns can combine for anywhere close to Barber's 1,600-yard plus rushing average over the last three seasons, the Giants will be very happy."

On the draft (which the magazine gave a D).

"Aaron Ross is a solid corner, but passing on OT Joe Staley in Round One can definitely be questioned. ... Solid prospects from top to bottom, but the inability to upgrade the offensive line earlier in the draft lowers the final grade."

On GM Jerry Reese.

"Hard for me to figure out what they're doing other than marking time until the next coach. I don't see how Coughlin survives without Tiki Barber. I just don't see where they got a whole lot better. ... Maybe Jerry Reese sees things I can't see."

By now, I'm getting used to this kind of bashing when it comes to previewing the 2007 Giants. How could they not pick a tackle in the first round? How will they replace Tiki? Will Eli ever be a guy you win 'because of?' Where did they get better?

I see where all of these are legitimate questions. I think, though that the Giants were a team that underachieved last season. They had enough talent to be far better than 8-8, and I believe that even without Barber they have the talent to be much better than the 5-6 win team most prognosticators seem to think they will be.

At least, that's what I have to believe.

Your thoughts?