It's time for this week's 'Friday Five' segment with Inside Football's Pat Traina. Of course, there will be some focus on the offensive line in this week's questions and answers.
1. What do you see as the biggest concern with what looks like it will be a vastly re-shuffled offensive line for the Giants on Sunday?
The depth. As I respond to this, the depth is alarmingly thin. If the giants go with the same lineup they started with last week – Seubert at center and Andrews at left tackle – now you have to figure either Kevin Boothe (who can’t possibly be in "football" shape) or rookie Mitch Petrus at left guard. What happens if something happens to RT Kareem McKenzie? I think the Giants will have to add another lineman to the mix before Sunday – we saw how injuries wiped out two guys in a game last week. To go in with no true backup depth scares me.
2. With David Diehl, Will Beatty and Shaun O'Hara the Giants have three offensive linemen whose status is really up in the air. Which of those three makes the biggest contribution to the Giants the rest of the way?
I think Beatty only because he is closest to being healthy. I know Diehl said he hoped he’d only miss one game, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in covering these guys is that I don’t take what they "hope for" at face value because that’s the competitor in them talking. If reports about Diehl having a torn hamstring are true, then I just don’t see how he comes back after a week away.
3. You asked me about the coaching change in Dallas, so I will ask you virtually the same question. How much of an impact do you think the move to Jason Garrett by Dallas will have on Sunday's game?
The thing I think will be different this week is I suspect Dallas will try to run the ball a little more than they did the first time against Ne w York (they ran it like 14 times if I remember correctly). Garrett hasn’t really put together a balanced attack in the past, so I think given that we’re now entering the cold weather months, Dallas is going to dust off its running game and see if they can’t loosen that Giants defense up a bit for the pass.
Other than that, I really don’t see how much can change under Garrett. He’s inheriting the same group of underachievers, the same coaching staff (save for the defensive coordinator), and the same general manager. Garrett and Jones spoke about wanting to "change the culture" and "restore pride" to the Cowboys organization, but as I see it, he was part of the organization that got itself into this mess to begin with.
4. Did Will Blackmon show enough last weeks that you think he will replace Darius Reynaud as the primary return man?
I think so. Blackmon was more proactive in trying to make something happen and seems to be more at ease with what they ask their returners to do. I’m not ready to anoint him as the savior just yet, but I liked what I saw of him last week.
5. The Giants are halfway through their schedule. If you were voting for the Pro Bowl today, which Giants would you send to Hawaii?
Well, I have to admit that I don’t put much stock in the Pro Bowl because I’ve seen it boil down to being a popularity contest – remember how a couple of years ago the Redskins launched a marketing campaign to encourage their fans to send their players to the Pro Bowl despite the fact the team just wasn’t that good?
Anyway, if I have to pick guys to go to Hawaii as of this point, I think Ahmad Bradshaw deserves strong consideration. I also think WR Hakeem Nicks might warrant a serious look. Maybe you send Eli Manning too. On defense, I’m trying to think of someone who has really stood out – they have ALL stood out one week or another, depending on the game plan (can I say that I want to see the entire defense go or is that being too ambitious?)