I asked you guys to submit some questions the other day. I received some good ones, so here is a Big Blue View mailbag for you.
Q: Badger asks: Why isn't Herman Johnson on the team? Last I heard he just up and left the Giants facility after having been signed.
A: Johnson, a 6-foot-7, 360-pound offensive lineman, apparently decided he did not want to be with the Giants. He left on his own. Not much more to add to that.
Q: Kyle asked several questions. Here is the first: For as much as Fewell likes to play 3 safeties on the field at the same time, the Giants seem fairly thin at the position. Should we look forward to seeing Fewell use more 2 safety (or 1 high safety) looks? Or should we look to see what the Giants have planned to fill that 3rd safety role?
A: We have been talking about this some. Terrell Thomas had expressed a preference for the slot during the offseason, and when extra DBS are needed he has been playing there with Aaron Ross outside. He is the first choice, and probably rookie Tyler Sash would be the second.
Q: Here is a second question from Kyle: There are a lot of no-names at the outside linebacker position. And the no-names seem to have broad skill sets (ie: Kenny Ingram played safety in college, Adrian Tracy played defensive line in college). Any dark horses you see?
A: The dark horse showed up at practice on Thursday. That would be Mathias Kiwanuka, who worked with the first team as an outside linebacker.
Q: Joe asks: Three Jet players have restructured their contracts and Sanchez offered to do the same if asked in order to provide cap room to sign players. Yet I have not heard any Giant players (except Jacobs) making this offer to management, particularly Eli Manning. What are your thoughts? Please ask Manning his position on this issue.
A: Not sure I get why some people are killing Eli for this. If they asked him to, I think he would do it. Jacobs was a different animal, in a way. He can say I did it so we could re-sign Bradshaw. The guess is, though, that if he did not do it he would have been looking for a new team.
Q: Brian asks: Steve Smith is perhaps our best receiver, and as far as I know he remains an unsigned free agent. What's the deal there? Does he want to come back? Is he going to come back? What's keeping this deal from happening?
A: If you read Smith's Facebook page, it sounds like he fully expects to be a Giant. Pat Traina tweeted the best explanation I have seen this morning. Rather than steal all of Pat's insights, I would suggest you follow Pat and read her thoughts on Smith. Basically, it's all about his health.
Q: Bobby53 asks: for a team that wants to be physical at the point of attack,the fullback and tight-end situation has me very concerned.There are[were]fullbacks out there,and I believe the Giants need the Bossman AND one more TE.Your thoughts?
A: I am not as concerned about this as some people are. The Giants would love to have Boss back, of course. As for fullback they made it clear they would not spend big on a free-agent fullback. The fullback is on the field for less than half the snaps, anyway. If Boss does not come back, you are going to see a lot of creative packages for Travis Beckum, who has looked sharp the two days I have been here, and you will likely see a lot of Bear Pascoe in both roles. People around here have been clamoring for Beckum, and if Boss does not return you will see a heavy dose of Beckum on the field.
Q: Chris asks: With Michael Clayton signing a contract, does that make him likely to make the team? If he does make it, could either Barden or Hixon be in jeopardy of getting cut?
A: No, it does not. You have to have a contract in order to participate and try to make the team. Clayton is way down a long list of potential wide receivers. His chance of making this team is very, very slim.
Q: Nolan asks: I feel the giants receivers are a big question this year. I know Eli is a lot better than his stats showed last year, a lot of his INTS can be blamed on the receivers. I like our guys but don't like the fact that we have no size. I want to know who will step it up this year. Nicks is a play maker but we need more than him. I know steve smith isn't the same after the injury so who will take his place? How are Barden , Cruz, Thomas, and the rest of our young guys doing in camp so far? Will any of them have a surprise break-out season? Or is Eli going to have another ten INTs off of receivers hands again?
A: Well, we have been talking about Beckum, first of all. He looks terrific. The Giants are using him in a variety of ways, and he is catching everything. As for the rest of the group it is early. Devin Thomas has flashed. So has Jernigan. Cruz is struggling a bit. Barden is on PUP. The Giants are trying a lot of things to find a slot guy, and there is now way to tell yet how it plays out.