Our 'Big Blue View Mailbag' was an overwhelming success a week ago, with a number of great questions. How good were the answers? Well, you tell me. Anyway, let's open up the mailbag again and see what questions Giants fans have this week.
Ed: They would like to bring JPP back, undoubtedly. John Mara said as much during his season-ending press conference. No matter who the defensive coordinator is, there is nothing definite about Pierre-Paul returning. He's an unrestricted free agent and will be looking for huge money. I expect him to be back, even if the Giants have to use the franchise tag, but there is no way to say it will definitely happen.
Ed: 'Lazy' move? In what way? It's a gamble, sure, but any hire they made would have been a gamble. They didn't want to blow the whole thing up and start over with a first-time coordinator or switch to a 3-4. That's not lazy, that's a conscious decision. As for how the defense will do let's get through free agency and the draft and see who the players are.
Ed: Coordinators don't make personnel decisions. The general manager and the head coach make those decisions. The coordinator will certainly have input after studying film as to what he thinks is lacking, and he would likely be asked his opinion about certain free agents or players currently on the team who may or may not be re-signed. But, it's not up to him. That said, the Giants know what they hired, they know what he wants to do and they will do everything they can to give him the best possible players to be successful.
Ed: Let's not expect Spagnuolo's defense to be a carbon copy of what he did the first time he was here. This is a different team, different personnel and right now we don't really even have any idea what that personnel will be. Offenses are different, too. During his first tenure in New York Spagnuolo was noted for getting good mileage out of the personnel he had, and for being able to adjust. We'll see how that plays out here. Whatever happens, it's likely to be aggressive.
Ed: Hmm, four questions in one. As far as how the defense is "shaping up" let's just say that is to be determined. We have no idea right now which free agents will be retained, which guys from other teams will be brought in and who will be drafted. Justin Tuck? He's under contract to the Raiders. The guy can still play. If the Raiders were to release him, and I have no idea if they will, bringing him back to New Jersey is something the Giants have to think about. Especially with the importance to the franchise of the 2015 season.
Ed: There are no openings on the defensive coaching staff. They filled the last position coach slot by hiring Tim Walton to coach cornerbacks. If they were going to let any other position coaches go they likely would have done it already.
@bigblueview will the giants go after some pass rushers and linebackers to help spags properly run his blitz scheme in free agency— MARCUS ALLEN (@marcus3255) January 16, 2015
Ed: John Mara, Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese have consistently said since the end of the season that they need help on the defensive side of the ball. It's a pretty safe assumption free agency and the draft will bring some new faces. As for Spags 'blitz scheme' what's interesting about that is, yes, Spagnuolo ran some creative blitzes, but he also liked rushing four with the four defensive end NASCAR set. Spagnuolo isn't Todd Bowles, who blitzes nearly 50 percent of the time. Here is an old link from 2007 that shows some of what made Spagnuolo successful.
Clarence E. White Jr.: Does tagging a player count against the cap? Do you think the Gmen can afford JPP and Suh this off season?
Ed: Yes, tagging a player counts against the cap. That is one of the reasons teams hate to use the franchise tag -- for that single year it is generally a higher salary, sometimes much higher, than what they would pay a player if they were able to work out a long-term deal. No, they almost certainly don't have the cap room to sign both players -- even if the cap goes up $10 million or so. Suh as a Giant is extremely unlikely. The Giants don't want to go on another spending spree like they did a year ago.