Let's open the Big Blue View mailbag, something we haven't done in a couple of weeks, and see what is on your mind as the New York Giants get ready to face the Buffalo Bills. Many of our questions come from Facebook this week. I tried to select the best ones.
Ed says: Thanks for the question, Geoffrey! I could see the Giants poking around and asking. Let's remember a couple of things about trades, though. First, they don't happen all that often in-season in the NFL. What the Chicago Bears have done is really rarer. Remember than the in-season deal the Giants made two years ago for Jon Beason is the only in-season deal they have made since acquiring Ottis Anderson way back in 1986. Also, trades require giving up draft picks, and draft picks are GOLD in the NFL. You don't build good team without having them, and without using them well. The Giants already gave up a draft pick to acquire Brad Wing. I have serious doubts that they have interest in giving up another one.
More likely, I think the Giants will hope that Owamagbe Odighizuwa can inject some life into their pass rush now that he seems on the verge of recovering from a foot injury. I think they will also continue to try to coax something out of Damontre Moore, whose production has not been living up to his physical skills. On top of that, pressure is likely to come from blitz packages.
@bigblueview should the Giants pick up another tight end and let go of Cunningham or Donnell?— Mike (@Michael_Maietta) October 1, 2015
Ed says: Thatnks for the question, Michael! Who would you have them pick up? I know there is all sorts of Internet speculation that the Giants should trade for Martellus Bennett, but none of that is rooted in anything real. The Bears made a couple of deals to move some defensive pieces that they didn't want, but there is no indication they are having a "fire sale." Baseball teams do that in-season, NFL teams don't.
What tight end out there on the street is better than what they have? Cunningham hasn't really had a chance yet. As for Donnell, he can catch but he just isn't a blocker. Most likely, the guys the Giants have are the ones they will go forward with. They just have to get as much out of them as they can.
Herman Crandle asks (via Facebook):
Why aren't the Gmen working out linebackers and linemen, offensive and defensive? Why cant a decision be made about JPP now, what's the hold up? Lack of pass rush is a major problem.
Ed says: Thanks, Herman! The Giants work out players every Tuesday. Not every position is represented every week, but players at all positions get worked out. Fact is, you don't find "impact" players at this time of the year. If you don't have those impact players on your roster already then you are out of luck because they aren't out on the street. If they were impact players who should be starting for teams they would already have jobs. What you find out on the street are practice squad guys or guys who can -- maybe -- fill the last few roster spots. You don't find players who can change your team.
When it comes to Jason Pierre-Paul, there is no one out on the street with the potential to be the kind of player Pierre-Paul can be when he's healthy. Right now he is obviously not healthy. The Giants are still hoping he will be able to give them some help late in the season. What other decision can they make other than to wait. It's not costing them any money or a roster spot right now.
Noah Brot-Murov asks (via Facebook):
If he can stay healthy and consistent, is Prince Amukamara in for a big extension?
Ed says: Thanks for the question, Noah! I'm not a general manager, but you would think someone is going to pay Amukamara handsomely when the season is done. He is not a shutdown corner and will likely never be one of those guys you think of as a top 5 corner. He is, however, a really good player. Solid in coverage, physical and willing in run support. He's going to have a nice pay day waiting for him at the end of the season because quality corners are not easy to find, and very valuable in this day and age.
Roberto Perez asks (via Facebook):
Is there another receiver that could/should emerge now that it seems that Cruz' injury will sideline him for the foreseeable future? Should the Giants trade for a pass rusher? And if so, who?
Ed says: Thanks for the question, Roberto! The part of this I will answer is about the receivers. The guys the Giants have -- Dwayne Harris and Geremy Davis -- need to step up. Davis may get some chances Sunday, we'll see. Tom Coughlin seemed to like what he saw from Wes Welker during his workout on Tuesday, so keep that in mind.
Vernon Nesbit asks (via Facebook):
What ever happened to Jerrel Jernigan? He played well in Victor Cruz's stead at the end of 2013. Even Mr Mara liked him.
Ed says: Thanks, Vernon! Jernigan had one nice three-game stretch in four years with the Giants. That's not much to base a career on, or convince other teams you are any good. He hit the free-agent market after playing only two games last season, and hasn't been able to find a taker. The fact that no one wants him -- he didn't even get an invite to anyone's training camp -- tells you that the other 31 teams in the league don't think much of him. He's a guy the Giants kept for four years who, it seems, the other 31 teams believe doesn't belong in the league. He apparently had a workout for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in April, but that is the only team anyone knows of who has even thought about him.
@bigblueview Through the 1st 3 quarters of each game, I thought the D played beyond their talent level. Is it more underestimation or Spags?— Bill W. (@ResponsiBill) October 1, 2015
Ed says: Thanks for the question, Bill! I honestly don't think the fourth quarters have anything to do with either of the things you mentioned. I think it has to do largely with the lack of pass rush. In the fourth quarter with a lead the tendency is to play a little more coverage and turn your pass rushing defensive linemen loose. Unfortunately, the Giants just can't get anywhere near the quarterback rushing just four guys. It also has a little to do with inexperience. Face it, teams have attacked Uani 'Unga relentlessly when they have needed plays.
Truth is, I think the weak spots of the Giants' defense have been exposed in those fourth quarters. It's not schme or Spags -- it's more about the abilities of the players the Giants have. At least from what I see.
Dryan Bavis asks (via Facebook):
Has McClain signed with another team yet? He comes from the Ray Lewis school of NFL Linebacking. The day before he was cut he was telling reporters how great is was to play for big blue. He was productive and consistent but not flashy. He's an upgrade vs any current starters. What happened to him, any clue why they parted? ( personal theory is that they needed to afford Eli and he freed up space for next season)
Ed says: Thanks, Dryan! No, Jameel McClain hasn't signed anywhere. I suspect McClain's NFL career is over. McClain suffered a serious spinal injury a couple of years ago, and I think the neck injury he suffered during training camp scared the Giants. They already have a serious health risk in Jon Beason. I'm going to strongly disagree that he's better than any of their current starters. He's not as good as a healthy Beason. He is nowhere near as good as Devon Kennard, and he's not quick enough to play the weak side and take J.T. Thomas's spot. He would have been a nice player to have on the bench, but I think his health and the play of Uani 'Unga in preseason convinced the Giants to go in another direction.