Good morning, New York Giants fans! Here are your Giants-related headlines for this fantastic Friday morning.
How would Evan Mathis impact Giants' offensive line?
Before I get into what I wanted to say about Mathis, a question. Why do newsworthy things always seem to happen when I'm on the golf course, which is where I was when news broke Thursday that the Philadelphia Eagles had released the veteran guard. Alex did great work, seeing the story, realizing its potential impact on the Giants and running with it.
Now, let's talk about Mathis. He turns 34 in November, but the guy can still play. He compiled an incredible +25.8 Pro Football Focus score will playing just nine games last season. So, yes, the Giants need to at least kick the tires.
How would Mathis impact the Giants' offensive line alignment if he were to sign with them? The immediate thought was that he would play right guard, perhaps kicking Geoff Schwartz to right tackle. Look at Mathis' history, though. Since 2009, he has been exclusively a LEFT guard. You know what that means. If the Giants were to sign him, the logical move would seem to be kicking Justin Pugh, playing left guard for the first time, back out to the right tackle spot he occupied his first two seasons.
That would destroy the grand plan of moving Pugh inside. It would, however, allow Mathis and Schwartz to play their best positions, and put Pugh in a spot where we know he is both comfortable and capable. It would also put Marshall Newhouse back in the swing tackle role, and give the Giants some insurance if Ereck Flowers doesn't develop as quickly as the Giants hope he will.
Let's face it, relying on middle linebacker Jon Beason to be the glue that holds the Giants' defense together is a risky proposition. Beason himself is pretty much held together by duct and he's an injury waiting to happen. Dan Graziano of ESPN delves into why Beason is so important to the Giants. It's about the energy and intangibles Beason brings to a defense badly in need of them:
Yes, it is only June, and many surprises both positive and negative await the Giants and every other team between now and September. But on paper, at this point, a Giants defense that ranked 29th in the league last year looks as though it could be grossly outmanned in 2015. And if that's the case, its coaches and leaders need to make sure the emotion and the intensity get and stay as high as possible to help overcome the personnel deficiencies.
Pat Traina looks at the biggest question marks for the Giants as OTAs conclude on Friday. Most of these will sound familiar.
As much as the Giants love Devon Kennard, the biggest concern about the 251-pound Kennard is foot speed and the ability to cover running backs out of the backfield. Paul Schwartz looks at how Kennard is working to overcome that weakness so that the Giants will leave him on the field full time.
Could undrafted Kerry Wynn end up surpassing many of his more heralded teammates to become the starting defensive end opposite Jason Pierre-Paul? His well-rounded skill set makes that a possibility.
Jay Bromley knows that an inability to play the run effectively is what kept him from getting on the field more as a rookie in 2014. He spent the offseason trying to get bigger and stronger in hopes of changing that.
"I felt that was my thing [that held me back]. It was a big thing, me not being able to play the run as effectively as the older people around me," Bromley said. "That was the main reason I didn't see as much time as I wanted to. Knowing that, it made me go into the offseason thinking I'm not going to give [the coaches] an out."
This year Bromley wants to be better prepared. As a rookie last year he was immediately thrown right into the Giants offseason program after being drafted. Bromley thought he was ready. In retrospect, maybe he was in a bit over his head.
"It was plain and simple: It was harder. Grown men play on Sundays," Bromley said. "I heard that and I worked hard, but you don't really understand it until you get out there. Sometimes you get away with things because I'm blessed with enough athleticism to get away with stuff sometimes, but in the overall grand scheme of things, I had to be stronger."