We opened the Big Blue View mailbag on Saturday, and so much stuff spilled out it is taking us the entire weekend to answer all the queries from our Facebook friends. I didn't get to every question asked, and I apologize if I skipped yours.
Rich Zinamon asks: Do you think Eric Herman or Brandon Mosley have a chance to crack the starting lineup ... Mosley was doing alright at one time but took step backwards ... I liked the pick of Herman. He dominated his competition but at a small school ... Hope they both are added to depth chart but the Turk could be in their view.
Ed says: Thanks for the question Rich, but you pretty much provided your own answer. One or both Mosley and Herman is far more likely to wind up getting cut than they are to wind up starting. If one of those guys actually starts it means the Giants have suffered a rash of injuries that no one even wants to think about. Mosley had his chance a year ago, and got buried behind John Jerry, Adam Snyder and even James Brewer, now with the New York Jets. That should tell you what you need to know. Herman has spent most of his time on the practice squad. He's a big, strong guy but his problem appears to be difficulty in pass protection.
Renato Lazzarini asks: In your opinion ... Will Eli Manning have a great season with our OL or he will suffer like last year? Thanks!
Ed says: You think Eli "suffered" last year? The Giants didn't win a lot of games, and the offensive line was so awful in run-blocking that DeMarco Murray probably couldn't have run behind it. The Giants pass blocked well, however, and Manning had an excellent season. He had a career-high completion percentage, passed for more than 4,000 yards and cut his interceptions from 27 to 14. Manning has a ton of weapons at his disposal this year. If they can stay healthy and the Giants are able to build an effective offensive line he could have a monster season.
Joe Ryan asks: What changes, if any, have been made to the Giants strength and conditioning/athletic training program to decrease the number of player injuries after the high number of injuries over the last two seasons?
Ed says: I actually thought about avoiding this question because I know how worked up people get and how often there have been calls for the Giants to fire strength and conditioning coach Jerry Palmieri. I know that would make fans feel better, feel like at least SOMETHING tangible is being done. I just don't know if Palmieri has any culpability here, or if that would help anything. The Giants have changed their stretching program to include more "recovery" stretches. They say they have made changes in the weight room, as well, although there is no way to find out what those are. There are tons of theories, just no good answers to the injury issue.
Roberto Perez asks: Do you see the Giants using Odigizuwa as a stand up linebacker as oppose to a hands on the ground pass rusher and if so will he be the Sam or the Will?
Ed says: Thanks for the question Roberto, but I have to answer with a question of my own. Why do fans continually want to put players in positions they don't play? I've seen suggestions about playing Shane Vereen at fullback, Landon Collins at linebacker and moving Adrien Robinson from tight end to guard. Anyone else have crazy ideas? As for Owa, the guy is a 270-pound defensive end. Playing in a 3-4 at UCLA he was a defensive end and not a linebacker. The guy has had two hip surgeries. He can't stand up and chase tight ends or running backs around the field in pass coverage. He's a 4-3 defensive end. Let's just let him be that.
William Ridley asks: 1. How has Nassib done in OTAs etc this year? Do you think he is improving enough to one day be our guy or is he more likely to be a career back up? 2. That QB Nova who got a rookie tryout - I thought I read he did well there. Is he on a 90 man roster anywhere? Thoughts on him coming in solely as a practise squad member?
Ed says: Nassib has looked fine. He is in his third season and seems to have come a long way. I seriously doubt Nassib ends up being the long-term replacement for Manning, largely because I think Manning is going to be with the Giants for several more years. But, who knows? As for Gary Nova, of course the Giants said nice things about the kid when he had his rookie mini-camp tryout. What purpose would it serve anyone to say anything else? Nova is not on the 90-man roster, never had a realistic shot at sticking around and it seems unlikely the Giants would bring him back. If they were going to do that, they would have done it after rookie mini-camp.
Josh Feuerherm asks: Do you think that RB Akeem Hunt is the hidden gem in this years draft class?
Ed says: Well, Hunt was signed as an undrafted free agent. Technically, that means he is not part of the 'draft class.' Regardless of that, do I think he'a hidden gem? Probably not. I think he's a small, fast guy who can catch the ball and has some ability as a kickoff returner. The Giants signed Dwayne Harris to return kicks and have a bunch of other options there, so that skill is unlikely to help him make the roster. They signed Shane Vereen, so they aren't looking for a third-down back. Could Hunt take a spot away from Orleans Darkwa or land on the practice squad? Sure, but he's not going to be a difference-maker.