The New York Giants are enjoying their summer recess, as evidenced by the photo of Johnathan Hankins (yes, that is apparently Big Hank under those blankets) below. Let's send the Giants into summer with some thoughts about where things stand a few weeks away from training camp.
I think Ereck Flowers is impressive
I have no idea at this point what kind of NFL player Flowers will be, and especially whether or not he will be up to the task of playing left tackle as a rookie. What I do know is I love the guy's demeanor, his approach, the fact that he understands this is a job and that he has work to do in order to be ready to handle it.
The maturity and professional attitude have been outstanding to see from a young man who is just 21. Will it translate into NFL success? Who knows? If he fails, though, it won't be because of his approach.
I think right tackle might be a bigger concern than left
Even though the Giants stayed with the same starting offensive line configuration throughout the spring, I couldn't help but come away from last week's mini-camp without the impression that the Giants are not convinced Marshall Newhouse is their answer at right tackle while Will Beatty rehabs.
"I don't know if I'm comfortable with it [Newhouse at right tackle]," a startlingly honest Pat Flaherty, the Giants offensive line coach, said while meeting with reporters last week.
Newhouse has 36 starts in an up-and-down four-year NFL career, but only seven the past two seasons.
The options would appear to be be Brandon Mosley or putting Justin Pugh back at right tackle. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds during training camp.
I think Victor Cruz is more optimistic than I am
Cruz keeps on smiling and keeps on telling everyone who will listen -- which is anyone who in interested in the Giants -- that he thinks he could pass the conditioning test now and he is confident he will be as good as new by Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys.
I still need to be convinced, and the only way I am going to be convinced is to see it. The injury Cruz suffered, a torn patellar tendon, is not your normal knee injury. It isn't as easy to recover from as a torn ACL or torn cartilage and medical experts I have contacted agree that for Cruz to return without losing at least a little of his athleticism and effectiveness seems unlikely.
Let's hope Cruz is right. The Giants need options to keep teams from keying on Odell Beckham, or to keep the offense humming when Beckham's hamstrings keep him on the sidelines. Cruz, if he is still the Cruz we remember, can be a fantastic one.
I think Shane Vereen will have a huge impact
Rashad Jennings will be the nominal starter, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if Shane Vereen ends up as the Giants' running back with the most touches this season. Watch the backs and there is just a difference when Vereen gets the ball, both as a receiver and as a runner. He has a burst that Jennings and Andre Williams don't seem able to match. Jennings is a solid guy, good player and a great presence in the locker room. He is not, however, a big-time play maker. Williams? Love how hard he runs, love his demeanor and his personality, question his vision and instincts in finding the right places to run.
I think Eli Manning seems very relaxed
Manning his thrown the ball with authority throughout the spring, as we have noted previously. He seems healthy, he seems comfortable and confident in the offensive scheme, he seems unconcerned about his contract situation and he seems loose and relaxed in the locker room.
All of those are great signs for the 2015 Giants.