It is that time of year where national football writers are creating lists of just about anything they can think of and, well, since we aren't exactly overflowing with ideas ourselves here at Big Blue View, we are looking at many of those lists and commenting on them.
Such is the case with this week's 'Schein Nine,' in which Adam Schein lists the nine players he believes will be the most fascinating to watch during the 2015 NFL season.
Which Giant is on Schein's list? Quarterback Eli Manning, who checks in at No. 3. Before I tell you why I'm incredulous that Manning is on the list and why he isn't even the most fascinating player on his own team, here is part of what Schein wrote:
Talking to this Manning in studio last Friday on my SiriusXM Radio show, "Schein on Sports," I was struck by the fact that Eli was cool as a cucumber in talking about his contract situation. As I told him then, I find it remarkable that someone of his stature could be so even about entering 2015 sans extension, making this a contract year. But Eli doesn't let anything faze him, cares deeply about winning and trusts everything will work out with the Giants going forward. There are no complaints, no concerns about getting injured in a physical sport. I find that fascinating.
Maybe so, but Eli as the third-most fascinating player in the league to watch? Here are five Giants whose seasons, in my mind, will be more fascinating to watch.
- Odell Beckham Jr. -- The fantastic rookie season. The fact that he's become as much celebrity as he is football star. The whispers -- no screams -- from some in the media that he is headed toward diva status. The ongoing hamstring issues. The curiosity over what he will do next. The wonder over if he can approach or exceed what he accomplished last season. OBJ is easily the most fascinating Giant.
- Jason Pierre-Paul -- Five seasons, two great and three so-so or less. Will he play under the franchise tag and if so when will he sign it? Will he be motivated to have a big year or end up pouting that he doesn't have a long-term deal. Can we figure out once and for all if JPP is a star defensive end or just a fantastic athlete who should be one?
- Victor Cruz -- Simply put, what kind of player will he be in his return from a torn patellar tendon. He and the Giants can say whatever they feel like saying, but we won't know what he's got until we see him on the field and until he's played enough for us to get a real idea. This injury is one not everyone recovers from successfully, so it will be fascinating to watch.
- Ereck Flowers -- From rookie with serious technique flaws whose selection at No. 9 overall raised some eyebrows around the league to blind-side protector for Manning in the blink of an eye, or the time it took for Will Beatty to unsuccessfully try to lift a barbell. Whether or not Flowers can handle the burden that has been placed upon his massive shoulders is key to how the 2015 season will turn out.
- Steve Spagnuolo -- Says he isn't a magician, but can the new/old defensive coordinator turn back the clock to when he helped the Giants win a Super Bowl with a fearsome pass rush? The return itself is fascinating. Wastching to see whether it succeeds or fails will be as well.