Let's open the Big Blue View mailbag and see what is on your mind as the offseason rolls along for the New York Giants.
Ed says: Wow! An optimistic question. Thank you very much for that, William. Of course the Giants have a shot. It's still early June and there is no way to know exactly what teams will look like a few months from now. The Giants, even with the Will Beatty injury, should have one of the NFL's most dynamic offenses. They don't have to be dominant on defense, they just have to be adequate. Despite all the naysayers I think they can be. As always, so much will depend on health. Don't lose hope, though.
Question: I understand the concept that the Giants had, before Beatty's injury, decided to transition Pugh to G. And, in my humble opinion, with a healthy Beatty and Flowers, that makes sense. That being said, I cannot help but recollect that, upon being drafted, the Giants touted Pugh for his versatility, believing he could play four, maybe all five, positions on the OL.
If the Giants truly believed that, and did not feel themselves proven incorrect in the last two years, why pigeonhole Pugh as a G now, when his versatility could be utilized in Beatty's absence?
I understand that Pugh has gained weight and has been training at G this off-season, but there are months left to lose weight before Week 1, and, even if he does not take advantage of his G-training this year, it can still benefit the team in the future. I know little about Newhouse, and know Jerry is a poor run-blocker, but cannot help but feel the Giants are, at least during OTAs, not properly utilizing Pugh's versatility. What do you think? -- Andrew Braun, via e-mail
Ed says: This is a question I do understand. Perhaps the line sounds better on paper with Pugh staying at right tackle, Geoff Schwartz and John Jerry at the guards and Ereck Flowers and Marshall Newhouse competing to fill in on the left side until Will Beatty returns.
There certainly is a valid argument that this is how the Giants should line up. They seem to have made a different decision, and here is why I think they have done it. For the past year or so the Giants hinted that they might move Pugh to guard if and when they found the right player to fill in on the outside. When they drafted Flowers, they believed they had done so and they made the move with Pugh, putting him at left guard. Simply, I think the Giants have decided that while Pugh can do an adequate job at right tackle, his best long-term position is going to be inside, a little like Zack Martin, and that it is time to make that move regardless of the tackle situation.
Ideally, of course, the Giants would have liked Flowers at right tackle to begin his career and Beatty at left tackle. What they have decided to do, I think, is use each of the players they have at the positions they are best-suited for. That means Flowers at left tackle, where he spent most of his college career. Weston Richburg at center, the position he was drafted for. Geoff Schwartz at right guard, the position he has had the most success playing. And it means Pugh at guard, where they apparently believe he will flourish.
No doubt it looks risky with the current tackle situation, but the Giants have made a long-term decision here and they aren't going to undo it unless they find that they absolutely have to.
@bigblueview who will be the starting safeties by the end of the season? And how did each safety do?— larry (@vpacheco530) June 4, 2015
Ed says: By the end of the season? I think we need to figure out who is going to start at the beginning of the season first. It is pretty obvious that second-round pick Landon Collins is going to be one of those players, and that the Giants are counting on him to be a solid player right away. I have thought all along that Nat Berhe would emerge as the second starter, but the fact that he has yet to work on the field during OTAs due to a calf injury is a concern. I don't know about the long-term health part of it, but I do know missing time on the field is putting him behind. That means Cooper Taylor has a big advantage right now.
We don't know much yet about the other guys in the competition. Josh Gordy has played very little safety during his career. Mykkele Thompson is a rookie fifth-round pick, so don't count on him playing a lot. Bennett Jackson is converting to safety and is really still a rookie after missing all of last year.
How did they do? I'm not sure if I'm being asked how they did in the one practice I saw, or being asked to predict how they will perform in the end. If Collins, Taylor and Berhe can stay healthy I think the Giants will be OK at the safety spot, that's about all I can say.