The New York Giants report for training camp in less than a week, making this the final Big Blue View mailbag before the team begins practice for the 2015 season. Let's open it up and see what questions you have this week.
Jorge Passapera asks (via Facebook):
Right now Marshall Newhouse and Brandon Mosley are in a position to compete for the starting job as the Giants right tackle and if you ask me I have to say that I don`t like any of the two so is there a chance the Giants might go after a veteran RT who could start in place of Newhouse or Mosley? The LBs and Safeties are major areas of concern on the Giants defense, of the two positions which one would you say is the weakest and why?
Ed says: That's two questions in one there, Jorge. But, of course, I will answer both.
When it comes to right tackle, of course there is a possibility that the Giants go after a veteran right tackle, or even a veteran left tackle like Jake Long -- which would push Ereck Flowers back to the right side. There is also a possibility they stand pat and just hope they have enough to get through the first half of the season until Will Beatty gets back. Remember, you don't find star players available during training camp or at the end of the preseason. Guys get cut because they aren't good enough to make their teams, so picking up one of those guys is not necessarily a panacea.
As for linebacker or safety, I'm concerned about safety. The Giants at least have experienced linebackers who should know what they're doing. Safety? We have no idea. They seem to have talent. What they don't have is experience. That's a concern because a) safeties are responsible for so much of the communication on defense and b) inexperienced players make mistakes, and mistakes by safeties lead to touchdowns for opposing offenses.
Craig Massey asks (via Facebook):
When (not if) Eli signs an extension, do you think it will be frontloaded in anticipation of any decline in skill towards the back end of the deal; or do you think it will be backloaded to give the Giants more flexibility in the near term to sign some more FA depth or to more easily retain a guy like Prince?
Ed says: Well, I'm not a cap expert, a GM or Tom Condon (agent for Eli Manning). But, I would expect the Giants and Manning to agree to a deal similar in structure to what the Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did. That DOES NOT mean the four-year, $87.4 million deal ($31 million) guaranteed is the benchmark in terms of years and dollar amount. It simply means Roethlisberger's contract is structured in such a way that most of the guaranteed money is paid toward the front of the deal, making it less painful for the Steelers to get out from under the final year of the deal if they chose to do that.
Manning's cap hit this year is $19.75 million. In any new deal I would have to expect that number to go down a bit, either giving the Giants some flexibility this year or the ability to roll some leftover money in their 2016 cap.
Isaiah Ilowit (via e-mail)
Why are so many folks insistent on turning Damontre Moore into a "complete" player who can play the run? Isn't his ceiling Osi 2.0? Wouldn't we all be thrilled if he turned into the next Osi? Osi was instrumental on both Super Bowl teams (9 sacks in 9 games in 2011), came up big in big moments (strip sack of Aaron Rodgers on a sure-thing touchdown pass in the playoffs), 10 forced fumbles in 2010. PFF seems to indicate that Moore could turn into an Osi-like player, and if he does I, for one, will be thrilled. Sure, we need run-stoppers, but let this man get after Romo!
Ed says: What the Giants want is for Moore to reach his full potential. That means they would like to be able to trust him to play all three downs successfully. To know his assignments, to be able to carry them out vs. both run and pass. Sacks are flashy, but mistakes on the edge in run defense (think about the games vs. Seattle or Jacksonville) can cost you games. Osi Umenyiora was never a great run defender, but he was a game-changer. Moore has "hinted" that he might be a game-changer, but hasn't proven it. When he starts doing it consistently, shows the Giants they can trust him and that he will produce 12-15 sacks and not be a major liability against the run he will be more than a specialist. It is really up to the young man.
Jason LaBombard asks (via e-mail):
So .... I was reading the other day somewhere something about how many pass rushers were getting work in against the right side of opponents offensive lines. And that got me thinking, "Well, that's not really a surprise. If we move Flowers from the left to the right and he is perceived as a point of weakness defensive coordinators will just scheme to move their best guys over the top of him at least on a certain percentage of snaps. I mean, teams put their best edge blocker at LT why would you throw your most potent weapon again and again at the opponents strongest point of defense. That does' tmake any sense; you shift them around a bit to play an advantage." But THAT got me thinking, "Wait a sec. Isn't that what we've been doing with JPP the last four years; putting his hand in the dirt in the same spot snap after snap and throwing him against the offenses best blocker?" Now, is that what happens and does it make sense? I really don't know. I feel like there was a time when he was maybe moved a bit more than recent years but anyway, before I jumped to pessimistic conclusions and ruin my weekend I thought I'd run it by you to see what you think.
Ed says: So ... Jason, you would be correct. The Giants did not move Pierre-Paul from side to side much in 2014. He played 548 passing snaps with only 59 (10.8 percent) coming from the left side. In 2013, JPP came from the left 14.9 percent of the time. In 2012, he came from the left 53 percent of the time and the right 45 percent.
The deal is that Pierre-Paul has always been better from the right side.You try to put your players where they can succeed. Part of this, to my understanding, has also been JPP's choice. As far as I know, the Giants wanted to move him away from Tyron Smith of the Dallas Cowboys last year, but Pierre-Paul's preference was to stay in front of the All-Pro left tackle and try to neutralize him.