For a fairly pedestrian offseason Tuesday more than two weeks ahead of the 2016 NFL Draft there are a bunch of things to discuss when it comes to the New York Giants. So, that's we will do in this week's version of "Five things I think I think."
I think fans need to stop sweating the small stuff
There are a lot of things for Giants fans to get worked up about and to rip general manager Jerry Reese for. You want to rant about the mistakes that led to 19-29 the past three seasons and blabber about the bad decisions you think the general manager has made, knock yourself out. But, why in heaven's name are people obsessing over and ripping the man for recent depth signings like Bobby Rainey, Kelvin Sheppard, Byron Stingily and others?
C'mon, people! This is what NFL teams do at this time of year. They add players for depth. They create competition for mini-camps and training camp. They fill out the 90-man roster. These signings don't mean the Giants are expecting any of these guys to be starters, difference-makers, or perhaps even part of the 53-man roster. It's just part of the process of preparing for training camp. You have to have bodies to get through camp, and the more guys you can collect who actually might have a shot at making the final 53 the better.
You don't think Rainey or Sheppard are Hall of Fame caliber players who will change the franchise? Guess what? The Giants know they aren't. But, they also know they need to fill out the roster. They know they need to create competition, and that sometimes guys signed at this time of year surprise and become contributors. They know players get injured, and it's nice to have experienced players to step in if that happens.
You want to rip Reese? Have at it, there are plenty of good reasons. Doing it over small signings like these isn't one of them.
I think Eli Manning's excitement was palpable
I have listened to a bunch of Eli Manning press conferences and conference calls over the years. Manning is always polite. He always answers the questions, usually by giving reporters something they can write without REALLY answering the questions. Unless it is after a game he is usually pretty emotionless, not exactly passionate.
Monday was ... different. And not just because Manning said it was. Monday, the first day in Eli Manning's NFL life during which he was coached by someone other than Tom Coughlin, Manning sounded genuinely fired up. Like he was ready to go put the pads on and play.
"Starting a new season is another opportunity," he said. "For the most part, everybody is healthy, everybody is feeling good; they’re excited. It’s a long break, and I am excited. I think guys sense that we have a good squad, that we have the capability to win a lot of football games, that we did some really good things last year. But we’ve got to turn it up - we’ve got to get better, we’ve got to be more committed, we’ve got to do the little things better. I think there’s that urgency, that intensity right now; we’ve got to make sure we keep that. It’s easy to have it on the first day, but all of a sudden in six weeks of your offseason program or in the fourth week of training camp, you’ve got to have that same intensity… and obviously, throughout the whole season, and that urgency and that desire to get better and to make improvements. That’s what we’ve got to keep doing."
Entering his 13th season, the quarterback sounds genuinely excited, genuinely interested in doing what he can to make sure the new direction the Giants have taken leads to a good place. That, obviously, is a good thing for the Giants.
I think drafting 10th is an awkward spot
The more mock drafts you read, and the more draft analysts I touch base with, the more you realize that no one can really pin down what the Giants will do with the 10th overall pick. There are a few reasons for that.
First, there are nine teams picking ahead of the Giants and there are guaranteed to be a few curveballs in those nine selections.
Second, depending on your priorities you can make an argument for offensive tackle, wide receiver, running back, defensive line, linebacker, cornerback .... shoot, just about any position you want for the Giants at 10.
It's a spot where the guys they might really want, like Myles Jack, Vernon Hargreaves or Ronnie Stanley, for example, could be gone. The guys they could target if that happens, like Leonard Floyd, Jack Conklin, or another linebacker or corner, for example, are guys most analysts see as not deserving of the 10th pick. So, awkward spot for Reese and the Giants.
I think the weight room photo gallery was funny
The Giants have a much-ballyhooed revamped weight room. They have a new strength and conditioning coach in Aaron Wellman. There has been an immense amount of chatter from the Giants, in particular from head coach Ben McAdoo, about the "forward-thinking" approach the team would be taking in the weight room.
With that as backdrop, I found the photo gallery posted on Giants.com from Day 1 of the team's offseason strength and conditioning program to be pretty hilarious. Did it show a bunch of players doing modern flexibility or movement training? Nope? The photos showed a bunch of guys lifting heavy things.
I mean, I'm sure that the Giants are doing "interesting" and "cool" things in the weight room, as Justin Pugh suggested on Monday. Those photos, though, certainly did not lead me to that conclusion.
I think the Anthony Davis stuff is interesting
I wrote Monday about "retired" former San Francisco 49ers right tackle Anthony Davis, speculating about the possibility that the 26-year-old Davis could be the answer for the Giants at right tackle should he want to play again. Of course, that would require Davis to first apply for reinstatement -- which he is expected to do, but hasn't done. It would then require the 49ers to either trade or release Davis.
Davis, of course, took to Twitter Monday to ruin all my fun, tweeting that San Francisco GM Trent Baalke assured him the report from Peter King that the 49ers were trying to trade him was false.
Davis to the Giants is still an interesting thing to think about. With only six draft picks to work with, it might be difficult to give one up for a guy who didn't play a year ago. If he was reinstated and San Francisco released him? You have to make a phone call at that point if you're the Giants, don't you? I'm not saying you have to sign him. But, you have to find out what it would cost and try to get a measure of how badly the young man really wants to play football. Right?