The offseason program is in the books for the New York Giants. What did we learn about the 2017 version of Big Blue during the spring. Here are 10 things.
Matt LaCosse Is Still A Spring Superstar
The former undrafted free agent from Illinois has been a spring sensation for the past three seasons. Unfortunately, injuries have limited him to two regular-season games and three catches in that time. If he can finally make it to the starting line healthy this time, LaCosse is making the 53-man roster. That means that someone else is not, and how that plays out will be interesting.
Ereck Flowers’ Work Needs To Pay Off
The Giants, simply, don’t have a palatable alternative to Flowers at left tackle. Chad Wheeler is the current backup, and he’s an undrafted string bean of a player with some work to do in the weight room. Justin Pugh? Well, yeah, except then you end up re-configuring the entire line. Flowers looks great and he’s had an excellent offseason, but we won’t know anything until the games start.
Odell’s Hair Endorsements Are Safe
Coach Ben McAdoo has a new gelled-up hairdo, but he isn’t going to be taking any product endorsements away from Odell Beckham Jr. Brad Wing is rocking the Beckham-esque colored hair, too, and it looks pretty good. He’s a punter, though, and since punters don’t become international celebrities (sorry, Steve Weatherford) he isn’t getting any of Beckham’s endorsement money, either.
DRC Does Not Like To Be Yelled At
At least not by young middle linebackers who have never started an NFL game. B.J. Goodson, likely to be the starting middle linebacker this year, found that out this spring. when he yelled at Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
“He is very vocal. I almost had to get on him the other day because he kind of yelled at me a little bit and I had to realize that is my linebacker and he doesn’t know me like that, so I let him have that,” Rodgers-Cromartie said good-naturedly. “I let it go this time, but not next time. He was correct, but just say it to me.”
Cornerback Depth Is An Issue
Michael Hunter had a good spring. Donte Deayon is easy to root for. So, too, is Mykkele Thompson. The Giants, though, have a depth issue at corner. Valentino Blake is the only reserve corner with real experience, and the only time I noticed him all spring was on Wednesday when Beckham was making him look helpless. Now, of course not every receiver is Beckham. The Giants, though, need to watch the waiver wire for veteran cornerback help.
Don’t Leave Steve Spagnuolo An Opening
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is fantastic with the media, as expansive and thoughtful in his answers as head coach Ben McAdoo is short and combative. Spagnuolo gives a respectful answer to every question.
Unless, of course, you open yourself up to a zinger from the defensive coordinator. Dan Duggan of NJ Advance Media did that the other day when he asked Spagnuolo where rookie defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson was.
“Probably in there in the locker room,” Spags shot back. “I didn’t mean to do that. I had to do one, right?”
Aldrick Rosas Has Talent
We saw it during OTAs when Rosas made a number of kicks, some from long distance, and boomed several kickoffs. Long-snapper Zak DeOssie has raved about Rosas. Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn says Rosas “has done well” in the spring. What we don’t know, though, is what will happen when the untested former NAIA kicker faces pressure in a real game.
Landon Collins Loves Banana Pudding
At least when it is made by Spagnuolo’s wife, Maria. Oh, and LC has his sights set on having a Hall of Fame career.
Calf Injuries Still Stink
In recent years, the Giants have seen Nat Berhe and Victor Cruz lose entire seasons to calf injuries that just wouldn’t heal. That’s why the calf injury that prevented tight end Rhett Ellison from doing any significant work this spring has to be a concern. The Giants can tell us he is progressing and will be fine, but in this case seeing is going to have to be believing.
The Giants Will Be More Diverse On Offense
With the additions of Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram as receiving threats, Ellison as a blocker and the return to health of Shane Vereen, how could they not be. They know they need to be, and even though it’s unfair to expect Ben McAdoo to re-invent the wheel on offense I think a few more sections of that over-sized play card he carries around will actually get some use this season.