We have reached another Saturday, so that means time for another Big Blue View mailbag. Let’s open it up and see what sort of questions spill out this week about the New York Giants.
The Davis Webb Chapter
Coach Ben McAdoo opened the proverbial door this week, allowing fans’ imaginations to run wild, when he hinted that rookie Davis Webb could “get a crack” at the No. 2 quarterback job.
#bbvmailbag How much better does web need to play when compared to JJ and Geno in order to start season as back up.— AllieMuffinClassy (@AllieClassy) August 18, 2017
What do u think the percentage of odds that by the end of the season Webb is #2 and Smith and Johnson aren't on the team?— Eli (@ElitheSportsG) August 18, 2017
After watching the atrocious play of Johnson and Smith, do you think Webb has a realistic chance to be the #2?— The Gaming Relic (@TrueAntMan) August 18, 2017
Ed says: Reality is there is almost no chance that Webb will be the No. 2 quarterback to open the season. He has taken no more than a handful of team reps during the entire spring and summer. If the Giants were, unfortunately, to need to call on a backup quarterback early in the season there is no way Webb would be ready to succeed. It wouldn’t be fair to him, or good for his development, to throw him out there.
Geno Smith and Josh Johnson have been inconsistent, which is exactly what should have been expected given their histories. McAdoo’s remarks about Webb, in my view, were aimed to prod the two veterans and see which will step up and earn the job.
It is possible that Webb could ascend to the No. 2 job by season’s end. Just not right away.
The Ereck Flowers Chapter
You knew there had to be a Flowers chapter, right? Because no one on the Internet ever talks about or criticizes the third-year left tackle.
John Calderon asks: If Flowers performs terribly in the first few games in the season do you think they will pull him? If so would they really start a Rookie all over again?
Ed says: John, I think the reality is that Ereck Flowers is the left tackle. Period. The Giants are not replacing a first-round pick on his rookie deal with an undrafted free agent rookie in Chad Wheeler. Besides, if you paid any attention Friday vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers, Wheeler isn’t ready. Flowers vastly outplayed him. The only real alternative is to put Justin Pugh at left tackle. The Giants don’t want to do that. He is better at guard, something his play has proven the past two years. Also, move Pugh you have to insert another guard — making two changes.
Dryan Bavis asks: Fans don't like flowers, it seems, on an unfair level, as if his existence is a personal insult. The media and the coaches, however, are actually high on the guy. Why is there such a disconnect? Is it sourness over his draft carried over when the fans wanted someone else? Do the fans value something that the coaches and media don't think is important?
Ed says: Fan is, of course, short for “fanatic.” I don’t want to get this discussion off course, but sports discussions are a lot like political ones. People form their opinions based on their beliefs and then in many cases can’t or won’t look objectively at the data or what is going on. Their opinion is formed, blame is assigned and nothing will change that. Expectations, too, are often unrealistic. Not every first-round pick is going to be Odell Beckham Jr.
Will Ellison be helping Flowers a great deal on the left side of the line?— Richard Cucinotta (@RichardCuc) August 18, 2017
Ed says: Richard, the Giants didn’t sign Ellison specifically to park him next to Flowers and leave him there. He will be moved around. He will help Flowers some, Bobby Hart some, he will probably lead block from fullback on occasion. And, shoot, the Giants might even let him catch a pass every now and then.
Anthony Canestro asks: Back when the Giants won championships, they were known for using two tight end formations. During those years it was well recorded that that formation was the most successful play used. Why did they abandon using it?
Ed says: Thanks for the question, Anthony. Things change. The way the game is played keeps evolving, the Giants have a different head coach, offensive coordinator and offense than they did six years ago. The Giants ran 11 personnel, one tight end, one running back, three wide receivers, 92 percent of the time last year. The simple truth is they felt they really didn’t have good enough personnel to do anything else. That should change this season. I would expect more variety, though 11 personnel will still be the most-often used. That personnel grouping is now the most popular one league-wide.
Orlando Marrero asks: DB depth looks tenuous at best. With the new rule concerning one cut down to 53 players just prior to the season, does that leave enough time to scoop up a veteran DB and fit him into Spag's system?
Ed says: Sure it does, Orlando. Veteran corners are exactly that, guys who know what they are doing and can pick up new systems. Coty Sensabaugh came in mid-season for the Giants last year and played well. I do think the Giants will be looking for a veteran corner, so watch for that.
Matt Annunziata asks: 2 part question: based on last week's game and recent practices, do you see any players who can pull away from the pack and get that much closer to a roster spot with a good to great performance on Monday night? Any players who could very well be kissing their shot at a roster spot goodbye if they don't "show up" Monday night?
Ed says: Thanks, Matt. Listen, I’m not sure anyone can absolutely win or lose a job on Monday night. It’s all information for the coaches and the GM that goes into the hopper when they try to figure out the roster. That said, guys like cornerback Donte Deayon, wide receiver Roger Lewis Jr., some of the guys fighting for backup defensive end roles, tight ends Matt LaCosse and Will Tye are among players who really need to show something.
Mike Geller asks: Which player that doesn't make the 53 man roster has the biggest impact for another team this year? In other words, which roster space casualty comes back to haunt big blue the most?
Ed says: Impossible question for me to answer, Mike. When I see who they cut I could give you my thoughts on the biggest surprises. What I will say is that having too many good players, which the Giants do, is a good problem to have. It means you have a talented roster. There is absolutely no doubt that a few of the guys the Giants cut will end up as useful players elsewhere.
Jorge Passapera asks: I don`t know if it`s too early but at this point who do you see starting at RG and RT for the Giants?
Ed says: Again with this question? I don’t want to be snippy, but how about the two guys who have started there in every practice going back to OTAs in the spring and have taken almost every rep with the first team? That would be John Jerry at right guard and Bobby Hart at right tackle. There has been absolutely no indication from the Giants that anything might change there. So, unless there is an injury Jerry and Hart are almost certain to be your starting combo on that side.
Ishmael Bull Sr. asks: Can our G-MEN avg 28 pts a game? Because I believe we wont win big w/o doing so.
Ed says: Ishmael, you aren’t giving the Giants’ defense — one of the best in the league — any credit if you think the Giants need to score 28 points per game to be good. They won 11 games last year while averaging less than 20. That said, yes, the offense needs to be better. And it should.
The play-makers are better, Rhett Ellison should help the blocking. Flowers and Bobby Hart will. hopefully, be at least a bit better. So, the offense should be better. Twenty-eight points per game? Only two teams hit that mark last year, so I’m not going out on that limb.
Joe Van Horn asks: Is Rosas really going to be the kicker?
Ed says: Well, Joe, we will all find out in a few weeks. Aldrick Rosas has done nothing to lose the job, that much I know. He’s been very impressive. It is a gamble to go with an inexperienced kicker. Is it, however, any less of a gamble to go with a veteran like Mike Nugent who has been awful the past couple of seasons?
Do you think Darkwa has shown enough to get a bigger role in the offense or is the starting job still Paul Perkins— Denis Fogarty (@Denis_Fogarty) August 18, 2017
Ed says: Dennis, the starting job belongs to Paul Perkins. That, however, doesn’t mean Darkwa won’t have a role. Nobody uses one running back exclusively. Darkwa will play, and he deserves to. Shane Vereen will play, especially in passing situations. Wayne Gallman might figure in eventually.
LT trade candidates not named Joe Thomas? Staley from SF?— Harper Yatvin (@hyatvin) August 18, 2017
Ed says: Harper, when you figure out who they are, let me know. Because to my knowledge there aren’t any. And Thomas and Staley are not on the market, either.