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BBV Mailbag: Quarterback questions dominate discussion

Of course they do

Believe it or not, the 1-7 New York Giants are only halfway through their 2018 nightmare season. While it’s not exactly a therapy session, let’s plop down on the Big Blue View couch, open up the mail and answer some questions.

Ed says: Adam, you’re asking about Austin Pazstor. Listen, the 27-year-old has played in 65 NFL games (43 starts). He can play both guards as well as right tackle. He started 16 games for the Cleveland Browns in 2016. Before the 2017 season I thought going after him as a free agent made sense. Now, I’m not so sure.

Pazstor didn’t play an offensive snap for the Atlanta Falcons in either of the past two seasons. The Browns didn’t want to keep him after they came off a winless season. It’s nice to have versatility, but NFL teams are telling you by their actions they don’t think this guy is very good.

Ed says: Oh, boy! This is the question around which the Giants’ world revolves. In all honesty, I think it’s tough to answer right now. I really believe the final eight games of this season will have something to do with how it plays out.

I know there is a contingent that believes the Giants have to draft Justin Herbert. I think the Giants draft a quarterback, but this far out I don’t think it’s going to be Herbert. I think it’s going to be one of the guys (Daniel Jones, Will Grier, Trace McSorley) looked at right now as a Day 2 guy. That’s my gut feeling right now and, of course, that could change.

If the Giants follow that path they need a placeholder/mentor for next season while that player develops. Whether that player is Kyle Lauletta, Eli Manning or someone on another roster I don’t know.

That’s the path I see, though. A placeholder in 2019 while they develop a young quarterback for the future.

Bruce Frazer asks: What are your thoughts on how long it will take before the Giants return to respectability? I remember the futility of the 1970s, before George Young, and the thought of another lost decade is depressing. At least for a while they had a QB (Fran the Scram) who could move and generate some excitement. I know that was a different era when money, (before free agency) could keep a team together. Also, my thoughts would be to draft and fix the O- line before looking for the next QB.What is the point of putting a potential franchise QB behind the type of line the Giants currently have, only to have his career destroyed before it starts. Get the line fixed first, and then find a QB. Even Eli would be able to win a few more games if he had time to throw. There are always QBs available that are more upside than down. Kurt Warner and Kerry Collins did okay by the Giants. Would you build from the foundation up, or the roof down? I remember when the O and D line took priority, when teams were built to last.

Ed says: Bruce, that’s hard to say. I think we all got fooled heading into 2018. It was really unrealistic to look at the Giants as a playoff team. They were coming off a 3-13 year with a barren roster crippled by years of bad drafts and free agent mistakes.

This really comes down to two things. Can they get the quarterback question right and can they fix the offensive line? And how long will those things take?

As for how you build, you have to get the quarterback right. If your guy is in the 2019 draft, make it happen. If he isn’t, keep adding pieces until you find your guy.

You build a team from the inside out. The Giants have the play makers, but they don’t have the guys on the inside who can allow them to use the play makers. They need to build the offensive line, they need to build the defensive front seven with more dynamic players who can get after the pass and make game-changing plays. That’s where they need to build.

Ed says: Yes. Probably multiple times. For those who want them to tank for the top pick, sorry about that.

Ed says: Now this is a question that interests me. I don’t know how many readers are actually interested in the “how Ed got here” story, but here goes.

I probably decided to make sports writing a career before I graduated high school. We had an elderly journalism teacher, Mrs. Hartigan, who was unlike any teacher I’ve ever had. Ancient, frail, probably got laughed at by a lot of stupid teen-agers who didn’t get it, but she was all class. Educated, worldly, brilliant. She saw my passion for it and encouraged it.

I don’t know that I have ever had a “mentor,” but the first person to ever hire me full time (for the Southern Maryland Independent), Rick Snider, has been a lifelong friend. I do owe some thanks to Pat Traina. She had been covering the Giants for about 10 years when I started showing up for training camps, and she helped me feel like I belonged.

I guess as a kid I always thought I was destined to be a big-time columnist for some place like the New York Times, Washington Post or Boston Globe. I love work that’s well-researched, well informed and offers opinion/analysis without being some half-crazed hot take that’s simply aimed at shredding or making fun of someone. That’s what I try to do. I’m not always successful, but I try.

I’ve borrowed from the style of Peter King, which I think anyone who has read me for a while knows. In all honesty, the older I get the more I’m interested in the stories about the people who play the games more than I am in telling you about the games themselves. I wish I was around the Giants on a daily basis so I could bring you more of those stories.

Anyway, that’s my story.

Ed says: Seth, I’m not assuming anything when it comes to the Giants and Justin Herbert. They just passed on quarterbacks in a year when four were taken in the top 10. I know that the Giants need a quarterback of the future and that fans are fixated on Herbert, but I have no idea if the Giants are. Herbert might not even declare for the draft. If he does, I’m almost certain the Oakland Raiders will grab him before the Giants have a chance should they be higher in the draft order.

I just wouldn’t go into this draft thinking it’s Herbert or bust — you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. See some of my comments above in reference to quarterbacks in the draft class.