Let’s open up the Big Blue View mailbag on this first day of December and see what New York Giants-related questions come tumbling out.
Jordan Datchko asks: I believe coaches can adequately evaluate players in practice and that they don’t “need” to see them in a game. Games help but either a player can do something or he can’t. Starting Kyle (or Webb) is a story but not relevant to what the Giants do in the off season. Why am I wrong?
Ed says: Jordan, I’m not sure you are wrong. One of the reasons Davis Webb not getting in games last season was an evaluation issue is because there was a new GM and coaching staff this year. They didn’t see him in practice a year ago, and the lack of game film left them nothing to go on.
The Giants see Kyle Lauletta every day in practice. They know his skill set. They know where he is in his progression. All of us on the outside would like to see Lauletta play. The backup quarterback is always the most popular guy when a team is struggling. Or, in this case the backup to the backup.
If he’s ready to play the experience would do him some good, and I do think we will see Lauletta at some point in the final four games. If we don’t, then we don’t. Maybe the Giants think he needs the redshirt year and a full offseason before he’s really ready to compete for the No. 1 or No. 2 job in 2019.
At this point it’s a lost season, time to start looking ahead. If I’m not mistaken the Giants have 9 draft picks in 2019. Outside of QB what are the most pressing needs?— Ryan Gay (@ryan_gay) November 30, 2018
Ed says: In no particular order, offensive line, pass rusher, cornerback, linebacker, safety. I can’t or won’t argue with just about any pick on the defensive side, especially if it’s someone who can rush the passer. On the offensive line, the center and right tackle spots are the biggest priorities in my view.
Which Giants are playing above their contracts this year?— Jeffrey Itell (@babkah) November 30, 2018
Ed says: Umm ... good question. I’ll get back to you when I find one.
Next year would it help the Giants to go a different position than QB in the 1st. Edge, CB, OL are a bigger need. We can take the QB from WSU, OR, WVU, OU, OSU, Penn St, etc.. In the 2nd, bcuz were one of the few QB needy teams & this QB class is being devalued.— phil (@Philme01) November 30, 2018
Ed says: Phil, I listed obvious positions of need above. There are quite a few. Quarterback in Round 1? Listen, you don’t “force” a quarterback pick. If “your guy” is there, you take him. We know the Giants have to identify a quarterback of the future. If the guy they want is Daniel Jones of Duke, Will Grier of West Virginia or Trace McSorley of Penn State and they can wait until Day 2, fine. This team needs a lot more than just a quarterback, so I would remind people to not obsess about that one position.
Patrick Morris asks: Gettleman has gotten rid of a lot of Giants from the Jerry Reese era, who have since found homes with other NFL teams. Adams, Richburg, Apple, Snacks, JPP, Pugh, Thompson, Fluker, etc. Do you think any of these were a bad choice, that if you could, you would have back with the Giants?
Ed says: It’s easy to look at some of the let go by the and think “that one, that one and that one were wrong moves.” It’s harder to look at the circumstances surrounding a variety of moves and understand why GM Dave Gettleman and the Giants made the moves they made. I will briefly list thoughts on a few players.
- Jason Pierre-Paul — I know it’s easy to look at his sack numbers and think the Giants were wrong here. I think the Giants were betting that JPP’s play would fall off significantly before the end of his massive contract, and they got out from under it while they could. In the end I’m guessing they will be right.
- Weston Richburg — He’s better than anyone else who has played center for the Giants this year, but not $40+ million better.
- Damon Harrison — This was a little bit like JPP. Terrific player, but I strongly believe that the Giants felt like they were going to move on from ‘Snacks’ in the offseason. With young guys like Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill and R.J. McIntosh in the middle I think they felt like the draft capital and salary relief made it worth letting the player go.
- D.J. Fluker — Everybody likes to point to this one because of the struggles of the Giants offensive line. To be honest, I thought they should have kept Fluker. Remember, though, he played only six games last year. He missed the first couple of games of this season, has played in only eight games and is playing through a knee injury now. Perhaps durability/availability concerns played into it. The Patrick Omameh signing didn’t work out, obviously, but I believe you can understand the thinking here.
- Free safety — The Giants moved on from Andrew Adams and Darian Thompson. Curtis Riley hasn’t been good, but letting Adams and Thompson go was not a mistake. Adams is a backup for the Buccaneers who has played 87 defensive snaps all year. Thompson has been on the practice squads of the Cardinals and Cowboys. Now on Dallas’s 53-man roster, he has played one defensive snap all year. Neither of those guys was the answer at free safety.