As we await this week’s mandatory mini-camp for the New York Giants let’s meander through a variety of topics in this week’s edition of ‘Valentine’s Views.’
About that Giants’ offseason
Dan Pizzuta wrote a few days ago about NFL executives giving the Giants a “C” for their offseason work. Then, NFL analyst and long-time executive Gil Brandt listed the Giants as the league’s 10th-most talented team.
How can a team that went 3-13 and had what executives think is an average offseason be one of the league’s most talented teams? What’s the truth?
Like many things in life, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
Their two best players, Odell Beckham Jr. on offense and Landon Collins on defense, weren’t healthy in 2017. If they are healthy this season, that obviously makes the Giants better. Saquon Barkley makes the Giants better. So do Nate Solder and Alec Ogletree.
The revised coaching staff and the addition of several veterans who should provide some locker room stability make the Giants better. Eli Apple with his head on straight should make the Giants better.
There are still questions. Who is going to rush the passer? Do the Giants have enough corners? Do they have enough depth all around to overcome injuries? Who will kick field goals? Will the offensive line really be better? Do they have a third, or fourth, wide receiver?
So, I see the answer as somewhere in the middle. I believe GM Dave Gettleman and the Giants deserve a grade above a “C” for their offseason work, but I’m nowhere near ready to put them on a list of the league’s most talented teams.
About those joint practices
I am a fan of the idea. I like breaking up the routine and ratcheting up the intensity, natural byproducts of lining up against a different team for a couple of days of practice. Of course, you have to trust that the coaching staff on the other side will help to control the environment.
It would be nice if those joint practices were held in New Jersey. How much fun would it be to see a couple of days of joint practice during camp, especially if those were held in MetLife Stadium? Then again, that’s a week in August where yours truly won’t have to spend 5 hours in the car traveling to and from practice, or crashed in a hotel. So, yeah, I’m good with it.
Webb vs. Lauletta
Davis Webb is ahead in the “competition” with Kyle Lauletta to be the backup to Eli Manning in 2018. Far ahead. That much has been obvious since the first OTA media was able to witness a couple of weeks ago.
It is also to be expected. While it was with a different coaching staff, Webb has had a year to get his NFL feet underneath him. A year to hang around, befriend, and learn from Manning. Lauletta is still settling in.
We won’t know for a few years which of these guys will be the better NFL quarterback, or if either will prove capable of stepping into Manning’s shoes when the time comes.
Did you read the fantastic Sports Illustrated piece about Webb, in which bragged about his arm strength? Love the work by SI and the confidence from Webb, but it’s not the strength of his arm that will make or break his career. Or Lauletta’s. Ultimately, it will be who plays the position better. Who makes better decisions and throws the ball more accurately.
The really interesting point that has been raised in a few places, including a recent ‘Locked on Giants’ podcast, is what happens at quarterback if this season goes south for the Giants. Everyone associated with the Giants still believes in Manning, and believes the team is better-equipped to compete in 2018.
What, though, if the Giants are out of the playoff hunt over the final few weeks? If that’s the case they can’t let another season slip by without giving their young quarterbacks opportunities.
Speaking of the podcast
I do hope you are at least an occasional listener. You can find past shows at lockedongiants.com.
Stuff we hope you have read
In case you missed them, here are some of what I consider to be the best posts of the past week here at Big Blue View.
- Summer School: How will James Bettcher use Olivier Vernon and Kareem Martin?
- Breakout candidates for the Giants in 2018
- Should the Giants bid on CB Sam Beal in the NFL supplemental draft?
- Giants’ TE Rhett Ellison says Pat Shurmur is “real”
- Veteran CB William Gay brings enthusiasm, professional attitude to Giants
- Summer School: Understanding the basic elements of an NFL contract
- Eli Apple can be a Hall of Fame player — teammate William Gay