Good morning, New York Giants fans! We are now a week away from the full roster of players reporting to training camp. Let’s check the headlines and see what’s happening.
We have talked before about what to expect from rookie running back Saquon Barkley, and it roughly translates to “a lot.” Here is what NFL.com forecasts in a “best-case/worst-case scenario” post.
Best-case scenario: Barkley is the most dynamic running back in the Giants' backfield since Tiki Barber retired in 2006, a spectacular playmaker with explosive potential as a "hybrid" (runner-receiver) on the perimeter. With defenses intent on slowing down Odell Beckham Jr., Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard in the passing game, No. 26 carves up opponents and spits out 100-scrimmage-yard games like an ATM machine.
Worst-case scenario: Despite the fanfare preceding his arrival, Barkley could struggle as a runner behind a rebuilt offensive line that takes a while to jell. The big-bodied runner has a tendency to stop his feet in the hole, and his hesitancy could allow tacklers to corral him for minimal gains on inside runs. Such struggles could be masked temporarily by his remarkable talents as a pass catcher, but the bottom line is, Barkley will need to become a force as a ball-carrier for the Giants' offense to spark a run to the NFC East title.
Projected stats: 275 carries, 1,200 rushing yards, 55 receptions, 450 receiving yards, 14 total touchdowns.
Will Hernandez draws comparisons to Chris Snee, and Snee approves:
“I think [Hernandez] is maybe a little stronger physically than I was at that point, but I would like to think my movement was a little bit better,’’ Snee said. “The one thing I love about him is his makeup. He has the intent to be physical. It seems silly to say it, but really, when you’re evaluating the position, the college game is so different, it’s hard to find that guy that really wants to kick the guy’s ass in front of him.
“The minute I put on his tape last fall I saw that, and speaking with him in person I really love his makeup. That’s an attitude that you bring into that locker room, that line room. He’s a young guy but eventually, as he gets a couple of years under his belt, that attitude becomes infectious with the young guys after him.’’
Rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta relies heavily on anticipation and timing, things difficult to develop quickly while learning both a playbook and a group of receivers. Lauletta told John Schmeels of the team’s official website that he is “still looking for” his comfort zone.
“I’m still looking for it,” Lauletta said. “It’s a work in progress. It’s my rookie year and I still have a lot to learn. Playing the quarterback position, understanding where to go with the ball and the timing of it is really everything, 90 to 95 percent of it. If your feet are in line and your eyes are where you need them to be, usually a good throw and an accurate throw is going to follow. I’m a huge believer in that philosophy and I’m just trying to continue to get quicker with my processing and know where to go with the ball and put it on the money.”
“Listen, that’s his opinion. We don’t play each other this year, right? At the end of the day, it’s an opinion and he doesn’t have to back that up. I respect his right to have an opinion -- he coached in the NFL -- but I mean, come on, there’s no science to knowing who’s going to handle success well or not.”