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BBV mailbag: Questions about Saquon Barkley, Josh Mauro, more

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Let’s see what Giants fans want to know with preseason approaching

NFL: New York Giants-Training Camp
Saquon Barkley takes a handoff from Eli Manning. TODAY NETWOR

Your New York Giants are rolling through training camp and are actually only a few days away from their preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns. Let’s open up the Big Blue view mailbag and answer some questions.

Ed says: Anthony, that’s a good question. Mauro has been pretty much invisible in the spring and through the first part of training camp. He’s been out there wearing No. 97, but to the observers on the sidelines like myself he has done nothing noteworthy.

Mauro does have the advantage of having been with defensive coordinator James Bettcher in Arizona, and Bettcher and the Giants brought him to New York for a reason. We, honestly, just haven’t seen it yet. Mauro won’t be on the season-opening 53-man roster. My guess is he will serve his suspension and then the Giants will make a decision as to whether to add him or release him, which will likely have a lot to do with the health and performance of the rest of the defensive line.

Ed says: Right now I don’t really think there is a backup plan. If Ereck Flowers can’t do the job at right tackle that will be a problem. I’m not sure what you have been reading about Flowers. Olivier Vernon has made him look bad a few times, but he has also done that to Nate Solder on the other side. Flowers is what he is. He’s better than Bobby Hart, Wheeler or Adam Bisnowaty. That is all he really has to be, to be honest, to be an upgrade over what the Giants had in 2017.

Barbara Bennett Chumsky asks: What do you think of the revamped O line? No doubt it’s improved, but do you think it has improved enough to give the team a real chance to be playing in January?

Ed says: Barbara, there has been some concern from fans and the media about the play of the offensive line. I can’t get all worked up about it, even though there was a stretch of 2-3 days where the defense did have the advantage. Look, the line has four new players and a guy changing positions. It’s not going to be fantastic from Day 1. Give them time, and we will see. In the end, I believe this will be a better group.

Karen Lee asks: What do you think Aldrick Rosas’ chances are of actually being an effective kicker? Boy, do I miss Lawrence Tynes!

Ed says: Tynes? That was a loooong time ago now. As for Rosas, the young man has talent. Can he harness it and be an effective kicker? I don’t know. I’m not going to get all fired up about kicks he makes or misses in training camp. We’ll see. He could open the season as the kicker unless the Giants find a veteran they like once teams trim their rosters. I would think, though, that he will be on a short leash.

Mo Zaky asks: Last year I asked why Paul Perkins was the de facto starting RB when he had proved nothing and wondered why the fans had faith in him over Darkwa when he had shown nothing. This year, I ask why Latimer is the slam-dunk, no-questions-asked WR3. What has he shown here or in Denver that would justify this? Tell us about his performance and if it’s just the fans or if the coaching staff and Eli agree, cause to me this competition is wide open.

Ed says: Mo, I don’t think Cody Latimer is the “slam-dunk, no questions asked” third wide receiver. That said, he has gotten the majority of the reps in that spot throughout the spring and summer.

The Giants like his size, athleticism and potential in the red zone. We’ll see what happens there in the preseason. Guys like Hunter Sharp, Kalif Raymond, Russell Shepard and Amba Etta-Tawo have all shown some good things.

Justin Askew asks: Seen some Barkley highlights during camp and not overall impressed. Does he look great in person?

Ed says: Justin, if you are trying to judge the running game from a few highlights in practice you are trying to do the impossible. Saquon Barkley is going to be a force for the Giants, especially because he is an outstanding pass receiver who can be moved all around and used a variety of ways. If you’re not impressed by Barkley, I’m not sure what would impress you.