clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

BBV mailbag: Fullback, Jonathan Stewart, roster choices among this week’s questions

Let’s see what Giants fans are wondering about today

Let’s open up the Big Blue View mailbag and see what is on the mind of New York Giants fans with a Week 2 game against the Dallas Cowboys looming.

Ed says: Fullback Shane Smith played only 5 snaps in Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. There might be weeks where Smith sees a few more snaps than that, but I really don’t think you will see a heavy dose of Barkley running behind a fullback. He didn’t do that at Penn State. Against Jacksonville the Giants showed a willingness to use an extra offensive lineman or even a third tight end at times instead of the pure fullback. I’d expect to see them continue to mix their personnel groups.

Ed says: I can’t answer that definitively. I’m not in the meeting rooms and don’t know the game plan. I do think, though, that if Jonathan Stewart is going to have a regular role in the offense that eventually it will be as a short-yardage and goal line specialist. He is a 240-pound guy who has been good in that role throughout his career. Here is a chart that gives an indication of Stewart’s success in that role over the years. As long as Wayne Gallman is healthy, it looks like he will be the guy who comes in occasionally to give Barkley a breather for a full series. Stewart, if he is really going to contribute on the field, is going to have to be the short-yardage hammer.

Ed says: Coach Pat Shurmur was asked indirectly about that this week. Here is what he said:

“I try to change the protections in a lot of ways. It’s not always obvious schematically. You change the protections, you provide chips. That’s just part of what we do.”

In regards to DeMarcus Lawrence, who will likely line up against Ereck Flowers most of the time, Shurmur also said “the guy assigned to block him has to block him.”

That doesn’t mean it’s always going to be Flowers. It doesn’t mean the Giants will leave Flowers isolated 1-on-1 vs. Lawrence, Dallas’s best pass rusher.

A variety of things can be done. Backs can chip. You can leave a tight end on that side at times. You can leave a back in and have him favor that side. You can move the pocket on occasion.

The Giants did all of those things at times against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They will do all of them at times against Dallas. You just can’t line up, though, and protect one guy on every play. That leave you incapable of even trying to run big chunks of your offense.

At times, as Shurmur said, whether it’s Flowers or the rest of the offensive linemen, these guys are just going to have to lineup and block the guy they are assigned to block. It’s what they are in the NFL for.

Daniel Badillo asks: [Saquon] Barkley and [Odell] Beckham are both electric with the ball in their hands. Do you think either will have a chance to return punts going forward? If so, who would you prefer?

Ed says: Punts? That has to be Beckham? Barkley has never returned punts. I have never seen him practice catching them — which isn’t easy. Beckham has done it in the past and Shurmur continues to say that he would consider using him to do so in the right situation.

Both Beckham and Barkley have returned kickoffs in the past. I think there could come a time when either, or both, are options there.

CTscan123 asks: Here is a hypothetical based on my nagging feeling that perhaps our new leader ship is throwing the baby out with the bathwater a bit with respect to personnel. Who, if anyone, no longer on the team do you think the Giants should have held onto from last year‘s roster? Jpp, Webb, Darkwa? Somebody els? And no copping out with “the new leader ship has the right to bring in its own players!? Who do YOU think played well enough to stick based on your observations?

Ed says: First of all, when you go 3-13 and bring in a new coach and general manager of course there is going to be massive change. I think, by the way, that you are seeing that NFL teams are not exactly banging down doors to sign most of the players the Giants let go. That tells you what they think of the talent the Giants had.

That said, there are a couple of players I wish were still Giants. I think Weston Richburg is a good player and, while I absolutely understand the salary cap ramifications and the fact that re-signing him for what he got in San Francisco was never going to happen, the Giants have downgraded at center. I’m not sure Patrick Omameh over D.J. Fluker is an upgrade. Also, I once again understand the monetary aspects of it and agree with the Giants’ decision to ask Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to take a pay cut, but I would feel better about their cornerback situation had they been able to work something out with him. Didn’t happen, though, and both side moved on.