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BBV Mailbag: Season-opening edition

We’ve got mail — well, electronic mail — so, let’s open it up!

A new NFL season has already begun, and the New York Giants join the party Sunday at 1 p.m. ET against the Jacksonville Jaguars. With that in mind, let’s dip into the Big Blue View mailbag and see what tumbles out.

Ed says: Dorian, I’m really not sure about Bashaud Breeland. I would think that if the Giants had interest they would have gone after him by now. Perhaps it’s money, don’t know. I do know that the Giants have been pretty aggressive in churning their roster at cornerback to try and get it right, and I think that might continue if they don’t like what they see from the guys they have.

CTscan123 asks: OK, my question is essentially “can you reassure me, Ed?“ with the release of web who played well this summer to say nothing of Andrew Adams, The trading away of Brett Jones, a seemingly capable center, the signing of Jonathan Stewart, an over the hill running back, the presumed faith in Patrick Omameh, a seriously subpar guard according to PFF, and taking on the salary of Alex Ogletree who seems to be a complete liability in coverage. Can you reassure me?

Ed says: Well, CT I’m not a psychiatrist. You seem to have tied yourself in knots over this. Listen, no one is ever going to agree with every move any general manager makes. That’s just the reality of life. Not every move is going to work out. Another reality.

The NFL is a salary cap league where you can’t just write a blank check and get every player you want. You only have seven draft picks (the Giants only had six in the last draft) and you have to wait your turn. That means you can’t fix every problem in one offseason, and you will never, ever build an absolutely perfect roster. Again, a reality.

What I like is that Gettleman and Shurmur have their priorities in the right place. They recognized the need to improve the offensive line and have aggressively tried to do something about it. They recognized the need to run the ball better, and have tried to address it. They recognized the need for better linebacker play. Trading for Ogletree meant taking on a bad contract, but at least they tried to do something about it.

I have no idea how many games the Giants will win. Maybe not drafting Sam Darnold will blow up in their face. What I do know is that I feel much better about the direction of the Giants with Gettleman and Shurmur making decisions than I did with Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo.

That’s all the reassurance I can offer, CT. Hope it helps!

Jerrry Panza asks: (I) was wondering if my feelings about the Giants being unfair to Davis Webb have any validity?

Ed says: Thanks for the question, Jerry. I think a lot of fans feel the way that you do. Quite honestly, though, I don’t believe the current Giants regime was unfair to Webb in the least.

If you want to say McAdoo and the Giants screwed up with Webb last season, fine. They did. McAdoo didn’t get him ready to play, and he was left without experience he should have had. Gettleman and Shurmur, not to mention the rest of the league, ended up without game tape they could have used to help evaluate the kid.

The current Giants regime wasn’t unfair to Webb at all. They gave him a ton of reps, a ton of opportunities to show them what he could do. Shurmur, who has had success with a wide variety of quarterbacks, was around him for months to learn what he was about.

In the end, the Giants made a judgment. That’s all. It wasn’t one that was expected. It wasn’t a popular one, I think because the media had hopped on the Webb Train and the fans rode along. They chose Kyle Lauletta, a player whose skill set and personality appear to be a better fit for what Shurmur likes to work with.

There is a misconception that this choice was about Alex Tanney, and maybe again if you read the voluminous 53-man roster projections that had both Webb and Lauletta in and Tanney out that might be where it comes from.

This wasn’t about Tanney vs. Webb. It was about Lauletta vs. Webb. Shurmur has said repeatedly since announcing the 53-man roster that he wanted a quarterback with experience on the roster. Forget having only played in one regular season game. Tanney has been in the NFL since 2012, and Shurmur values the knowledge that comes with that.

The Giants simply chose Lauletta. Fair to Webb or unfair, that’s life in the NFL. New regimes come in, they make choices, and sometimes those choices are hard to understand. Shurmur and Gettleman are the ones with the necks on the line. They have to go with the players they believe in — not the ones Reese believed in.

Ed says: Neil, I’m not sure you’re a Yankee legend, but, thanks for the question. I have said many times that in my view a playoff berth is necessary to consider this a successful season. The Giants put aside the idea of finding a quarterback of the future (cough, cough Sam Darnold) because they felt like they can still win now with Eli Manning. They went all-in to do just that.

So, guess what? Now, they have to win in the short term with Eli Manning. That doesn’t mean they have to win Super Bowl titles. But, they need to be a good, competitive, playoff-caliber team. A Manning-less future is coming, the Giants have just chosen to push it down the road. They need to be right, or their plan in my view is unsuccessful.

Now, good things can still happen if they don’t make the playoffs. A lot of good things already have happened. For me, though, there has to be a playoff berth to consider 2018 a truly successful season.

Ed says: Thanks, Howard! You raise a point that I’ve been trying to make. The guys the Giants cut were let go for a reason. The Giants were 3-13 a year ago, which means they didn’t have really good players.

As of now, Romeo Okwara (Detroit Lions) is the only ex-Giant released since Saturday to land on a 53-man roster. Davis Webb (New York Jets), Robert Thomas (Buffalo Bills), Andrew Adams (Philadelphia Eagles) are on practice squads. That’s it.

Teams are not exactly tripping over themselves to get at the players the Giants are parting with. That should tell you something.

Ed says: Well, maybe they think they don’t need one. Remember, the Giants are going to spend most of their time in a two-tight end set this season, probably with Evan Engram functioning as a pseudo-third wide receiver.

There is also the matter of money. Plus, do you really want Dez? I mean, c’mon! The Giants don’t need to deal with that.

Remember, too, that the three reserve wide receivers — Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard and Kaelin Clay — are all critical members of the special teams units. Latimer will return kickoffs and be on coverage teams. Clay will return punts. Shepard is an outstanding gunner and terrific blocker on returns. That’s important.

There is too much obsession about the third wide receiver. Three-wide is no longer the Giants base package. Let’s move on.