The New York Giants are back to practice today. It is, however, still a gorgeous summer Sunday. That makes it a nice time for some reflection. Thus, a ‘Valentine’s Views’ with some thoughts on where things stand with the Giants after one preseason game.
It seems like the entire world, at least “world” as defined by NFL analysts and the Twitter-verse, went completely bananas over Daniel Jones’ impressive 5-for-5 with a touchdown pass debut Thursday night.
The Hall of Fame stuff, the he’s the best quarterback in the rookie class stuff, the he absolutely has to start Week 1 because Eli Manning made one questionable play stuff is all an overreaction.
Jones will throw incomplete passes and interceptions. He will fumble. He will have bad games. He will struggle, just like all quarterbacks do at some point.
Enough Jones talk, though. I really want to get to Dexter Lawrence. Just like the reaction Jones’ debut has been over the top, some of the negativity about Lawrence’s debut vs. the Jets is also an overreaction.
Consider this in the Big Blue View Twitter feed:
Can the Giants please realize that ACC defensive players (DL & LB) are not that good. The Giants have not had any luck in the last 10 years on that side of the ball. I want to give Lawrence a chance, but what I saw was not very good. Even if it was just 6 plays.— MikeLarry (@M1524L) August 10, 2019
There was also quite a debate about Lawrence in one of the comment threads here.
If you’re off the deep end because Lawrence didn’t get on the stat sheet in six measly snaps, I’ll use a Pat Shurmur-ism to describe what I think here.
“Slow your roll.”
Lawrence, the 17th overall pick, didn’t have a dominant debut. So what? It was six plays. Five of which came in a vanilla 4-2-5 nickel and only one in the 3-4 base they are expected to play. Several of the plays were quick throws where not much could be expected of a defensive tackle.
Just relax. Wait for a bigger sample size. Like a whole season. Then, we will see what kind of player Lawrence can — or can’t — be.
I keep overlooking veteran linebacker Nathan Stupar when I make 53-man roster projections. I might end up regretting that. Stupar is to the defense what wide receiver Russell Shepard is to the Giants’ offense. He doesn’t give the Giants a whole lot as a defender, much like Shepard isn’t really a key player on offense. He does, however, give the Giants a lot on special teams and in the locker room. Those last two things might be enough to earn Stupa, 30, a second season with the Giants.
During his conference call on Friday, I asked coach Pat Shurmur to assess the play of his young, untested secondary. I liked his answer, especially this part:
“... it was a mixed bag with a positive for those guys. I thought they all took steps forward.”
Maybe I liked the answer because Shurmur appeared to see it the way I saw it. Some good, some bad, overall a positive first step for the Giants in the development of a group of players they are banking heavily on for 2019.
- First-round pick DeAndre Baker got hit with a 26-yard pass interference penalty in the second quarter when he didn’t get his head around in time. The good news was he appeared to be in position on the play. More good news? That’s really all he gave up the entire night, other than one 5-yard completion in 34 snaps.
- Julian Love gave up a touchdown pass on a rub route on the first series of the game, but played well overall. He helped force a fumble and had a pass breakup in 49 valuable snaps for a young man learning two positions.
- Corey Ballentine dropped the first kickoff he had a chance to return. He showed his explosive speed on the second, returning it 40 yards. He missed a tackle but made three others, one on special teams. He got penalized for pass interference on a deep ball, then played the second one thrown in his direction better and intercepted it. He got better as the night went on, which is what you want to see.
There were mistakes, as Chris pointed out in his excellent film study. Overall, though, I thought there were some encouraging signs.
Offensive line depth
I remain concerned about this. Beyond Spencer Pulley I’m not thrilled about a single one of the Giants’ remaining options for filling out the depth chart here. And you know that there will be injuries, whether they be devastating season-long ones or short-term ones. The Giants will be one of many teams hunting for offensive line depth as teams trim their rosters. Let’s hope Dave Gettleman can find some.
A reminder about comments
You may notice in the comments that a couple of folks have received the ban-hammer. Just a quick piece of advice for everyone:
If you are going to have an opinion, which you are entitled to, understand that others will disagree with it. You can’t get offended or insulted, and then start name-calling and being incredulous that people can disagree with you. Make your point. Let others make theirs. Then leave it alone.
There is one other thing that will automatically get you run off. Do not ever impugn my integrity or the integrity of anyone who writes for this site. I try to align this site with the best, most professional people possible. I ask for professionalism and as much objectivity as possible from them, and expect the same from myself.
If you can’t respect that, there are other places for you.