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Big Blue View mailbag: Jabrill Peppers, cornerback questions, more

The mail’s here!

The New York Giants continue to get ready for the 2020 NFL season, and fans continue to have questions about what they will ultimately look like. Let’s open the Big Blue View Mailbag and see what help we can offer today.

Ed says: Chris, I don’t know about “Peppers love.” The New Jersey writers pay a lot of attention to him because he was a New Jersey high school superstar, so he gets written about a lot. There has been some attention to the fact that he cross-trained at cornerback while working out on his own this offseason.

The guy is a good player the Giants are invested in, and want to make maximum use of. Some have asked the question of whether or not he could help them at cornerback, that’s all.

The rest of your “question” sounds more like a cheap shot at Patrick Graham. It’s not true that Graham couldn’t figure out how to use Minkah Fitzpatrick. What is true is that he wanted to use Fitzpatrick in a variety of roles, and that Fitzpatrick balked. My $.02 is Fitzpatrick used that as an excuse to get off a bad team and force his way to a good one.

Paul Miller asks: I really like the way the online is coming together, despite the center position still not settled. I believe that an improved online keeps the defense rested and off the field longer. While I won’t be happy with another losing record I still think they will be a much improved team. How did time of possession play out last year and does a time of possession advantage generally produce more wins?

Ed says: Paul, time of possession is generally not a stat analytics-minded people give a lot of weight. Fact is, teams that win more than they lose will generally do well in time of possession for the simple reason that they are winning, and at the end of games they are just handing the ball off to keep the clock running. So, time of possession doesn’t necessarily produce wins. Winning tends to produce advantages in time of possession.

For what it’s worth, the Giants were 30th in time of possession last season. They had a bad defense and lost 12 games, so that makes sense. The top six teams in time of possession (Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans, New England, San Francisco, Green Bay) all made the playoffs. That makes sense, too. They played a lot of keep-away at the end of games.

Ed says: Fancy, how much is there to really say? We have profiled Levine Toilolo. Analyzed the tight end position the best we could. Written about how the offense might be tight end-heavy.

He could play a lot. We don’t know. We haven’t seen a single practice snap this year. There is just nothing for us to go on to speculate any more about what his role might be.

Bruce Frazer asks: Of all the corners currently on the team as of today, (Friday) who is your best pick to take the #2 corner position.

Ed says: Corey Ballentine. I think he’s the favorite. The kid was mis-cast in the slot a season ago. I think the Giants were desperate for a slot guy and wanted Ballentine to play, so they tried to make the switch. It didn’t work. Ballentine has good size, speed and athleticism for the position. Coming from Washburn I just thought he needed time and the draft-day shooting that injured him and killed his friend and teammate set him back. As a pure boundary cornerback I think he has more upside than any other cornerback on the roster outside of James Bradberry.