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Big Blue View mailbag: Quarterback stuff, NYG offense, and a punting question

The mail’s here!

Let’s open the Big Blue View Mailbag and see what New York Giants questions we can answer in advance of a Week 14 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Edwin Gommers asks: Let’s assume for a second that in the upcoming draft the Giants are looking for a QB. As you’ve covered the Giants for a long time, based on what they’ve done at the position over the years and what the organization might look for in a QB, who do you think are the Top 3 QBs on their board in order of preference?

Ed says: Edwin, you have a first-time GM and a first-time head coach. I don’t think anything the Giants have ever done at the position in the past makes any difference at all. These are new people who have never had to make this decision before.

I have no idea right now how they would rank quarterbacks in the draft class. The common top three are C.J. Stroud of Ohio State, Bryce Young of Alabama and Will Levis of Kentucky — and I have not studied any of them deeply.

Draft analysts love the traits of Levis, and considering the fact that Daboll and Schoen were part of an organization that had a lot of success with a “traits” quarterback in Buffalo — Josh Allen — maybe that’s a factor. Anthony Richardson of Florida is another developmental “traits” quarterback.

We don’t even know yet if QB will be at the top of their list. It’s way too early.

Douglas Mollin asks: I think the whole feel of the season would be different if we lost to the Titans and Ravens, and beat Detroit and Washington.

We wouldn’t have seen the dramatic 6-1 start and fans expectations would have been “wow, the Giants are really playing tough this season, it’s great to be invested in December games again!”

The record would have been:

0-1, 1-1, 1-2, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3, 4-3, 4-4, 5-4, 6-4, 6-5, 7-5

Pretty much where we are now, just without the streaks.

Given the injuries, the overall roster to begin with and the two-year transition from 2021 to 2024, that kind of 7-5 season would have everyone quite happy I’m thinking.

Ed says: Doug, you didn’t really ask a question but your statement allows me to reiterate a point of my own.

However, the Giants got to 7-4-1 doesn’t really matter. Few people gave them a legitimate chance to be a true playoff contender with five games left in the season. They are not a perfect team — far from it. We know that. We knew that at the start of the year — they have a lot of work to do to build the roster.

They are playing meaningful December football, and whether they make it to the playoffs or not that’s a step in the right direction. Giants fans should be happy, and excited, about being in the hunt.

ctscan asks: Hi Ed, ugly loss Sunday. It really felt to me like I was watching Jason Garrett have Barkley run on first down with predictable regularity and results. Am I crazy or is this offense getting less creative an interesting by the week? At this point, don’t we just have to let Jones do what he can through the air with the players we have and try and set up the the run with the pass a little bit more?

Ed says: Well, first of all it was not a loss. It was a tie.

As to the question, though, I truly don’t think the Giants are doing anything differently on offense now than they have done all season. From the beginning they have been run first, control the clock, pass the ball cautiously on their terms and take a very occasional deep shot. That has never changed.

What has changed is that they are not being as efficient. Oh, and they have lost games instead of won them and that makes it look — and feel — worse. They have had attrition at wide receiver. They lost their only decent tight end for several weeks. They have started a different offensive line for the last five weeks.

The Giants have had a few games where they came out throwing to try and get the defense off Saquon Barkley — and the end result was many people wondering why they forget about Barkley.

All in all, it’s the results that have changed. Not the way the Giants are trying to play.

Jerry Hand asks: Why don’t punters ever try for the coffin corner anymore? It seems everyone thinks they can back the ball up once it hits, but that only seems to happen about half the time with the other half resulting in a touch back from rolling into the end zone. What are your thoughts?

Ed says: Jerry, the traditional “coffin corner” kick is a difficult one to execute. Not a lot of punters have done that exceptionally well.

Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey was actually asked why punters nowadays don’t angle the ball out of bounds more often. Maybe the best thing for me to do now is let him answer your question. Here is what he said

“That’s a hard skill. That is a really, really hard skill. I guarantee if you poll every special teams coach and if you could limit their ability to return the ball and punt out of bounds, they’d want to do it. But it’s just hard. Because that’s what we want to do: We want to be able to punt the ball out of bounds. But it’s not an easy skill to do. The last guy that was here that was really good at it was (former punter) Jeff Feagles. You got to realize that by the time you all saw Jeff Feagles [as a giant] he was in year 17, 18, 19, 20. And he had been doing it his whole career. It’s not an easy skill, but you see a lot of power punters. These guys are bigger, stronger and faster than Jeff was; and Jeff will be the first one to tell you. These are some big, strong guys. You look at Jamie [Gillan] – Jamie’s a big, strong human being. A lot of people like to punt for power now, and they just surround their team with speed. And now you can flip the field and really affect field position. So, it’s kind of a different game than it was in the ‘90s and early 2000s than it is now.”

What teams prefer to do now is hang the ball high in the middle of the field down around the 10-yard line and use their speed players to try and surround it to catch it or play the bounce. Just a different way of trying to obtain that same result.

Taj Siddiqi asks: If Wink can copy and use the defensive alignment or scheme utilized by the Bengals DC against Patrick Mahomes could that have a better chance of containing Eagles offense or we don’t have the horses to execute such defense?

Ed says: Taj, I appreciate your enthusiasm but it doesn’t work like that.

First of all, I don’t know what that scheme or plan was. I didn’t watch that that game. The Bengals aren’t the Giants and the Eagles are not the Kansas City Chiefs. Vastly different personnel with different styles and different schemes.

The Giants are what they are. Wink Martindale will bring pressure, try to confuse or overwhelm Eagles blockers and create free runners.

The Eagles can run it. They can throw it. They can create explosive plays. They have a terrific offensive line. No matter what the Giants do, defending them won’t be easy.

Jeff Newman asks: Hey Ed, I have an outside the box idea for you. What if Joe Schoen pulls a Dave Gettleman with Jones and/or Barkley and signs them to trade them? I’m not saying that I would do that, but it could really jump start the rebuild. He could trade for some young core players or a haul of draft picks. Maybe enough draft capital to go after one of the top QBs if he loves one. Is this even remotely possible and what might the trade/hall look like for one or both of those players?

Ed says: Seriously, Jeff?

If the Giants were going to trade Saquon Barkley they would have done it last offseason. Or, at the trade deadline. I actually advocated that approach before this season started, but sign and trade now seems like a far-fetched, at best, idea.

As for Daniel Jones, who is going to give up a “haul of draft picks” for him?

Not to mention if you sign them first, you are probably giving them some guaranteed money in the form of signing bonuses that you would still be on the hook for even after you trade them away. So, that doesn’t make sense.

Back when the Giants made the Odell Beckham trade they did that because as an organization they felt they had to.