Carl Banks was on WFAN Friday with Roberts and Benigno. Go to the middle (~55% or 60% of the way through) of the audio clip to start listening to the section on the Giants.
Quick summary: Giants should be a playoff team, the back 7 of the defense has the question marks and the upside to determine the fate, good or bad, with the team.
Banks believes the WR issues are overblown. He specifically singled out Nicks and Manningham as having breakout potential.
On Hakeem Nicks: “He’s a fighter now. I like the way he fights back and makes tough plays.”
On Mario Manningam: “Mario Manningham is a guy who Eli Manning HAS to get adjusted to… If you watch Ocho Cinco- the best route runner in football. He gets in and out of cuts great. This Mario Manningham has the potential to be that because he is in and out of his breaks. He is ..starting to run crisp routes, but he’s got quick feet and he runs a screen or an out cut.. ELI HAS TO TRUST THAT THIS KID IS GOING TO BE OUT OF IT. He’s got to throw the ball, can’t wait, because he’ll be behind him.”
On the Linebackers, very positive remarks on Wilkinson IF he can stay on the field. Wilkinson can play all three LBer positions and is MORE ATHLETIC, smart. Especially with Boley still out, who do you want covering the TE or the RB in passing situations? Carl Banks trusts Wilkinson’s speed. The LBers are younger, but they are better than last year.
Xtian correctly remarks that technically speaking, yes, the LBers are not ‘younger’ with Clark and Pierce out there. The assumption here is that Clark is a placeholder and Pierce is slowing down (especially as each season continues).. the very near future of the LBers will be looking something like Sintim/Boley/Wilkinson/Kehl. The Giants need this move toward the younger and less experienced LBers because they have more range.