Free agency is winding down and the NFL Draft is fast approaching, in the meantime, let us get up to speed on news about the Super Bowl Champs.
Reserve running back Andre Brown was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. With Brown suspended, Bradshaw banged up, and Ware’s history of concussions, the Giants are thin at yet another position. But this opens up a door for Da’Rel Scott. Last year with the protracted labor lock out, players did not have a structured off season program. This may have affected many rookies especially Scott. Look for Scott to impress this year.
Amani Toomer believes the Giants are going to miss Mario Manningham. “Losing Manningham, that third playmaker,” Toomer said while making an appearance at the opening of the NFL pop-up store in Manhattan. “It’s easy to take two receivers out of the game –- easier –- especially when your running game isn’t going as well as it had been in the past. And the tight end position really isn’t a threat. Now you have to look for someone else to make the plays or get their running game going because there’s going to be a big vacuum there without him.”
Good color by Toomer. With a non-existent running game and decent tight ends, Manningham as the Giants third receiver made the passing attack very formidable. Although Manningham will be missed, Eli Manning was the main reason the Giants won the Super Bowl this season. It is my belief, a quarterback makes a receiver better. So Ramses Barden and Jerrel Jernigan will get their shots at replacing Manningham. As Scott was affected by last year’s compressed off season, WR Jerrel Jernigan was too. If Barden and Jernigan can stay healthy, the Giants will be okay at the third wide receiver position.
Devin Thomas signed with the Bears. Thomas, a second round pick by Washington in the 2008 NFL Draft, has never lived up to expectations. Last season, Thomas was the Giants kick off returner. He finished the season averaging 24.3 yards per return. According to NFL stats provided by FoxSports.com, Thomas with his 24.3 yards per return ranked 41st in the league. This is an area the Giants have to improve on. With Da’Rel Scott expecting a bigger role in the team’s offense, the Giants will select a speedy player in the Draft to improve the kickoff return game.
Safety Stevie Brown is a Giant. His signing means Chad Jones will not be playing anytime soon. Two years ago, the Giants drafted Jones. Then Jones was involved in a serious car accident in which he almost lost his leg. Jones, a safety and special teams stand out at LSU, would have helped the Giants in both areas. But his recovery is going to take more time. Let us hope he can make a full comeback in 2013.
Back up defensive end Dave Tollefson will not be returning to the Giants.