The 2014 NY Giants season starts with training camp, which begins with its first practice tomorrow. Two big news items hit in the past 24 hours: (1) Snee is retiring and (2) Wilson is completely cleared to practice and play football.
Chris Snee’s body simply wore down before his desire. While Snee was ready to fight another campaign, his hips and elbow were unable to answer the call. Snee was a class act who helped the Giants collect two titles. It is difficult to overstate the 10 years of star play that Snee brought to this organization. He is precisely what you get when you draft an interior OLman early in Round 2 of the draft- a reliable contributor who is a staple of the team. He will be remembered as one of the best Giants of the past generation.
Onto this season, Snee’s exit makes the OL one larger question mark. Jerry is slotted as the RG, but Mosley is also going to compete for the position. Jerry is a poor run blocker. At Center, Round 2 Draft pick Weston Richburg will compete vs JD Walton. One is a rookie, the other is trying to reclaim good form attained in 2012. At LT, Beatty is an enigma, with everyone asking if the Giants get the 2012 or the 2013 version. He is also recovering from an injury that kept him out of OTAs.
Wilson’s upgraded status at RB is a positive. The Giants new Offensive Coordinator will use Wilson more effectively than his predecessor.
The Giants do not have a starting TE.
Beason is now the only player on the PUP list.
Who generates a consistent pass rush this season for the Gmen? Is it JPP? Moore? If either delivers anything close to their twitter proclamations, 2014 will be a good year for the defense. If not, then the Secondary will be alone out there.
Eli and the offense is learning a new system. It will take time to gel.
With so many additions of first line free agents, this NY Giants blog asks aloud- how quickly can these new teammates bond so that they will sacrifice themselves physically for one another? The difference between good teams and championship teams is not very much. Football is about suffering. Every player plays through a certain amount of pain during a season. Will Jennings run through a wall for his new teammates? Will DRC run through a wall for his new teammates? Will Giant veterans suffer for all of their new teammates to the degree they will need to to win a title?
Between a new coordinator, so many new free agent acquisitions, so many injuries and so many player question marks coming into 2014, we have to be balanced about our enthusiasm for this season. THERE IS SO MUCH POTENTIAL. And yet there are so many unknowns. If the Giants are able to make it to the playoffs, anything is possible. We are bullish on the talent of the roster. We are very positive on the scheme that has been depicted by McAdoo. Yet we are cautious on the season because good things take time to come together. In 2007, Spagnoulo’s new defense came together in time for a great playoff run. So anything is possible. We eagerly await the early signs from training camp about the progress made by individual players and collective team accomplishments. During most seasons, we generally caution drawing any conclusions until the first 3 regular season games. Because of the new offense, we believe that it will take anywhere from 8 to 16 games to be able to comment in fairness to all of the coaches and players.
For those Giants fans with Super Bowl XLIX dreams, here is the script: JPP has a great season and reclaims his form from 2011. Moore emerges as a terrific young pass rusher. Beason playcalls and leads on the field. DRC follows Rolle into veteran excellence. Prince and DRC becomes a terrific set of bookend CBs. Thurmond does a solid job in the slot. The defense becomes a Top 5 unit, buying the offense time to find itself. Holliday helps the team with terrific field position. Offensive mistakes cost the team victories but by the end of the season they have enough wins to make the playoffs. Beatty reclaims his form. Between Walton and Richburg, one of them rises up to the task by season’s end. Schwartz and Pugh ascend to become excellent linemen. Eli and McAdoo are now making small ball magic. Wilson, Jennings, Randle and Cruz are threats. OBJ helps the offense by the end of his rookie year. Anything becomes possible.
Let’s not get too far ahead of reality. So many things need to fall into place. Enjoy the ride.