It's been a relatively quiet summer for the New York Giants so far. The cold tub incident sure got everyone in a tizzy, but there's not a lot of drama surrounding the team. Heck, even Osi Umenyiora was in camp practicing happily. But, much like Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning, around here we don't mind a lack of tabloid drama…we've got plenty of other things to talk about.
If you're a regular in our comments section, you've probably been a part of the discussion about most of the things we'll talk about. With the biggest preseason audition coming this Friday, it's time to look at how these some of these story lines have unfolded through the first two preseason games and what we'll be looking for the rest of the way. Drop into the comments section to put your two cents in on these story lines, tell us which other one's you've been interested or just to call me an idiot.
Why not start with a guy who might be the most talked non-rookie on the offensive side of the ball this spring and summer. You know things are going smoothly for the defending champs when the biggest issue is whether a fourth-year wide receiver can finally fulfill the potential his size indicates he might have.
Unfortunately, Barden (despite Hakeem Nicks' injury giving him a golden opportunity) still hasn't shown the ability to separate from defenders, be physical or, you know, make plays. G101 nation seems wholeheartedly ready to turn the page on King Ramses and even Barden's longtime apologists (myself included) are starting to find it hard to argue.
Where we go from here: While most around these parts are tired of being teased by Barden's potential and are ready to turn the page on his career as a Giant, it's far from a foregone conclusion. He's got two more preseason opportunities to go off and the Giants are notoriously reticent to give up on draft picks, especially at wide receiver (see: Carter, Tim and Moss, Sinorice). With Nicks' broken foot and the total lack of experience behind Domenik Hixon on the depth chart, no one should be surprised to see Barden play out his rookie contract in blue.
Our take: If Hixon is ahead of Barden on depth chart and Reuben Randle is anywhere close to being game ready, we don't really see a spot for Barden. Isaiah Stanback offers better athleticism and special teams production, and it doesn't sound like anyone's going to be upset if the team takes invests in a youngster like Dan DePalma or David Douglas instead of waiting for Barden another year. My guess is Stanback gets the call: he's a plus special teamer who has the athleticism (and has shown the ability in preseason) to make a play or two if he finds his way onto the offensive field. DePalma and Douglas seem like good practice squad candidates.
We suppose it's natural for there to be so much discussion about a guy who is penciled in as the number two running back, but boy have we been surprised by how polarized the conversation has become. On one hand, some of us see a serviceable if spectacularly unspectacular guy who is a pretty good pass blocker and thus a safe but unexciting 3rd down back who will get 7-10 carries a game to spell Bradshaw. On the other hand, some are ready to run the guy out of town.
While this writer (and I stress "this writer" because I know there's a big difference of opinion among our staff on Ware) tends to side with the first group, there's no doubt that Ware's detractors have legitimate gripes: Ware's neither particularly fast nor physical and he's never, well, done anything exciting in his four years with the team.
Where we go from here: at the end of the day, Ware's tenure as the true number two guy probably depends less on anything DJ Ware does and more on how quickly some of the younger running backs earn their way onto the field. While the Giants trust Ware enough to go into battle with him September 5th, David Wilson wasn't drafted in the first round to sit on the bench for very long and it won't be surprising to see him earn carries early on. Da'Rell Scott also might push for some work as a guy who showed last preseason some serious speed, playmaking ability and now has a full season and offseason under his belt.
Our take: look, while no one is going to get excited about Ware and we'd all certainly love Wilson and Scott to push their way up the depth chart sooner rather then later, the Ware haters might have to chill out a bit. This one, it just is what it is. It takes time to prep young players and the Giants are in a transition phase from the Bradshaw-Jacobs era. In the meantime, it sure could be a lot worse than DJ Ware, right?
Man, oh man. We're not even sure what to say about it anymore. This is a problem that reared its ugly head in 2010, became a full blown crisis in 2011 and shows no signs of letting up after two preseason games in 2012. It's getting hard to watch. Actually, it was hard to watch all last year; now it's turning into a bad joke. Did anyone else just feel hopeless every time the Giants lined up in short yardage last year? And finding yourself on just hoping Eli was going to be throwing on 3rd-and-2 ? As mentioned when we discussed DJ Ware, the Giants have some exciting young options at running back but something's got to give up front for it to matter.
Where do we go from here: Look, there's plenty of reason to hope for improvement: new tight end Martellus Bennet is a plus run blocker, center David Baas is healthy and will have a full offseason with the team for the first time and Will Beatty will hopefully come back from his back problems and settle down the LT position. We're two preseason games from when the games start counting, so this coaching staff and group of guys is going to have to figure out how to make it work.
Our take: It really has been tough to watch and anyone who knows Tom Coughlin knows it pains him more than it does us, but we suppose if it wasn't a big enough problem to derail a Super Bowl run we can't complain too much, right? And we can at least relish in the fact that when Eli's running game was the worst in the league and worst it has ever been for him, he had the best season of his career and carried the team through the playoffs and brought home a Lombardi on the strength of his arm. But that doesn't mean it isn't hard to watch.
At the end of the day, Big Blue finished dead last in team rushing last year…so it can't actually get any worse, can it?
Photo Credit: Mike Gannon
- Be sure to like Giants 101 on Facebook, follow Giants 101 on Twitter & +1 Giants 101 on Google+
- Text "oneteam" to 20222 to donate $10 to the One Team for the Lights charity initiative.
Related VideosReturning Soon!!!!
No related posts.
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/j57