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Are New York Giants Really Facing a Rebuild or Just a Refinement: Part I, Offense

January 5th, 2014 at 11:00 AM
By Jen Polashock

No, it isn’t this easy. If it were, every team would be a playoff candidate right out of their training camp gates. There are however, folks that are debating the overhaul or enhance query for blue. While many studs demanded complete cleaning of house right up to general manager Jerry Reese, is it absolutely detrimental to the progression of the New York Football Giants?

With running back Brandon Jacobs retiring, the Giants currently have 22 UFA (Unrestricted Free Agents) and only five of them are RFA (Restricted Free Agents). Again, there clearly is a lot of contractual work to be done this offseason, but that was known before the season tanked. 12 free agents are on the troubled offense, with fullback Henry Hynoski being one of three offensive RFA. Since we have begun with offense, we’ll continue there.

The most obligatory area of “rebuilding” is on that offensive line. Yes, the one that was in its 16th game and 8th transition when quarterback Eli Manning fell to injury. That, in and of itself, was a miracle. You realize that, right? However, before moving on, some questions need to be answered about players: is veteran lineman David Diehl indeed going to leave the team he loves for retirement? How healthy are some of the other trench men who have higher cap hits for 2014 (like guard Chris Snee, center David Baas)? What should be done with free agents Jim Cordle and Kevin Boothe? Do you keep guys like Dallas Reynolds (Exclusive Rights Free Agent) around? Trust the future to Brandon Mosley and Eric Herman? Keep Beatty (full price), move him and now second year Justin Pugh? Do the New York Giants draft high again for that side of the trench or hit the free agency market hard?

Yeah. It isn’t so cut and dry, but it isn’t a blast project either. Whatever the plan is for this area, it’s either already in place or shifts for it to be in place are on their way.

That offensive line and its woes had several components. Injuries are never a team’s ally, but two positions help it: tight ends and running backs. The Giants had consistency at neither position.

First, tight ends: Bear Pascoe (an UFA), Brandon Myers (insert your personal feelings here), Larry Donnell, and the oft-injured/never stays on the field Adrien Robinson. Not exactly a fearsome bunch that is seen as that any-given-down threat in the center of the field. They definitely need a big-time playmaker as well as security blanket here. As for running backs, first-string tailback David Wilson is a roster asterisk. His name may as well (unfortunately) be written in pencil as his spinal situation has yet to produce a definite answer for the team’s forward progress. The last two running backs to finish out a game were Andre Brown and Peyton Hillis and they are both — you guessed it — UFA. Nothing solid here yet!

The last skill position on offense is on that was in the news just about every day last off-season: wide receiver. With slot receiver Victor Cruz locked up (with a contract), that leaves Rueben Randle, entering his 3rd season, end-of-season spark Jerrel Jernigan, and a wishy-washy Hakeem Nicks who may as well worked himself out and be counting himself out of blue at this point in free agency time. Remaining are receivers UFA Louis Murphy, Jr. and Julian Talley … really.

Okay, so the offensive side of the ball may be more “rebuild”. Defense (to come later) should be (as of now) more “refine.” Either way, head coach Tom Coughlin is ready.

"How do you get complacent when you've been up on a mountain,” he said on WFAN Friday. “You want to get back up there."

photo credit: Marianne O'Leary via photopin cc


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Tags: Andre Brown, Chris Snee, David Baas, David Wilson, Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Jerrel Jernigan, Jerry Reese, Justin Pugh, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz

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77 Responses to “Are New York Giants Really Facing a Rebuild or Just a Refinement: Part I, Offense”

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  1.  Andre Holland says:

    Shouldn’t the title read “rebuild” and not “rebuilt?” I’ve seen quite a few grammatical and spelling errors lately.

  2.  Chad Eldred says:

    Isn’t the title of the piece in need of proofreading? Yeah, I’m being that guy.

    I don’t believe in “rebuilding.” It’s a euphemism that crappy teams use instead of telling the truth. The truth being that they know they suck and really don’t care all that much about putting in the time, money and effort into not sucking. Let’s not be the Bills of today or the Lions of pretty much the last century.

  3.  Valid says:

    We play in the NFC East and went 7-3 over our last 10 games, regardless of how mediocre we looked in doing so.

    The Cowboys aren’t getting any better (although I do think they’re our biggest threat next year), the Redskins are a mess and I still maintain that the Eagles were merely a product of good fortune this year and will come crashing back down to earth next season.

    The Giants just need to get a little healthier and make the right offseason moves. Of course, the latter is not necessarily an easy task, but Reese has done it before. I have faith he can do it again.

    All we really need is some work along our offensive line, and I think we’ll be back to being a good team again. Fortunately, the defense is very solid and is one or two pieces away from being dominant.

    •  Blueandwhiteforever says:

      Exept that offensive line needs about four starters, depending on how Beatty’s injury turns out. Not to mention a good blocking tight end.

  4.  James Stoll says:

    Valid. Whoa there compadre. We are not playing just to be masters of our horrendous division.
    And let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that making it to the tournament gives you as a good a chance to compete as anyone else
    We stink to high heaven right now
    We have 3 quality offensive players right now — Eli, Cruz and Pugh — and about 6 on defense — Beason, Hill, Rolle, Amakamura, Jenkins and maybe Tuck or JPP depending on health and being re-signed. That’s it. No depth to handle injury. No offensive line at all. No certain 1st or 2d wide receiver. No healthy dynamic option at RB. No place kicker. No special teams. Lousy defensive coaching. Who knows what we get as an OC (although very excited to find out). Same lousy head coach. Same questionable GM.
    The team flat out stinks

    Stinks stinks stinks stinks.
    We don’t get better because our most immediate neighbors stink as well

    We have to strive for more.

    •  Valid says:

      Our defense was 8th in the league this year. Don’t try and tell me that we don’t have quality players across the board on that side of the football.

      We will be better offensively next year. Reese will hopefully address the line which will give Eli PLENTY of more time to throw the football to what has the potential to be a VERY good receiving corps if Nicks re-signs and stays healthy (obviously a big “if,” but I still feel like we’ll be solid in that area with or without Nicks).

      Are you also seriously trying to tell me that Cruz isn’t a certain No. 1 or No. 2 receiver?

      Sorry that I don’t share the same pansy-a$$ attitude on the outlook of the team that 95 percent of his board shares nowadays, but I just saw a 2-14 Chiefs team make the playoffs the following year and a 4-12 Eagles team win the division.

      This team isn’t NEARLY as far off as most of you think.

  5.  skinnydoogan says:

    I agree with Kujo on something, the Eagles are more than a” flash in the pan” they are a few good player away from being even better, not good for us.

  6.  nick86 says:

    As much as it pains me to say the giant should be taking a page from the Eagles playbook.

    The Eagles did two things this year that led to their success. #1 they retooled the OL through the draft and getting Peters back who in my opinion is the best LT in the NFL when healthy. #2 they don’t turn the ball over. pretty simple…yeah McCoy and Jackson are explosive but the rest of that offense doesn’t strike fear into opposing defenses.

    Pretty simple for the Gmen on offense- draft an OL or two high in the draft and bring in atleast one quality FA. Eli needs to work extensively with these WRs during the offseason, which I think will happen after this embarrassing season.

  7.  GOAT56 says:

    Krow – Don’t know what you’re talking about with DC. DC is one of the most inclusive places in the county.

    Fewell wasn’t just a minority candidate, they interviewed Caldwell as well so he’s more than just that. I doubt he gets the job but I think the redskins are trying to get a full view of what people think about RG3. Smart move by the redskins.

    Philly doesn’t scare me going forward as a power but they will be a threat. My gut tells me Foles isn’t that guy as a QB but it’s too early to write him off. I think what people miss is that the reason why Kelly’s offense is successful is the lack of possession. If they try to slow things down that takes away a lot of how they are putting defenses on their toes. Philly isn’t overly talented, Kelly got the most out of that group.

  8.  stuh says:

    Valid….Our defense was 8th against back up QB’s. What did they do against real QB’s. If the Redskins hire Fewell and that isn’t happening. It won’t be a great loss. This team needs a real overhauling. Starting with the OC and O Line. They need a running back and another WR Nicks is not a no. 1. A Healthy JPP another LB. They must sign Beason, Tuck and Rolle and dump Bass, Snee, Webster and Meyer. A lot has to do with the coaching changes that are made.

    •  nick86 says:

      Nicks WAS a #1 until injuries slowed him down. the way hes playing now…more like a #3. a disinterested #3

  9.  GOAT56 says:

    As an optimist I must point out we are more rebuilding. Maybe a rebuild on the fly but still rebuild. Our offense will likely have at least 4-5 new starters from opening day 2013. We are changing OCs and it looks like several position coaches as well. We are rebuilding our offense. Our defense is refinement because we do have the major pieces in play and just really need role players. Our special teams needs new coaching and at least a new PR. If Wilson can just return as a KR and quality part time RB he can be a huge addition.

    The OL is clearly the center of what needs to be fixed. A lot of suggestions have drastic fixes but that is just not our way. Beatty if healthy will start. Pugh will start. I don’t like a rookie starting at LT because I don’t think he’s a given to improve our LT play from his season. If not Beatty at LT to me the best option would be Pugh. Unlike many I see Pugh as a tackle due to his feet. Pass protection is key. We can help out one tackle but not both. I don’t think we go into next year without Snee, Diehl and Bass that’s a ton of experience lost. I do think Snee and Diehl retire but Bass returns. We sign a free agent guard he, Brewer, Mosley and a high rookie draft pick compete for the two guard spots. I think our draft pick will also have the flexibility to move to guard.

  10.  Krow says:

    If you just look at the needs across the various units …

    OL … 2 starters and 1depth
    WR … 1 starter or depth
    TE … 1 starter
    RB … 1 or 2 players depending on Wilson

    DL … solid
    LB … 1 starter
    DB … 1 starting corner and 1 depth corner

    In addition a punt returner and a gunner on specials.

    That’s like 10 guys … not impossible to do in one year, but damn difficult.

    Therefore it’s a rebuild.

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