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New York Giants Sunday Morning Storylines: JPP’s Health Biggest Offseason Key for Big Blue

April 27th, 2014 at 7:00 AM
By Dan Benton

Minute by minute the 2014 NFL Draft draws closer. And while the anxiety may continue to build, the NFL wheel also continues to turn. As such, we briefly step away from NFL Draft-dominant morning storylines and, instead, present a few other New York Giants' options for you to enjoy over your morning coffee.

Healthy Jason Pierre-Paul Could be Best Offseason News for NY Giants

It’s been a long time since Jason Pierre-Paul felt like himself, like the kid who seemed ready to dominate the NFL for years back in 2011. He was still relatively new to football then, and seemingly just scratching the surface with 16½ sacks. That was before his young body began to break down.

It’s taken until now for JPP to feel like he’s finally built his body back up.

If he really has, that might be the best news of the Giants’ entire offseason — better than anything they’ve done in their $116.3 million spending spree. After two years of being hampered by back injuries, after a major back surgery last June, and after battling a shoulder injury for much of 2013, Pierre-Paul — still only 25 — is still potentially the Giants’ best defensive player.

Josh Freeman Ready to Fight for Career with New York Giants

It was difficult not to notice the dynamics at work when the New York Giants met the media for the opening of their offseason workouts this week. Eli Manning and his walking-boot-encased left ankle were put on a podium for his few minutes of questions and answers, requiring a large step down, for which Manning grabbed hold of a backdrop to steady himself as he walked away. For the few steps before he was safely inside again, Manning was greeted by a phalanx of cameras intent on capturing his slowed gait, giving the whole scene the bizarre feel of a perp walk for the athletic trainer set.

That is what happens when there are concerns about the franchise quarterback, of course, a situation that Josh Freeman used to be familiar with. A few minutes after Manning disappeared behind the glass doors, Freeman appeared. He stood off to the side, on the back porch of the Giants' training facility, essentially trying to explain how, in less than one calendar year, he had traveled the very long distance from being the guy who needed a podium to accommodate the attention he attracted to the player the Giants hope nobody even thinks about talking to once training camp starts and Manning and his liberated ankle return to the field.

"Last year, I would never have imagined this happening," Freeman said in a short interview. "I can't put my finger on exactly what happened. It was a frustrating time. You've got to learn to let things go. At this point, just thinking about it is only going to take time away from preparation in the present. I've laid it to rest. As frustrating as it was, it's over."

Eli Manning Revisits Drama of the Draft Day that Changed Giants History

It is 10 years ago to the day when NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue stepped to the podium at the 2004 NFL Draft and announced:

“With the first pick, the San Diego Chargers select quarterback Eli Manning.”

And that is how The Day Eli Manning Became A New York Giant began at the theater at Madison Square Garden.

“I think, in a lot of cases, you’d be thrilled, and you’d be excited to get drafted,” Manning told The Post this week, recalling the moment. “Obviously my circumstances [were] a little different under kind of everything that had happened that week in stating my cause that I didn’t want to go to San Diego. I was just kind of hoping something would work out, and sooner than later — either a trade, or — and didn’t really know how the next few days, next few hours, next few weeks, months, years were going to work out after that.”

Puzzled but Positive, Giants Learn Offense That Has Shades of Green Bay

While the early reviews are based solely on classroom tutelage, there is no doubt the Giants’ offensive unit is in for a considerable philosophical and physical shock.

“My mind’s swimming right now,” said quarterback Eli Manning, who as a lifer in the game is not accustomed to being perplexed in a football setting.

Chris Snee, the 11th-year guard, said: “We’re all trying to wrap our heads around it. The terminology itself is like learning a new language.”

It is much more than mental preparation. The Giants’ offense will appear fundamentally altered. The concepts about what makes a running play successful will be transformed. So will the blocking schemes. On pass plays, the ball will come out of the pocket more quickly. The communication between the quarterback and his receivers — the pivot to considerable success and ample failure in the old offense — is being dismantled and remade.

Also…

Tags: Chris Snee, Eli Manning, Football, Jason Pierre-Paul, Josh Freeman, New York, New York Giants, NFL, San Diego, San Diego Chargers

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7 Responses to “New York Giants Sunday Morning Storylines: JPP’s Health Biggest Offseason Key for Big Blue”

  1.  fanfor55years says:

    I am absolutely on board with Dan’s contention that JPP’s health may be the most important off-season news (although acquiring Schwartz and re-signing Beason give it a run for the money).

    It isn’t just that JPP may be back in beast mode. It’s that if that is the case the other defensive ends get the benefit of that so Moore emerges as a real threat and Kiwi gets the benefit of never seeing a double-team. The added pressure on opposing QBs combined with what looks like the best secondary this team has had in a long time (though the probable loss of Hill is a big blow, Brown should be at least adequate and the rest of the defensive backfield looks pretty incredible) should make an enormous difference on defense.

    That should allow the offense some time to get rolling in the new system and still win enough of the early games to stay competitive.

    So many observers have discounted the Giants because they just assume that JPP was a flash-in-the-pan and that Wilson is damaged and of limited use. I think those observers will be trying to pretend they didn’t say that by the time October rolls around.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Add to the most important off-season news the very adeptly-handled Gilbride defenestration and the hiring of McAdoo.

      I’m loving John Mara these days.

  2.  dremac82 says:

    I hate coffee

  3.  GIANTT says:

    “On pass plays, the ball will come out of the pocket more quickly ”
    I have always wanted (I was going to sat advocated but that sounded too pretentious and besides its Sunday morning and dremac82 hasnt had his coffee substitute yet ) for Gil(choke)bride to dumb down the pass routes and make it a little easier without the too many options which took too long to develop . I was not worried about Eli but more the WRs . How many times on a uncaught ball and/or the INTs did we see Eli walking off and gesticulating what he thought the WR was supposed to be doing ? And more often than not I will bet he was right and the WR screwed up . I know that the offense may take a little time to implement and the players get used to . Im just hoping that the run game will carry things until Eli and the pass catchers get comfortable

  4.  G-MenFan says:

    Now he can get on with being the JPP of JPP’s.

  5.  G-MenFan says:

    If Josh Freeman makes the team and that fact forces the Giants to carry 3 QB’s, do we at this point consider Reese’s 4th round maneuver to draft Nassib another mid-round bust? I don’t use that word very easily, but in this case I’d have to. If by your second year in the league you’re not being trusted to hold a clipboard and wear a baseball cap, you’re a disappointment.

  6.  GIANTT says:

    Just turned on Eli at the march of dimes march for babies . I dont know if hes walking in the walkathon but he did show he was wearing a regular pair of sneakers . He was asked about his surgery and he said that it was a very minor surgery which he would take after 10 years playing in the NFL . The good news is that he seemed to be walking normally already so either he is a quick healer or it was a very minor debridement . Of course it could be a combination of both . But it was a really good sign that he seemed to be back to normal .

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