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New York Giants Among “Toughest Teams to Read” Heading into Training Camp

July 16th, 2014 at 11:00 AM
By Dan Benton

The 2014 New York Giants are going to look drastically different than the 2013 New York Giants, but will major overhauls and personnel changes yield different results? At this stage of the game, it's almost impossible to tell. And when you factor in veteran players coming off of injury plagued seasons, a new offensive system and the ever-constant pressure of New York, it makes any sort of predicting a straight-up crapshoot.

It's for that reason several NFL Network experts, including Dan Hanzus, have listed Big Blue as one of the league's "toughest teams to read" entering training camp.

If anybody tells you they know what to expect from the New York Giants this season, they're lying liars with deep character flaws. Big Blue is the NFC's true wild card. An 11-5 finish wouldn't shock me; then again, neither would a 5-11 campaign.

Much of this goes back to Eli Manning, who is easily the most unpredictable quarterback of his generation. Manning has some nice weapons — including first-round pick Odell Beckham at receiver — and the defense will be better, especially that retooled secondary. But Eli is the key. How he adapts to the scheme implemented by new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo will be the major subplot to watch.

Although many like to pinpoint Eli Manning's 2013 campaign as a measuring stick for what may or may not occur in 2014, others believe the overall uncertainty goes much deeper. In fact, Hanzus' colleague, Charley Casserly, believes Manning, along with head coach Tom Coughlin, are two of the Giants' only sure things entering 2014. It's pretty much everything and everyone else that is a big question mark.

Of the many teams that could be put in this category, I'd vote for the New York Giants, who seemingly have made more changes than any other squad in the NFL. With proven Super Bowl winners Tom Coughlin at head coach and Eli Manning at quarterback, they have the two most important components of a championship team in place. But there are also many serious questions that must be answered.

The offensive staff has been almost completely turned over. How will Manning adjust to the new scheme? Will the offensive line — especially Will Beatty — be better? What kind of impact can rookie Odell Beckham Jr. have as a receiver/kick returner? Do the Giants have a tight end? What about their running game? As for the defense, can end Jason Pierre-Paul resume his Pro Bowl ways? How will the line perform without Justin Tuck and Linval Joseph? What will be the impact of veteran leader Jon Beason's offseason injury?

As much as fans would love to hear "the Giants have done a great job and are poised to turn it around," quite a bit of uncertainty does remain. On paper — and with some health — the Giants do appear to be extremely talent. But then again, they also do. The reality however, is that the team has made an extraordinary number of changes from a season ago and there really is no way to tell what to expect.

If they gel in training camp and avoid catastrophic injury, we believe the chances are pretty good that they'll return to their winning ways. But whether or not that happens is what we're all waiting to see. A glimpse into that future will come next Tuesday when the team conducts their very first training camp practice of the new year.

Also…

Seeing your team play in the SuperBowl is priceless. Watching the SuperBowl live in the stands for $1 per week is beyond priceless. Find out how at TicketScore.com, the future of Championship Tickets. Tags: Ben McAdoo, Eli Manning, Football, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jon Beason, Justin Tuck, Linval Joseph, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin, Will Beatty

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3 Responses to “New York Giants Among “Toughest Teams to Read” Heading into Training Camp”

  1.  GOAT56 says:

    If we got production out of Ballard/Pascoe after Boss left then I’m just not concerned about TE. Myers was a bad fit for how we use TEs and probably was overrated from his stats.

    This team has questions but I like the the different answers we have at most of the positions. If Snee can’t go we have Mosley, Richberg, Jerry all as good options. Beatty only has Brown or the drastic move of Pugh so Beatty is one of our most pivotal players that needs to bounce back.

  2.  Krow says:

    I think we’ll get our usual production from the TE slot. But that’s not what we’re after. We need a TE that’s threatening. Someone they have to plan for. Someone who takes a bit of the heat off the rest of the offense.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    I just don’t see this team as that unpredictable, barring injury.

    C’mon, does anyone REALLY think Eli Manning is suddenly a bad quarterback? Certainly not the 24-28 teams that would rather start the season with him than whomever they have under center.

    Assuming Mario Manningham is healthy 18 months after surgery, has everyone forgotten that he is at LEAST a high-quality third wide receiver and fully capable of being a #2 receiver? That means that we have at least four proven or very promising wide receivers. We’ll just need ONE of them beyond the sure-thing Victor Cruz to play really well in order to have a good passing game, and I think we should have at least two of them prove perfectly good enough.

    Stop already with the “Who knows if our offensive line will be better?” garbage. You have to be kidding. Even if Beatty remains putrid, the collection of bums we put out there last season couldn’t hold the jocks of the group we will field in 2014, of which at the very least the right tackle, center, and left guard should be very good so Eli will be able to step up in the pocket now (he couldn’t last year) and runners will see some gaps between the tackles (they didn’t last year).

    Shut up with that “Oh, we’ll so miss Tuck and Joseph” refrain. That’s bull. The former was “okay” last season but hardly dominant. We may miss his leadership but the combination of Kiwi, Ayres and Moore should give us BETTER play than we got from the captain last year. As for Joseph, yes, he was pretty good (not great, but pretty good). But I’ll happily depend upon a younger, better, player who so dominated the middle at Michigan State that offenses stopped running between the tackles and then came in as a rookie and put up numbers that were actually better than Joseph’s in admittedly less time (the ONLY question about Hankins is whether he will be able to sustain it through 16 games and the playoffs, but at his size and with his quickness, he should). And does anyone believe JPP will continue to play as indifferently as he did when injured?

    I don’t even have to talk about the linebackers. They’re light years better than what we’ve had at any time in Coughlin’s reign.

    Defensive backfield? Perhaps the best in the NFL when you look at the entire depth chart.

    Running backs? Well, I understand the disagreement but think the doubters are dead wrong. We have a very solid #1 back and two others who are potentially superstars in the NFL, and a second-year guy who may develop into something.

    So the questions come down to tight end and left tackle. No way to predict either except to say that Brown may be a journeyman but I’d bet he can play WAY better than what we got from Beatty last year (and, hopefully, Beatty comes back strong and gets to where he was in 2012, which was slightly above average and therefore more than good enough). As for the TEs, we hear Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin saying they like what they see. Nothing’s proved until the pads are on, but I’ll take their confidence ahead of fans’ or media’s doubts.

    Just as an added fillip, the special teams should be pretty good this season, as opposed to horrid last year.

    From where I’m sitting, those changes plus the defenestration of Gilbride and hiring of McAdoo sounds like at least three more wins. That really lousy team last season won 7 games. We’ll be battling the Eagles for the NFC East title this season, and I like our chances for taking it with 10 wins. Injuries could hurt, but we DO have as much depth on this team as they’ve had in a long, long, time.

    So I don’t see them as so hard to read. The more you look, and the closer you look, the better it gets.

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