NEW YORK – Yesterday was a good day to be a Giants fan. The Mike Francesa Show did their annual broadcast from Giants training camp. This is one of the better shows for Giants fans because we get to hear from everyone including owner John Mara, GM Jerry Reese, Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning and a ton of other players. Although the practices are being held at the Timex Performance Center this year, Mr. Mara confirmed that the team will head to Albany next year to honor their agreement. This has been a hectic week for Big Blue and the team continues to make roster adjustments as the season nears. One of the biggest re-signings this week was S Deon Grant. Fans fell in love with Grant over his no nonsense approach to the game and veteran leadership. The Giants defensive backfield must look like a dangerous minefield to opposing offenses with all of the talent back there. I’m glad we don’t have to play against them.
I have a question for you. What do you do when your special teams have been atrocious for the past two seasons (2009, 2010) and look horrible in their first preseason game of 2011? You eliminate special teams from the game by signing a kickoff specialist that will boot the ball through the endzone and make opposing offenses start on their twenty yard line. Brilliant! Fans were scratching their heads when the G-Men signed a kicker this week, who doesn’t kick FG’s. Yes, you heard me right. K Rhys Lloyd was signed to help the Giants in the special teams department. Lloyd (5’11” 230 pounds) comes to Big Blue from the Carolina Panthers and is known for being a specialist that averages about 67 yards per kickoff. With the rule changes to kickoffs this year that state teams must kick from the 35 yard line, you can see what the team is trying to do. Replacing K Lawrence Tynes isn’t a bad idea but Lloyd has never kicked a regular season NFL FG, so it looks like he will be strictly a special teams weapon for kickoffs. It would be worth keeping Lloyd on the final 53 man roster simply because of how bad the special teams group has played. His roster spot is justified and I think he will be a welcome upgrade to the sloppy play as of late.
The Giants also cut S Cary Harris and WR Samuel Giguere this week, clearing up some roster space for other signings. The tight end position could be a real problem this season. The team might be better off just getting a blocking tight end until they are able to find one that can fit the traditional mold. The Giants did sign veteran TE Daniel Coats (6’3″ 264 pounds) last week and since he only has 30 catches in four NFL seasons, perhaps they intend to use him as that blocker I’m talking about. TE Jake Ballard and TE Travis Beckum should compete for the pass catching TE role. Another big move this week was the return of DE Osi Umenyiora to practice. The Giants need Osi on the team and I’m glad he was able to stick it out this year and honor his current contract. If Umenyiora has another season like he did last year, it will be impossible not to pay him what he is asking for. The guy deserves to be paid according to his on-field production. The Giants will play the Bears next on Monday night in the Meadowlands at 8 P.M.
Are you starting to feel more comfortable with the direction the Giants are headed in for 2011?
RD – nygreporter
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