Giants Plan Begins to Take Shape, Roster Moves Continue

August 18, 2011

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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2011 New York Giants Wide Receiver Group

February 16, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants wide receiver group is one of the bright spots on the team. Along with being one of the bright spots of the team, it could also become a headache for the team. The reason is simple and it is the same question the team must answer every single year. Which six WR’s will be on the roster at the beginning of the season. The G-Men are solid with the starters that include WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Steve Smith and WR Mario Manningham. Those three guys will be on the team for sure. The problems begin to arise after the three starters. In a pool of talented young WR’s, who the heck do you keep on the team?

I expect a lot of people to have their own opinions about this subject and I respect them all. I can only give my perspective on what the Giants will do and who deserves to remain on the teams final roster. I expect one or two will end up on the practice squad if they cannot find employment elsewhere. The one thing that is blatantly clear to me now, is the fact that the New York Giants receivers are big guys. Not one of them are below 5’11” and the tallest guy is a whopping 6’6″. Sinorice Moss is no longer with the team and now the chatter has begun about bringing back Plaxico Burress. Burress coming back to the Giants is a possibility but highly unlikely. I wouldn’t mind seeing the team give him a league minimum contract for a year or two but I’m not sure how Coughlin wold feel about it.

Things are going to be very interesting for GM Jerry Reese this off season, that is of course assuming there will be a 2011 NFL season after the CBA talks. Recent reports say that the talks are not going very well at all. This is something that has fans ripping their hair out and wondering when the greed will end for an industry that makes about 10 billion dollars a year.

But enough about that, let’s take a look at the wide receivers currently on the New York Giants roster and remember this list could change due to trades or any other transactions in the near future.

2011 New York Giants Wide Receivers as of 2-16-11

1. Hakeem Nicks, 6’1″ 215 pounds – Nicks has separated himself from the pack to become the No.1 WR for Big Blue. If not for a injury in 2010 that caused him to miss three games, he would have made the pro bowl in my opinion. Look for him to make the pro bowl this year if he can stay fully healthy for the entire season. This man is a superstar.

2. Steve Smith, 5’11” 195 pounds – Mr. Smith ended the 2010 NFL season on the IR list and missed a total of seven games. This was a huge blow to the team and something fans do not want to experience again. The team and fans have come to depend on Smith in a big way and things were not the same without him. He is also QB Eli Manning’s favorite safety valve.

3. Mario Manningham, 5’11” 185 pounds – Super Mario has been improving each and every year since he arrived in New York. He put together a very nice 2010 season and finished 2nd on the team for WR’s. He was forced to miss two games due to injury but who hasn’t on the Giants the past two seasons. Manningham is arguably the best No.3 WR in the NFL.

4. Ramses Barden, 6’6″ 227 pounds – Fans are hoping that Barden has grasped the Giants playbook while he was sidelined for thirteen games and finished the year on the IR list. Now all he has to do is perform on the field. This guy was praised as the replacement for Plaxico Burress when he arrived. I think it was more because of his height then his talent. That is a lot of pressure to put on a rookie and he didn’t deserve it. Still, the time has come to perform.

5. Domenik Hixon, 6’2″ 182 pounds – Hixon did not play in a single game in 2010 and was put on the IR list (seems like a trend now I bet) during training camp. This really hurt the Giants return game on special teams and also eliminated a big target WR in special passing situations. He will be back in 2011 and the fans will be thankful for that.

6. Victor Cruz, 6’1″ 200 pounds – This kid was lightning in a bottle during the preseason and had fans sitting on the edge of their seats. He is a local kid from Jersey who made the most of his opportunity and landed a roster spot. Unfortunately, he landed on season ending IR list and did not get to shine in the regular season. If the Giants were to cut him, he would be picked up by another team the very same day. He has the aura of a playmaker.

7. Derek Hagan, 6’2″ 215 pounds – After the WR group was clearly decimated by injuries, as you have been reading, the G-Men called on an old friend to come back and help the team out. Hagan did a pretty good job for the seven games he was with the team. He finished 6th on the team at WR, despite not playing for half of the season.

8. Duke Calhoun, 6’4″ 205 pounds – Calhoun played in six games for the Giants but did not get the ball thrown to him very much. Almost not at all actually. He finished with 1 reception for 4 yards in 2010.

9. Michael Clayton, 6’4″ 215 pounds – Clayton was brought in for the same reason Hagan was, the team needed depth at WR. And like Calhoun, Clayton didn’t see the ball but one time for 19 yards.

10. Devin Thomas, 6’2″ 218 pounds – Once again, Thomas is a player that was brought in for depth after the rash of injuries crushed the WR corps.

11. Todd Watkins, 6’3″ 195 pounds- This guy was added to the reserve future list and is a complete question mark.

12. Samuel Giguere, 5’11” 215 pounds – This guy was added to the reserve future list and has seen limited playing time in the NFL.

13. Plaxico Burress, 6’5″ 230 pounds – This is clearly a wild card and something that fans have been talking about recently, now that his release date is close. Reports have come out that say Burress has been working out five days a week and looks in great shape. Will the Giants be persuaded into giving him another shot with the team? I don’t know but I think the man deserves another chance now that he has paid his debt to society.

If you had to pick only six of the above WR’s, who would you keep on the roster?

RD – nygreporter.com

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