The weather in the northeast has started to turn more spring like, and yesterday was the first day that the thermometer broke 80. Giants360 had a photo shoot session, getting prepared for an exciting, new venture that will be announced before the draft. This morning, we checked the mailbox, and found it chock full of excellent questions from the 360 faithful. You asked, and now, we answer, a time honored tradition that provides our favorite column of the week.
On to your questions…
The Real Rainman [@raygt40] asks: Are the Giants really satisfied with Justin Pugh at right tackle? I see Brandon Scherff as a Pugh clone and believe we need a true right tackle.
Giants360: Publicly, the Giants have said Pugh is their man at right tackle and won’t be moving inside, but their flirtation with draft prospects suited to play the position says they are open to reconfiguring the offensive line. Pugh struggled in some games last season, most notably, the Sunday Night massacre in Philadelphia, where he surrendered four sacks, and that did not go unnoticed by the Giants brass.
I’ve come full circle on Scherff. He is the most complete and pro ready lineman in the draft. Pairing him with Pugh will form a wall on the right side of the Giants offensive line that will power the running game and protect Eli Manning until the end of his career. Pairing two linemen very strong on technique will result in the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. No other lineman at pick 9 is as ready to step into the starting lineup as Scherff, and if he’s there, Jerry Reese should write his name on the card.
Charlie G [@g68_charlie] asks: How good can Steve Spagnuolo make the Giants defense in 2015? Overall Rank?
Giants360: When Spagnuolo came to the Giants in 2007, he improved their defense from the 25th ranked in 2006 to the 11th ranked in 2007. However, that team had a lot more talent than the squad he in inheriting this time around. Taking over the 29th ranked defense presents a challenge for Spagnuolo, especially because the run defense was a pitiful 30th in the league and the Giants face two of the best running teams in the NFL within their own division, the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. Now for some good news… the Giants defense gets a boost with players returning from injury.
If Jon Beason, Prince Amukamara, Jason Pierre-Paul, Trumaine McBride, Robert Ayers, Devon Kennard, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, among others, enjoy better health in 2015, it bodes will for the Giants defense improving. I expect the Giants defense to rank between 10th and 16th in the NFL in total yards under Spagnuolo, with the run defense ranking in the top half of the league, and the pass defense in the top 10.
Matt Hill [@hillgiants56] asks: Can we please consider a quarterback in the draft just in case Eli Manning has another interception party? I’m tired of the Giants not making the playoffs
Giants360: The Giants have one of the better backup quarterback situations in the NFL with Ryan Nassib backing up Eli Manning. He has shown development in the past two seasons and appears capable to stepping in and providing capable quarterback play if something were to happen to Eli Manning. Manning’s 2013 interceptions were a function of an offensive line that fell apart and used double digit starting configurations in 16 games. As his protection broke down, Manning pressed, made poor decisions, and interceptions results. Last season, with his one truly bad game, at Metlife Stadium against the San Francisco Forty-Niners aside, Manning threw just 9 interceptions in 15 games. Ben McAdoo’s offense seems to suit him.
All Giants fans, including co-owner John Mara, share your frustration in the lack of Giants post season appearances of late. Their best change to make it in 2015 is using their draft picks to infuse the defense with young talent for returning defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to mold. Taking another quarterback with two capable signal callers on their roster would be a wasted pick, depriving them of a player who could be a potential difference maker on defense.
Tom Skypek [@TomSkypek] asks: How many years of quality production do you think Eli Manning has left?
Giants360: Using his brother, Peyton as a guide, Manning has at least 3, and as many as 6, productive seasons left in the NFL. He has excellent work habits, keeps himself in optimal condition, and the Giants have put in an offense designed to minimize the number of hits he absorbs in a season. All are designed to lengthen Manning’s career, and keep him in Giants blue for as long as possible.
While Manning has has some frustrating moment, keep these names in mind: Dave Brown, Danny Kanell, Kent Graham, Kerry Collins, Jesse Palmer. They are the quarterbacks that started games for the Giants between Phil Simms and Manning. I’d like to see him in the lineup for as long as possible and believe he and Tom Coughlin have at least one more Super Bowl run in them.
Alshon [AlshonJordon23] asks: Can you please checkout my friend’s highlight tape. He is a free safety/quarterback, goes to RIU, and wants to play for the New York Giants. Highlight Tape
Giants360: Norvel Stewart was the best athlete on the field in the highlights that were presented on that 12 minute tape. I was most impressed with his ability to avoid tacklers and break open into space when carrying the ball. He also showed an ability to gain separation when running pass patterns. Stewart also has a nose for the ball and could avoid blockers when playing defense. All are skills which will help him succeed in the next level. Wide receiver appears to be his best position, and that’s how he comes up in a Google search – in several highlights, he split defenders, caught the ball seamlessly, and took it to the house.
My advice for Mr. Stewart: Listen to your coaches, they will give you advice intended to make your game better. Ask questions, A lot of them. It’s how you will learn about the game and understand things that aren’t clear at first. Study film. Pro coaches are always impressed by players that put in extra work studying their opponents. And most importantly, if you are fortunate enough to have a scholarship to RIU, take advantage of it and earn a degree. It’s a great opportunity that’s being presented to you, and a fall back plan, in case professional football doesn’t plan out. It will also put you in the best possible position to succeed when your professional career ends. Don’t pass it up, go to class, study, and get that degree. That will also impress the Giants coaches. It will also make your family happy.
Best of luck in at RIU and in your Giants dream, Norvel. Giants360 is rooting for you.
Jeffrey [@Keg_dogg] asks: May I please have a pair of tickets?
Giants360: I have no intention of giving mine up, but I do recommend TiqIQ if you are looking to purchase tickets. They are a look for the best deals from among other ticket services. If I am looking to sell my tickets to a game, I will tweet it out and allow interested parties to express interest, and then draw a name out of a hat, it’s only fair to the following. If you are also a Facebook follower, you will probably get two entries in the drawing, giving you better odds, NBA lottery style. So, if you haven’t done so already, go like our Facebook page now. What are you waiting for? Click the dang link!!
That ends our mailbag for the this week, time to go outside for a quick run and enjoy the cool spring morning before tomorrow’s predicted monsoon. Thank you to those who participated, and thanks for reading.
Giants360. All Giants. All Year Round.