“It’s only preseason” echoes from the rafters every August. It’s a mixture of excitement because football is back. The other half is slight apathy because the preseason is basically extended tryouts and predictions to see who moves on the depth charts.
Andre Brown, who had a breakout year last season, was expected to be a 1-A running back for the Giants. With Ahmad Bradshaw gone, the Giants 2012 1st round pick David Wilson is going to manage a bulk of the carries. Brown’s strength is being a 3rd down and goal line back. Unfortunately, in the Giants’ final preseason game vs. Patriots last night, Brown re-injured his leg.
In what’s being reported as a fracture, the Giants haven’t released a definitive timetable or expectation for Brown’s return. The Giants also lost a pivotal player on the defensive end; safety Stevie Brown. His torn ACL is season-ending.
If you follow the Giants, then you know that season after season, the primary weakness has been its secondary. The last few years, we’ve consistently watched Corey Webster get beat. Aaron Ross has already committed 2 penalties in the preseason alone. At 31 and 30 respectively, they’re just not what they used to be. Some of the other top tier teams in the NFC, mainly New Orleans, Atlanta, and San Francisco have upgraded their depth at CB/S/DB. Stevie Brown, Tyler Sash, Will Hill, and Jayron Hosley are supposed to give some depth as a younger, quicker secondary. However, the Giants haven’t been able to get consistent results from this younger core; primarily due to injuries.
As cuts begin to reach the final 53 man roster, I look at some of the offseason acquisitions and the draftees as to who will make the best fits at the respective positions. Assuming Andre Brown is going to be out at least 5-6 games, it would appear that Da’Rell Scott becomes the #2 back. He hasn’t played much at all since the Giants drafted him due to the Giants having been stacked at RB. It’ll be interesting to see how Scott does and if there will be any competition between him and rookie Michael Cox.
At the WR position, the Giants have yet to have a guy step up as a #3-A wideout. Rueben Randle has clearly taken over the #3 receiver spot. Both Ramses Barden and Jerrel Jernigan have had opportunities to make a statement in the preseason. Neither of them did much of anything to warrant excitement. So for the sake of the season, let’s hope that Hakeem Nicks has a max contract type of year as Cruz did.
On defense, I love the Cullen Jenkins, Dan Connor, and Ryan Mundy acquisitions. Mundy, especially, can drop back and play his usual strong safety position as opposed to the free safety that Stevie Brown is. As with any defense in football, making big plays will fall in the hands of the veterans. These are all pretty solid vets to have leading the starting units, along with the familiar faces.
Based on the 2013 schedule, I can see the Giants going 8-8. That’s familiar territory for this squad and certainly a plausible record. Thoughts? How’s your teams looking as we approach the official start of #footballback?