Once again, it's time for our weekly Q&A session. Up this week is Bloguin's own Ultimate NYG. Andrew Furman, the site's lead blogger, was kind enough to answer our questions despite having gone through Hurricane Irene this past weekend and having some rather short notice with the Giants preseason game vs. the Jets being moved back. On the flip side, answering a few questions is the least he could do after Super Bowl XLII.
Sorry, don't ask me why I brought that up.
1. How would you grade the Giants on their draft/free agency?
I would give the Giants a B on their draft. They drafted some good players, but I really felt that they needed to address OL and LB much sooner with Castonzo in R1 and Moch/Wilson in R2. They chose to ignore those two positions and lo and behold, in camp they are forced to move Kiwanuka over to LB and they cut O'Hara, Andrews and Seubert almost immediately. It is nice to live in a bubble and not draft for need, but those players were available and went soon thereafter.
Re Free Agency, everyone who bleeds blue is pretty upset with how Free Agency went. Not for what the Giants did not get, but who they did not keep. Specifically, we refer to Steve Smith as their #1 most reliable pro bowl WR, and second for Kevin Boss as their soft hands TE who can block. Who will the gmen go to on 3rd down when they need to move the sticks? Not to rub it in on your audience, but it was 3rd and 11 on the penultimate offensive play of Super Bowl XLII that Steve Smith moved the sticks. Everyone talks about (/shows the video of) the Plax TD pass, but they gloss over 3rd and 11. GM Reese got back Bradshaw, but negating that also is overpaying for C Baas.
2. Do you think that DE Osi Umenyiora will be a distraction for the rest of the season with his contract?
He says he won't. Add that he got 3-6 weeks off w another (arthroscopic) procedure, and he should be thankful he has a job. Osi deserves more money, but he also got paid in 2008 while out the entire year w/ an injury. Shut up and play.
3. Who will Eli Manning miss more? Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, or Plaxico Burress?
Steve Smith. See (1) above. They would miss Boss plenty if not for the fact that the OC (Kevin Gilbride) does not know what a TE is. Can someone send him the memo? If you think it was a coincidence that two talented TEs at the same position (Shockey and Boss) would ask for/leave the Giants, think again. The OC wastes these assets. If Boss can stay healthy in Oakland, he will be a terrific value for any fantasy football team. Burress may have more in the tank than I estimated, but you just do not need to commit resources to an older WR. WR was not a problem until Steve Smith was allowed to walk.
4. The big injury for the G-Men was the torn ACL to Terrell Thomas. How will the Giants rebound from that at the cornerback position?
That one hurts big time. TT was a solid player for the Giants. Add the injuries to Amukamara, Johnson and Witherspoon and the Gmen are thin at CB. Not that those 3 were going to be worldbeaters in 2011, but they were depth that the Giants no longer enjoy. The irony is that DC Pery Fewell plays a soft Cover 2, so this actually will help mask the deficiencies of a weaker corner. (Shows you what I think of Fewell, who wasted the press and cover abilities of TT in soft Cover 2!)
5. Who is on the hot seat more: Tom Coughlin or Jerry Reese?
Coughlin is. Remember, Reese never hired TC. So Reese will only lose his job when HIS head coach fails, not Ernie Accorsi's. TC got a 1 year tepid extension, not a vote of confidence. TC'd be fired already if he were my HC. His best days are long past.
6. How do you think the Giants will finish this season?
Well, I was trying to wait until all of the preseason games were in the books, but I will let it leak early that I am thinking 7-9. The NFL is such a weak league and everyone will s*ck early, so the Giants will get out of the gate against an easy schedule and win 4 or 5 of the first 7 games. But that will not matter- the last 9 are a very tough set of games, and the Giants can easily lose 6 if not 7 of them. So if you hear the early hype on the Giants, don't buy it. If the Giants finish the first 7 games with 3 or a poor-quality-4 games won, it could get ugly.