The New York Giants – Solid Defence in 2010

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Since the New York Giants play in the NFC East, which is without a doubt the toughest division in football, one might think that having a .500 record would be satisfactory. Nobody at the Meadowlands is satisfied – not the coaches, not the players, and certainly not the fans. Unfortunately for them, it seems as if off-season moves have set up the Giants to have more of the same.

Quarterback consistency: Eli Manning, who seems to have always been in the shadow of big brother Peyton, has played well consistently for the Giants. After early-career instances of bad decisions, he now plays like an established veteran, and is clearly the leader of this team. The Giants made a nice pick-up at the quarterback position, picking up unrestricted free agent Riley Skinner from Wake Forest University. Skinner will be an able back-up; he set 17 offensive records at Wake, and is athletic and smart.

If it ain’t broke…: The NFC East boasts traditional-style teams, with solid defenses. The Giants’ defense in 2009 finished the year 13th overall, a little above the middle of the pack. They gave up about 325 yards per game. This was clearly not satisfactory, and the Giants fired their defensive coordinator, and hired Perry Fewell in that position. By all accounts from mini-camp, Fewell is a firebrand; he is running around the defense like they are all teenagers, yelling at them to “play until the whistle”, even if the play is on the other side of the field, and to “run to get the ball” at the end of the play. His enthusiasm will carry over to the sidelines. He will be coaching from there this season, rather than from the box.

If it IS broke…: The running back corps looks like a M*A*S*H unit. Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Andre Brown are all rehabbing injuries from last season. They have to be healthy and ready to go at the beginning of the year, or it could be a long season for the G-men.

Booorrrring!!!: For Giants fans, who flock to the NFL draft during April every year, this had to be the most boring draft ever. The top pick for them was Jason Paul Pierre out of South Florida. This looked to be a fairly solid pick at defensive end, but he pulled up the first day of mini-camp with a sore back. He says this is due to a lack of conditioning. Uh-oh. The next four rounds, the Giants braintrust selected little known players to shore up the defense – Linval Joseph at defensive tackle, Chad Jones at strong safety, and Phillip Dillard at inside linebacker. WHO???

The early schedule does not look bad for the Giants. They play have home games against Carolina, Tennessee, Chicago, and Detroit and away games at Indianapolis, Houston, and Dallas. It looks like wins at home and losses on the road, for a 4-3 record going into their bye week. The key to the rest of the season is whether the team can stay healthy at critical positions.

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