From the desk of: My Giants Blog is yet un-named. Maybe by Opening Day I'll think of one.
NEW YORK GIANTS FOOTBALL: The Cold-Hearted Tentacles of Life in the NFL Have Reached Out and Touched Two Giant Greats.
With the Lock-Out officially lifted and an agreement in place, I think I join many fans in a mass feeling of dismay. Yea, we got Football back. But every body's situation is a complete mess with little time to fix it. But in the NFL, he who adjusts best, wins.
Everything I say about the Giants in this post, I must preface by saying - I am an unabashed supporter of GM Jerry Reese; (until further notice). So whether I like his decisions or not, I support and trust his judgement (until further notice). So, let's get on with this because after all, it's still only July.
We Giant Fans knew our Offensive Line needed an overhaul. The units' great stretch together has run it's course. And well, Jerry Reese said it was time to break them up. In what can be a cold-hearted League at times, perhaps this shake-up comes a year too late as the Giants for the most part, have always been classy about their long-time employees. But make no mistake, when it comes time to make a move, the organization moves.
Slated to be released will be long time Center, and as far as I'm concerned a Giants' All-Time great; Shaun O'Hara. He, and who I think is/was equally great, Rich Seubert, will both be released this summer. Admittedly, the Offensive Line has been ravaged by injuries these last few years. O'Hara only managed six games last season and Rich Seubert's battles with injuries are, if anything, inspiring.
The O-Line's incredible record setting consecutive games played streak which coincided with the Giants' last Super Bowl run, is unfortunately now an ever-distancing memory. Time stands still for no-one; and cruel more so to Offensive Linemen. Yet these two have defied the odds of Football longevity. It was additionally heart-breaking to watch Rich Seubert go down the way he did last year in the last game of the season. He stepped in to start at Center in place of O'Hara and served as the core of the O-Line; keeping the Giants' running game rumbling throughout the season. It's a hard way to end careers (maybe). But then everything in the NFL is.
The Giants have made some preliminary moves. Shane Andrews; decimated by injuries; also will not return. They tentatively signed free-agent; David Baas; C/G from San Francisco. He's twenty-nine years old. David Diehl will also be switching positions again. And it appears as if Will Beatty will be given every opportunity to win a job on the O-Line.
As the Offensive Line goes, so goes the Running Game. I am extremely pleased to hear Brandon Jacobs is open to restructuring his contract. Coach Coughlin made the (un)enviable, but all too late admission, that he and Coach Gilbride misused Jacobs last season; something I screamed my head off about. They left off saying they would run Jacobs considerably more this (2011) season. That was then. In the NFL, things always change. But I for one am interested to see if both Coach Coughlin and Gilbride remember what they said.
Being open to restructuring his contract is probably the only way the Giants can retain Brandon's Little Buddy and Partner in Grind; Ahmad Bradshaw. And I for one, want him back in a big way. I know he's somewhat injury prone, but he's at the same time durable and resilient. He also suffers from Worst Case Scenario Fumblitis, but I'll take my chances with him hoping to correct that part of his game. Retaining Ahmad Bradshaw is high on my list of things to do.
What isn't so high on my list is Plaxico Burress. This one is fairly easy for me to hash out. Would I welcome him back? Yep. Hey.., if he and Eli can rekindle some of that magic again...sure. Does the thought of him paired up with Michael Vick in Philly make the hairs on the back of your head tingle with anxiety? Me too.
The Receiving Corps. has already moved on and readjusted to life after Plax. So in the scheme of things, Plaxico would be entering camp as a supplementary player until he earns different considerations in the offensive plan. Steve Smith, a free agent, also throws a wrench into the spokes regarding possible Giant needs.
As far as Plax clashing with Coach Coughlin's discipline again? Plax recently said things were better between them when Coach implemented the Leadership Counsel, and pointed out how the relationship between them deteriorated after Coach disbanded it. Frankly, who knows if they can get along if reunited. They (Plax and Coach) are reportedly having a meeting today to discuss a possible reunion. Who knows if and how jail changed Plax's frame of mind. But because the Giants are not dependent (per se) on Plax, he'll exist initially as a spare part in search of a larger role. That, perhaps will humble him more than jail might have. The Giants stand to gain much and lose very little taking a chance on Plax because he's no longer part of the plan....if you get what I'm saying. Keeping him out of Philly might also run through their minds....but how do the Giants afford that in the (resumed) Cap Era?
It's a mute point right now because Osi is throwing a sissy-fit over his contract and supposed promises Jerry Reese might have made in the way of redoing his deal. He is now a potential hold-out if the Giants don't re-work his contract or trade him. Strictly speaking as a fan here, don't you just hate when your favorite players take this tact with your team? But that's the Old School in me talking; isn't it? I've heard along the way trading him for a Number Two or Three Draft Pick. I'm not listening to that! Just get a deal done. And someone please advise Osi to clam up and conduct his business more privately.
I'm glad the Giants struck a deal to keep Mathias Kiwanuka. I'm hopeful for health and a considerable up-tick in his game this season. But I'm sorry to see Barry Cofield leave Big Blue. The memory of that hit on Tom Brady to close out the Super Bowl will last a long time. As a free agent, he received his market value from the rival Redskins. He became too expensive to retain here.
Are you ready for some Football? Uh...right now, this is a bit too much in July for my tastes. But this will no doubt be one of the most interesting summers in recent Football history...for every body.