Justin Tuck Salutes The Crowd
2012 OFFENSIVE PREVIEW:
NEW YORK GIANTS FOOTBALL: Coach Perry Fewell Has A Greater Challenge On His Hands This Season. And Of Course, The Defense Must Stay Healthy.
We pick up where we left off. The Secondary is in trouble. Coach Perry Fewell will have to be just a tad bit more creative this season than last. From bad to worse, Prince Amukamara has a high ankle sprain. Aaron Ross left town taking some very valuable experience and leadership with him. And Terrell Thomas is out for the season...again.
Last season, Perry Fewell switched the Secondary off, then back on again. If it seemed the Giants were routinely giving up thirty-plus points through the air, that because they were. Then word leaked out through the Air Defense Corp themselves that Coach's newly implemented zone schemes confused the hell out of them. When Coach scrubbed his idea and went back to more conventional methods, Corey Webster and Aaron Ross played shutdown football the rest of the way. Those two had a great run together. But that is now officially the past.
While Prince Amukamara heals, the Giants have a choice. Do they go with an experienced Michael Coe? Or was rookie Jeyron Hosely's pre-season good enough to warrant a few games at corner? There is always Justin Tyron. But if pressed to pick someone, I'd kindly ask Michael Coe to please stand up.
Expect teams to pick on the corners right away. That means others need to pick up the slack. Antrel Rolle never really found favor with me before. But I admit now, he proved me wrong. With the Secondary in its current state, Antrel Rolle is now invaluable. He not only played hurt last season, he demanded his team mates put their injuries aside, and get their posteriors on the field as well. That turned out to be a bigger moment in the season than we initially thought. Something about that clicked in Justin Tuck's head too, and away the Giants went. Additionally, Antrel stepped in, and covered the slot receivers of the league, while never feeling comfortable doing it. If Antrel's partner, Kenny Phillips, is going to be All Pro like some once projected him to be, this would be the season to step up and get it done. He is a fifth year player now. So with that, come higher expectations for him.
On the next defensive front, if the Giants linebackers stay healthier than last season; namely Michael Boley; the Giants should hold up much better during the meat portion of their schedule. Those are the games Boley missed last season; see the 49ers game. Right out of the box, Jonathan Goff and Clint Sintim both went belly up and never contributed.
This year, I have high hopes however, for second year Jacquian Williams. I liked him a lot last season. With Michael Boley on the field mentoring him, he played very well for a rookie. And where the hell would the Giants have been without Chase Blackburn last season? But having him, also shows the G-Men are a little thin at this position. All the same, it's nice to see him back. Greg Jones and Spencer Paysinger, like J-Will, are second year players, but in my opinion, have a little more to prove. I believe Keith Rivers will surprise a lot of Giants fans, and quickly move up the depth charts if he can adapt to playing left, middle, as well as right. I think there is still an ongoing tryout for middle linebacker. It will take much on Rivers part to convince Coach Coughlin to start him over Blackburn. I wouldn't rule it out though..., just not to begin the season.
Somewhere between being a linebacker and a defensive lineman is the Hybrid; Mathias Kiwanuka. The guy is a freak isn't he? And he finally seems to have injuries under control. I want you to say this out loud - Matthias Kiwanuka - JPP - Osi Umenyiora - Justin Tuck. They are like the Four Blue Men of the Apocalypse. Chilling..., isn't it?
If anyone is going to help make the Secondary better, it's going to be these guys. Where would the Giants have been had Jason Pierre Paul not carried the defense on his back for a significant portion of the regular season? Your answer is - with the Jets. He kept things going while Osi and Tucks ailed and required time to heal. The Jets game and Dallas game wouldn't have even mattered if not for JPP. It is only appropriate then, JPP blocked Dallas' last ditch field goal attempt in last year's regular season finale. It goes without saying, as Osi and Tuck go, so go the Giants. When they are hurt, the Giants suffer greatly. Lastly, please, please - I can't allow myself to get excited about rookie Adewale Ojomo yet.
But while I'm at it, defensive tackle has suffered ever since Barry Cofield left. Chris Canty going down is a big blow. Linval Joseph is a three year guy now. And for the moment, left tackle is his to keep or lose. I'm not sure about him. Just as I believe teams will pick on our corners, I also believe teams will try to run right up the middle on us. Teams figured that out about the Giants too late last season. Once Michael Boley returned healthy to plug the gaps, that notion kind of went away. After a decade-plus of service, Rocky Bernard is also being depended upon to plug the tackle spot. I do not like the Giants depth at tackle at all. Although Marvin Austin can change my mind.
Let's wrap this up with Coach Perry Fewell. Did he prove anything last season? Do you like him now? Are we collectively over Steve Spagnuolo now? I'll say this about Perry Fewell regarding last season. He contended with a lot of injuries to his unit, and proved himself to be very adaptable. He was deceptive in his packages, but clearly not as devious as Spags was. But Perry is his own man, and overall he ran a tight ship. Bottom line, Perry was deceptive enough to win a Super Bowl. But he had veteran leadership from Tuck, Osi, Webster, and Aaron Ross to help get it done. Coach Fewell will have a greater challenge on his hands this season.