While it seems like it was forever ago (Giants fans have since been dealing with rapid fire Plaxico incident, otherwise referred to as the “shot through the thigh heard round the world,” in addition to the rapid decline of a once stout defensive unit), the G-men are a mere two years removed from the spoils of hoisting the Lombardi trophy.
Clearly, since shocking the world by defeating the previously undefeated (16-0) New England Patriots, we have suffered through Giant letdowns in 2009 and 2010. Tom Coughlin, seemingly re-energized and validated after the Giant Super Bowl run, is back on the hot seat as we enter the 2010 off-season. Jerry Reese is no longer a candidate for sainthood (after the free agent shopping spree in 2009 failed to deliver any results on the football field). In fairness to Reese, Michael Boley and Chris Canty had no previous injury history when the ink dried on their respective mega-deals (Canty received a signing bonus of $17 million or so while Boley pocketed a cool $11 million for his signing bonus). But Reese does deserve a Giant lashing for the Rocky Bernard signing (is it too late to ask Rocky to pay back his signing bonus on the basis of fraud?).
What do the Colts and Saints have in common? Offenses that utilize all of their weapons and defenses that are more opportunistic than dominant. I am not saying that the G-men forgo efforts at fortifying the depth and star power on defense (there is an obvious need for an impact defensive tackle, a new middle linebacker, and a play-making safety). The league has moved towards a more offensive dominated approach (and playing in a division with big play threats (see DeSean Jackson and Miles Austin) dictates that the defense must improve, especially against the pass.
Hence, in our initial mock draft, I have the G-men snatching big Dan Williams at defensive tackle (and I am also very intrigued by DT Brian Price out of UCLA). But, I would not be surprised to see the Giants add a multi-dimensional threat in the first round like C.J. Spiller of Clemson or Dexter McCluster of Ole Miss in Round 2. While the Giants boast a young receiving core that has the potential to be among the best in the NFL (Smith/Nicks/Manningham), adding a home-run threat out of the backfield and on special teams can only help take the pressure off of Eli and back on to opposing defenses. Not to be a downer, but the Giants also face legitimate questions on the offensive line, where Chris Snee is the only starter under the thirty years of age, but we will address the Giants offensive line on another morning. Stay well Giants fans!