4) Defensive secondary: Devastated by the injury to Terrell Thomas, that seems to have impacted the entire unit, the Giant’s are hearing the claxons blaring, sending an urgent message of “All hands on deck”! But will that be enough? Aaron Ross is the weak link and opponents are aware of this, as Ross has been burned on numerous occasions. Cory Webster, perhaps trying to do too much to make up for the loss of Thomas, has been inconsistent, at best. Can anybody in the secondary cover someone? Yes, a more consistent pass rush will aid the secondary but no front four can be expected to exert pressure on every passing down and with the uncertainties that surround the secondary, it is not sensible to blitz on every down. The Giant’s corners and safeties must do a better job containing receivers for the team to have any chance of success. Playing off the line by 15 yards, allowing receivers to get to any spot they wish, is not going to cut it. If the end of last year and the start of this year is any indication of the effectiveness of the secondary, it just may be a long season. Perry Fewell must up his game, insuring that players are in the ideal position on the field on every play. And should a pass be completed, the tackle must be executed with felonious intent, limiting yards after catch to a negligible number. Understanding the limitations of the current roster, in the defensive backfield, backfield coaches Peter Giunta along with David Merritt must instill in the players an imperative to punish the receivers each and every time they make a catch. What the secondary may lack in overall skills and athleticism may be made up for by unrelenting physical play.
5) Management/Coaching: Loss prevention is a primary duty of upper
management in today’s professional football league. Prior to the opening kickoff in pre-season, the dearth of free agent signings, coupled with the release of proven players, suggested a recipe for disaster should any front line players go down. Well, after the season ending injuries of no less than 16 players, including players expected to make sizable contributions such as CB Terrell Thomas, LB Jonathan Goff, LB Clint Sintim, CB Brian Witherspoon, and rookie DT Marvin Austin (torn pectoral), the Giants are indeed on the icy precipice, looking down into the dark abyss of mediocrity. Was Jerry Reese remiss in his duties during the turbulent lockout/off-season or is he prescient, seeing in unproven players a potential that the rest of us are blind to? And Tom Coughlin, the 65 year old senior citizen and almost Catholic Seminarian, thrust into a crises situation due to the avalanche of injuries, now compelled to teach a collection of youngsters and hopefuls how to win in the uber-competitive National Football League. The hallmark of a good coach is his ability to adapt and improvise based on the talent he is given. I have little doubt that Coughlin is a good football coach but will he distinguish himself as a great coach by elevating this undermanned team to contenders’ status? Potential was once defined as “yet unrealized success”. The Giants have potential but success may not come.