As OTA’s get started and training camp right around the corner, what are the keys to watch for this season? For the Giants to get a playoff birth and make another run at the title they will need to fill the holes of outgoing players and upgrade at a few other areas.
1. Who will be the Victor Cruz of 2012? When Steve Smith departing last offseason there was a huge question mark at the WR position. Thankfully out of virtually no where Cruz emerged and had a monster season finishing behind only Calvin Johnson in recieving yards in the NFC. With Mario Manningham gone to the left coast and now a question mark on Hakeem Nicks season the WR position has yet again become a problem area. So, who will step up? As of now we have Cruz, Domenik Hixon coming off injury, and rookie Rueban Randle as the likely top 3. After that it’s Ramses Bardan and Jerrel Jernigan both of which have yet to show any promise. Hopefully Nicks can return to form by week 4 or 5.
2. The linebacker position seems to be the opposite of last year at this time. With Chase Blackburn being re-signed and emerging as a force in the middle and the signing of Keith Rivers from Cincinnati really will solidify the LB corp with Boley and Kiwi flipping between LB and End. And the experience that Williams, Jones and Herzlich gained last year filling in now makes this a strength and no longer the weak link of the defense.
3. The running game had an extremely lack luster year in 2011. Being non existent for most of the year only emerging in the latter part of the regular season and the playoffs, mainly due to the respect for Eli and fear of the big play, needs to be better. With Jacobs joining Manningham in SF and DJ Ware and Da’rel Scott showing very little last season it was clear that Bradshaw would need help. The Giants turned to the Draft and picked David Wilson. With Bradshaw always fighting injuries from his running style and Wilson being a rookie it would appear the G-Men will probably go to a 3 headed running attack with Bradshaw, Ware and Wilson. But this area will be a question with only 1 back That is battle tested.
4. The Offensive Line had an up and down year in 2011, giving good protection in the passing game and poor run blocking. The one constant on the line has been and will be Chris Snee at right guard. With Kareem McKenzie not being re-signed mean that Will Beatty and James Brewer fighting for right tackle, off season signing Sean Locklear with provide depth. The left side appears it will be David Diehl at LT and Kevin Boothe and Mitch Petreus battling for RG. Petreus would add needed toughness and help for the running game. David Baas had a rough start, but seemed to settle in at the center position nicely.
These questions should be answered by the end of training camp and will be key areas that will need to be solid for the Giants to make another run to the playoffs and possible championship.
Tags: 2012 Ny Giants Keys Ahmad Bradshaw Chase Blackburn Chris Snee Da'rel Scott David Baas David Diehl David Wilson DJ Ware Hakeem Nicks James Brewer Jernigan Keith Rivers Kevin Boothe Mario Manningham. Michael Boley Mark Herzlich Mathias Kiwanuka Mitch Petrus NY Giants Ramses Barden Rueban Randle Victor Cruz Will Beatty