Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Giants: what happened to May-July?

Sorry for missing the entire months of May, June and July for any posting activity, but it really was a slow news period for the Giants and in fact for the entire NFL, in what has become nearly a year-round enterprise. April is the draft followed in early May by the rookie minicamps. The offseason conditioning program continues with some OTAs leading up to veteran minicamps in June. Then there is a really slow period of about 3-4 weeks in July until training camp kicks off at the end of the month. The regular season and playoffs go from September to February followed by FA period and draft preparation leading up to the draft in April and the whole cycle starts over again. There has been little news about the Giants until this raining camp period kicked off. It seems like every couple of weeks somebody wrote an article about Osi - one week he's ticked off, the next week he's working hard and happy. At the end of the day, he is under contract and when that happens, the player has little leverage. Especially because the Giants seem to be so deep in the DL, there is little that Osi can do. If he was to have boycotted training camp, the Giants would not pay him and fine him on top of that. That is not a position that any player wants to be in with labor trouble on the horizon and a possible unpaid year in 2011 due to a lockout. I understand he's very proud and he wants to start, but his business sense ruled and he hitched his wagon to the team philosophy and play hard. Matthhias Kiwanuka also considered holding out, but unlike the Giants stadium cotenants, there is a feeling among the players that the Giants are good organization and will take care of their players. For the Jets, the actions around Leon Washington are really resonating in the locker room. Washington outplayed his contract and wanted an extension. He held out (for about 5 minutes, it seemed) then came into camp with the promise from the team that they would take care of him at the proper time. You know the rest - he broke his leg and the Jets cut him. Maybe the Giants would have done the same thing - after all they cut Hixon after an injury - but there's a sense among players that the Giants are honorable and have an almost paternalistic attitude towards their players.

I think there are some significant changes coming in the OL this year. Last year the OL took a step back, largely becasue of injury. But injury comes with age and there is no doubt that the OL is getting a little long in the tooth. Last year, Seubert was injured and had a bad year. MacKenzie also suffered with back and knee problems and did not have a great year. Diehl is a workmanlike LT and is not great to begin with, also slid a little bit. The shifts that the OL coach Flaherty and OC Gilbride are talking about is: if Beatty shows he is a starting LT, he will replace Diehl and Diehl will replace Seubert. However, they could also shift Diehl over to MacKenzie's spot at RT, even though that doesn't seem to be on the radar. The other possibility is (gasp) replacing O'Hara. He was pro bowl player in 2008, but slipped a bit last year. He has an ankle injury that he just can't shake, so maybe Seubert slides in at C. Unlikely... but a thought nonetheless.

Giants are very high on the kid they drafted in the 5th round, Petrus from Arkansas as a G of the future. If so, what's the point of moving Diehl to G, if he is going to move out of that spot next year. Send him straight to RT.

As a post script - Seubert, Diehl and MacKenzie all came into camp in top shape, apparently and are anxious to have a better season (and keep their jobs).