Friday, August 10, 2012

Preseason game 1

Nicks is said to be making progress and should even get a few weeks of preseason practice in before the regular season. starts.

I am really eager to see the RBs perform in the preseason and particularly the opener tonight. Giants have 5 RBs with varying levels of skill and accomplishments on their resume. One thing is certain - Giants have made the transition from the old school big power running game to an emphasis on speed and quickness. It was just a few years ago, in the 2008 season following the 2007 Super Bowl where the primary runners were Jacobs and Derrick Ward. It was a very successful running attack - both runners gained more than 1,000 yards in the season, an impressive accomplishment. While Ward had a little more speed and a slightly different style than Jacobs, neither were speed burners and both would be considered power backs. Bradshaw was the speed guy coming off the bench. He had good contribution in the 2007 playoff run but played sparingly and gained only 350 yards in the 2008 season. Now Bradshaw is the primary ball carrier on the team and is probably considered the tough power back of the group instead of the speed guy he was when he first came to the team. The Giants have added speed to that group with Da'Rel Scott and David Wilson in last two drafts. DJ Ware is kind of a 'tweener - has some strength and not blazing fast but is more of third down finesse player. Not sure if Andre Brown will make the team, but he also is not a big bruiser. The point is that the Giants have consciously made a transition to speed and it shows up at RB.

It also shows up at other spots on the roster, specifically, at LB. They moved away from Antonio Pierce a few years ago, cut Chase Blackburn last year only to re-sign him when injuries caught up with them and even drafted TEs in recent years - Beckum and this year's draftee Adrien Robinson who are more athletic and can run. At LB now, the Giants have gone for speed whereever they can - the trade for Rivers, the acquisitions of Herzlich, J Williams and Greg Jones who are all very athletic players for that position. On the DL - the Giants in JPP, Tuck and Osi certainly have the fastest and probably most athletic group of DEs in the game. At DT, Linval Joseph is really quick for someone so strong and Marvin Austin is extremely quick. Giants are big enough to contend with the power game of opponents, but clearly have made a shift towards speed and quickness throughout their roster.

The RB position is interesting, but the WR competition is also intense. Barden, Jernigan, Hixon and Randle all have something to show in these games. I am really hopeful that Barden and Jernigan step up and contribute. Behind that group are some unheralded players Douglas, DePalma and Talley that have played well incamp and caught the eye of the coaches.

It's interesting - Giants won the Super Bowl last year and got absolutely nothing from their top 3 draft picks. Amukamara was out most of the year and contributed only a little at the very end. Austin was out for the year and Jernigan did not catch a single pass. Contrast that with the 2007 Super Bowl where so many of the draftees played significant roles in the title. Now consider that these 3 first rounders from last year are all healthy, gaining great experience and seem poised to contribute. It's almost as if the Giants have a double draft this year, with 6 first-through-third round players joining the roster.

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