Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Roster

I have written here a few times about the need to get some S help for this defense. Giants invested in the defensive front and in a CB. To me, it doesn't make sense to expose the back end of the defense with a weak S to undercut the investment elsewhere. Even if they acquire  a young S talent that they think will be good, we don't want him learning on the job. There should be a veteran, solid S to manage things and control things until a new younger player comes along - so goes my logic.  Giants apparently don't completely agree. Word creeping out of NFL team meetings and coaches' meetings is that the Giants feel that they have enough talent at the S position on the current roster so that one of them will emerge as the starter. Between Nat Berhe, Bennett Jackson, Mykelle Thompson and Cooper Taylor, one will step up and show the talent to play. I have no doubt that one or maybe two of them will show more ability and will beat out the others for a starting position. But just because one is better than the others, that doesn't mean that without any NFL experience they will demonstrate the ability to be a starting level quality NFL safety. These players were on the roster last year, and in Berhe's case, the year before that as well. So the Giants did get a good look at them in NFL environment. But they did not play in  an NFL game (again except for a precious few snaps by Berhe) and  there is absolutely no evidence that they can play S at the pro level. The S  position is one of the positions on defense where play is not formulaic - there are reads, instincts and intuition that the S has to rely on to make decisions on where to run, where to give help, whether to charge up and support a run play, drop into pass coverage on a play  fake, give help on the right side or left side, etc. While speed and athleticism are important, experience greatly plays into this decision making, perhaps more than any other position on defense with possible exception of MLB.

Let's hope the Giants are right and one S will emerge as a good quality NFL starter. But let's also hope the Giants have a backup plan and they can bring in a veteran, perhaps low cost,  S as a "hold-the-fort-guy" (Parcells-ism) until they develop.

Giants have said that they are not finished with FA and they will add more players. but it seems apparent that they are going to wait and try to get lower priced players later in FA, maybe after they see how the draft settles out. There are too many openings to presume that they will all be filled in the draft. In the past, the Giants would fill their obvious openings early with FA so that they could go into the draft with the ability to pick the best player available, without regard to position. The Ernie Accorsi-ism was always: "don't take your depth chart into the draft room". It looks like NYG is taking a slightly different approach now. They brought in lots of FA talent on defense but are clearly not filling ALL of their holes. My guess is that the they will see what they need after the draft, and finish constructing the roster after that. They may add some low cost, low risk players before the draft, but the roster is far from complete. Even if they decide that they don't need to pursue a S, they need to do something on the OL and at WR. We'll see.

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