Saturday, September 1, 2007

Preseason concludes

Well I have managed to avoid posting during the entire preseason. That is not to say I have not been paying attention to the goings on of the greatest football franchise on the planet. Quite the contrary. But the preseason is exactly that, pre. And Antonio Pierce said it best after the conclusion of the final preseason game when he declared, "it's time to rock and roll for real." Amen!

Today the Giants announced their final roster. No real surprises on the cut list. Hasselbeck will be missed, but Anthony Wright rightly earned the roster spot and I feel confident about our backup QB's. Strahan seems to have found his way back home. I only hope he won't be a problem in the clubhouse. But knowing his professionalism, I suspect he'll provide some much needed leadership (along with Pierce who seems to be emerging as the next Giant leader both on and and off the field).

The offense looks set. Eli has had a very productive start. Seventh round draft pick Ahmad Bradshaw could be a star in the making at running back. Toomer looks better than ever and young studs Moss and Smith should battle to give us the 3rd wide receiver we've been searching for for what seems like an eternity (Shockey has essentially been filling this position since he arrived). What this means is our offense can be lethal. EVERY publication I've read seems to think the Giants will not be able to make up for the loss of Tiki. I disagree and I think every member of the Giant's offense would disagree. If Eli plays the way he has during the preseason and the RB's provide a decent running attack, this offense is going to be so well balanced that defenses will spend all afternoon on their heals wondering which weapon is going to burn them next (kind of like the first 8 weeks of last season before Toomer got injured).

The defense has many more question marks. The linebackers seem very solid and the DE's are all-league caliber. The DL's have a lot of talent, but seem somewhat undersized at times. Late addition Manny Wright should help with that and I expect the DL's to be an emerging force as the season goes along. Which leads us to the DB's. First round draft pick Ross could see early work. Madison and McQuarters have loads of talent, but their athleticism may be waining. But I'll take their experience any day and their leadership and tutorship of the other young CB's could be priceless. McQuarters dominated last season as the nickleback and I think he still has something left in the tank. The safeties are talented but depth could be a problem. The X factor is Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. If he can maximize the natural speed of the entire defense this unit could be dangerous. His scheme requires speed and intelligence. The Giants have always had intelligent football players, now they have the speed to take Spagnuolo's defense to the top.

More to come, but I think this covers enough to get the party started.