So I'm sitting here reading some recent articles and watching a few videos... I know there's both half-full and a half-empty group here, but I'm looking at all the players that have a sort-of "what-if" tag and think it's kinda exciting:
TT - maybe our best DB from '09-'10; perhaps he gets lucky and the new repair holds...perhaps back to old form by midseason?
Herz - maybe his body and mind coalesce and he lives up to pre-cancer hype?
Curry and Rivers - either or both shake the injury/motivation issues and show why they were early 1st rounders?
Austin - starts to live up to 2nd round hype?
Stevie B. - what if last year wasn't a fluke and he really is a crazy ballhawk? (Yes, I know he has assignments to worry about first)
Pugh - worthy of the first round pick and shows it
David Wilson - gets more carries than we expect b/c he learns to block properly...
These are just the few that strike me first. In reality, I expect the team to compete without any of these guys performing like all-pro's, but each one who over-achieves would be such a HUGE bonus!
How about some more?
Cruz and Nicks are on the field together for every game of the season?
What if the defense can come up with big stops when they need to?
--Tuck shows that he still can be a consistent, quality DE?
--All of the raw talent at LB adds up to at least an average quality LB corps?
Trueblue beat me to it. My first thought was Nicks and Cruz together for the full year. That by itself impacts the offense dramatically.
I think TT is at best a maybe. Cornerback takes an awesome toll on a healthy set of knees and wheels, much less a damaged set.
Herz - Just don't know what to make of him but there's something about this guy I really like. Has the attitude but needs to show that the skills match it. Herz is the kind of guy where you know what you have within the first couple of years. We'll see what he is this year.
Austin has a hill to climb and not a lot of time to do it. My gut says if he doesn't make or approach starter role he's gone next year. So far he's been like Barden, unfulfilled promise (injuries notwithstanding). Comes a time when the rubber has to meet the road. 2013 is Austin's rubber meets the road year.
Stevie B. - Last year wasn't a fluke. Brown is a ballhawk. You don't make the kind of plays he did by accident. His coverage skills need work and I'm sure the coaching staff will grill him on that. The amount of time he sees on the field will let us know how the Giants value ballhawking vs. safety coverage and support. It could be situational depending on the team and QB/receivers.
Pugh is a complete unknown. One thing we do know is that the front office doesn't go out on a limb lightly. The whole short arms thing didn't sway JR and crew. To pick an OL player as early as Pugh with that "stigma" tells you a heckuva lot right there. They expect this guy to pan out and be good.
David Wilson - This kid is a sick talent. It's obvious that he wants to prove how good he is. I think he gets serious about the blocking and becoming an all around back in TC's system, a la Bradshaw. Ingram and TC need to curb Wilson's tendency to run outside first -- that worked in college but won't work in the NFL. If he learns to follow his blocking like Tiki, it's game over. Gone With The Wind.
Andre Brown. I simply don't know how anyone can overlook Brown if he stays healthy. There's the knock on his health but to me broken bones caused by injury isn't a "health" issue. Anyone with two eyes can see that Brown is the real deal. Whether the Giants can get the right balance between Brown and Wilson is the question. To me it depends upon the defense you are playing -- but no matter what you can always mix up the running styles to your advantage.
Another note -- Corey Webster. No way on Earth does Webster have two bad years in a row. Doesn't happen. The guy is a real CB. If Corey is not injured, and PF doesn't go with some silly zone coverage most of the time, you'll see solid coverage. Webster is at the point where CB's start to fade, but I think he's got one or bankable years left. He knows he's close to the end of his string but has a ton of pride,
What if Jacquian Williams can stay healthy and become a legit 2 way LB who improves in coverage and can start shedding some blocks to make more plays against the run?
There are a billion questions... some of them will go our way, some won't. Just have to hope that enough of them do.
some will go better...some will go worse.
T2 excelling would be great on many fronts...I am rooting for him
for this season. Of course I say that for every season.
I think that's a pretty sure bet. I think Rivers will really show up with probably Williams (or maybe Curry) as the regular LBs in the Big Nickle sets. TT is hard to call. Let's see if he can pass his camp physical. Herzlich (or Connors) will be good enough for the limited roll they will be asked to play. Brown plays his roll well and will continue to. Austin is my dark horse candidate for no good reason.
people get hurt. Don't know who, when or how badly. Ultimately success comes down to luck and team effort/chemistry, not raw talent.
But many of them are pretty easy to read what the likely result will be:
TT - 3 ACLs? He may be able to play but his returning to prior form is an extreme long shot.
Herz - Decent, not great.
Curry and Rivers - both unknowns. Probably will remain a mixed bag -some flashes, but injuries or inconsistency or whathave you will make it unlikely we will be looking back and saying JR nailed some steal for us.
Austin - forget about it.
Stevie B. - Decent player, some good, some bad. I don't expect him to lead the league in INTs again, but should be a decent player.
Pugh - He will be a solid, not great, player for us for a long time starting this season.
David Wilson - Dynamic playmaker, but needs to share the backfield (not physically capable of being a workhorse)
What if they produce at or near a Cruz and Nicks level - how scary awesome would that be with Eli behind center?
What about Jenkins/Patterson/Hankins/Joseph each producing at a high level and collapsing/penetrating the center of of the opposing O-line on a consistent basis and making Austin irrelevant and upping JPP and Tucks production - how equally scary awesome would that be?
with consistency. Too much talent to lose a close low scoring game.
A few good stories on defense this year would go a long way. I expect teams to have a lot more trouble running up the gut against the Giants this year.
What if Bob gets knocked out of the game on December 1st? Would the Skins dare play him again on December 29th with nothing to gain?
and forces opponents to pass more?
What if a more successful pass rush improves statistics in the secondary?
What if the OL solidifies and forces defenses to choose between the dangers of a breakaway by Wilson and a deep completion by Eli?