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Perspective on Current Giants Roster...

M.S. : 9/13/2017 12:00 pm
…this is long, so apologies ahead of time.

The general view, which many -- if not all BBIers -- share is that by Coach Coughlin’s last year (the 2015 Season), the Giants roster from 1 – 53 was a Bottom Five (or very close to Bottom Five) NFL roster. And it wasn’t much better the year before.

And when your roster is bottom tier, no big surprise that in Coach Coughlin’s last two seasons (2014 and 2015), the Giants had identical records of 6 – 10.

After the 2015 Season (with Ben McAdoo now as Head Coach), Giants Management decided to go all-in on trying to fix a totally messed up defense. And no wonder! Check out these defensive stats from 2014 and 2015:

Points Allowed:
2014: 22 Rank
2015: 32 Rank

Total Yards Allowed:
2014: 29 Rank
2015: 30 Rank

Rushing Yards per Carry Allowed:
2014: 32 Rank
2015: 24 Rank

Clearly, the defense needed a bigtime fix and the infusion of Olivier Vernon, Snacks Harrison and Janoris Jenkins helped tremendously last season (not to mention JPP’s full-time return and the Year Two development of Landon Collins!)

But we all know that the roster problems for the Giants were not just confined to the defense! They had significant issues on offense, which were masked by the combination of Eli Manning to Odell Beckham Jr.

Thus, in points scored, the Giants were a “respectable” 13th in 2014 (Ben McAdoo’s first year as Offensive Coordinator) and a very respectable 6th in 2015. And total offensive yards gained looked good as well: Ranked 10th in 2014 and Ranked 8th in 2015.

But there were huge termites under the wood veneer of Eli-to-OBJ (if you’ll forgive the pun)! Our rushing game was bad – in Coach Coughlin’s second to last season (2014), the Giants were ranked 30th in yards per carry and 18th in 2015. In addition to a weak offensive line that was really poor at run blocking, the offense had other significant holes, including a weak-to-mediocre stable of running backs and tight ends, and no real receiving threats after OBJ.

Thus, was it really such a surprise that the Giants offense crashed in 2016? We had a lot of missing pieces going into that season and the rankings reveal that:

2016 Rankings
Points For: 26th
Total Yards Gained: 25th
Rushing Yards per Carry: 30th

I've heard on BBI countless times how teams can turn things around quickly... and how quickly fortunes can change. And I suppose one can point to last season's record as just such a case!

But a longer view, and perhaps more realistic one, may be this:

(1) The Giants were so structurally flawed after the 2014 and 2015 Seasons that it was impossible to re-make their entire roster in one or two years;

(2) The Giants did not have the cap space to re-make both the defense AND offense in one fell swoop;

(3) They swung for the fences on defense and succeeded; they tried to draft their way to a better offense, and that takes time (and it takes even more time when your draft picks don't all hit);

(4) I doubt Giants management was under any delusion about the quality of their O-line... it has been very weak in the run game for at least 4 straight years (NOTE: it was ranked 30th in Yards per Carry in 2013);

(5) Perhaps the Giants most serious miscalculation was that -- even though the NFL is now a passing league --
it is the unsung running game that can control the tempo and rhythm of the game;

(6) And despite this basic fact, the Giants tried to shield and bolster their Eli-to-OBJ weapon by spending precious resources for Sterling Shepard (#40 Pick); Evan Engram (#23 Pick) and Brandon Marshall (Priority Free Agent signing).

(7) In other words, Giants management may have a faulty priority list, emphasizing the passing game (even with an established OBJ) over the running game;

(8) Compounding the problem was they didn't fully realize that the Eli-to-OBJ connection was taking a fearful toll on our QB who, despite the gaudy passing yards, has lived in an ever-shrinking, dangerous pocket which he has lost faith in.

Bottom line: Have no clue as to where this season is going, but from a longer term perspective, the Giants are still in the process of re-building (and re-shaping) a roster that was seriously degraded just two years ago!

That takes time.
Roster turnover is such that 3 years ago means very little  
George from PA : 9/13/2017 12:50 pm : link
Besides....good enough works fine in areas if other parts compliment....our LBers are good enough because our DL is special.

The problem...our RBs are ok but the entire line is not good enough to form a decent running game.

We have great WR and if we had a more mobile QB would be great but we don' we need a decent offer enough time to get them the ball but we have no tackles that are ready (Wheeler) and others might never be tackles (Hart & Flowers)....

Ruined 4 years.... possibly a 5th
Giants spent two #1 picks and 2nd on the OL  
Vanzetti : 9/13/2017 1:02 pm : link
So they did attempt to upgrade the offense, it is just that it appears their picks were not very good

Pugh: a good guard but you are hoping a guy can play tackle when he is taken this high. So this pick is good but not great.

Richburg: Says the right things, works hard, is smart. But he just does not look like an NFL lineman. At this point, he looks like a bust.

Flowers: he was taken higher than predicted and so far it looks like the talent evaluators were right and the Giants wrong.

If Richburg and Flowers both lived up to expectations, this would be a good OL. So I do not see it as a matter of restocking the talent on offense. They tried to restock but just chose the wrong players.

Despite that slight disagreement, I thought the OP was very good.
Maybe the roster will be finalized in 3 years  
The_Boss : 9/13/2017 1:16 pm : link
By then Eli will be in the booth with Papa on the FAN.
If things went as might be expected we'd be ok  
BillT : 9/13/2017 1:31 pm : link
There was no reason to believe that Pugh, Richberg and Jerry wouldn't be a reasonably good G-C-G trio. Pugh and Richberg have shown that they can play at a pretty decent level in the league. Jerry is a notch worse but certainly serviceable.

It also wasn't unreasonable to believe that a guy like Flowers could step up to being at least an average LT. Also, being a 1st round choice makes him very hard to give up on. And Hart played well enough to fill in last year and seemed to have at least some upside.

None of this has worked out. You can kill Reese or McAdoo or the OL coach or whoever you like. Things don't always work out the way you expect. Not in football or in a lot of other places.
Questionable Depth  
Bluesbreaker : 9/13/2017 2:31 pm : link
at most positions besides the obvious I not impressed with the current stable of RB's .
Look for a big year out of our Kicker ..
All perceptive comments...  
M.S. : 9/13/2017 2:49 pm : link

...I have the uncomfortable feeling that -- when it comes to our offensive line -- Giants management inadvertently shot itself in the foot several ways:

(1) They didn't recognize the offensive line woes early enough (i.e., right after their last Super Bowl victory);

(2) Management was seduced by their last Super Bowl Year, believing they got to the promise land with a trio of great receivers** (and a mediocre offensive line.) IMO, they drew the wrong conclusion because that mediocre offensive line actually gave Eli fairly clean pockets to throw from;

(3) Despite three high draft choices along the front line since then (Pugh, Richburg and Flowers), management did not recognize (and may still not fully appreciate) that none of these three (except maybe Pugh?) can lift the play of their fellow line-mates;

(4) And management complemented these three premium picks with players who should be second-string, not first;

(5) Giants management has struck out repeatedly with lower level O-line draft choices, and their belief that a few of them could become front line starters has proven to be a costly gamble;

(6) Management may have inadvertently screwed up Ereck Flowers by forcing him into a position he is not suited to play when many NFL scouts said his natural position is either at right tackle or inside.

**Others on BBI have mentioned Victor Cruz's magical year and that -- without it -- maybe the Giants don't even reach the playoffs (let alone beat the Pats for a second time.)

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