Five Ways to Improve The New York Giants
By Michael Stewart
Another year of missing the playoffs for the New York Giants and unless GM Jerry Reese can start thinking outside the box and not continuously make the same mistakes year after year; the results in 2016-17 season could be another year without a playoff invite. I have thought about how the Giants can improve in the off season to somehow become a legit playoff contender without being unrealistic and go on a spending spree and suggest fantasy trades.
I have come up with my top 5 suggestions that should help the Giants recapture the NFC east crown and get a playoff berth as well:
1. (Draft Better): Especially in the mid to late rounds: Historically; Jerry Reese has been one of the worse GM’s in the NFL in successfully drafting quality prospects through rounds 3-7. This statement has been verified by Jordan Raanan of NJ Advance Media of NJ.com that based on his research; the Giants ranked 28th in the league from 2007-13 with selections through rounds 3-7 still playing in the NFL with only 6. While teams such as Packers (14), Dolphins (13) rank 1 and 2. I have always preached that a great trademark of a successful GM is not who he selects in rounds 1 and 2, but rather in rounds 3-7. George Young was the best GM in Giants history because he was able to find quality players through the mid to late rounds. Ernie Accorsi also did very well in selecting players in the later rounds.
2. (Playmakers on both Sides of the Ball): Aside from OBJ, who do the Giants really have on offense that opposing team’s lose sleep over? Rueben Randle is certainly not the answer and Victor Cruz may never regain the talent level before the injury. Jennings had his brief moments, but the Giants really want to move forward with him as their primary RB. On defense; there is not one player who is a game changer.
JPP is done as a Giant (IMO) as is Jon Beason. The last 2 Giant Super Bowl victories (both against the Patriots), was won because the Giants had a dominate front 7 on defense. Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Antonio Pierce caused so much havoc on the Patriots OL and Tom Brady in their 1st SB meeting. In the rematch, the same trio of DL along with Michael Boley applied the same type of pressure to produce another SB victory. Point being is that play-makers and/or impact players are needed to help turn this team around.
3.(Control the line of scrimmage): This is directly aimed to the Giants lack of a running game. In 2015, the interior line of Schwartz, Richburg and Pugh did a good job. However; the tackle position really was the weak link with the Giants running game. Beatty’s injury really forced the Giants to play Marshal Newhouse at RT and his production (32.9) was one of the worse among RT in the NFL. Rookie Ereck Flowers has a lot of promise, but he was forced to learn quickly and unfortunately his numbers (39.3) reflected that. Should the Giants invest another year with their current RB corp. in Jennings, Vereen and Andre Williams as their three-headed monsters? Can’t see all three still being around when the 2016-2017 season opens next fall.
4. (Select wisely in free agency): Reese has a habit of investing heavily on marginal free agents. Last season was a great example: Jonathan Casillas (LB) 3yr/$10.5M/J.T Thomas (LB) 3yr/$10M/Dwayne Harris (WR) 5yr/$17.5M and Shane Vereen (RB) 3yr/$12.35M were the top 4 FA signings and none really contributed enough to warrant their salaries. The Giants need these 4 players (if they are still on the team in 2017) to produce.
5.(Stay Healthy:) This has been a major problem and concern for the Giants management and staff. Although the Giants didn’t finish last in the NFL in games lost to injuries; which they did the previous 2 seasons. The New England Patriots had that honor in 2015 to finish with 245 games lost due to injuries. In fact, the Giants injury bug has not only affected them over the last few seasons, but over the last 6 seasons which they gave lost 200+ games due to injuries. Who’s to blame for this, trainers, the players themselves or just bad luck? Whatever the reason is the Giants better figure it out fast or this trend could continue in 2017.
Final Thougts: The decision to retain Jerry Reese could come back and haunt the Giants moving forward. New Head Coach Ben McAdoo will be in his 1st season as a Head Coach and he is replacing some very big shoes in Tom Coughlin. At some point, the Giants Management needs to have Jerry Reese accountable as well for the failures of this team over the last 4 seasons. If you’re listening Jerry Reese, It’s now or never to turn this team around.