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My Take on the Giants Future


BleedinBlue
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The secret of the Giants success comes from a variety of angles including coaching, good drafting, good players, etc.....but the most important part is also the least visible - at least to the novice fan. And that is...great teams are built around the scrimmage line where unsung heroes fight to make only the slightest difference to the average fan in the bleachers, but huge differences in the outcome of the game. This goes for both the offensive line and the defensive line as they do battle in the trenches to control the line of scrimmage. In my opinion....the real reason the Giants went all the way to Phoenix was because of the continually improving play of both lines - so much so, that at times they completely dominated opponents.

 

As a reminder, Coach Coughlin's opening press conference when he was hired by the Giants said, "my first priority as coach, will be to build the best offensive and defensive lines in the NFL as I believe games are won in the trenches". As pretty as those long passes are, or a breakout run by one of our backs, or the occasional interception - the truth is.....the game is won or lost in the trenches.

 

Offensive line: Perhaps the best acquisition in previous drafts was Chris Snee....who finally started to solidify a line that was in constant flux and never became cohesive. The unsung work of free agent Kareem McKenzie was a good one as well as he always holding his ground, stays healthy, and avoids costly penalties. The loss of Petitgout was a big concern early on, but Diehl did a credible (if not incredible at times) job....thanks in part in having to routinely practice against Osi and Tuck...two of the best in the business. Seubert and O'Hara likewise did a great job throughout the season holding their ground and avoiding penalties. And the linemen have been cross-trained in positions so they are flexible in all kinds of situations. Best of all....they've been together as a unit long enough to become a cohesive unit capable of holding off the best defensive linemen the NFL can throw at them. The down side is that they are not very deep with proven backups yet. Ruegamer is steady, and the verdict on Whimper and Koets is still out.

 

Amount of penatlies (and lack there of) is a good barometer of the O-Line's success....as the bulk of penalties against a team usually come from offensive linemen. This past season, the Giants had a total of 77 penalties.....6th lowest in the NFL and the lowest for a Giants team in 30 years. That should bring a smile to any Giants fan's face.

 

Defensive line: Perhaps the best line in the business for rushing quarterbacks. Strahan, Osi, Tuck, and Kiwanuka are potential perenial pro-bowlers....however, Strahan's career of course is coming to a close, but hopefully not for another year or two. Meanwhile, Cofield has been to the defensive line what Snee has been to the offensive line - rock steady and occasional bursts of greatness. This is a far cry from William Joseph (may he rest in peace) as Joseph looks for a new home. Robbins is not getting any younger, but has been a steady force on the inside. He may be ending his career in the next year or two. Meanwhile, Alford looks like the real deal (at least from a great play in the superbowl), but like Whimper and Koets, the jury is still out on him. As a bonus for Alford, he appears to have won the everyday duties of long snapper - another case of flexibility that frees up one more spot on the roster as a dedicated LS isn't needed.

 

With this in mind, the Giants have a very solid base for which to continue building a fortress in the trenches. The only downside is unproven depth.

 

For this reason, I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Giants took an offensive tackle or defensive tackle with their first round pick....especially if there is a top shelf left tackle that slips through the cracks to them. I would be surprised though, if they took another DE or OG. This is also assuming the Giants don't spend their first round draft pick to get a certain cornerback on the market. Regardless...I believe TC's desire to have the best lines in the NFL force him to continue building youth and depth on the lines.

 

The Giants have tremendous offensive capabilities with Eli - the tandem of Jacobs/Bradshaw - Plax/Amani/Smith - Shockey/Boss - and Madison Hedgecock. The Giants should be putting a lot of offensive numbers on the board in the coming season if the offensive line is solidified even more and especially if Plax and Shockey are 100% healthy. I just don't see the Giants going for another TE or RB, no matter how many rumors have been spread by TC and Reese that they are looking at both. Trust me on this one - those comments made last week are nothing more than diversion tactics.

 

In my opinion, the Giants are looking primarily at shoring up their backfield looking closely at safties, cornerbacks and linebackers. But given TC's bent on controlling the line of scrimmage and winning the battles in the trenches....don't be surprised when we pick up at least one each of an OT, OG, and DT.

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Nice post! I recall back when Jacobs won offensive player of the month early in the season that the o-line deserved a ton of credit as well. I've seen a few mock drafts that have us taking a left tackle with an early pick, some even with our 1st. I thought Diehl did a solid job for the most part. He did give up 13.5 sacks though and I'm not sure if he has the foot speed to match up with some of the better ends out there. Drafting a true left tackle would enable him to move back to guard where I think he's better suited at his natural position. This is in no way a knock on him and like I said for someone learning a new position, especially left tackle I thought he did a fine job. I don't think it's our biggest need but I wouldn't be shocked at all if we drafted another OT.

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I know what you mean about being stocked on the DL, Bleedin... but remember, we thought we were stocked when we took Kiwi.

 

It's not out of the realm of possibility that we take a DT or DE with our first pick, if a good one falls to us.

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