For all the strengths that the New York Giants look to have for their upcoming season, there are many questions still yet to be answered, that are surrounding Big Blue at the moment.
With training camp less than two weeks away, there are few areas of concern for the Giants on their team, as they prepare for the 2015 NFL season. Here are the five biggest question marks for Big Blue leading up to training camp:
The biggest concern for the Giants going into this season is their offensive line. It was a position group that the Giants felt that they needed improvement in the most during the offseason, and going into training camp, it’s an area Big Blue is still unsure of. This is mostly because of the injury to starting left tackle Will Beatty, who will leave the Giants without their best offensive lineman for possibly the whole first half of the season. For now, the Giants have to hope that rookie offensive lineman Ereck Flowers, is ready to start right away at right tackle and that veterans Geoff Schwartz and Marshall Newhouse can hold the fort on the left side of the line, at guard and tackle respectively. With Weston Richburg also playing center for the first time in his NFL career, Big Blue have a lot of unknowns across the offensive line, and that’s why it is their biggest concern going into the 2015 NFL season.
Usually an area of strength for the Giants, the defensive line is right now a cause of concern for the G-men as they head into training camp in a little more of a week. This all stems from the Jason Pierre-Paul fireworks accident over the fourth of July weekend, that could have caused the Giants to lose their best defensive lineman for this season and ruin his career as well. Without JPP, the Giants defensive line consists of a lot of unknowns and a few veteran players, who could be past their prime. Defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins and Damontre Moore, have both shown signs of greatness during their first two seasons with the Giants, but it’s still unknown if both are ready to take that next step to being catalyst of a defensive line in the NFL yet. Cullen Jenkins and Robert Ayers Jr, are both solid veteran defensive lineman and can still play at a high level, but both are very injury prone. The Giants can’t count on them sticking it out for the whole season and expect them to be the same players they were in the past. The fact of the matter is, it will be tough for the Giants to replace a player like JPP. JPP is one of the best defensive lineman in the league and is hand’s down, Big Blue’s best defensive player. It will be tough for the Giants to replace him, and that’s why the defensive line is now Big Blue’s second biggest concern for the upcoming season.
The Giants for the first time in five years, will have two different starters at both safety positions, from the previous season. A position group filled with a lot of young talented players. There is a lot of optimism from the Giants as to how their novice safety group will play this season. With a young safety tandem, the Giants know that there will be rookie mistakes made here and there, but Big Blue is in a situation where they need those mishaps to be solved early on in the season. Rookie Landon Collins and young players like Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor, are going to be thrown into the fire and will have to be up to the task, if they want to help the G-Men make it back to the playoffs this season. The Giants have set up a safety group, that could be a great strength for them in the future, but for now it is a position of concern for them. That’s why it ranks as the Giants third biggest concern, heading into training camp.
The linebacker corps is again another area of concern for the Giants. Even though the Giants improved the position group, by signing players like J.T Thomas and Jonathan Casillas in the offseason, there are still a lot of question marks surrounding the group. Can starting middle linebacker Jon Beason stay healthy this season? Will outside linebacker Devon Kennard play as well as he did in his rookie season, or suffer through the horrific sophomore slump? There are still a lot of questions surrounding the Giants linebacker corp, and that’s why it’s still one of their top five biggest concerns again for the upcoming season.
This for most would be a stretch, but for all intents and purposes, Manning is a concern for the Giants again this season. Even though Manning had a bounce back year last season, there is still worry about how he will perform this season. We all know that No. 10 has the ability to be the elite quarterback that he has shown he can be when he led the Giants to their second super bowl title in five years back in 2011. Since then though, Manning hasn’t been the same quarterback and has become viewed by most around the league as a mid-tier quarterback these days. Trying to avoid missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season and in a contract year no less, Manning has a lot to prove and if his performance is not up to the task. We could be seeing the last of Manning in a Giants uniform.
These are the top five concerns for the Giants, as they head into training camp. The Giants will start training camp practices next Friday, on July 31st. Big Blue will then after two weeks of practices, will play in their first preseason game on Friday August 14th, against the Cincinnati Bengals.