The 2016 NFL season is officially under way as the New York Giants report to training camp today at the Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, NJ.
There is no need to bring up the anticipation and expectation of this year’s Giants squad as it has circled the team all offseason. Now, the critics will be their answers as the 90 men competing for spots will be battling it out in the weeks to come.
Heading into camp, here are three things to look out for:
1. The Comeback Kids
Jason Pierre-Paul and Victor Cruz will be watched intently this preseason. In the limited time spent on the field last year, Pierre-Paul showed that he can still play after his accident. The lineman will no longer daunt his patented “club” on the turf, but instead, wear a custom glove that will hopefully help him wrap up opponents.
For Cruz, this preseason will prove whether or not the wideout can still perform on the NFL stage. He has been running at full speed and was participating in OTAs thoroughly which is a good sign. However, the real test will come at camp where Cruz must experience real game situations including contact.
Much is expected of these two veterans and there is no doubt they will be up for the challenge.
2. Safety Battle
It is safe to say Landon Collins is locked into one of the safety positions on the Giants secondary. Who gets the second and last slot is the question.
Third round draft pick, Boise State's Darian Thompson, impressed coaches in OTAs earning him reps with the first team. His advantage is the fact he isn’t returning from injuries like the rest of the safeties who will be battling for the position. Bennett Jackson, Mykkele Thompson and Nat Berhe all have a shot to compete in camp. The favorite out of these three should be Jackson who would have been next to Collins to start the season if it wasn’t for his torn ACL in the final preseason matchup with the Jaguars last year.
It will be fun to watch these guys go at it in camp and see who comes out on top.
3. McAdoo’s Regime
The ultimate question heading into camp has to be how the Giants, as a whole, will deal without former head coach Tom Coughlin at the helm. New head coach Ben McAdoo, who has said he has been waiting for this opportunity for a while now, has the knowledge and top talent to make something happen in New York this season.
This is his statement year. It will be interesting to watch how the players, especially Giants veterans like Eli Manning, work under the guidance of McAdoo. A new leaf has been turned, and the Giants and fans alike are hoping its results are positive.