Training camp preview

All things are new again for Big Blue as Training Camp 2004 approaches. Tom Coughlin burst into town, installing almost an entirely new staff and overturning about a third of the roster. TGI has broken down our camp preview into a dozen sections, all categories worth watching closely as Coughlin tries to get New York back to the postseason after a three-year stretch during which the Giants played only one playoff contest, the disaster in San Francisco following the '02 campaign.

Where do the coaches' and fans' highest expectations lie this season? Which players must shine?

Ron Dayne - Giants fans and coaches alike have dreams of a repeat of the 2000 Thunder and Lightning success resurfacing. Everyone knows that a productive Dayne would do wonders not only for Tiki Barber, but for the entire offense as well.

Jeremy Shockey - As usual, a ton of weight for Big Blue's success falls on the broad shoulders of number 80. Shockey has battled various injuries in his brief stint in New York, including recent foot surgery. The Giants need a strong season – and a full season – from Shockey to earn an invite to the postseason dance.

Luke Petitgout - His play suffered last season due to multiple ailments. However, with the O-line in its usual state of flux, the Giants need Petitgout to play at a Pro Bowl level to allow Coughlin's attacking-style offense a chance to operate.

Osi Umenyiora - New York hasn't had big-time numbers from its RDE in years. Now they need last year's second-round pick to earn his keep. He can certainly rush the QB, but the Giants need Umenyiora to develop into a three-down lineman that they can count on.

Nick Greisen - Coughlin has made no bones about the fact that he would love to bring another MLB in (Jeremiah Trotter is still an outside possibility) to battle with/replace Greisen. If the third-year vet is able to make it through camp atop the depth chart, which we believe he will, then all eyes are going to be on him to make the big plays that have been missing from the middle.

The Wills - The Giants need both to play consistently and stay healthy. Both Allen and Peterson have Pro Bowl talent, but have yet to totally put it together. This year they must.

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