Short-handed Part II

What's been blatantly apparent through New York's preseason and early going in 2004 is that the club is sorely lacking big-time talent. Sure, there are a handful of players that other teams would salivate over, but for the most part, the Giants have only an average bunch of talent; hence the disappointing results. <BR><BR>

In all fairness, you have to give Tom Coughlin time to get his players on board, but if you look back at New York's two championship clubs – in 1986 and 1990 – it's plain for all to see why they won. They had a whole bunch of good and even great players. Names like Taylor, Simms, Bavaro, Morris, Carson, Banks, Martin, Elliott and Johnson come immediately to mind.

For purposes of comparison TGI decided to break New York's current roster down into five categories, with the blue and red chip players rated the best. What this showed was that the Giants have a whole bunch of players widely regarded as average and even below average. And you wonder why everyone's been picking New York to finish last in the NFC East.

Green-chippers

Steve Christie – Accurate, reliable veteran who's good under pressure; kickoff depth a problem. Kurt Warner – Went all the way from blue chip to white chip; now he's somewhere in between. Unreliable with ball, also obviously lacking weapons he had in St. Louis. Never totally recaptured timing and accuracy, which is what his game was all about.

Will Peterson – Should have reached red-chip status by now. Injury-prone, still gives up too many plays.

Will Allen – Should be doing better for a first-round pick. Has speed and talent, but still doesn't consistently make plays.

Ron Dayne – Short-yardage failures keep him at this level. Should be better in that role. Headed in the right direction.

Shaun Williams – Should have reached blue-chip status by now. Has all the tools to be a tremendous safety, but it's still yet to happen.

Carlos Emmons – Damaged goods when they got him; looks like he still may be. Needs to get healthy.

Barrett Green – Athletic and plenty quick enough for a smaller player. Not far from the next level. Wes Mallard – Very valuable special teams player. He earns this level for his potential as a linebacker. Could get the job done if he got the opportunity.

Reggie Torbor – He's not higher mainly because of his inexperience at LB; has the speed and potential to be an exciting player.

Kevin Lewis – Not certain he's starting caliber, but his versatility and special teams ability makes him very valuable.

Shaun O'Hara – You could live with him if you have a solid offensive line; the Giants don't. Journeyman center went from one bad OL in Cleveland to another.

Jason Whittle – Tampa Bay was obviously willing to let him go; steady, but unspectacular. David Diehl – There's definitely an upside for Diehl, who appears better suited to play right tackle.

Osi Umenyiora – A lot of potential that will take a while to develop. He definitely has some ability. Disappointing that he hasn't yet beaten out Keith Washington.

Luke Petitgout – Appears to be playing out of position. Seems to be more of a right tackle.

Marcellus Rivers – Probably will never start, but could be good complementary receiver. Helps on special teams as well.

David Tyree – Superb special teams guy that could contribute at receiver if need be. Earns his keep.

Jamaar Taylor – Good speed, playmaking ability and loads of potential. Has the ability to improve quickly.

Willie Ponder – Looks like he's the best kickoff returner they've had in a while. Fills a definite need.

Ryan Kuehl – Before he got hurt, he was one of the best snappers in the league. Reliable and dependable.

Norman Hand – Pretty good run stopper can clog things up in the middle and occupy multiple blockers.

Keith Washington – Valuable guy that will give you some effort and some rush. Ideally he'd be the first DE off the bench.

Yellow-chippers

Jesse Palmer – Good offseason saved his Giants career; still has ways to go, lacking necessary poise.

Jim Finn – He'll catch the ball a little and can block decently, but he's not a threat as a runner. Terry Cousin – Average nickel. Doesn't scare anybody.

Brent Alexander – A stop-gap guy. Speed's lacking and he's getting up in age.

Gibril Wilson – Hope he'll develop; inconsistent; has some athletic ability and speed.

Mike Cloud – Has had several chances and has yet to stick anywhere. Could offer help in short-yardage role.

Jack Brewer – Strictly a special teams guy. Probably won't ever be a starter.

Curtis Deloatch – Size is a positive. The rest has yet to be determined. Developmental guy at this point.

Frank Walker – Will make tremendous play one second; look terrible the next. Have to be more than athletic to succeed on this level. Gambles too much, but has made some plays.

Nick Greisen – Due to injuries, hasn't shown anything yet. Should be starting MLB at this point.

Wayne Lucier – Don't think he'll ever be starter, but could serve as capable backup.

Lance Legree – Never see him as a starter; only a 10-15 play a game guy.

Marques Sullivan – Very surprised he didn't make it in Buffalo. He's worth a second chance. Can play tackle and guard. Hopefully he could amount to something.

Brandon Winey – Has already been with a bunch of teams; has a little starting experience. Looks like a Jag (just another guy).

Visanthe Shiancoe – Not much payoff from a third round pick.

Tim Carter – Afraid that he's too fragile to play this game. They need his big-play ability so bad. Coach-killer is so rarely on the field.

Mark Jones – Fast, athletic guy could turn into the answer as a punt returner.

Kenderick Allen – Have to cross your fingers and hope he develops.

Fred Robbins – Not too excited about Robbins, who can play a whole game without anyone noticing.

White-chippers

Greg Walker – Sticks around on size alone. Didn't even make it to camp with Detroit as a rookie free agent.

William Joseph – Former first-round pick that has a real long way to go. Has given them nothing yet.

Jim Maxwell – Needs to earn spurs on special teams while he develops.


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