"The personnel we got, all the personnel, it's pretty exciting," he said. "You never anticipate this much change. It was a big off-season. See, I'm an assistant coach, and I'm involved in the evaluation process, but not in the decision-making process. I am very excited."
One of the areas that might prove to be somewhat less exciting to this
defensive architect who is respected on a league-wide basis is the secondary. Last
season, until injuries began nibbling away, the four starters were Will Allen
and Will Peterson on the corners; Brent Alexander at free safety and Gibril Wilson at strong safety.
Now only Wilson remains. Allen signed with Miami during the free-agent
signing period. Peterson was waived injured because of his recurring and apparently
chronic stress fracture in that part of the lower back known as the transverse
process. Alexander either retired or was waived, perhaps both once the team
indicated that retirement might be a good idea.
Now Wilson will be surrounded by three new starters -- at the moment, they
appear to be second-year Corey Webster and Sam Madison on the corners with Will Demps at free safety. Webster was the Giants' second-round pick in 2004, and
has played surprisingly well from Day One. Madison was signed from Miami (a sort
of back-handed swap of corners between the teams). Demps was another free-agent
signee from Baltimore.
"I am going to push Gibril to be a leader back there," Lewis says. "I hope
he is ready for that. We'll find out. I'll try to lead him and guide him and
help him that way. So we'll find out."
With the enormity of the personnel upheaval that took place, the Giants'
defense -- on paper -- appears to be considerably improved (and healthy once
again). If the pass rush is as dynamic as it appears to be, and if the linebackers
have as much impact as it appears they will, the pressure might be lifted from
this new secondary.
On the other hand, the secondary, according to Lewis, might be able to stand
alone. That is not what offensive coordinators want to hear. In fact, someone
asked Lewis a comical question: "Is it true that you actually don't want the
opposing quarterback (to be able) to throw a single pass next year?"
He smiled, and answered: "Yeah, that would be good. But it's kind of a
balancing act. If they aren't throwing the ball, they are probably running it. You
don't want to get a ton of those either if you aren't stopping it."
See, coordinators are always worrying about something.
--The Giants and the New York Jets, who have agreed to build and then share
a new stadium (which will be ready by 2010) announced that they will also agree
to sell naming rights. It is expected that this will be the most expensive
stadium-naming in NFL history, since it involves two teams and is located in the
New York area. One can only hope it will also bear a tribute to the late
Wellington Mara, who died last October after 80 years with the team as ball boy,
general manager, scout and president.
--Defensive coordinator Tim Lewis is more than just cursorily familiar with
his new strong-side linebacker, LaVar Arrington. "He grew up in Pittsburgh and
I was from Quakertown, so I followed his career right from high school. I can't
tell you how excited I am to finally have the chance to work with him."
--CB Curtis Deloatch received $221,005 in additional income from the NFL's
Performance Based Pay system, eighth highest figure in the league. SS Gibril
Wilson was the only other Giant in the top 25, earning a "bonus," if you will, of
$207, 549. The payouts are the result of an agreement between the NFL and the
NFLPA to offer a supplemental form of player compensation based on a comparison
of playing time to salary.
--Former Giant strong-side linebacker Alonzo Jackson, who started the first
round playoff game (the 23-0 whipping by Carolina) and was then released when
the season was over, signed as a free agent with the New York Jets.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Giants' head coach Tom Coughlin, who has made no attempt to hide his desire
to upgrade the team's backup quarterback situation, now has a former player,
Rob Johnson (who was his backup and sometimes starter in Jacksonville) on the
What does this mean for veteran Tim Hasselbeck? Not much good news here, it
would seem. Johnson, who has missed two seasons with Tommy John surgery, is
throwing well and has 10 years of NFL experience.
Now second-year Jared Lorenzen, the hulking 6-3, 285-pound back third QB
last season, has been throwing darts and impressing the coaches with his accuracy
and energy. "He's just a big man and he's going to have to live with that
(weight)," Coughlin says. "It's not that he's overweight. He's just big."
It could be that in a three-man race, Hasselbeck is going to be the odd man
The Giants announced the signing of RB Little John Flowers, 6-0 and 215, who
last played in the NFL for the New York Jets and played for the Berlin Thunder
of NFL Europe this spring. He had 75 carries for 283 yards and two touchdowns
and caught 10 passes for 112 yards and another TD. Flowers, a product of
Michigan State, is named for the "Little John" character in Robin Hood.
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--CB/KR Lamont Brightful (not tendered as RFA).
--CB Terrell Buckley (not tendered June 1).
--RB Michael Cloud (not tendered June 1).
--LB Roman Phifer (not tendered June 1).
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
--WR Tim Carter: UFA; $2M/2 yrs, $500,000 SB.
--QB Tim Hasselbeck: UFA; terms unknown.
--OG Lewis Kelly: UFA; terms unknown.
--RB/KR Chad Morton: UFA; terms unknown.
--WR/KR Willie Ponder: RFA; $721,600/1 yr.
--TE Visanthe Shiancoe: RFA; $721,600/1 yr.
--WR David Tyree: RFA; $7.5M/5 yrs, $1.5M SB.
--CB Frank Walker: RFA; $721,600/1 yr.
--OT Bob Whitfield: UFA; terms unknown.
--LB LaVar Arrington FA Redskins; $49M/7 yrs, $5.25M SB.
--CB Jason Bell: UFA Texans; terms unknown.
--S Will Demps: UFA Ravens; 5 yrs, terms unknown.
--S Quentin Harris: UFA Cardinals; terms unknown.
--DT Junior Ioane: FA Texans; terms unknown.
--QB Rob Johnson: FA; terms unknown.
--CB Sam Madison: FA Dolphins; $7.4M/4 yrs, $2M SB; 2006 cap: $1.4M.
--CB R.W. McQuarters: UFA Lions; $6M/3 yrs, $2M SB.
--G/C Grey Ruegamer: UFA Packers; $750,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2006 cap:
--LB Brandon Short: FA Panthers; terms unknown.
--TE Boo Williams: FA Saints; terms unknown.
--S Brent Alexander (released).
--DT Kenderick Allen: RFA rights terminated/Packers; terms unknown.
--CB Will Allen: UFA Dolphins; $12M/4 yrs, SB unknown.
--DT Kendrick Clancy: UFA Cardinals; $8.1M/4 yrs, SB unknown.
--LB Jay Foreman: UFA Saints; terms unknown.
--LB Barrett Green (released).
--LB Nick Greisen: UFA Jaguars; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--CB Will Peterson (released/failed physical).
--WR Jamaar Taylor (retired).
--OG Jason Whittle (released).
--S Shaun Williams: UFA Panthers; 1 yr, terms unknown.
Hot Topic and Player Notes
The Giants Beat Top Stories
Week 2: DFS Pivot Plays vs. The ChalkFantasy Football Expert Armando Marsal discusses Week 2 pivots to cash BIG when playing NFL DFS on DraftKings!
Josh Norman responds to Victor CruzThe Pro Bowl corner responded to the latest round of jabs thrown his way, this time from Giants receiver Victor Cruz.
Week 2: Vegas vs. FantasyUsing Vegas' odds, lines and spreads, Fantasy Football Expert Armando Marsal gets a feel for how this week's matchups will pan out. It's not a perfect science; however, it…
Top 10 NFL Celebration FailsRevisiting some of the worst celebration fails in NFL history.
Scout NFL Network08/24/2016
10 greatest one-handed catches in NFL historyCheck out the most jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring one-handed catches of all-time in the NFL. Find out who comes in after Odell Beckham's catch against the Dallas Cowboys.