Who's the Boss at Tight End?

Kevin Boss has come on so strongly that you're even starting to see some number 89 jerseys around Giants camp – and they're not representing Mark Bavaro. Boss has really become one of the more popular offensive players for a multitude of reasons, one of which of course was his big play in Super Bowl XLII.

However, as Boss has progressed, so have the defensive game plans being constructed with the goal in mind of stopping him. He's already proven to be a very consistent receiver with great hands, and he's improved his blocking by leaps and bounds since he arrived. Now he needs to learn how to shake the potential double-teams that he's going to see this season. With all due respect to the receiving corps, when Plaxico Burress was around he commanded double-teams, which helped open things up for Boss and others. Wi thout him, there's no WR currently on the roster that's going to keep opposing coordinators up at night. With opposing defenses able to pay closer attention to him will Boss still be able to make a huge impact? Will rookie Travis Beckum be able to make a difference? Can any of the others step up and make some noise? All of these questions need to be answered in the affirmative for Big Blue to enjoy the offensive success they had when Plax was around.

Instant impact for Badger?

The Giants are so excited about draft pick Travis Beckum that they've installed some plays just for Beckum in order to exploit defenses. They feel the playmaking tight end should become a matchup nightmare for opposing linebackers. He proved in college to be able to get open in the middle of the defense and also to catch the ball with regularity. After a couple days of camp, it sure looks like those collegiate skills are going to translate well to the professional level. He's smooth and has that innate ability to find openings in the defense. He's surely going to make some bi g plays this season and might even give Boss a run for title of TE fan favorite by the end of the season.

Will the third TE please stand up?

We know that Boss and Beckum are going to be able to help out in the tight end department. But what remains to be seen is which of the third TE candidates will emerge and make the ball club. Michael Matthews can block, but not catch all that well. Darcy Johnson used to be a better receiver than blocker but he's certainly had difficulties with both aspects of his game since spending the 2007 season on IR. And Lee Vickers is a relative unknown looking to make his mark. There's no doubt that one of these guys will be the third guy, unless they all fizzle and the team looks outside the organization for another TE. But what really matters is what the victorious tight end can bring to the table. With the offense utilizing plenty of two-TE sets, having a dependable third guy is huge.

Will they be better in '09?

Methinks they will. The addition of Beckum should help in the big-play department. He's really adept at turning simple plays into big ones. And Boss having another year on his résumé should also help plenty as well. With the new crop of receivers, the Giants would like to use the TE even more in the passing game, which is something that neither Boss nor Beckum will complain about. Again, what New York gets from its third tight end this season might determine whether or not this unit enjoys marked improvement in 2009. It says here that the addition of Beckum alone will put the TEs over the top.

The Giants Beat Top Stories