1. Although the Giants went 5-0 in the preseason, there has seemingly been a lot of concern over the performance of the first-team offense and Eli Manning in particular. What is the mindset surrounding the offense going into the season?
The Giants have said all the right things about their offense heading into the regular season. Things like 'it's a work in progress,' 'we're having good practices,' 'we're headed in the right direction,' etc., etc., etc. There HAS to be some concern, though. Eli Manning has been under a lot of duress while trying to throw, and hasn't appeared either comfortable or on the same page with his receivers in many instances. The Giants have shown some ability to run the ball, but whether or not they can make enough plays in the passing game is a huge question mark.
2. Sticking with the offense, how do you expect the offensive line to handle their matchup with the Lions' defensive line?
This is a tough question. Rookie second-round pick Weston Richburg will start opposite Ndamukong Suh. It looks like John Jerry will start at right guard. Geoff Schwartz and Brandon Mosley, who were supposed to be the starters, are both hurt. Will Beatty was awful at left tackle last season and is a question mark as he returns from a broken leg. Starting center J.D. Walton hasn't played a regular season game in nearly two years. The offensive line was terrible last season and the Giants used the draft and free agency to try to upgrade it. Right now it remains to be seen whether or not they have been successful.
3. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie headlined the Giants' free-agent signings this past offseason. Just how big was his addition to the Giants defense?
HUGE. That's the only way to put it. Fact is that in the modern NFL defenses must have a plethora of quality corners. DRC, Walter Thurmond and Zack Bowman have been added to Prince Amukamara and Trumaine McBride, giving the Giants better quality and depth at the corners than they have probably ever had in the Super Bowl era. DRC has been fantastic thus far.
4. What is the status of first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr., who has been dealing with a hamstring injury?
He looks great standing still and catching passes from WR coach Sean Ryan or off the JUGS machine. That's about it. Beckham has barely practiced since early in OTAs and Tom Coughlin said this week it could be several more weeks before Beckham is ready to go. That is a major problem for a team that needs receiving weapons on the outside to take some of the attention away from Victor Cruz in the slot.
5. After going 7-9 last season, what are the expectations like for the 2014 Giants?
If you look at power rankings and predictions from analysts around the country it is pretty obvious no one expects an awful lot from this team. Except probably the team itself. I look at the Giants like a big jigsaw puzzle. The personnel is way better than a year ago when Coughlin somehow got seven wins out of a team that probably had 3-13 talent. Problem is will all the pieces somehow go together after a massive overhaul in personnel, a complete revamping of the offensive coaching staff and the installation of a vastly different offense than Eli Manning has ever run? This team could go 5-11. It could go 11-5. Most likely it finishes somewhere from 7-9 to 9-7 and enters the last two or three weeks of the season fighting for a playoff spot.
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