To get ready for tonight's battle with the Giants, we sat down with SB Nation's Giants blog, Big Blue View for five questions on the 2007 champs.
1. The Giants let both of their starting receivers go in the offseason, but they have spent a lot of Draft picks in the past few years stockpiling young receivers. Who steps up to replace Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer?
That is always the first question these days when it comes to the Giants. Honestly, no one has stepped forward as a No. 1 (something I don't think you can determine in pre-season, anyway). What has happened is that a lot of these young players have flashed ability throughout the pre-season. Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith will start. Mario Manningham might be No. 3 right now. The rookies, Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden, have each been spectacular at times in camp. Barden in particular has been dominant at times. We will have to see how it plays out, but by the end of the season one of those two rookies could be playing a huge role.2. What changes can we expect on defense this year from the Giants with a new coordinator?
Not many, really. Sheridan learned from Steve Spagnuolo, and he knows he was hired to maintain the same system and same aggressive style. You might not see quite as much blitzing, but that's more about the talent on the defensive line than the change in coordinators. If the Giants can get to the passer with four they will, and with Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Mathias Kiwanuka and sometimes rookie Clint Sintim on the field at the same time they should be able to do that.3. How will the loss of Derrick Ward affect the Giants on offense?
I don't think it will have that big of an impact. Fans have been clamoring for more Ahmad Bradshaw for two years now, and he is primed to have a big impact this season. Ex-Jet Danny Ware is the third guy, and he has been outstanding thus far. He can run, catch and return kicks. Thank you very much for letting him slip away.
4. Although he still has critics, it's tough to say Eli Manning's been anything short of a major success with a championship, a Super Bowl MVP, two division titles, and four Playoff trips in five seasons. What lessons can the Jets learn from Eli's development to develop their own rookie quarterback?
Well, to be honest I think that unless the Jets feel their defense will be dominant they are making a mistake. I know Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco were successful last season, but it is still difficult for a rookie. Eli sat half of his first season, and was pretty much clueless the second half when he did play. If I was to give advice I would say, don't ask too much. There were times, even in Eli's second and third season, that I thought the Giants tried to put too much on him. Shoot, I still think they do that sometimes -- asking him to throw too often, or too deep, in brutal conditions and things like that. As far as Sanchez, lean on your defense, keep it simple -- and expect mistakes sometimes. Oh, and try not to call for him to be run out of town the first time he has a couple of brutal games -- because he will.
5. How do you think the Giants fare in a loaded division?
The Giants have been to the playoffs four years in a row. I honestly see no reason -- if they still healthy -- that they won't go again. They were the best team in the NFC last season until the Plaxico Burress mess. You can argue all day about whether the Giants or Eagles are better, but I'm not sure it matters. To me, they are the best two teams in the NFC.
Thanks to Ed at Big Blue View for answering my questions and be sure to head over there to see my five answers for the Jets.