Ahead of tonight’s Jets-Giants preseason game, Ed Valentine of Big Blue View answers five questions about the Giants.
1. After Ben McAdoo’s spectacular self-destruction and the firing of Jerry Reese, what are your (very) early impressions of the new Giants regime?
Having GM Dave Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur in charge is a breath of fresh air. The adults have re-taken control of the Giants. That doesn’t mean they have been perfect, but I like the direction, the attitude, the fact that the Giants feel like they are run like a professional football team again. That wasn’t the case last year.
2. With a 37 year old quarterback, the Giants passed on the opportunity to pick their quarterback of the future with the second overall picked. They passed on numerous prospects, including Sam Darnold to take Saquon Barkley. How does the Giants fanbase feel about the decision?
Barkley has been everything he was advertised to be. He will be a tremendous football player. There are still those who believe the Giants should have selected Darnold, and that is a deal where we are just going to have to wait and see how a whole variety of factors play out. The fans love Barkley. There really isn’t anything to be unhappy about, other than his hamstring injury.
3. What part of this Giants team has you most optimistic in 2018?
Offensively this team should be much better. Barkley, Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram is as good a group as I think you can find across the league at the skill positions. I am a firm believer that Eli Manning has gas in the tank -- which I say even though I was on the Darnold train pre-draft. As long as the offensive line proves to be adequate, this team should be able to score plenty of points.
4. What part of this Giants team has you most concerned in 2018?
The defense. James Bettcher is the new coordinator and had a ton of success with the Cardinals. Guys are excited to play for him and things look good thus far. There are questions about the depth and talent all across the defense, though, so we will have to see.
5. Name a few Giants who aren’t household names we should keep an eye on during this game.
Running back Robert Martin (UDFA/Rutgers) is a guy Jets fans might know. He’s been impressive. UDFA corner Grant Haley is another. B.J. Hill, a defensive lineman picked in Round 3, has been impressive. Those are the ones who leap to mind.