By The Professor
NFL PRO ZACH Staff Writer
The New York Giants open camp as the defending Super Bowl Champions. Below are the reasons why I believe the 2012 Giants are a significantly better team than the version that just hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.
- Randle/Barden/Jernigan/Hixon competition for 3rd wide receiver will be able to replace Super Mario. He was a poor route runner with undependable hands. The 2012 undrafted find could, once more, come from a WR.
David WilsonThe combo of David Wilson and DJ Ware will be more effective than the volatile Brandon Jacobs. Hynoski’s role will expand.
- Bennett/Robinson/Hopkins/Pascoe will provide as much, if not more, at TE. Jake Ballard was a warrior and will be missed. I have a sneaky suspicion that Jake could end up back on the Giants roster.
- David Baas will improve. Will Beatty is back. Kevin Boothe has improved each year. Mitch Petrus has the experience to start if needed. Brewer may be ready to compete at RT. You get the picture. This group, at best, could be called underachieving, at worst, they were unfit to wear the Big Blue. The OT must and will improve.
- Which brings us to the amazing Eli. Is it possible that he can continue to improve? Eli will improve if he does not regress. The pieces around him should help in that regard.
Marvin AustinThe defensive front is rock solid and deep. This year’s sleeper stud, on the defensive side of the ball, will be Marvin Austin. This Stone-Cold monster, by mid-year, will cycle into a rotation with Joseph and Canty, making DT a 3 headed Hydra. As for the DE’s, Justin Tuck will be healthy once more. Osi seems jovial referring to Robert Griffin III as “Bob”. JPP’s greatness can only be restrained by his desire to defer to the needs of the TEAM. Someone will emerge to replace Tolly. Perhaps, Mathias Kiwanuka will be that guy, now with the quality and depth at LB.
- Giant linebacking may be restored to its historic place of honor. With the addition of Rivers, and with last year’s 4 rookies another year wiser, I expect this, once, area of concern, to become a solid corp. How they choose to configure, I will leave for another day. For now, we can least rejoice that this group is now solid enough to allow Antrel Rolle to return to his Pro Bowl position of choice.
- Aaron Ross will not be missed! The guy played off coverage, to the point where he covered no one. You need 5 or 6 yards? Go find Ross, the softest cushion in the League. He was proud of never getting beat! Oh boy! Guess what? The Prince is ready to inherit the throne. Terrell Thomas is returning after being lost for the year. Hosley, Coe, Molden, Tryon will fill in the gaps. Webster is solid and Kenny Phillips long journey, to return to his form pre-injury, continues. Sash is no longer a rookie, and as I said above, welcome back Rolle. All in all, this is a stronger group than last year’s version.
- Steve Weatherford is the best punter in Pro football.
- Lawrence Tynes is underappreciated and above average.