Gloom and doom! Armageddon! The end times! 4th-and-17!
Beleaguered Giants fans are convinced the glory of Super Bowl 42 is nothing but a distant memory, not to be repeated in the foreseeable future. All because of, for lack of a better name, "The shot heard round the (Giants) world."
Who cares if the Giants have a great defense? They don't have a No. 1 receiver. Who cares if they have one of the top offensive lines in football? They don't have a No. 2 receiver. Who cares if they have Earth and Fire (maybe Wind, too)? They don't have a go-to guy. Well fear not! Be not dismayed! The answer is as easy as P.B. & Bey.
First things first. P.B. is, of course, prodigal son Plaxico Burress. Since his unfortunate accident, I have identified two types of Giants fans. Those who would take Plax back in a second, and you know who you (we) are, and those who wouldn't. By the way, most of the ones who wouldn't, would secretly be glad if the Giants made the "wrong" choice and brought him back.
Why do I insist it's OK to bring back a gun toting, meeting missing, no courtesy calling diva?
When you have a top flight, No. 1 receiver on your roster, you don't let a little thing like a felony gun charge stand in the way of letting him lead you back to the promised land. You have to believe he has learned his lesson, and even if he hasn't the Giants can always release him later. The Giants need a No. 1 receiver and wouldn't have to trade any picks to get Plaxico.
I predict that safeties will be forced to roll coverage over the top no later than game five this year. That's when Plax should be back from his mandatory four-game suspension.
So, is Burress the only answer? Of course not. At this point, it seems almost a sure thing that Amani Toomer has played his last game with the Giants, so who will be the new No. 2 receiver?
I hope it isn't Steve Smith or Dominick Hixon. I say keep Smith at No. 3 and Hixon at No. 4. This allows them to stay in the slots in which they excel.
My solution—Darrius Heyward-Bey from the University of Maryland. This guy is so fast he can turn the light off and be in bed before it gets dark. Heyward-Bey can catch, run after the catch, run reverses, and even return kicks in a pinch. He does have weaknesses as a route runner, but that's why coaches get the big bucks.
Close your eyes and envision a safety rolling over to double Burress as Heyward-Bey blows by an over-matched corner. Or think about defenses having to cheat to Heyward-Bey's side as Plax puts on a performance reminiscent of the one in the NFC Championship game against Green Bay.
Giants fans should drool at the prospect. With coaching and, as always, a little luck, the Giants could have a pair of receivers of which everyone this side of Arizona would be jealous.
Uminyora will be back to terrorize quarterbacks, Bart Scott could fill a need at linebacker, and Danny Ware can take the place of Wind-Ward. Those areas are set, but to quote Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, to find your hearts desire you shouldn't have to look any further than your own backyard. Well, maybe your own backyard and the University of Maryland.