Examining New York Giants' Offseason and Key Preseason Positional Battles

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Examining New York Giants' Offseason and Key Preseason Positional Battles
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The New York Giants don’t typically miss the playoffs. And they rarely miss out on postseason play in back-to-back seasons, even in one of the toughest divisions in football

Despite posting a 9-7 record, the Giants missed the playoffs in 2012 as rookie signal-caller Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins grabbed hold of the NFC East title and a playoff berth. But if recent history is any indication, the Redskins shouldn’t expect the same result in 2013.

With the Philadelphia Eagles in flux, the Dallas Cowboys still sorting out the same issues that have plagued them under Jason Garrett and the Redskins hoping they can repeat the fleeting success that is often so hard to duplicate in the NFL, New York is once again in position to ascend the throne in the NFC East.

John Mara and Steve Tisch are two of the best owners in football, and general manager Jerry Reese has done well in establishing himself as one of the preeminent personnel men in the NFL. With stability and a group of forward-thinking executives with Super Bowl aspirations in mind, the Giants can never be counted out.

Veteran running back Ahmad Bradshaw and linebacker Michael Boley won’t be back in blue this season, but Reese did well in replenishing New York’s talent in several areas, including at the linebacker position with the addition of Dan Connor.

The Giants also added a bevy of role players at other positions, including former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Mundy, Oakland Raiders tight end Brandon Myers and veteran defensive tackle Mike Patterson, all of whom should see significant time on the field this season.

Reese also did some work in the 2013 draft, adding a trio of players in the first three rounds that should all make a big impact this season.

Drafting Syracuse offensive tackle Justin Pugh in the first round may not have been a popular choice, but New York needed to find a piece or two to solidify its offensive line and keep Manning on his feet. Regardless of value, Reese made up for it in the second round with Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and in the third with Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore—two players some regarded as early second-round prospects.

Finding Moore in the third round was a minor miracle for a team in need of a replacement at the position with Osi Umenyiora’s free-agent departure. Given his college production and innate ability to get after opposing quarterbacks, there’s a good chance he sees a lot of time lined up opposite Jason Pierre-Paul.

But apart from a solid draft and some depth signings in free agency, the Giants didn’t make many big personnel changes this offseason. As has been the case in recent years, Reese perpetuated an environment of stability and continuity—two factors that have made New York an NFL powerhouse for nearly a decade.

We’ll examine those offseason moves more closely and also break down the Giants’ 2013 draft class and position battles to keep an eye on as the 2013 season draws near. Read on.

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