After the 2009 free agent period and NFL Draft, the expectations of the Giants 2009 season are extraordinarily high. On both sides of the ball, the Giants look like a very solid football team on paper.
On the defensive side, acquisitions such a Rocky Bernard, Chris Canty, and Michael Boley seem to have put the Giants over the top. Rocky Bernard and Chris Canty wont just give great depth to the Giants defensive line but they guarantee sacks and pressure on the quarterback.
With Pressure from Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, along with Fred Robbins and Barry Coefield is a talented tandem within itself. Now add Canty and Bernard to that mix, which will help keep everyone fresh and the opposing offesnive line on their heals only to guess where the pressure will be coming from next.
Michael Boley is a remarkable athlete. He has speed, strength and great agility for a player his size. Boley has not had a break out season quite yet and may not be very well known to many NFL fans.
But, I believe that will quickly change with his coming to the New York Giants. Boley will be used in a much different way in New York than how he was used in Atlanta. In Atlanta, they liked to play Boley in a lot of cover formations because of his speed and athletic ability, but with the majority of his time spent in coverage, limited his game.
Now, the Giants believe they have the complete package with Boley. Not just because of his ability to cover, but because of his ability to rush the passer. The Giants will use Boley in blitzing formations, cover formations, you name it, he can do it, which is why he will a big factor for the Giants in the upcoming 2009 season.
Now, lets skip to the offense.
Lets not forget about how well the Giants went about their 2009 draft. Drafting Hakeem Nicks first with the 29th pick and then another wide receiver in Ramses Barden with their fourth pick.
Hakeem Nicks is a guy who I believe can come in and make an impact immediately for the Giants. Nicks does lack top end speed but what he lacks in speed he makes up in quickness. Nicks will be a guy that will find a way to get open because he is so quick.
That's the factor which makes it very difficult for defensive backs to defend him. Speed is important, but it doesn't always create separation, quickness is what creates that initial separation from a defensive back.
Nicks also has very big and very soft hands which will be a key for Eli Manning. A sure handed wide receiver is what the Giants were looking for before the draft, and now they have one.
With the Giants' fourth pick in the draft, they selected the 6'6 229 pound Ramses Barden from Cal Poly.
According to NFL.com, Barden is being compared to the talent of Shannon Sharpe and Brandon Marshall, which is great company to be compared to. Barden is a huge red zone threat and will most likely be one of the main targets down in the red zone this season.
With all this great talent in the draft, lets not forget about returning players like Domenik Hixon, Steve Smith, Sinorice Moss and Mario Manngham. Hixon had a great season in 08. With only seven games started, he racked up 43 reception and led the team with 596 yards.
Understand that the 2008 season could be looked at as Hixon's rookie season at wide receiver. Before the pre season of 08, Hixon was purely a special teams guy, but Coughlin may have found his diamond in the rough in Hixon who is still only 23 years old.
At the other end the Giants still have Steve Smith who led the team with 57 receptions in his sophmore season. Smith looks to be very promising as well. He runs great routes, has great poise and looks to be one of Eli's most trusted options.
Then, the Giants also have Sinorice Moss and Mario Manningham waiting in line to get their shot. Moss could be another surprise to Giants fans this season as he ended last year with only 12 catches, but only 12 passes were thrown his way.
He caught every pass thrown to him, which is a big advantage for him leading into the 2009 season.
We also can't look past Manningham. He wasn't able to catch on to the offense as early as he would have liked last year due to an injury, but you can bet that he is ready for the 2009 season and he will be yet another one for Giants fans to keep an eye on.
Overall, the Giants really have great depth and talent at almost every position. The only position with question marks is the safety position, and the wide receiver position, but just because we yet to know who will submerge from the bunch.
So Giants fans, be excited for this upcoming 2009 season. There are big shoes to fill by athletes with great talent, seems to be a great year in the making.
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