Continuing with my take on the New York Giants by unit I will continue with the New York Giants offensive backfield.
Negative: I wish I had access to game film on a better understanding of what Eli sees so I’m just going to speak on two things that I know need to be changed. First thing that Eli has problems with and needs to work on is his spirals. Playing in Giants stadium or any other stadium with spiraling winds Eli must make the football when traveling through the air as aerodynamic as possible and decrease as much drag as possible for the ball not to die in mid-air. This is actually why I think the Giants lost the playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles because of this. In my opinion the Giants receivers did their job as well as the defense, but the bad throws and interceptions made it harder and deflated the team in the end (I’ll speak more about this when I talk about the wide receivers and defense.) In defense of Eli during that same game McNabb didn’t actually have a good game himself (55.0 217 5.4 1 2)
Another issue that I hope Eli realizes during his time playing at the Pro bowl and will continue on in to the season is wearing properly sized shoulder-pads. Compare videos at the NFL.com site with Eli playing during the season and him playing at the Pro bowl. Eli at the Pro bowl was looking better and quicker on the field. The reason I feel like this is an issue is because watching him it seems like his pads are uncomfortable on him. Every time he throws a pass or does any other type of movement after a play he always shifts his pads or does a shrug of shoulders to readjust them. Again this tells me that his body language is saying that he’s uncomfortable. You can try this theory for yourself, by just putting on an over-sized T-shirt. Once you have done this you should start realizing how much you re-adjust the neck collar when moving around. This is a concern because if the quarterback is not comfortable then it will be a lot harder for him to make sound decisions and make sound throws. Again you can examine this theory by seeing how you do at a task when your relax and then again when your uncomfortable.
Positive: Perfect personality for the New York media market; cool and unemotional. Other quarterbacks like Jay Cutler, Phillip Rivers, or Jake Delhomme couldn’t play in New York because they’re too emotional making them affected to the ups and downs of the NFL. Very good arm strength and becoming more consistent in his accuracy. I believe that he will take the next step because he has more targets and overall this year’s wide receiving core is overall a lot quicker and faster then last years. (I’ll go more in depth on the W.R. in my next article.) He continues to improve his footwork and is starting to put his mark on the Giants. What I mean by this is that the Giants just like Eli are becoming un-phased and on unaffected by the ups and downs of the NFL. Eli also is getting better at the short, intermediate, and long ball.
Negative: In the little time he’s played Carr has done great, but if you watch the season finally against the Vikings then you know why David Carr is still a back up and probable chose this reason to come back to the Giants. The reason is because he’s still jumpy in the pocket, panicking when he gets a little pressure on him. This could still be the after effects of taking so many shots in Texas and Carolina. In a way he’s still kind of suffering from post traumatic syndrome still.
Positive: Good arm strength, good mobility and has an understanding of the offense and what he needs to do. With another year with the Giants he could be a renewed starter for another team.
Andre Woodson and Rhett Bomar: This seems to be a case of competition and who ever is the best makes the team or practice squad.
Negative: Needs to improve pass catching skills. He tends to catch some, but then drop others in the process.
Positive: Great run blocker, one of the best in the NFL. Very durable and is a reliable player who can on occasion catch the ball and take it in for the touchdown.
Negative: His height and size makes his knees more exposed to hits and injury. Doesn’t have blazing speed and doesn’t have great agility. Jacobs has trouble with holding on to the ball sometimes. He also drops the ball to much even though he has shown in the past that he can and has done so.
Positive: Good speed (great speed for a player of his sized), as well as good agility (great for a man his size.) Very good pass blocking and brings toughness to the offense as seen in the Carolina game this past season. Learning how to get his pads down when he’s about to take a hit.
Negative: Needs to improve pass blocking and also has a problem with holding on to the ball. This is probable why he didn’t get more playing time then he should have. Tom Coughlin doesn’t like players who turn the ball over. His tough running which can get him extra yards can also expose him to fumbling the ball.
Positive: Breakaway speed and can break many tackles for big yardage. Great agility and has the ability to catch the ball when given the opportunity. Playoff and Super bowl experience which is very important to have. Toughness is another thing he brings as well.
Danny Ware and Andre Brown
This will be a very interesting competition where I believe Ware has the inside track. I believe this because the Giants seem to be really high on Ware and frankly Brown is a rookie. What I mean by this is that Tom Coughlin rarely starts rookies and in terms of this situation there are many players in front of Brown that are better accustom to the league. Brown needs to learn the playbook, how to pass-block, read coverage, and adjust to the NFL speed. There are a lot of question that need to be answered with this player.
I believe that Eli Manning will have his best season of his career in '09 because he has for the first time a recieving core that is full of speed and quickness. Even more importantly they bring something that Plax didn't bring and that was route running and speed. Players like Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, and maybe Nicks and Manningham will bring these attributes to the offense. I actually believe that Giants will have more big plays come out of the passing game just because of this. Hopefully Kevin Boss will continue to progress in his own right as well as Travis Beckum. Brandon Jacobs is the starter and basically needs to start catching the ball when the ball is thrown to him. He also needs to improve on staying healthy and staying in games. Ahmad Bradshaw in my opinion is the key to the Giants running game and season because of what he brings to the table. If he can hold on to the ball he will get plenty of opportunities to take it all the way for 7 points. He brings speed to the backfield which no other running back brings. If Ahmad is not the 2nd running back on the depth chart then I would be really concern for his future and the Giants season if this case were to happen. Who ever the 3rd running back is going to be will get a clean up role in the forth quarter when the Giants are trying to run the clock out.