Due to the ever-looming salary cap within the contemporary NFL, it is quite rare to find a football team without holes. Despite their great level of success over the past couple of years, the New York Giants certainly are not an exception to this rule.
With that said, I would now like to take the time to assess the current Giants roster and identify the positions at which I believe a hole can be found.
Without a doubt, the wide receiving core is the biggest hole on the 2009 New York Giants roster. With Plaxico Burress released following his legal issues and Amani Toomer’s future with the team in doubt, the zone-busting specialist Steve Smith will be taking over as the team’s No. 1 receiving option.
Following Smith are unproven speedsters Domenik Hixon, Sinorice Moss, and Mario Mannigham, as well as talented but raw rookies Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden. While the talent level of this unit is high, someone will certainly need to step up and become the leader. Until then, the wide receiver position has to be considered a hole for this team.
While not nearly as large of a hole as with the wide receiver position, I believe it is fair to say that a hole does exist amongst the New York Giants’ tight ends.
Kevin Boss, the incumbent starting tight end for the team, was a division II college player who has shown flashes of brilliance both as a blocker as well as a receiver, but he is still far from a proven commodity given his experience.
Michael Matthews, the second string tight end, is a 270 pound blocking prodigy who has a long way to go as far as his receiving game is concerned. The third string tight end for the G-Men will likely be rookie Travis Beckum, a tight end with solid receiving skills who brings very little to the table in terms of blocking.
The Giants should have enough contribution from the tight end position to succeed, but there is still something to be desired here from a team that has Super Bowl aspirations.
Even though John Carney represented the New York Giants in the Pro Bowl last season, I still believe that a hole lies within the Giants’ kicking game. While Carney was exceptionally efficient for the Giants in 2008, he did seem to have limited range on his kicks and often wasn’t even used for field goal attempts from beyond 50 yards. Furthermore, John Carney is now 45 years old and is still a free agent, thereby indicating that the Giants have little intention to bring him back for the 2009 season.
Currently, the only other kicker on the Giants’ roster is Lawrence Tynes, a veteran kicker who has put together a solid career of mediocrity, and who lost his starting job in 2008 to John Carney after returning from injury. While the Giants did succeed in winning the Super Bowl in 2007 with Tynes as their place-kicker, there is certainly a great deal of room to improve at the position.
Surprisingly, star college kicker Graham Gano out of Florida State went undrafted this year, and, yet, the Giants’ showed little interest in signing him or any other young kicker.
It appears that the Giants will enter the 2009 NFL season with a hole at the kicker position, as well. However, considering the overall solidity of the football team, the Giants should be able to overcome all of the aforementioned holes and put forth a solid effort in contending for a Super Bowl birth.