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QB Eli Manning surveys the landscape.
Even with coaching changes, frugality in free agency and precision in the draft, New York is not guaranteed a successful turnaround.
Putting the proper pieces in place is only half the battle. From that point, the Giants must get those many pieces—old and new—to work in perfect synchronization.
That, of course, begins in organized team activities. The most basic terminology and earliest wrinkles will be divulged at these premature practices, as the foundation for a winning season will be built brick by brick, play by play. After OTAs, the Giants will engage in the most essential practice period built into the NFL calendar: training camp.
At training camp, the Giants coaching staff, including those who were recently added or re-assigned, will evaluate an overinflated roster, which should boast several young, promising draftees, as well as some battle-tested free agents. Some young draft picks may even compete for starting positions, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
It is during training camp that a team is molded, for the most part, into the unit we witness on Sundays during the regular season.
The original 90-man roster that enters camp must first be pared down to 75 men before it reaches its finalized, 53-man form. Sometimes, due to injuries and unexpected developments, the team that enters training camp in July is very different than the one that exits in August.
Just like a lot can change in a month of training camp, the future is still very much in the air for these Giants. We are still more than a month away from unrestricted free agency; the draft will not occur for another three months and training camps won't open up across the league for another five months.
It would be presumptuous of me to offer a full 2014 preview before the Giants acquire a single free agent or make a single draft selection, but we can certainly expect things to be different than the 2013 season.
The Giants are determined to make a change, as evidenced by Big Blue's early-offseason coaching carousel. If, under McAdoo's guidance, the Giants can raise their offensive performance to at least meet their level of performance on defense, New York will field a much more balanced squad.
An improvement upon last season's 7-9 mark should be expected, as long as General Manager Jerry Reese can assemble the necessary personnel this offseason.