With the first week of camp nearly in the bag, it would be an understatement to say that there has been a lot of news on The Giants' front.
Between Antonio Pierce not being indicted and Eli Manning's contract, there has been quite a buzz around the campus at The University of Albany.
Too bad that isn't the buzz this piece concerns though.
There are several Giants who seem to have been left out of everyone's calculations whom I believe will make a massive impact in 2009 and beyond.
Bryan Kehl—Each and every day thus far in camp Kehl has stepped his game up, stopping the run, defending the pass, and just flat out making his presence felt.
To be quite honest, I wasnt all that excited about the signing of Michael Boley this offseason for the simple fact that his presence would detract from Kehl's playing time.
In limited duty in 2008, Kehl was (by definition, via tackle, pass defended, sack) in on 33 percent of the plays he was on the field for, behind only Justin Tuck.
In week 17 against Minnesota, Kehl was spectacular, with nine tackles and a sack. Kehl is one of a few players who actually have me feeling excited about New York's linebacking core for the first time in a number of years.
Sinorice Moss—Ever since the spring, this guy has been doing it all. Thus far at camp, it would not be an exaggeration to say he has been wide open on every play. The defensive backs even asked him to "slow down" on one occasion.
Moss has been around for a while now in New York, entering his fourth season. Though his opportunities have been slim, Moss has been fairly impressive.
In 2008, he had 12 passes thrown his way, and caught 12.
Just wait, Moss will emerge as a major weapon for New York in 2009. Mark my words.
Jay Alford—Since signing Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard, Alford has really been a forgotten man. He spent his offseason working out with Osi Umenyiora in Atlanta, and also had surgery to fix a lazy eye.
While working out with The Chief himself, Alford has apparently been clued into his "secret" about opponent's snap counts. Umenyiora is notorious for getting off the ball before anyone else on the field even moves, and now Alford knows how the secret works.
Umenyiora wouldn't divulge much about this secret other than the fact that "it's in the eyes."
True or not, both Umenyiora and Alford have been unstoppable off the snap at camp. Justin Tuck claims that Alford will be the starting nickel defensive tackle, and with this news, things are looking even scarier for New York's defense.
The Secondary—Two words: Kenny Phillips.
Whether it be taking on Brandon Jacobs head on, or tracking the ball all over the field, Phillips has done it in every practice session thus far.
Another impressive member of this group has been Terrell Thomas. Of all of the corners, none have stayed on the hip of the receivers like Thomas thus far.
The type of fierce competition going on in the secondary is going to yield some major results for The Giants this season. If this unit performs to the level it has thus far, the defense will be catapulted into a whole new dimension in 2009.
Other Good Notes
—Steve Smith is looking like more than an average slot guy these days, he runs his routes like a true pro and has been wide open.
—Eli Manning really picked up his game today, hitting every receiver he threw to in stride with room to run. The Giants have speed, and if Eli can tap into it like he did today, the Giants offense will be damn near unstoppable this season.
—Clint Sintim is looking like a fantastic selection, he has looked great in coverage and has absolutely blown people up in the backfield.
He did lead the nation (NCAA) in sacks from the linebacker position this past season. If his play against the run continues to excel, he may start over Danny Clark.
—Chris Canty should be nicknamed Megatron. Hes about as big, and if his facemask (http://blog.nj.com/giants_impact/2009/07/large_cantyquestionnaire) doesn't scream " I'm from the future and I'm gonna kill you" I don't know what does.
Between the flow of good reports, and the pads popping, I'm excited for football season.
If these players emerge in 2009, brace yourselves for a fun ride.