Success in The NFL is fragile. More often than not, tapping into that success is about improving the young talent which already resides on a given roster, rather than constantly attempting to acquire new talent.
Acquiring new talent is very important, but one can acquire all the talent in the world, but if it remains untapped it is useless.
After a disappointing 8-8 season, it is paramount that The Giants tap into the youth on their roster.
Lets examine which players need to play a big role in 2010.
William Beatty, OT- Drafted in the second round out of UConn, Beatty came to The Giants with high expectations. In his first training camp, the quarterback whom he was drafted to protect received a $100 million contract. Talk about pressure.
The Giants offensive line was suspect in 2009, and getting Beatty into the rotation will be a key for New York to get back on track in 2010.
Despite making The Pro Bowl this season, left tackle David Diehl was only average in pass protection. Diehl came into the league at guard, and in his early years he looked like he was headed for a career as an all pro before being moved to tackle.
When one considers Diehl's strong suit, it is ironic that the weakest link on the Giants offensive line this past season was left guard Rich Seuburt.
By placing Will Beatty at left tackle and kicking Diehl inside to guard, the Giants greatly improve their offensive line.
Some would argue that Kareem McKenzie was the weakest link this past season, but that is simply false. He hurt his knee late in the season, but when he is in the lineup and healthy he is one of the best right tackles in the game. If the Giants let him go and place Beatty at right tackle, then they will have Beatty and Diehl playing outside their normal positions and weak link Seuburt still in the lineup.
The best move all around for New York is to put Beatty and Diehl where they belong, and let Beatty blossom.
Gartrell Johnson, HB- Johnson was acquired off of waivers from The San Diego Chargers shortly after Danny Ware was hurt early in the season. Though Many people may not have seen Johnson, but this guy is a bowling ball of knives. He led The NFL in rushing this past pre-season and had some really powerful runs.
With the health of Brandon Jacobs almost always in question, Bradshaw and Johnson may turn out to be a great combo for New York. Even if Jacobs is healthy in 2010, Johnson would be a welcomed addition to the backfield.
Travis Beckum, TE- With Kevin "Killdrive" Gilbride lurking the sideline, I will always be left wondering what could have been for a number of players. This past season, it was Travis Beckum and Ramses Barden. With the way The Giants struggle in the red zone, there is no reason that Beckum can't at least get some snaps down near the goal line to see what kind of match ups he draws. Even if he draws the attention of a safety, it would be one less guy to play the run.
It's time the Giants got creative.
Bryan Kehl, LB- Though Kehl is virtually a carbon copy of Michael Boley, he has shown flashes of skill during his first two seasons. He rarely saw the field this past season, but I have a strong feeling that defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will find some way to use him. The best thing for the linebacking core would be to acquire a new man in the middle, while starting Mike Boley and Clint Sintim beside him. In nickel packages, a speedy guy like Kehl would be perfect to drop into coverage while a guy like Sintim could be a situational pass rusher.
Sam Swank, K/P- Who in the world is Sam Swank? Well, as soon as the season ended, Swank was signed by the Giants. After a solid career at Wake Forest, Swank never really found a home in the NFL. I hope he has one with the Giants.
This big-legged kicker can boot the ball into the end zone and also can punt. With Feagles considering retirement, Swank would be a great asset to a growing defense, as he would afford them great starting field position to work with more times than not.
The New York Giants don't lack talent, they lack direction. There is no logical reason why these young players can't contribute on a situational or full time basis.
2009 must be taken as a learning experience, and the Giants must emerge stronger in 2010.
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