New York Giants: 10 Bold Offseason Predictions for Big Blue
Sure, the Giants' season isn't officially over.
But it's never too early to look at what the New York Giants need to do this offseason.
Giant fans don't need to be reminded about how close they really were to an NFC East title.
But with talk of coaching changes and the blowout by the Green Bay Packers, there is no question that there are immediate holes the Giants will address.
In having one of the premier defenses in the league, the G-Men are only a few steps away from being a Super Bowl contender.
10. Find a New Punter
It was a questionable decision to use a draft pick, albeit in the seventh round, on a punter.
Now, it seems as if it’s painstakingly obvious that picking up Matt Dodge was a blunder.
This is by no means in response to his infamous punt to DeSean Jackson against the Eagles, as he became a convenient scapegoat for the total fourth quarter disaster.
Instead, it is Dodge’s inconsistent punts and numerous dropped snaps that may land him in the free agent market this offseason.
9. Find a New Punt Returner
Continuing with the special teams theme, the Giants will probably look for someone to replace Will Blackmon, who has muffed two punts and only averaged 5.7 yards per return this season.
We saw coach Tom Coughlin try to mix it up against Green Bay by putting Hakeem Nicks in on the kickoff return.
A more dangerous punt returner would be a serious boost and is well overdue for the Giants.
8. Give Perry Fewell an Extension
Before the Giants played the Packers, they had the No. 2 defense in the NFL.
With the sack attack that erupted midseason against the Bears and their improved secondary, the G-Men must do whatever it takes to keep Fewell in New York.
This season has definitely boosted Fewell’s stock, as a defensive coordinator as well as a potential head coach.
7. Upgrade the O-Line
This is absolutely not a knock against the current offensive line, as they’ve done a pretty good job protecting Eli Manning and making holes for a run game.
But when four of your starters have reached the age of 30, it’s time to start thinking about getting new big uglies.
The Giants drafted a very good guard in Mitch Petrus in 2010, so look for them to continue investing in their offensive line this offseason.
6. Keep the Defensive Front Four Together
These guys are pretty good.
After demonstrating what they can do against Chicago and Dallas, they cooled off a bit.
However, when your defensive line has sacked the quarterback over 25 times in a season, something has to be going right.
5. Get Eli Manning a Backup
Remember the quasi-quarterback controversy at the beginning of the season?
The Giants were going after Matt Leinart after second-string quarterback Jim Sorgi went down in the preseason.
After scrambling to land Sage Rosenfels, look for the Giants to draft a quarterback in the later rounds or pick up a free agent.
4. Don’t Mess with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw
At the beginning of the season, many fans were worried about how starting Bradshaw over Jacobs would affect the Giants' run game.
But over the course of the season, the Bradshaw/Jacobs tandem seemed to be the perfect combination, culminating in over 200 yards against Minnesota.
The Giants' game plan for next season should give both Jacobs and Bradshaw the same prominent role as this season.
3. Draft a Tight End
The only thing missing from a completely dominant receiving corps is a tight end that will be a go-to guy for Eli Manning.
I’ve been unimpressed by Kevin Boss this season and think it’s time for a change.
A tight end that could pick up yards in the flat, as well as go deep, would make all the difference for this Giants offense.
2. Invest in the Secondary
Don’t get me wrong; the G-Men pass defense has been well above average this season.
Both Terrell Thomas and Antrel Rolle have been tremendous assets.
The Giants are just one or two players short of having the absolute best pass defense in the league.
1. Head Coaching Change
You all knew that this was coming, and it’s a possibility that the Giants haven’t ruled out.
I think it would be a huge mistake to fire Coughlin.
At the beginning of the season, no one was talking about the New York Giants. Yet they came so close to winning the NFC East.
If New York does fire Coughlin, look for the G-Men to look outside of their organization to find a replacement.