Where: Bank of America Stadium
When: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. EST
Watch: WCCB-TV Charlotte, Live Look-Ins NFL Network; online at NFL.com (must pay $19.99 for full leaguewide package), Replay Sunday 1 p.m. EST NFL Network
Listen: SIRIUS XM Radio 93 (NYG) 117 (CAR)
The New York Giants will square off against the Carolina Panthers tonight in North Carolina and are looking to get their offseason on-track. GM Jerry Reese is having an atrocious summer, highlighted by losing Steve Smith to the Philadelphia Eagles, Kevin Boss defecting to the Oakland Raiders and Osi Umenyiora refusing to play until he gets a new contract.
The Panthers are having a bit better of an offseason and do not have nearly the expectations that the Giants do. The team’s summer moves included drafting Cameron Newton No. 1 overall in the draft and re-signing Charles Johnson and DeAngelo Williams. Their team looks young and inexperienced, but they have all the talent in the world. Their first test will be tonight against the Giants.
Giants Key Addition:
David Baas. Baas is the new starting center in New York and tonight he will debut for the team. Building a rapport with the quarterback is one of the most important things for a center to do, so watch how Eli Manning and Baas perform tonight in their limited time on the field.
The Baas signing came on the heels of releasing Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert, two stalwarts along the Giants offensive line. We will see tonight if Reese was wise to do this.
Panthers Key Addition:
Cam Newton. Newton was drafted No. 1 overall by the Panthers to be the future of their franchise. He led Auburn to an undefeated season and National Championship. He also won the 2009 NJCAA (Juco) championship at Blinn. The guy simply wins football games, so it will be a good start for him to get it done versus the Giants tonight.
Giants Biggest Loss:
Kevin Boss. Boss was the teams’ starting tight end and they have very little depth behind him. They brought in Ben Patrick from Arizona, who promptly retired. Boss should have been a priority signing for the team and he even stated he wanted to be a Giant. They will now go into the season without a real option at TE and certainly no one who can block and become a red-zone threat like Boss.
Steve Smith would have been the biggest loss if not for his injury woes the past season. He is on the PUP List and will most likely miss the first six Eagles’ games.
Panthers Biggest Loss:
Richard Marshall. Marshall was the Panthers stalwart defensive back who hasn’t missed a game since his rookie season in 2006. He has compiled 14 INTs, 422 tackles and five sacks in his five years with the team. Marshall is a very solid cornerback who will certainly be missed in Carolina.
What They’re Saying:
Zach Berman of the Star-Ledger thinks that there are three positions to watch during the Giants’ game tonight. The team lost Barry Cofield at DT and will have Linval Joseph, Marvin Austin, Rocky Bernard and Gabe Watson battling it out for time at the position. William Beatty is going to see if he can handle the pressure of left tackle, and Matt Dodge and Steve Weatherford are fighting for the right to punt.
Steve Reed at the Gaston Gazette thinks that this preseason Panthers coach Ron Rivera will heavily lean on his starters. The starters usually play sparingly, but with the lockout effecting training camp time, the team needs more time on the field to gel together.
What’s Worth Watching?:
Cam Newton and the new look Panthers offense. The team struggled last season mightily with Jimmy Clausen under center, and he should be replaced very soon. Clausen and Newton are both splitting time with the first team offense and Newton should easily be winning that position full time. With a strong showing tonight by Newton in his first meaningful NFL action, he should be named the opening day starter.
The New York Giants utter train wreck of an offseason. They lost their safety-blanket slot receiver, a beast of a tight end and will most likely lose their Pro Bowl defensive end. The Osi saga needs to end and the Giants must figure out what is going on with GM Jerry Reese soon or fire him. There is no excuse for him to be losing all of these players and the New York Giants are not going to be competitive this year because of him.
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