Giants Offseason

As we get closer to the start of training camp I feel it is appropriate to recap what the Giants did this offseason as they try to turn things around after the 1-3 mark down the stretch and the early playoff loss to the Eagles. As was well documented Plaxico Burress is no longer on the team as his legal troubles and overall attitude became too much for the Giants and they released him. This caused a fairly large hole as the Giants were without a true number one receiver for the first time since the rookie season of Manning’s career.

So how did they decide to replace Burress’s production? Well it was not the conventional way as the Giants decided to improve an already very impressive defensive unit to try to turn it into one of the most dominating in football to overcome a possible drop in offensive production. They also made a few draft moves to try to replace the wide reciever’s production through a committee. As the first article in a series to recap the offseason we will focus on the free agents the Giants got to improve their defensive line. The players are Rocky Bernard and Chris Canty, both defensive tackles.

Bernard was the first one signed and the initial belief was his signing meant that Canty was no longer a target for the Giants. With the two defensive tackle starters from last year, Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins, expected back this season the need for a fourth tackle seemed minimal. This did not stop the Giants as they still went to their scheduled dinner with Canty and after negotiations managed to sign the former Cowboy to add him to the rotation.

With these moves the Giants have potentially the deepest and most talented defensive line in the NFL. They have last year’s starters Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka at end, and return Osi Umenyoira back to the rotation after spending last season on the injured reserve. At defensive tackle they also sport last years starters like previously mentioned, but with the new additions also have two players that would be starters on any other team in Bernard and Canty not to mention their third round selection from the 2007 draft, Jay Alford. So in total the Giants have seven players that are starting quality, something that should do wonders to keep the line fresh like they were in the 2007 playoff run and unlike the end of 2008. Now not only are all of these players good enough to be considered starting quality but there are also plenty of stars here. Both Osi and Tuck have been to pro bowls, Kiwanuka was a first round draft pick and Canty has been a 3-4 defensive end but with his skill set and physical prowess has the ability to be one of the most dominating 4-3 defensive tackles in football.

As Ernie Accorsi used to love to say, you can never have enough pass rushers. A motto that won the Giants the Superbowl in 2007 and looks to have them set up again for a deep playoff run. If there are not too many injuries and Canty can make a seamless transition to the 4-3 the Giants look to have a flat out dominant defensive line that not only will put tons of pressure on the quarterback but looks to stuff the run as well. With a defensive line like this it should make the secondary’s job even easier, which should create more opportunities for stud corners Aaron Ross and Corey Webster, and allow Kenny Phillips to blossom into the playmaker he is capable of. Our next big blue article will address the remaining free agent pick-ups with the last article detailing the draft.

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