While there are reasons to be optimistic about the New York Giants, there are just as many question marks surrounding the team.
The New York Giants will report to training camp under new head coach Joe Judge, a bright, young mind looking to build a winning culture. Fans and the Giants brass are hoping that a new voice will provide different results from the last three seasons.
But despite the team employing a new coaching-staff leader, there are still several concerns surrounding the ballclub heading into camp.
A few days ago, we put together our top three reasons to be optimistic about the Giants. Now, here are our top three reasons to be concerned about the organization before camp ultimately opens.
1. Lack of continuity on the offensive line
The draft selection of Georgia All-American tackle Andrew Thomas was a much-needed addition to an offensive line that’s struggled for years. The belief is that he’ll be able to keep Daniel Jones upright for the next decade.
Nevertheless, there’s a question on whether he’ll play left or right tackle in 2020. It’s also unknown who will be the center for the Giants. Nick Gates and Spencer Pulley will compete for the job, and there’s also a possibility Shane Lemieux may go to battle as well.
It’s never ideal to head into training camp with a question mark in regards to who will be your starting center.
With 40% of the starting offensive line slated to be different than it was a season ago, the Giants haven’t had time to build continuity with their “hog mollies” due to the absence of OTAs and minicamp. The offensive line must be in sync more than any other unit in football.
Judge and offensive line coach Marc Colombo must find the five best individuals to protect Jones and open holes for Saquon Barkley early in camp. In the team’s first four games of the season, they’ll face some of the best defensive front sevens in football — the Steelers, Bears, 49ers, and Rams. If the line is unable to gel ahead of the regular season, the Giants will undergo another slow start.
2. Uncertainty on the coaching staff
While Judge should be an upgrade over Pat Shurmur, it’s unknown how he’ll fare in a head coaching role along with how his players and staff will respond to him. It doesn’t help matters that Judge didn’t have any physical team activities during the spring either.
With the exception of receivers coach Tyke Tolbert and special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, the Giants staff has undergone a complete makeover from a season ago. There are now two coaches — offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens — who possess head coaching experience. Some may look at employing an experienced coaching staff as a plus, while others may see it as having too many cooks in the kitchen.
Judge has been in constant communication with his staff and players via a virtual format throughout the spring. But will he be able to get everyone on the same page when training camp opens?
3. DeAndre Baker’s availability
Despite his rookie-year struggles, the Giants were going to rely heavily on DeAndre Baker this season and hope that he would thrive under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
As we all know, Baker has been charged with armed robbery, which surrounds his 2020 availability with question marks. Even if the case is dismissed, it’s possible the league could still suspend him.
If Baker isn’t able to play (at least initially), the Giants will have seven weeks from when training camp opens to their season-opener to determine who will be the starting corner opposite James Bradberry. Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine, Julian Love, and rookie Darnay Holmes are a few of the players that would compete for the job.
Communication in the secondary is imperative. If one player is out of sync, the unit will give up a big play. This is why the uncertainty of who will be one of the starting corners is a big concern for Big Blue.