Saturday, August 18, 2012

Giants Camp Preview: Quarterbacks

A new NFL season is right around the corner as training camp is quickly approaching.  Leading up to the start of training camp, we will have a run down position-by-position for the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. 

The fourth position we will take a look at is quarterback.

The projected starter at quarterback for the Giants is Eli Manning, with his backup expected to be David Carr. 

There are no new editions at the quarterback position, nor any players leaving.

The player to watch for the Giants at quarterback is obviously Manning.  Manning is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and in the prime of his career.  He is coming off his second Super Bowl victory and Super Bowl MVP award and only getting better as a player.  You can not do much better than David Carr as backup, as he provides a veteran presence behind Manning for the Giants in case Manning ever has to miss game time.  The Giants also like third-stringer Ryan Perrilloux, but it is unlikely for him to make the roster unless he beats out Carr as the Giants tend to carry only two quarterbacks as a time.

One strength that Manning provides this team is his ability to make those around him better.  Last season, Manning was charged with working in a new third receiver and starting tight end.  Manning was a big reason for the emergences of Victor Cruz and Jake Ballard as major contributors last season.  To make matters even tougher, he had to do all this behind a revamped offensive line and no team training because of the lockout limiting training camp.  This season, again, Manning is being asked to develop a new tight end and third receiver behind an offensive line that has shuffling parts.  There is no reason to believe that Manning cannot do it again, as players like Martellus Bennett, Bear Pascoe, Rueben Randle, Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden and Jerel Jernigan are all thought to have more talent that the group last season. 

The potential weakness for the quarterback position for the Giants is the offensive line.  Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has admitted during camp that he is concerned about the line.  He may not be overly concerned, but there are some things that raise some question marks.  Gilbride has an old face in a new place in David Diehl, who is moving to right tackle, and a left tackle in Will Beatty that is dealing with chronic back problems.  Kevin Boothe is being given the responsibilities at left guard and David Baas should improve upon a rocky first season as a Giant that was derailed by injury.  Manning needs to be protected by this line, as they surrendered 28 sacks last season and six in the NFC Championship game in San Francisco

The wild card for the Giants quarterbacks is the running game.  If the Giants are able to get a consistent running game, it will make Manning that much more dangerous.  Last season the Giants finished last in rushing.  Imagine the potential stats Manning could garner with a strong running game to play off of with the deep play action routes the Giants like to use.  Manning threw for 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns last season, carrying the offense without an effective running game to rely on. With an improved running game, Manning may also have some pressure relieved in late game situations, not having to mount as many comebacks with a stronger running game. 

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