The NY Giants come into the 2014 NFL season as one of the biggest question marks. The Giants have dealt with new personnel, new coaches, injuries, and retirement this offseason. The team does have the added benefit of playing in the Hall of Fame Game, which kicks off tomorrow, August 3rd. Playing in this game allowed the Giants to begin their training camp early than all other NFL teams except their opponent tomorrow, the Buffalo Bills. The additional time at camp may be crucial for the Giants as they hope to have a turnaround season after finishing 2013 with a losing record, for the first time since 2004. Let’s take a closer look at the offseason uncertainties that the Giants have faced this year.
One of the biggest concerns of the offseason was quarterback Eli Manning’s ankle injury. The injury was sustained in final game of last season against the Washington Redskins. Only arthroscopic surgery was required, but surgery is surgery and the Giants organization and all Giants fans are going to be holding their breath when Eli takes the field tomorrow against the Bills. Everyone is hoping for the return of the franchise quarterback that has helped us win two Super Bowls during his career.
Eli Manning must also adjust to a new offensive coordinator. Following the struggles the Giants offense had last season, the Giants relieved offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride of his duties. In his stead the organization brought in the quarterbacks coach from the Green Bay Packers, Ben McAdoo. This will be McAdoo’s first stint as an offensive coordinator, but the Giants are hoping his West Coast offense can revive Eli’s career.
Aside from McAdoo needing to get Eli back to form, McAdoo and the offensive coaching staff will need to focus much of their attention on the offensive line. This was one of the Giants’ biggest weaknesses last season. In the offseason the team signed four veteran linemen, while also using a second-round pick on a center. However, the questions about the unit still remain after veteran lineman Chris Snee announced his retirement earlier this summer. The veteran was an important figure both on and off the field for the last 10 years.
Another unit that the Giants knew they needed to upgrade this offseason was their secondary. GM Jerry Reese moved quickly to sign several key free agents in order to improve this unit. The free agents the team signed are players who have proven that they can play at teams such as Seattle and the Broncos. There is no reason to believe that the Giants cannot expect the same success this season.
The Giants will have hopefully found a way to smooth out some of the kinks with new players and coaches during the first week of camp. However Giants fans would be crazy to not expect some miscommunications in the team’s first game with all of the new personnel. Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game will without a doubt be a very important first step for the NY Giants. Expect the team to take this game very seriously.