As the season approaches, we will take an in depth look at the defending champions.
Projected starters: CB Corey Webster, CB Prince Amukamara, S Antrel Rolle and S Kenny Philips.
Backups: CB Terrell Thomas, CB Jayron Hosley, CB Michael Coe, CB Justin Tyron, CB Bruce Johnson, CB Antwaun Molden, S Chris Horton, S Tyler Sash, S Will Hill, S Deon Grant.
Player to watch: Prince Amukamara. With the most recent injury to Terrell Thomas, Amukamara must step in to a starting role for atleast the first eight weeks of the season. Amukamara lost most of his rookie season to injury. Not only did he lose playing time, but he lost valuable coaching time and experience with the coaching staff. The Giants drafted him in the first round of the 2011 draft in hopes that he would become a future starting cornerback. With Aaron Ross leaving via free agency, Amukamara was supposed to be stepping in to the third cornerback position. Now with the injury to Thomas, Amukamara will start opposite of Corey Webster and will hopefully fulfill his potential.
Strength: Competitive unit filled with depth. GM Jerry Reese does an excellent job when evaluating talent. The depth on this Giants team is outstanding. Reese drafted Jayron Hosley in the third round of this year’s draft with the intension of Hosley becoming an outside corner in the future. Amukamara should improve this season with the help of an offseason, preseason and more playing time. If Amukamara is not ready then others such as Coe, Tyron, Molden or Johnson can step into the starting position role until he is ready. With a deeper and healthier secondary Antrel Rolle, who played across from slot receivers more often than safety last season, can move back to free safety and become the ball hawking safety he is known for.
Weakness: Injury. Thomas, Tyron, Johnson and Coe are all coming back from season ending injuries. Health has always been a concern for the Giants and their secondary. You could argue that the Giants hit the ground running in the last six games of their season because they regained injured players. With the injury Thomas has sustained in camp, the Giants are already at a disadvantage. If Thomas struggles to come back from this most recent injury and doesn’t regain his form, then someone else will need to step up.
Hit or miss: Terrell Thomas. Kenny Philips, Antrel Rolle and Corey Webster have all solidified their positions as starters for the Giants. Prince Amukamara has stepped into a starter role because of injury. Coming into camp Thomas was listed as the starter opposite Corey Webster. Thomas was cleared for training camp after coming off his second torn ACL injury. He had an outstanding camp last year and was poised for a breakout year in his contract year before his season ending knee injury in a preseason game. With Thomas now sidelined for atleast six to eight weeks there is a lot of unknown left in him. Can he come back from an aggravated ACL injury? Can he regain his form from last year? These are questions that will be answered half way through the season.
About the Author
Written by Matthew Stapleton
Ridgewood, New Jersey