NFL

Giants Primed For Bounce Back Season

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For the past 12 seasons, Tom Coughlin was roaming the sidelines for the New York Giants. However, once this fall comes around, there will be a new face in charge in the ‘Big Apple’.

His name is Ben McAdoo.

With that being said, it’s not as if McAdoo is an unfamiliar face by any means. The 38-year-old was New York’s offensive coordinator this past season.

Under McAdoo, New York finished 8th in total offense and 6th in points per game (26.3). Also, veteran quarterback Eli Manning had a stellar season to say the least. The two-time Super Bowl signal caller had a touchdown to interception of 35 to 14.

By adding a healthy Victor Cruz and rookie Sterling Shepard, New York’s offense should become even more lethal this coming season.

When Cruz was asked about his chances of returning to a Pro Bowl level, the 29-year-old wasn’t bashful in his response. 

“I think the chances are high,” Cruz stated. “My route-running is still the same. I’m feeling really good coming in and out of my breaks. My legs feel fantastic.”

If Cruz plays as good as he’s talking, Manning would be a very happy camper and not to mention, Shepard is drawing comparisons to Cruz himself.

“Nobody’s a young me, let’s be clear,” Cruz said jokingly. “He has those intangibles, he has those, kinda from a physique standpoint he does [look similar], and that quickness that I have as well, he has that as well.”

Nonetheless, it’s on the other side of the ball where the Giants needed the most help at, which is why general manager Jerry Reese has made some very calculated moves this off-season.

In 2015, the Giants allowed 27.6 points per game and had little to no pass rush.

However, the signing of former Miami Dolphin Olivier Vernon should help tremendously. During his four-year career, Vernon has never missed a game and he’s proven to be a very good pass rusher.

It’s clear that Vernon is enjoying his new teammates thus far. 

“Since day one, a lot of the guys came up to me and said what’s up and made me feel welcome,” Vernon expressed. “As far as the whole process of OTA’s and leading into training camp, it’s pretty much about gelling together and becoming one as a team.” Vernon said, later adding “It’s going pretty well. When I came to the building, a lot of the guys approached me and said their name. I felt welcomed. That’s a good feeling. It’s like the first day of school. You’re the new guy at school and pretty much trying to get to know everybody. From that aspect, I feel like everything is going pretty smooth right now.”

Back in 2013, Vernon totaled a career-high 11.5 sacks and just this past season, the former Miami Hurricane product finished with 7.5 sacks.

In addition to Vernon, New York has added cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and rookie Eli Apple. Pairing this duo with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will present one of the most talented cover groups in the entire league.

Along with their improvements on the backend, defensive tackle Damon Harrison should help against the run in the trenches.

While New York has improved on paper defensively, it’ll still take time for them to come together as a collective unit to get where they’d like to and if they do, this could be a special year for the men in blue.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.