The New York Giants are two years removed from a world title and co-owner John Mara thinks his team is capable of capturing the Lombardi Trophy once again this year. As fate would have it, the site of Super Bowl XLVIII is at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and the Giants are looking to become the first host city team to win a championship.
"I look at us on paper, and I think we're every bit as good as that team," Mara told reporters Thursday. "There's a long way to go between paper and improvement on the field, but we have enough talent to compete with anybody."
After holding their own playoff destiny in hand entering the final three games of last season, the Giants watched their postseason hopes fade away;losing two of their final three contests. Big Blue made a laundry list of personnel moves through the draft and free agency in an effort to promote competition across the depth chart.
"We signed a lot of players," Mara said. "We've got a lot of guys on one-year deals who have a chance to reinvent themselves and re-establish their careers."
Big Blue finalized a long-term deal with star wideout Victor Cruz this offseason, while adding pass rushers Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson to bolster a defensive line that could be without Jason Pierre-Paul who is still rehabbing from back surgery. The Giants are relatively healthy entering Friday's training camp and they'll need to stay injury-free if they hope to make a serious Super Bowl run.
"We've put together what I think is a good team," he said. "It comes down, like it does every year, to staying healthy and guys playing up to their potential. We have a lot of players with a lot of pride in that locker room. I think they're ready to get going and put last year behind them.
"Hopefully, we'll stay healthy, and I think we can be as good as anybody."
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com