Current Condition: At tight end, the Giants went from awful to excellent in one year. Obviously, the addition of Jeremy Shockey was huge. We’ve said before that Shockey can be the type of player, like Baltimore’s Ray Lewis, who can elevate the level of his team’s play. He can do that for this team, but he has to do it through his play. He can do it by continuing to be a physical force, by running over tacklers and with his enthusiasm and passion for the game.
Acting like a ‘Terrell Owens-type’ clown after every catch won’t get it done. He can lead without the histrionics. All that does is incite the other team.
Dan Campbell went from barely hanging on to a roster spot to becoming an important part of the offense. He complements Shockey well. Shockey and Campbell could be the best set of tight ends in the league right now. Marcellus Rivers also serves a purpose; he can catch the ball and is a valuable special teams performer.
NYG UFAs: Dan Campbell
NYG RFAs: None
A-List Free Agents: Jim Kleinsasser, Minnesota
B-List Free Agents: Hunter Goodwin (blocker), Minnesota; Steve Heiden (two-way), Cleveland; Jerame Tuman (receiver), Pittsburgh; Mikhael Ricks (receiver), Detroit; Desmond Clark (receiver), Miami
First Day Draft: Aaron Walker, Florida; Bennie Joppru, Michigan; Trent Smith, Oklahoma; Jason Witten, Tennessee
Possible Departures: None
The Plan: Nothing is needed as long as they re-sign Dan Campbell. Once that is accomplished they can sit back and enjoy what is now a strength of this team.
Current Condition: Tiki Barber was sensational. With the exception of his three lost fumbles against the Eagles, he did everything that was expected of him and more. He is a legitimate threat as a runner and a receiver. Truthfully, we did not believe he was big enough or strong enough to carry the load that he did, but he proved he could do it. He has also shown us that a back does not have to have prototypical size to be successful. Everyone would love a back that’s 6-0 and at least 225 pounds, but that size qualification may be overrated.
On the other hand, we have Ron Dayne. After watching Dayne’s pathetic play in the 49ers debacle we believe we now understand why he has not been successful as a pro. The game is too fast for Dayne. It’s too fast physically and mentally for him. It was clearly evident in that game. Even if you gave Dayne 30 carries you would see what you see now, a slow, plodding runner without much power.
At fullback, Charles Stackhouse was marginal at best. He made some plays, but his season will be remembered for his fumble in the first Eagles game.
NYG UFAs: None
NYG RFAs: None
A-List Free Agents: None
B-List Free Agents: Stacey Mack, Jacksonville; Mike Cloud, Kansas City; Shawn Bryson, Buffalo
First Day Draft: Larry Johnson, Penn State; Lee Suggs, Virginia Tech; Earnest Graham, Florida; Dwone Hicks, Middle Tennessee; Quentin Griffin, Oklahoma; Cecil Sapp, Colorado State; Musa Smith, Georgia; Chris Brown, Colorado; Onterrio Smith, Oregon
Possible Departures: Ron Dayne
The Plan: Ron Dayne has to go. Earlier this year, Denver Coach Mike Shanahan benched his starting quarterback, Brian Griese. When asked about the decision, Shanahan said: “Once I base playing time on the salary cap or draft choices, I lose this team. If you did it based on money, every first-round draft choice would stay with your team for seven years and you would look like you didn’t make a mistake. That’s not always the case.” Do you believe for one minute that the rest of the Giants players don’t see what is happening with Dayne? They know who is producing and who isn’t. It’s time to face the music. Another back to complement Barber should be added either through the Draft or through free agency, and it doesn’t have to be a mega-back. The Draft would appear to be the best route toward adding a back since there are several intriguing prospects. A fullback in the mid-to-late rounds to challenge Stackhouse would be a good move also.