Friday, July 30, 2004

They might be Giants

I, for one, have never been opposed to starting over. There's nothing like a clean sheet after a few years of intolerable disappointment.

So hiring a new coach, bringing in some new players, implementing a new system... all that stuff is fine by me.

But the Giants are walking a dangerous line this year. They seem caught in between the rebuilding movement they say they're making, and the Super Bowl-contending team that they nearly were two years ago.

Many of the established stars are still here -- Michael Strahan, Tiki Barber, Amani Toomer -- and yet many of the team's best supporting players are gone -- Mike Barrow, Dhani Jones, Cornelius Griffin.

And there is the bizarre situation at quarterback. Kerry Collins is out, Kurt Warner is in... but Eli Manning is also there, and the Giants just gave him $54 million over the next six years. So who's the boss?

Many say the smart money is on Warner, who is an established vet with big credentials and a lot of talent. But no one has mentioned his history of concussions, his chronic fumbling problems, and his complete immobility in the pocket. No one's questioning his arm strength or his vision... but how much of an upgrade will he really be over Kerry Collins? We'll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, the Giants will be trying to cobble together offensive and defensive lines, which have been completely dismantled. Let's hope those get put back together before September 12, or it could be a long season for the Big Blues.

Oh, and there's that whole superstar-hates-the-coach problem. Strahan has already been outspoken about his dislike for some of Tom Coughlin's new rules, and he was no doubt among the group of players who rallied to have a fine imposed on the Giants for forcing them spend too much time in the workout room this summer.

And then there's the ol' special teams. Does anyone know who their field goal kicker will be? Does anyone care? Will it matter? Anyone seen Brian Mitchell lately?

The 2004 Giants are a talented team, no doubt. They are also a rebuilding team. We'll have to wait and see which emerges as the season goes on.


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