1) Hail Jerry Reese. I just loved the tone he set at the opening of camp when he reminded all of the players that making the playoffs in only 1 of the last 4 years is unacceptable. We are very grateful for having won a Championship in 2011, but let's not forget that the Giants got that playoff bid as 9-7 Division winners. Think about this juxtaposition from the last 4 years:
Winning the Super Bowl in one season... Missing the playoffs in the other 3.
23-9 in the first half of the season... 13-19 in the second half of the season.
The juxtaposition tells us volumes. There has been enough talent to go 23-9 and win a title in that joyous postseason. There has been enough underachievement to come up short in the balance of those Novembers and Decembers. Jerry Reese did an excellent job of pointing out that this franchise holds a higher standard than making it to the playoffs by chance or some of the time.
In the NFL of 2013, when all you NEED is to make the playoffs to have a credible shot at going all the way, you have to take care of business and get in.
Eli Manning is in his prime. Every year in this QB-driven league you have to seize the opportunity. I have said it on record that Eli Manning has another title in him. Get 11 wins and get that playoff bid so that he can make the magic. His cool demeanor is what makes it possible when the pressure gets turned up in January. LET'S GET TO JANUARY!
2) When is Hakeem Nicks NOT hurt? Should we start calling him Nicked? Vacchiano went hyper about how badly the Giants need Nicks. I disagree, believing that Randle and Murphy can and will have good seasons, assuming they are healthier than Nicks. To be fair to Ralph, Hakeem Nicks IS that good, and is extremely important to have suited up and playing. But Randle is already off to a great start in camp, and the reps he is getting without Nicks on the field is going to mean a lot to the 2nd year player. Somebody needs to tell Nicks that he needs to take yoga or (speak to Amani Toomer about) karate. He'll get hurt less, not to mention the other benefits.
3) Tuck apparently received a lot of cr*p from all sides about his conditioning and repeated injuries in the offseason. If we can get 16 healthy games from Tuck, I KNOW we will be in the playoffs.
4) If the Offensive line comes together, there is no reason why the Offense can't be a juggernaut this year. Beatty and Boothe just need to keep doing what they are doing and continue to make improvements. Baas is a terd in the run game but he does give decent pass protection. Pugh needs to unseat Diehl as fast as possible and show us that Reese did not reach for him too early in the draft. Snee needs to get off the PUP and do what he does best, ie block and pass protect like the veteran OLineman he is. Throw in playmakers like David Wilson, Andre Brown, a healthy Nicks, Cruz, Randle, Myers, Murphy with an improved Eli (nowhere but up in 2013), and this offense can be powerful.
5) I wish I could say the same thing about the defense. Too many holes. But there are some things that we are seeing already in camp that are good, like Prince Amukamara playing solidly in what will be his 3rd year. When you think about all of the time he has missed, this is another player that just needs to stay healthy, because he is improving when he is on the field. We saw it last season, how Prince started making fewer errors each game and became more reliable than Webster. Ugh, Webster. I love CWeb, but his best days are behind him. Hoping Holsey can step it up.
6) PUP list- JPP, Thomas, Hynoski and Snee are all on the PUP. The lartgest question here is how quickly JPP can get back to being an impact player, given the offseason surgery.
7) Now that Garafolo has left for Fox Sports, Giants beat writer coverage has dropped a notch. We'll miss him.
Follow Andy on Twitter @UltimateNYG