It looks like training camp may be coming soon for the New York Giants – it’s been months at this point that the sporting world, and the country at large, has been impacted by shutdowns and closures, but New York governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that teams based in New York can now hold their training camps.
This, of course, doesn’t affect the Giants. The team plays in New Jersey and has their training facilities there, also. But with the two states sitting in close proximity with one another, it seems that the decision made in New York may carry over soon enough to New Jersey.
When the Giants do get the go-ahead to return to the field, what should fans expect?
Competition in the secondary
There will be competition in multiple areas, as there are during most seasons for a rebuilding team, but the secondary is particularly interesting because there’s a new tossup at the cornerback position. Everyone knows by now that DeAndre Baker is in legal trouble and that no matter the end verdict of the case, it may impact his standing with the team. The Giants may decide that even if Baker isn’t punished by the law, it was irresponsible for him to end up in the situation in the first place.
The legal proceedings may also stretch into training camp, which raises doubts about whether or not Baker would participate while the case is still ongoing. If Baker is absent or in a reduced role because of this, it would leave the number two cornerback spot wide open.
There’s a number of names that would be in the running. Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine, and perhaps Julian Love, though the latter is more of a safety than a corner and wouldn’t take the role full time most likely. And with Baker having some poor performances last season, especially in the first half, it’s not entirely out of the question for a replacement player to eclipse him for the starting role given his current problems.
A new offense
Unlike last season, the Giants largely know what they’re getting on offense. At this time last year, the assumption was that Daniel Jones was sitting behind Eli Manning and that Saquon Barkley would be a mainstay of the running game just like he was last season. Sterling Shepard was supposed to be the leading receiver now that Odell Beckham Jr. is in Cleveland, and Darius Slayton was just a promising draft pick.
Instead, Slayton ended up surpassing Shepard when the latter suffered from concussions, Barkley was injured early in the year and took many weeks to get back to his usual form, and Manning only lasted two games before being benched in favor of Jones.
It was a chaotic year last season for the offense, but this time, the Giants have the benefit of a training camp where they know a bit more about who their top personnel are. And this may also be the first season where Daniel Jones is able to play the entire year with a healthy Barkley. The Giants are also bringing in a new tackle in Andrew Thomas, who will have to be integrated into the offensive line quickly, starting with training camp.
Expect the Giants to change up their offensive tactics to suit the players that they expect to be top performers this year – we may just see things more tailored to the young trio of Barkley, Jones, and Slayton rather than the projected lineup of last season which quickly changed.