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New York Giants Mailbag: Quarterback Worries

Let's check in with the readers to see what's on their minds as we coast into Memorial Day Weekend.

If you'd like to submit a question for the mailbag, please send it to nygiantsmaven@gmail.com. Note: We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and conciseness.


The team has confidence with the current players on o-line. Lemieux didn’t inspire me whatsoever. I’m intrigued by Kyle Murphy. Is there anything you’ve heard that points to Murphy becoming a player that may slide under the radar and become a starting guard some time in this upcoming season? – Brian C.

What’s up, Brian? Kyle Murphy is a mystery to me as well, as all I have on him are my notes from last summer (we don’t’ get to watch the practices during the year, so I have nothing to update people on).

I doubt we’ll get much more new information from the mandatory minicamp since that will be noncontact, but rest assured that Murphy is someone I’ll be watching during summer camp and preseason when contact is allowed.


No Sehorn? Really? – Nick P.

Nick, as I have said every week this “Best Player at Position” series has run, the selections that appear on the list are that of John Gidley, whom I trust to do his research.

While I don’t always agree with everyone he includes or leaves out, in the case of Jason Sehorn, whose career was cut short due to injury (not his fault), I 100% agree with the decision to leave him off a list that had more prominent names, many of whom revolutionized the game and had a greater impact on the franchise.


During OTAs, are all players given a copy of the playbook? With so many not making the team, how do teams keep their plays out of other teams' hands? -- @nyk120

Great question. I believe the players do get an iPad—they don’t’ hand out the old-fashioned playbooks that used to be large binders because, with the iPads, they can better control what information gets disseminated during the off-season. With that kind of control, that’s how teams can keep from their entitled playbook landing in the wrong hands.

Also, not for nothing, but when it comes to the weekly game plan, a team never uses everything in its playbook against an opponent—it will choose a small number of plays to incorporate in different scenarios anticipated to arise during the game.

Along those lines, the language used to communicate plays and audibles also changes up from week to week, so there are plenty of safeguards in place to prevent sabotage.


Rather than wait till the trade deadline, can the GIANTS get a quality offensive lineman NOW, in return for a 2022 #4th round pick plus Evan Engram? – Henry J.

Henry, let's cool our jets on the trade talk and see what this revamped coaching staff might be able to do with this offensive line unit. Let's also wait and be sure that Kyle Rudolph will be 100% to start the season before making plans to ship Evan Engram out of town.

Seriously, I get the concerns about the offensive line—I, too, am in a “show me” state of mind when it comes to this unit. But to suggest they make a trade right now when they have spent a handful of days on the field with their new offensive line coach and in an environment where live contact isn’t permitted makes zero sense.


Saquon Barkley has been reported as making "good" progress. Do we have any insight on the likeliness of him play in week 1, or still way too soon to tell? --@nixistehbest

Thanks for the question. I’ve been saying for months now that while I believe Saquon Barkley will be ready to play Week 1, not to expect him to take his pre-injury workload.

For weeks, I’ve also been saying that I wouldn’t be stunned if Barkley’s training camp workload was limited at first. I mean, this is common sense given the timing and the injury and the team’s commitment to the player to not create a setback by rushing him back or allowing him to rush back.

Barkley will have been out of football for about a year at that point, and it never made any sense for the Giants to throw him back into the mix with a full workload.

The handwriting was on the wall regarding their plans with Barkley when they signed Devontae Booker in free agency and then when general manager Dave Gettleman mentioned that Booker is an every-down back.

I do think at some point Barkley will get back to his usual workload, but if I had to take a guess, I would say that won’t happen until maybe the second quarter of the season when hopefully the playoff races start to take more shape.


Do you think that the Giants will pursue another QB if Jones does not play well and we don’t go to the playoffs? -- @ManfredoEduardo

Hi Manfredo. If Jones is the main reason why the Giants don’t go to the playoffs, then yes, the team needs to consider going in a different direction. But if injuries wreck this team or the offensive line doesn’t come together as hoped, then I think they need to re-examine their thought process.


Do you think the Giants will regret not drafting and keeping Justin Fields for themselves with so much uncertainty surrounding Daniel Jones?-- @MrMetKevC

No, I don't. There will be other quarterbacks available in 2022 if it comes to that and the Giants have the bargaining chips to move up if they feel they need a new quarterback.


PFF listed the best 32 Offensive tackles; the Giants did not have any OL named. PFF listed the best 32 Offensive Guards...the Giants had none. For center rankings, Nick Gates came in at #20. For Edge Defender, the Giants did not have a player listed. For Interior Defender, Leonard Williams @ #9 and Dexter Lawrence @ #16. Listed @ #17 is Dalvin Tomlinson, who the Giants let sign with Vikings. What does this all mean? To me, it is a reflection on Dave Gettleman. For all his accolades, he should be accountable for these roster decisions. – Joe M.

Joe, I saw the rankings, and I am not concerned about it, nor do I think any NFL team owner puts as much stock in those rankings as some on the outside do.

Let's flip this around for a moment. If the Giants had a receiver ranked in the top five in PFF's rankings, and that guy went on to lay an egg the following year, would it be an indictment against the general manager? 

No, because things happen. People change. Younger players hopefully get better, and older players at some point begin to decline.

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I’m not as emotionally invested in how the Giants players stack up against the rest of the league (though I admit it does make for a fun conversation piece every so often).

Every team runs its own system, and I’m more interested in how the players in question perform for the Giants than I am comparing them to guys who play in a different system.


If the Giants finish the 2021 season with a record of 8-9 or worse, do Mara and Tisch make wholesale changes, or do they make the same excuses they have been using for the last ten seasons about losing? – Dan

Dan, it depends, to be honest. If injuries wipe out large chunks of certain units, is that reason enough to start over? I don’t think it is.

If everyone stays healthy and this team underachieves, then yes, I do think they will start from scratch. That would be unfortunate, considering they’ve already started over three times with different coaching staff since Tom Coughlin left.


Do you think the Giants sign Morgan Moses given the uncertainty with the offensive line? Do you think the Giants would consider moving Peart to LT and Thomas to RT? –Pat R.

Hi Pat. I think, as hard as it might be, we need to give the coaching staff the benefit of the doubt in their confidence that the line is going to be all right moving forward.

I think a lot of fans and media are fretting about the offensive line. Speaking for myself and why I’ve backed off that a bit, it’s because I haven’t seen this group engage in full-contact drills, and I'd like to see how they do before I get too worked up over what they didn't do personnel-wise.

So no, I don’t think the Giants will sign Morgan Moses or any other veteran unless there is an injury in camp necessitating such a move. I think Nate Solder will be on this team this year, especially after they restructured his deal and won’t pull the rug out from under him. I don’t think they are going to flip Matt Peart’s and Andrew Thomas’s positions.


What are the things nobody will know until the preseason games? What are the things nobody will know until the season? What stuff do we fans speculate about unnecessarily the most?—@BlackBanjoTony

What’s up, Tony? The preseason games will give us a much better look at some of the new talent and how they might potentially be deployed.  

The season will show us what tweaks Jason Garrett and Patrick Graham have made to their respective systems to incorporate the talent they have. Question 3: I would say it’s a tie between stuff that’s way off in the future but which has no evidence to suggest an answer either way and salary-cap space.

As for your last question, I think fans get too hung up on stats. The great Yogi Berra once said stats are like bikinis--they show you a lot but not everything. Yes stats offer some insight into performance and trends, but there are often intangibles that stats don't measure that are just as important. 

For example, if a linebacker has 100 tackles for the season and 80 of them are made seven or more yards down the field, is he better than the linebacker who made 50 tackles but had 40 within three yards of the line of scrimmage? Does the quarterback who finishes with a 59.1 completion percentage suck if his receiving targets drop 25 passes to lead the league in that stat?

This is why I tell people not to obsess over statistics (unless you're heavily into fantasy football where stats matter when planning your lineups). 


I agree that having three safeties on the field is a good fit for the Giants, but do you have concerns that the run defense will be hampered considering the departure of Dalvin Tomlinson?--@MWysol

What’s up, Mark? No, I don’t have those concerns. I think the run defense should be fine--Danny Shelton is a big-bodied defender who should eat up multiple blocks. But with that said, I need to see full-fledged football with pads before I can sit here and admit to having any real concerns about anything on this team.


Can we get an expert's view on whether Daniel Jones or Eli Manning has the stronger arm? Giants twitter cannot agree on the answer. -- @guacamoto

Well, if you find that expert, let me know. Seriously, that’s a matter of opinion, and I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. 

Are we talking Eli in his prime vs. Daniel as a rookie? Eli in his final year vs. Daniel? Too many variables to consider to arrive at a definitive answer. Also, remember Eli ran a different offense than what Daniel has run with different receiving talent. 

Personally, I think the question should be who did a better job of "throwing his receivers open," in which case that would be Eli. But even there, it's not a fair comparison given how long Eli's career ran versus where Daniel is in his.


Who is starting at guard? Where is Toney?-- @AbreuErvin

As of right now, the first-string guards from left to right are Shane Lemieux and Will Hernandez. And I wouldn’t worry about where Toney is right now; the time to worry is if he misses the mandatory minicamp.


What does Daniel Jones stats need to look like for us to keep him as our franchise quarterback?--@Christo56333528

What's up, Christopher? This is a tricky question to answer because the coaches have repeatedly said--and I agree--that it's not about the stats but rather about intangibles.

Is it Daniel's fault if he finishes with a completion percentage under 60% but ends up leading the league in dropped passes? No. That's why numbers don't matter as much as you think.

So what does matter? Is he making quicker reads? Is he more accurate on the passes thrown? Is he leading the team to the finish line? Is he avoiding the boneheaded plays that end drives or result in turnovers?

These are all areas Jones needed to show improvement in last year, and there were signs toward the end of last year that he was on the right track. He just needs to be more consistent, and I think the numbers will follow.