PITTSBURGH -- Football is back.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are on their way to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, with so many headlines to live up to. Is Ben Roethlisberger back? Will JuJu and James Conner step up? Is the defense really this good?
Kickoff will bring every answer. As black and gold uniforms line the sideline on Monday night, the city of Pittsburgh will be glued to their televisions, watching the first step in what everyone hopes is a Super Bowl season.
But while we're waiting for answers, so are the Steelers. The Giants come into Week 1 with a new coaching staff and ZERO game tape as a group.
Unlike the players, though, we want answers beforehand. Donnie Druin broke down the film and went inside the Giants' quarterback, Daniel Jones. We've got answers to matchups and signings. Now, it's time to talk about what we're going to see schematically.
Giants Country publisher, Patricia Traina, takes us inside Giants Camp and their preparation for the Steelers. Traina has the scoop on Jason Garrett's offense, some new uses for Saquon Barkley, and how challenging the Giants defense will be for Ben Roethlisberger.
- Can the Giants secondary stop the Steelers pass attack?
Traina: "That's a big big question that we're going to find out. A lot of youth in the Giants' defensive secondary. They did bring in Logan Ryan who was trying to get caught up. He came in late. They have James Bradbury who has been here since the offseason. But they also have a lot of young guys and I think a big loss for them is Xavier McKinney, their second-round draft pick - their safety. This is a kid who was going to play multiple roles for that defensive secondary and he's gone at least until November with that broken foot. So, a lot of youth, a lot of untested guys and it's going to be very interesting to see how the Giants deal with the Steelers. They have some really good receivers who can makes plays and the Giants secondary quite frankly, watching them in the summer, just made me sit there and go, 'Oh gosh, I hope defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has a solution for these guys.'"
- What does Dexter Lawrence bring to the Giants defensive line?
Traina: "Absolutely, I love Dexter Lawrence. I think he is an underrated presence on the Giants defensive line. Everybody talks about Leonard Williams, who's a good player too don't get me wrong, but Dexter Lawrence, this is a guy who when he came in a lot of people thought, 'Oh he's just a run stopper. He's just another big body.' Kind of like a Damon Harrison almost. I think he's David Harrison-plus. He's a guy who can get after the quarterback, who can push the pocket, and a guy who they're really going to depend on to help that pass rush because one of the problems the Giants had last year, with their past rushes, they really weren't able to get any push against opposing offensive lines. They're really going to be counting on those big bodies like Dexter Lawrence to do that as well as mockup the interior run lines."
- How will Jason Garrett's offense utilize Saquon Barkley?
Traina: "I think he's gonna play a bigger role, Saquon, in the Giants offense than what we've seen in the past. One of the most frustrating things, and I think giant fans will agree with me when I say this is, the previous coaching staff didn't use Saquon to his fullest potential and by that I mean, they'd send him on runs up the middle and the Giants offensive line at the time just really wasn't stout up the middle. They've improved the offensive line, but Barkley can also do a lot of damage if you can get him out into space. And I would not be surprised if you see some off tackle runs, some cut backs, some ways to get him out into space and especially get him into the passing game, which he really wasn't used as much as you'd like to see. They did a lot of dump offs to him last year but really not the best way to to optimize what Barkley brings to the offense.
- What will Garrett's offense look like on Monday night?
Traina: "You're probably going to see a lot of what Garrett ran in Dallas for a number of years with some wrinkles, of course. I expect to see a lot of Evan Engram, the tight end, involved. That's another guy, when we talk about guys who weren't utilize to their full potential, Evan Ingram who was coming off the foot injury is another guy. I think he's going to have a big game. There is a very good chance, Daniel Jones is going to have all of his offensive skill position players, something he did not have last year due to injuries or suspensions. You're going to see more of something a little bit less predictable. Last year, how many times I can sit there and predict what was coming. If I could predict it I'm sure the opposing defenses could. So you're going to see some creativity, you're going to see some hard physical ball and, above all, and I can't stress this enough, I think we're finally going to see these giants offensive skill players use to their fullest potential, which they weren't really the last two years.