I think, as a Giants fan, we are at a point in the off-season that we may never have been at before:
We are coming off a superbowl win and though we had issues during that regular season, we cleaned them up for the playoffs. A large majority of the problems we had were due to coaching/execution.
Offensive line/Running game...lost two starters from 2010 and were locked-out during the offseason allowing for no learning curve for the new players and line shift and therefore the run game suffered. Two aging starters, with one being told to go in 2012.Another shift this season but with some youth (Beatty and Brewer) that seems to be promising for consistant line play...Beatty moreso than Brewer. O-line should be no worse and likely better than last year. In a perfect world we sign the top player in the NFL for all positions of need but thats unrealistic and we are severely cap-strapped.....Only position of realneed here: #2 Running Back
Passing Game:....Eli is excelling now and maybe we bring in a rookie as a back-up or retain Carr which would save us a half mil in cap space at least. Eli is durable but I feel very confident with Carr at #2. TE is our biggest issue in the blocking/passing game and could very well be where we go with the #1 pick but free agency has some options though they may hurt our cap space more in 2012. We are going to loose Mario without a doubt, so we need to address the #3 position. I want to believe Barden is the answer but I do believe Devin Thomas has more competetive nature and abilityin him to win that role. It is very likely we draft, within the top four rounds,a receiver as well as a TE in 2012. Hynoski is set at FB.....Only position of real need here: #1 Tight End; #3 Wide Receiver
Defensive Line/Pass Rush:....Our D-line had off and on injury issues and was largely ineffective primarily due to the fact that they were more often dropped into pass coverage instead of pass rush. This was a severe detriment to our overall defense...once the coaching staff tightened the coverage and sent 4 we changed the effectiveness of the opposing teams offense and often times dominated the game defensively. Defense against the run suffered up the middle which translated to a weakness for the linebacking group as well. There may be salary issues that need to be adjusted to protect our cap space but otherwise, we don't have significant needs along the front four....Only position of real need here: Defensive Tackle
Linebackers:....The 2011 season was rough on our Linebackers as there were a significant amount of rookies, our starting MLB was IR'd throughout the season, Boley had been dinged and Kiwi did well. Our rookies took a big leap and a couple may have already secured there roster spot for 2012. Goff was very good against the run which is something we suffered with greatly in 2011.With Goff likely coming back, the rookies can focus on perfecting their game and enhance our defensive capability over what they could do last year, the game will be slower for them next year which in turn will enhance their effectiveness. With the exception of a draft pick..... Only position of real need here: None
Secondary:....I believe we truely have a star-layden secondary and in 2011 it wasPOORLY used...many fans here felt it looked like Bill Sheridan and Tim Lewis both came back at DC. No Giants fan appreciates soft coverage and yet Perry Fewell utilized it futilly anyways and rarely adjusted. Thankfully, he exercised a 4 man pass rush and tighter coverage in the secondaryallowing our players to win the games instead of his pipe-dream coaching scheme. Tackling was an issue also with the new rule changes but after a season with the rule-change, the players should be able to shore that up. Hopefully some players would be willing to restructure to enhance our 2012 season allowing us to retain key players on both sides of the ball. Signing Terrel Thomas would be important and if not then re-signing Ross would suffice....Only position of real need here: None
Special Teams: Our ST's improved significantly in 2011 over 2010. A big part of the was on the foot of Steve Weatherford. He has been franchised, so getting his contract squared away will help the cap for 2012. Draft picks and FA's signed this off-season will need to show a willingness and capability to perform on ST'S, obviously! I feel confident we will improve here in 2012 without any significant investment/cap sacrifice....Only position of real need here: None
This is how I see it going into 2012:
I think Reese will make 90% of player/personel adjustments from within. The draft will be used to add depth in weaker areas and Free agency will be very limited and done in much the same way as it was last year, so don't be hanging on too long for the big splash. It is likely, unlikely again this off-season. I do believe a starter will be brought in, whether that is at TE or RB with an outside chance for a DT. OL is also an area that could be adressed in free agency but no star magnitude offensive linemen are likely with our minimal cap space...we may not even draft OL in my book.
Again, we won the superbowl with what we had...we learned alot about the players we have over the course of the season and we learned alot about what schemes work, defensively for our players. We can certainly do alot and acquire very little in the way of needs...this all barring injury.
Yes it was long, but I am bored.