The Giants won the Super Bowl, of course, but Baas first season with the
Giants was a difficult one. He played just 11 games, missing time with what was
listed as a neck injury, though it was eventually disclosed that Baas was
suffering severe headaches. When Baas did play, it wasn't especially well. He
compiled a -11.3 rating from Pro Footbal Focus, and there were times when it
seemed like the Giants offensive line played better with fill-in center Kevin
Boothe in the lineup than it did with the highly-paid Baas.
Baas makes the list of 'Players Under Pressure' entering the 2012 season
because he has a long, long way to go to justify the five-year, $27.5-million
contract ($11.5 million guaranteed) the Giants signed him to prior to last
To be fair to Baas, the NFL Lockout meant that free agency was held right
before the start of training camps. And the new training camp rules agreed to in
the Collective Bargaining Agreement took away two-a-day practices, giving Baas
very little time to learn his teammates, learn the offense and refine the
communication a center is responsible for -- something that only comes with time
Yet, Baas' individual performance left a lot to be desired. The -11.3 rating
placed him 29th out of 34 centers graded by PFF. As we know, the play of the
offensive line as a whole also left a lot to be desired.
The Giants can hope for a full, healthy season from left tackle Will Beatty.
They can hope David Diehl has enough left to handle right tackle. They can hope
Mitch Petrus is ready for full-time duty at left guard, and that right guard
Chris Snee is healthy and resembles the Pro Bowl player he was a couple of
If the line is to be better, however, they need Baas to anchor it in the
middle. Boothe is an adequate fill-in, but there remains no real long-term Plan
B if Baas does not get the job done.
In 2010 with San Francisco, Baas graded +3.4 while playing center for the
49ers, including +6.0 as a run blocker. That is the player the Giants need to
see in 2012. If that isn't the player they get next season the Giants might be
forced to look elsewhere for a long-term anchor in the middle of their offensive