* EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ*
- Welcome to "Michael Eisen's Mailbag." Every few days, Giants.com's exclusive Writer/Editor Michael Eisen will pick some of the best questions and comments we receive via email* and answer them right here! If you'd like to submit a question or comment to Michael, click here.
Michael - What are the responsibilities of an "H" back and how are they different from tight end, wide receiver, fullback and running back? Thanks, Frank
It's not that the responsibilities of the H back are different. What makes the position unique is that it combines the duties of each of the positions you list. An H back will line up in a variety of spots and emulate a tight end on one play and perhaps a fullback on the next play. On any given series, he might be called on to block, catch and carry the football. Versatility is a requirement for playing H back.
Mr. Eisen- Brandon Jacobs has not had a full year of football without getting an injury. With his style of play, and another year under his belt, I see this getting worse, not better. I know you work for the Giants and typically answer these questions like a politician, but can you honestly say that this shouldn't be a huge concern for the Giants? Their offense is based on wearing defenses down and feeding off of the play action- a luxury that I don't think Bradshaw and Ware will provide.
*You make a valid point – In neither of his first two years as a starter did Jacobs play a full 16-game schedule. But I don't know if you can attribute his injuries to his style of play. In the 2007 season opener his knee got caught under a defender in the first quarter – that was more fluky than anything. The hamstring injury he suffered later that season was also not the result of his propensity for dishing out punishment. I would argue you can make the same statement about last year's knee injury.
Two points: One of Jacobs' goals is to play an entire 16-game season and he has worked hard to get himself in optimal condition. Also, when he was sidelined last year, Jacobs was replaced by Derrick Ward, a runner with a different style. Ward rushed for 1,025 yards. So if Jacobs is forced out of the lineup this season, the Giants can still have a productive rushing attack, though it might look different without the big guy.*
Dear Mr. Eisen, I've been a Giant fan for 38 years. Do you think we will have a problem signing all of our draft picks by training camp. We need to have them in by then to integrate them on to the various teams. Especially the wide outs. I have seen Hakeem Nicks play and I think if we can get him signed and in training camp he will be a very important part of our offense. Very Respectfully, Eric
I think all of the draft choices will be signed before training camp and I base that on the team's recent history. Under Ernie Accorsi and then Jerry Reese – and with assistant general manager Kevin Abrams as the point man on negotiations – the Giants have not had a rookie holdout for many years. I can't remember the last one. It would be a major surprise if this year was any different.
Michael, What is your take on the O-Line? It seems to me that they may have run out of gas at the end of last year. I love each of our guys but they just did not get the job done against Philly (both times) at the end of the year. Do you think it was more mental or physical? Should we be concerned with an age factor? Will there be more platooning this year? Bill
Well, I certainly disagree that they ran out of gas. Although the Giants played poorly in the playoff loss to Philadelphia, they did outgain the Eagles, 307-276, including 138-59 on the ground. Eli Manning was not sacked in that game. And let's not forget that the last full game they played before that, the Giants rushed for 301 yards in the victory over Carolina. That's the fifth-highest total in franchise history – and that was on Dec. 21. I can't argue the fact that the three of the starters (O'Hara, McKenzie and Seubert) are at least 30 years old. But they're still playing at a high level. I doubt you will see more of a platoon this year. The backups are largely unproven and the interchange of players usually isn't done on the offensive line.