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Michael:In all of the practice highlight videos I can see Da"rel Scott getting the ball and to me he looks good! However, I am no coach. How is Da'Rel doing with four other backs as competition? What are his chances of making the team? Has he impressed?Dear Brendan:

Scott has had his moments, but he's part of a cutthroat competition at running back. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs hold down he first two spots. D.J. Ware has the most experience behind them, but he is being pressed by Andre Brown, Charles Scott and Da'Rel Scott. That is one position that will be sorted out in the preseason. Da'Rel will have to make the most of what could be limited opportunities. And he will have to prove to the coaches that he will be an asset on special teams.


I understand the whole offensive side of the ball, but I have to question the thinking that the Giants have had lately. We have always been a DEFENSIVE team. The thinking now is to bring in all these RB's for Manning to throw too. What about all the points we gave up last year?  Are the Giants building on the defensive side of the ball as well?  What happened to our roots as a team?Dear Dave:

The Giants will always be true to their defensive roots. And while you're point about points is well taken – the Giants finished 17th in the NFL in points allowed in 2010 – they were seventh in yards allowed and led the NFL in takeaways. So there is a lot to build on. Barry Cofield is gone, but the Giants' have two talented young tackles in Linval Joseph and Marvin Austin, who could replace him. Their top two draft choices – Prince Amukamara and Austin – were defensive players. Amukamara is hurt now, but he should contribute later in the season. Mathias Kiwanuka has returned after playing only three games last season. For the first time since 2007-08, the Giants have the same defensive coordinator, Perry Fewell, for two consecutive seasons. I think the defense has the ingredients to have an outstanding season.

Dear Michael,

This is obviously a strange year for football in general, and the Giants have had some tough losses to free agency, salary cap cuts, as well as injuries and the Osi situation; all before the first pre-season game. In your opinion, how does the energy and excitement at camp right now compare to previous seasons?Dear Sebastian:

I think it's been very good, in no small part because the team has plenty of motivation. Since camp began, they've been inundated with questions about negative issues like Osi Umenyiora not practicing and Prince Amukamara's injury, as well as the Philadelphia Eagles numerous signings. The perception of those asking the questions is the Giants are going to have a long and disappointing season. Nothing inspires a football team like a collective willingness to prove it is good.

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