Today's edition of The Mailbag on Giants.com:
Offseason limitations are a nightmare for football fans and team managers both fully understandable but why let star players be released? The loss of players like Mario Manningham is a tragedy - it is almost as stressful to the Big Blue fan base as the last 57seconds the Super Bowl. Why, Why, Why? Mario was instrumental as a team player and team success. Couldn't someone come up with a reduced contract to retain him if money was the issue? Thank you Disheartened Gmen, fanDear Gary:
*A little perspective, please. First of all, with everything going on in the world, I would hardly call Mario Manningham's departure from the Giants a tragedy. And with all due respect to Manningham, I wouldn't call him a star. He's been a productive receiver at times when healthy. But he played in 16 games just once in his four years with the Giants. In the 2011 regular season he caught 39 passes in 12 games. And there were some balls he could have/should have come up with but didn't, including one in the regular season game in San Francisco. Manningham did add 13 catches in the playoffs, including the big one in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. But his production is hardly irreplaceable, especially with Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz combining for 158 catches and 16 touchdowns. Jerrel Jernigan, Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden, plus a potential veteran addition or draft choice will all help fill the void. Manningham received a contract from the 49ers that he would not have gotten from the Giants. It was time for the two sides to pursue their separate goals.
*The running backs have always fed off of Brandon Jacobs' energy. How do you think Ahmad Bradshaw and D.J. Ware will adapt to not having him around and what will they need to do to keep the Giants running game respectable?
*Jacobs was a vocal presence in the locker room and on the field and in his best seasons his physical running style set an example for everyone. But I've always believed that Bradshaw has a unique energy and approach that is equally inspirational. He runs with uncommon determination. Despite his size, Bradshaw runs over defenders (like Brodney Pool in the Jets game) and simply refuses to go do easily. Jacobs will be missed by the other backs, but if Bradshaw is No. 1 when camp opens he will be a worthy model for the younger backs.
Michael, first thanks for putting up with our sometimes wise and sometimes silly questions. My question relates to the Giants one offensive weakness, the running attack. I understand that Jacobs wanted more than the Giants felt they could afford, and they added the TE from Dallas, but what about a tackle or guard? I think these are positions that need experience. They can draft a RB to replace the big guy, but a G or RT needs experience to step in.Dear Peter:*
*Silly questions! What silly questions? Because the Giants finished last in the NFL with 89.2 rushing yards a game, the running attack is certainly getting great scrutiny this offseason. That includes the blockers up front. I disagree with your assertion that if they import offensive linemen they need to be experienced. Look at the current line. Chris Snee and David Diehl were both productive, full-time starters as rookies. Will Beatty had virtually no experience when he capably stepped in during four starts as a rookie. I don't know what's going to happen in the draft but if the Giants selected a lineman or two, they could well contribute as rookies.
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