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Eisen's Mailbag: RB battle wide open?


Is the battle for the running back position settled or still wide open? Also, will Peyton Hillis get a minimal amount of playing time due to Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams, as well as the possibility of David Wilson coming back?** -Jeremy

Dear Jeremy:
The starting job is open if you ask the coaches, who like to say every job is up for grabs entering training camp – except perhaps Eli's. But Jennings took the vast majority of the first team snaps throughout the spring practices, in part because Wilson was not yet cleared to work in the offense vs. defense portion of the workouts. Jennings was impressive and I would expect him to be the starter. Wilson hopes/expects to get the go-ahead for full contact and would certainly get a heavy workload. Williams should also contribute. So if Wilson is cleared and the top three are healthy, Hillis might have a hard time getting on the field.

Do you think that the Giants will be near the top of the league in four-receiver sets based on their not-so-talented tight ends and deep receiving corps (plus Jerrel Jernigan and Trindon Holliday have the standard size for a slot receiver)?

Dear Jonathan:
First, I continue to believe the tight ends will provide a pleasant surprise or two. Perhaps it will be Adrien Robinson, perhaps the rookie, Xavier Grimble, who had his moments during the spring. The Giants might frequently use four receivers at a time, but it won't be because of a perceived weakness at tight end. It will be due to their talent and depth at wideout. But really, it's difficult to predict how often that will occur. We've yet to see Ben McAdoo call plays in a game – or even in a full-pads practice. We're going to have to wait until at least the preseason to get a clearer idea how McAdoo will use his personnel.

The biggest opportunity I would like to see addressed is our third-and one and fourth-and-one playcalling. Is this something that the coaching staff acknowledges has been a big weakness in the past?

Dear Steve:
Your question is moot. What happened on offense in the past, particularly in regard to playcalling, is irrelevant. The Giants have a new offensive coordinator/playcaller in Ben McAdoo. He has installed a new offensive system. The plays he calls in short-yardage situations on third down could be vastly different than what Kevin Gilbride called during his tenure here. We'll all find out starting Sept. 8 in Detroit.


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