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Eisen's Mailbag: Weak spots on team?


I'm a bit concerned that despite being so active in free agency, the Giants did little to improve their glaring weak spots at LT, DE, TE. Beatty, when healthy, isn't good enough, and the other pickups (with the exception of Ayers) couldn't even start for teams weak at these positions. Is there a contributor out there that's not on the roster? ** -Michael

Dear Michael:
I disagree with your assertions that a) those positions are weak spots, and b) the Giants didn't improve them. Let's start with left tackle. Will Beatty will be the first to tell you he didn't play as well has he would have liked last season. He's been very candid about that. But Beatty did play well in 2012. He didn't forget how to play. Beatty can certainly have a comeback season this year. Should he falter, the Giants could turn to free agent Charles Brown, who started 14 games for a playoff team – New Orleans – last season.

At defensive end, the Giants' starters will be two former first-round draft choices, Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka. JPP had a disappointing, injury-shortened season in 2013. But he is healthy now and determined to return to his Pro Bowl form. Damontre Moore should be much-improved as an NFL sophomore. Ayers was an important contributor on a Super Bowl team. I would not call that spot "weak."

Tight end has arguably been the most discussed position among Giants fans this spring. One more time…the Giants believe their two young incumbents, Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell, can be good players. Kellen Davis helped Seattle win the Super Bowl and rookie free agent Xavier Grimble was impressive in the spring practices. Can we get to training camp and play two or three preseason games before issuing a verdict on the strength or weakness of a position group?

My concern is that we signed many No. 2 and 3 players from other teams and they will play like that. Do you think they will be a help or a hindrance against other teams No. 1s?

Dear Fred:
Let's look at some of the free agent acquisitions. Rashad Jennings led the Raiders in rushing last season with 733 yards and six touchdowns. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a former first-round draft choice and Pro Bowler who started 13 games and intercepted three passes for the AFC champion Broncos. Jameel McClain started every game he played for Baltimore. Quintin Demps played in every game with six starts for Kansas City and was third in the NFL with a 30.1-yard kickoff return average. John Jerry started every game the last two seasons for Miami, and Charles Brown started 14 at left tackle last season for New Orleans. Geoff Schwartz played well as a starter for the Chiefs last season. So no, I think it will not be a hindrance.


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