STATEMENT: Cornerback Terrell Thomas is best suited to play in the slot*
*EISEN: Fiction - He is certainly capable of playing inside, but he's also an outstanding player on the corner. He can play either position and I would be reluctant to declare he's "best suited" in the slot.
SALOMONE: Fact - It's time for the Giants defense to get comfortable again, and the re-signing of a healthy Thomas will go a long way in doing so. With all the injuries, players were forced out of position (most notably Antrel Rolle playing away from his safety spot), and it took until the final push of the season to fit all the pieces together. Thomas hopes to make it happen more smoothly.
- STATEMENT: Cornerback's Justin Tryon and Michael Coe will battle for the dime spot
*EISEN:Fiction - They should be in the mix, but It's far too early to say that definitively. Bruce Johnson, who missed last season with an Achilles injury, has been re-signed and will be part of the competition. The Giants could bring in another veteran and a draft choice or rookie free agent or two at corner. It's premature to narrow the position battle down to two players.
SALOMONE: Fact - Training camp already? I like it. I also like Tryon and Coe, and the coaching staff certainly does with bringing them back. They are proven special teamers (remember Tryon's tackle of Reggie Bush with a broken arm, holding him down for a loss of four yards on the punt return), and that can go a long way. But I agree with Eisen, too many other variables have to play out first.
- STATEMENT: Tight Ends aren't as important in the Giants Offense
*EISEN:Fiction - As important as what? I think in one important aspect it will grow in stature next season. The Giants finished last in the NFL in rushing yardage in 2011, so I should be shocked if Tom Coughlin did not make improvement in that area an offseason and training camp emphasis. Blocking will be a big part of that effort. That includes not only the offensive line, but tight end. So I think that position will be seriously scrutinized. Jake Ballard was the Giants' fourth-leading receiver last year. He was a key contributor in the passing game. I think the tight end position will continue to be vital in that aspect o the offense as indicated by the signing of Martellus Bennett from the Cowboys.
SALOMONE: Fiction - It's an interesting era for the position. On one hand, you get Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. On the other, you hear that the talent at the position runs dry coming out of college because of the spread offense down in the lower levels of football. But what does that mean for the Giants? The position is very important with or without a "hybrid." They need a big body willing to block, but one that can also make a big play in the passing game.
*STATEMENT: Mark Herzlich will be the starter at MLB in 2012
*EISEN:Fiction - I don't know who will be in camp to compete with him so I can't say fact now. I think the Giants will give Herzlich extended playing time at the position during Mini Camps and Preseason Games.
SALOMONE: Fiction - See my response to No. 3. He's a team guy, one that coaches like, but too much will happen between now and September.