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Mailbag: How to use DB Julian Love in new D


Austin in Illinois: Could Julian Love play cornerback if he is needed there this year?

John Schmeelk: Love played cornerback at Notre Dame, where he played exceptionally well. He played outside and inside and was great at anticipating passes and making plays on the ball. It is why many analysts thought he projected so well to the safety position in the NFL. But he only ran a 4.54 40 yard dash at the combine, which is why some thought he would fit better in the slot, where his lack of top-end long speed and 5-10 height would be less of a factor.

His agility scores at the combine showed excellent change-of-direction skills, which would point to success inside. In practices last year, Love seemed to perform better at safety. At times, he struggled to stay with some of the Giants' more athletic wide receivers. Love could get significant time in the slot this year, especially if the Giants use more three-safety packages.

Wisman in New York: How talented is David Sills and do you think the Giants can use him more as a receiver?

John Schmeelk: Sills (6-3, 211) is a big receiver and was a downfield threat who played outside in college but lacks elite NFL speed. The back-end of the wide receiver depth chart is up for grabs in 2020, and Sills will have every chance to make the team. But I would not count on him beating out Shepard, Tate or Slayton for significant playing time.

Ken in Oregon: Why do coaches and QBs reflexively call timeouts to avoid a 5-yard delay of game penalty? In most games, the added timeout is of far greater value than merely avoiding a 5-yard loss. I'd hope that head coach Joe Judge is more willing to lose five yards on a play than to forfeit the great value that each timeout offers.

John Schmeelk: In general, I agree with you Ken. A timeout at the end of a game is more valuable than preventing a 1st-and-10 from becoming a 1st-and-15 or stopping a 2nd-and-2 from becoming a 2nd-and-7 early in the third quarter. There are exceptions to the rule later in games in crucial situations, but I doubt you are referencing those. Judge pays extreme attention to detail when it comes to things like time management and situational football, so I think he would be good at balancing the cost-benefit of using his timeouts.

View photos of the Giants' active roster as it currently stands.

Benjamin in New York: Which player on offense and on defense needs to step up and make an impact in order for the Giants to be successful in 2020?

John Schmeelk: On offense, in the end, it all comes down to the quarterback. Daniel Jones has to protect the ball better and be more efficient in his decision making. Nate Solder is another important player on offense that has to have a bounce-back performance after a disappointing 2019.

On defense, two of the team's cornerbacks other than James Bradberry have to be starting-caliber players. It can be anyone from the group of Sam Beal, DeAndre Baker, Darnay Holmes, Grant Haley, Corey Ballentine and Montre Hartage. Having one top cornerback is not enough.

Jonathan in New Jersey: How do you think the Giants' offensive line will play against the defensive lines of the NFC East? Where do your rank the Giants' defensive line and against the offensive lines of their NFC East opponents?

John Schmeelk: We did a Big Blue Kickoff Live show where we ranked the position groups in the NFC East that you should check out.

Speaking generally, the NFC East prioritizes strength up front. The Redskins and Eagles have stockpiled talented pass rushers that play inside and outside. Specifically, the Cowboys have DeMarcus Lawrence and are taking chances on players like Aldon Smith and Gerald McCoy to regain some of their past glory. On the other side, the Cowboys and Eagles have two of the best offensive lines in the NFL, while the Redskins have high-end players like Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses. This year should be a challenge for the Giants on both sides of the line.­

View photos of every roster addition made by the Giants this offseason.


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