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Mailbag: Pressing questions ahead of MNF


Patrick in New York: Do you think that the Giants should bring in another veteran receiver to help take the pressure off of Daniel Jones?

John Schmeelk: The Giants just got Sterling Shepard back and his presence immediately paid dividends against the Eagles. The combination of Slayton, Shepard and Tate should be enough to give Jones open targets down the field. Odds are there isn't anyone available that would be an upgrade over the current group.

Bob in Vermont: I really like the new three-week window for the injured list and would argue that it should be kept next year. This lets a player heal without hurting the team as much as in the past (when a hamstring or high-ankle sprain is involved) and lets "bubble" players get a shot as well as letting players really heal. Your thoughts?

John Schmeelk: The argument against keeping the window is that teams would use it to stash healthy players they do not want to release and/or subject to waivers. I like the flexibility the three-week window gives team to make sure they have enough players on game day throughout the season. As a compromise, perhaps they could shorten IR to four or five weeks.  

Don in California: Why can't the Giants close out games? It seems like the secondary just stalls out in the fourth quarter. Is it poor play calling, poor execution, or a lack of talent? If you take out the 49ers debacle, the Giants have lost by an average of three points, very often after taking a lead into the final quarter.

John Schmeelk: The Giants are not built well to win games where both teams are in "must-pass" situations. Defensively, they are inexperienced at cornerback outside of James Bradberry and lack a premier edge rusher to consistently pressure the opposing quarterback. The defense has also committed some crucial penalties in late-game situations. When the Giants are trying to score late in games to tie the game or take the lead, their offensive line's inability to consistently protect the quarterback makes it hard to move the ball. Jason Garrett uses things like play-action, moving pockets, the quick game and max protection throughout the game to mitigate the issues, but it is hard to do those things in two-minute drill situations. It is also important to look at plays earlier in the game that put the Giants in those close end-game situations to begin with.

Robert in South Carolina: In the pre-season, Julian Love was named by PFF as a player ready to break out in Year 2. The Giants talked about his versatility and planned to use him as free safety, strong safety, or even a roving defensive back. He's been exclusively at free safety. How come?

John Schmeelk: This is the second straight defensive coaching staff that has decided to use Love primarily as a safety, so it might be time to stop suggesting he can be a nickel cornerback. He is a safety. He has played 28 snaps in the slot, 23 snaps in the box, 296 snaps at free safety. If I had to guess, the coaching staff sees Jabrill Peppers as a better player closer to the line of scrimmage. Logan Ryan's versatility to play nickel cornerback and closer to the line of scrimmage has also kept Love mostly at free safety.


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