Browsing Posts tagged Chris Snee

On Tuesday, I highlighted each offensive skill position for the Giants. Today, we’ll dive into the offensive line and special teams units.

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This past season as a whole (specifically the NFC Championship game) revealed to the masses that the Giants’ offensive line needs help going forward. But let’s look at it from another angle, and not overreact to one game that featured the NFL’s best front seven. For long stretches during the year and especially towards the start of the season, the offensive line was terrible. To me, this is partly because of injuries and a short training camp. An injury to Will Beatty at left tackle forced David Diehl to play two positions – and with a broken hand, too. The rushing attack was atrocious thanks slightly to Ahmad Bradshaw’s ineffective play because of a persistent foot injury, as well as Brandon Jacobs being unhappy. Finally, with a shuffling lineup up front and a brand new anchor in the middle (David Baas) it made jelling as a collective unit difficult. Tack on a shortened training camp with much less time to come together and difficulties should have been expected along the way. It wasn’t until much later in the year (later than we liked) when this unit really began to click – when a rapport was built weeks after it normally would/could/should have been.

In the past three Drafts they’ve in total drafted three linemen (two tackles, one guard): Beatty, Mitch Petrus and James Brewer. Center David Baas just signed a 5-year/$27-mil. deal. Veterans Diehl and Chris Snee are in the team’s short-term plans. Sixth man Kevin Boothe is coming off of a strong season in which he played every position along the line except tight end.

To me, it seems Big Blue has good pieces in place along the offensive line – the only lingering question mark is right tackle Kareem McKenzie. Reports are emerging that the 33-year-old will most likely not be re-signed in the offseason and for much of the year McKenzie looked the part of a replacement level player. There are plenty of talented offensive linemen in this year’s Draft. From top to bottom this is one of the more impressive guard classes that I’ve seen in recent years, and there are a few impact-from-day-one tackles.

Clearly offensive lineman is the biggest need on the offensive line. Even clearer than that, though, is the Giants don’t draft based on need. The Giants have considered taking a tackle in the first round in the last few Drafts and this year may not be any different. Let’s take a look today at a top offensive tackle prospect who could be the best player available when the Giants are on the clock – Ohio State’s Mike Adams.

Greg Bartram/US Presswire

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Labeled as a flat-out frenzy, the likes of which we have never seen in the age of free agency in sports, the rushed heart of the NFL offseason has certainly been a roller coaster ride so far. If your sports compass is going haywire as a result of the madness, that’s alright – we’re here to help.

It’s no surprise that Big Blue has been busy thus far, in just a couple short days. Let’s recap the cuts, the contracts, and the old faces in new places – after the jump.

Getty Images

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Yesterday I discussed the blueprint for the Giants’ football foundation, and how they were an unsuccessful team, with a mistaken identity, for a number of reasons.  It’s time now to draw up a new one.

OFFENSE

– The running game took a step back in ’09.  Part of the reason was Brandon Jacobs not being Brandon Jacobs, but for the most part the problems lied within the offensive line.  Offensive-coordinator Kevin Gilbride has admitted that it will be difficult to break this group up, but it might be time real soon.  There was no surge in the running game; no push at the line of scrimmage like there used to be.  The problems seemed to be up the middle most of the time, and that was clear in short-yardage situations and in the red zone.  The G-Men ranked 23rd in the league in red zone efficiency, scoring just 48.2% of the time.  Whenever the coaches talked about the problems Jacobs was having in the running game, they discussed his hesitation looking for open holes.  So, either the holes weren’t big enough or weren’t there at all.

A pressing need is a big, powerful guard who can run block well, and generate a big push on the line of scrimmage.  Rich Seubert has gotten, and given, plenty out of his body fighting in the trenches in the eight seasons he’s played with the Giants, but he really wore down this season.  His days as a starter are more then likely done.  I’d keep him around, as a veteran presence on and off the field, and in order to fill a hole when needed.  Guards are so important to the running game, and it’s time to start grooming another powerful run-blocker.  If you look at the Giants starting 5 offensive linemen as of now (Diehl – Seubert – O’Hara – Snee – McKenzie), Snee was a second round pick in ’04, Diehl a fifth rounder in ’03, and Seubert was an undrafted free agent signed in ’01.  William  Beatty, drafted in ’09 in the second round, is projected to be a future starter in a couple years at one of the tackle spots.  Diehl is the most versatile lineman out of the whole group and can play every spot but center, and Chris Snee is a perennial pro-bowler.  In other words, they’ve built most of their O-line through the draft.  For now, left guard is one primary concern, and the Giants should use their second round draft choice on a mauling run blocker like UMass’ Vladimir Ducasse, or Florida’s Maurkice Pouncey (who can also play center).

– Another reason the running game declined was the poor blocking at the tight end position.  The Big Boss Man, Kevin Boss, has improved his blocking each of the last two seasons, but his best ability is catching the football.  Boss’ backup, Darcy Johnson, needs to significantly improve his blocking skills if he wants a spot on the roster when the 2010 season begins.

Right now the Giants have plenty of weapons on the offensive side of the ball.  Eli is a franchise quarterback.  Brandon Jacobs will be back to feeling 100 percent next season, and so will Ahmad Bradshaw.  The group of wide receivers, led by Pro Bowler Steve Smith, and tight end Kevin Boss should not be touched.  They’ve established chemistry with Eli this past season and will continue to improve upon that in the offseason.  The only weak spots are offensive line and tight end depth, and you can count on GM Jerry Reese to address those in this April’s draft and during the free agent period.

I’ll talk about Big Blue’s defensive needs in Part III