Tag Archives: Perry Fewell

On Victor Cruz and the New York Giants

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On Monday, the New York Giants signed WR Victor Cruz to a 6-year, $46 million deal. Although it took most of the offseason to get done, everyone who associates themselves with the Giants franchise should be ecstatic. Cruz will be making quite a decent sized paycheck for a number-2 reciever, but the deal also leaves room for General Manager Jerry Reese to potentially sign Hakeem Nicks to a long term deal at the end of the season (barring another health issue).
Finally, Eli Manning and his offense have locked up a viable weapon for the long-term. With the contract drama out of the way, Cruz can focus on shaking off the rust and getting back on the same page with Manning. Although most of the pieces are the same, the offense will have bit of a different look this season, mostly due to the explosiveness that David Wilson brings out of the backfield. I have to imagine that the primary focus of the offense will be working on the chemistry and consistency issues that were the undoing of last year’s team.
If New York is to make a playoff run in 2013, the onus will be on the offense. I don’t believe the defense will be as bad as some expect it to be, but it definitely will not be capable of carrying the load that it did in the Giants’ Super Bowl winning years. The most reliable thing about Perry Fewell’s defense is the group of pass rushers on the line, and they even underperformed last season. Inconsistency was the keyword for last season, as the Giants would lose to the Browns and the Eagles, then go on to thoroughly dominate the NFC Champion 49ers.
New York in the past season looked elite at their best, and unwatchable at their worst – much like the Cowboys in recent years. The talent is there (more so on the offensive side of the ball), but the talent fails to come together and perform on a regular basis.
Why is this? I can’t really answer this question for the defense (poor coaching perhaps), but this issue with the offense stems from the revolving door of players on the offensive line and in the receiving corp. There are capable players in both of these groups, but they have to stay healthy for any sort of chemistry to develop. Because the biggest obstacle to the offense has been injury, I feel more comfortable placing my confidence in them as opposed to the defense.
It’s early yet, but I think the Giants will have to light up the scoreboard to remain competitive in the NFC East. I would argue that Manning’s offense, when rolling on all cylinders, is the best in the division. As we saw last year though, Eli and his receivers had issues with timing and communication about as often as they didn’t. This is going to have to change if the Giants are to right the ship and get back into the playoffs. Signing Cruz is a great step in this process, but it will require a season-long effort to establish and maintain the chemistry that was missing from last year’s unit (not to mention health).