A new football season is almost upon us. The New York Giants are halfway through the 2018 preseason. What have the Giants shown us, coming off a 3-13 season, that should have you excited about the upcoming year?
Here are 10 things worth being fired up about as a Giants fan.
- The newness of it all. You know what a new car smells like? Or what a remodeled room smells like with new paint, new furniture, new carpet? That is your 2018 Giants. New GM. New coach. New schemes on both sides of the ball. New priorities from the front office. New players, including a shiny 2018 Barkley Model running back. New, new, new. And exciting!
- Odell Beckham is healthy. I know you haven’t see him in a preseason game, and maybe you won’t. Beckham, though, has shown plenty this summer to indicate he is healthy and as good as ever, maybe better. He’s happy, too, despite the lingering contract question. Yeah, Beckham at his best is worth getting excited about.
- Saquon Barkley. If he is as good advertised, and all indications seem to show that is the case, the Giants haven’t had a guy like this since Tiki Barber. Shoot, maybe not even a back this versatile since Frank Gifford. That’s pretty darn good company, and what Barkley can do for Beckham, Eli Manning and the Giants is worth being excited about.
- Ereck Flowers isn’t the left tackle. Yeah, yeah that is muted by him still being the right tackle. I look at it this way. Nate Solder is a better left tackle than Flowers. Then, Flowers is a better right tackle than either Bobby Hart of Chad Wheeler, who spent a lot of time at that spot last season. Upgrades at both tackle spots? Yeah, Manning will be excited about that.
- James Bettcher’s defensive scheme. Who doesn’t love aggressive defenses? Defenses that blitz a lot? Defenses that are creative? Defenses that try to take the fight to the opposing offenses rather than being reactive? That’s what you’re going to get from Bettcher, and it is worth getting excited about watching it unfold.
- Davis Webb and Kyle Lauletta. The two young quarterbacks have, in very different ways, each shown promise so far this summer. There are no guarantees, and let’s hope neither has to play a meaningful snap this season, but they’ve shown that there is a chance the Giants have their quarterback of the future on the current roster.
- This is a real offense. It will be absolutely, utterly stunning if the Giants don’t break their string of two seasons without scoring 30 points in a regular-season game. This is a multiple offense that uses lots of different formations and personnel packages instead of the same look over and over, that believes in taking some shots down the field, that has a plethora of weapons and a veteran quarterback who should be able to identify and exploit the mismatches. This is worth getting excited about.
- Will Hernandez. By all accounts, and by whatever visual evidence I have been able to collect. He has drawn comparisons to Chris Snee. By the time his rookie contract is up, Hernandez is probably going to be the best lineman the Giants have and the leader of that group.
- Third-round picks who can actually play? For the entirety of Jerry’s Reese’s reign as GM, the third round of the draft seemed like a black hole. No matter who they picked at what position it seemed to wind up being the wrong choice. Well, defensive lineman B.J. Hill and EDGE player Lorenzo Carter might change that. Hill has already worked his way into the starting lineup and Carter has shown flashes of becoming a potent pass rusher.
- The Philadelphia Eagles are the big dog. Every Giants fan, at least I think every Giants fan, HATES the Eagles. I don’t know if the underdog Giants knock the high-flying birds down a peg or two, but opportunity knocks. It will be exciting to see if the Giants can ground the Eagles.