Twitter mailbag: The state of the offense

August, 16, 2014
Aug 16
10:00
AM ET
Time to check out this week's batch of New York Giants #nygmail on Twitter ...

@DanGrazianoESPN: After you asked me this question Thursday morning, I asked Walter Thurmond whether he'd had the opportunity to sign a longer-term deal. He said he did, and that the Giants actually offered three years, but that he preferred to take one to keep himself hungry. Now, there are plenty of good reasons he might have wanted to do this. Cornerback salaries continue to escalate, the salary cap is due to rise again next year and a season playing in the New York media market can only help Thurmond's profile. And from the Giants' standpoint, they'll have first crack at him if they decide -- either during the season or right after it -- that they want to keep him for more than just one year. As long as he doesn't get hurt, Thurmond's in a good spot. And based on what we've seen in camp, he's a heck of a player. @DanGrazianoESPN: Well, no, but they have more than three weeks still to get ready, and I think that's an important thing to remember when reading my accounts (and other people's accounts) of what we're seeing in practice. This offense is still a work in progress, and that progress isn't and wasn't supposed to be completed by now. They only just completed the installation process Tuesday, which means there are still new schemes and plays they haven't practiced more than once or twice. We're in a making-of-the-sausage era of news and sports coverage, in which every step is documented and analyzed. The Giants are by no means ready to play a real game right now. The question is whether they can get themselves ready by Sept. 8. My personal hunch is that this offense will still be a work in progress when the season starts and will be running more smoothly in November than it runs in September. But I also still think the main concern is the quality of the personnel and/or the lack of depth at wide receiver, tight end, running back and on the offensive line. I think they're thin in too many places to really have a big year. @DanGrazianoESPN: I think there are legitimate question marks at every position. Can Will Beatty bounce back? (I think so.) Can Geoff Schwartz continue the improvement he showed last year in Kansas City? (Don't see why not.) Is J.D. Walton a legitimate NFL starting center who can push defenders off the line reliably? (Have my doubts.) Who the heck is the right guard? (Brandon Mosley right now, and he's been shaky.) Can Justin Pugh build on his strong rookie season, or is a sophomore slump coming? (No idea.) No matter how you answer them, the fact that there are so many questions is alarming, and likely indicative that it's not a strength of the team. As for rookie Weston Richburg, he looks like a guy who's learning. He's had a lot of reps at guard and center, and they're trying to get him up to speed quickly. I think there's a decent chance he passes Walton this year, but I also think it's more likely they work him at right guard, since that seems to be the bigger problem. @DanGrazianoESPN: Here's how I'd rank the position groups on paper: 1. Cornerback 2. Safety 3. Quarterback 4. Running back 5. Offensive line 6. Linebackers 7. Defensive line 8. Wide receivers 9. Tight ends Could be a long year, folks. Enjoy the game tonight. 

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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