As training camp approaches, we’re counting down to camp by taking a look at the defending champions position-by-position.
Projected starter: Eli Manning.
Rob Tringali for ESPN.com
Eli ManningProjected reserves: David Carr.
New faces: None.
Going, going, gone: None.
Player to watch: Manning. Obviously, the Giants have one of the best quarterbacks in the game, in his prime. Manning is coming off his second Super Bowl victory and second Super Bowl MVP performance. And he’s only getting better. Carr provides the team with a veteran backup. The Giants like third-string QB Ryan Perrilloux, but he'll likely have to beat out Carr since the team probably will carry two quarterbacks on the final roster.
Potential strength: Manning’s ability to make players around him better. Last year, he was charged with developing a new third receiver and new tight end. Manning helped Victor Cruz and Jake Ballard emerge as major contributors on the team. He also had to work with a revamped offensive line with no offseason team training due to the lockout. This season, Manning again has to develop a new tight end target and third wide receiver. And he will have some moving parts on the offensive line as well. After seeing what Manning did last season, there’s no reason to doubt that he could do the same thing with Martellus Bennett, Bear Pascoe, Rueben Randle, Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden or Jerrel Jernigan.
Potential weakness: Offensive line. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has said during the offseason that he is concerned about the line. While he may be overly concerned, Gilbride has a familiar face in a new place (David Diehl at right tackle) and a starting left tackle (Will Beatty) with a back issue. Beatty missed most of the offseason activities with a back problem and says he will be ready for camp. Kevin Boothe is now the full-time starter at left guard, and David Baas should be better in his second season with the Giants. The line has to protect Manning, who was sacked 28 times last season, not including the six times he was sacked by San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game.
Wild card: The running game. If the Giants can get their running game going again, Manning will be that much more dangerous. Last season, the Giants finished last in rushing. Imagine how much deadlier Manning can be with an effective running game and play-action? Manning threw for 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns last season without a top-notch running game. With an improved ground game, Manning might not need to execute so many fourth-quarter comebacks this season.
Tell us what you think of the quarterbacks entering camp below.