Monday, January 13, 2014
Big Blue Morning: Calibrating priorities
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
Good Monday morning to you all. The latest on the New York Giants' search for a new offensive coordinator is that they still haven't interviewed Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo for the job. He was supposed to interview Saturday, but due to weather issues that affected his travel plans, the interview is now scheduled for today. He'll be the fourth candidate to interview for the job, joining Mike Sullivan, Dowell Loggains and Karl Dorrell. There might be more candidates to come, and there might not. Heck, they could have someone in place by tonight.
That's what I know, and I promise I'm not hiding any information from you. I understand the interest, especially in the absence of any other news around the team. But you'll have to forgive me if I'm not breathlessly awaiting a conclusion to this particular drama. I'm a bit unmoved by the whole thing, to be honest. It's not as though this hire is going to usher in some new era of Giants offensive football. It's possible that, if they hire someone like McAdoo, it'll be because they want to incorporate some new ideas into their existing offensive scheme. But I highly doubt they're going to tear up their playbook and start from scratch. Just doesn't seem like their way.
2014 NFL DRAFT
Round 1: May 8, 8 p.m. ET Rds. 2-3: May 9, 7 p.m. ET Rds. 4-7: May 10, noon ET
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But the real reason this story isn't a huge deal is that the choice of a new offensive coordinator isn't one of the five most important things the Giants have to do this offseason. Honestly. In fact, here are seven more important issues for them to address, in reverse order of importance, just right off the top of my head:
7. Find a running back.David Wilson is having surgery this week on his neck, which could mean he's back and ready for the start of the season or could mean he'll never play again or could mean something in between. The priority is the young man's health, as it should be, and neck surgery is scary business. But from an on-field standpoint, the health concern means they can't count on Wilson. And let's be honest, even if he's full healthy, Wilson's obviously no sure thing. With Andre Brown eligible for free agency, the Giants need someone reliable at this position. They don't need to spend big money or a high pick on it, but they need to shore it up.
6. Find a tight end. And maybe someone who can hold the job for more than a year this time.
5. Extend Eli Manning's contract. Grumble all you want, but I don't see how else they make their 2014 budget with a representative roster. You liked the way the defense looked with Antrel Rolle, Jon Beason and Terrell Thomas as its leaders? Gonna need cap room to keep those guys.
4. Make a plan for the defensive line. Is Justin Tuck back? Is Linval Joseph back? Has Jason Pierre-Paul become a long-range injury question mark? Can Damontre Moore be ready for a larger workload in 2014? Can Johnathan Hankins? The line is the bread and butter of the Giants' defense, and while the questions here may not be as scary or difficult as they are elsewhere on the roster, they still need answering.
3. Make a plan at wide receiver.Hakeem Nicks' free agency will be the big story here, and if he leaves they'll need a new No. 1 type. But regardless, they need depth here, and probably a little size, or else whoever the new coordinator is will have a real tough time finding enough O's to go with the X's. Or vice versa, whichever offense is in the whole X-and-O thing.
2. Fix the offensive line. Enough said.
1. Have a good draft. There's nothing more vital to this offseason than this. Too many of the Giants' recent drafts have turned out thin, with too many misses in the middle rounds. They need to hit it big at No. 12, no question, but they also need to stock the pipeline with talent in a way that their last few drafts haven't.
So we'll keep track of all of that, and we'll let you know on offensive coordinator whenever it gets decided. I promise.