The New York Giants have plenty of reasons to be excited about their secondary. With cornerback Terrell Thomas likely returning from the knee injury that cost him the 2011 season, first-round pick Prince Amukamara poised to take the next step in his development and players like Corey Webster and Kenny Phillips having established themselves among the best in the league at thier positions, there is much to like. Ohm's camp preview series looks at the secondary today, and in spite of the loss of cornerback Aaron Ross to free agency and the fact that they haven't re-signed veteran safety Deon Grant, there are plenty of names. Justin Tryon and Michael Coe appear to be back from their injuries. The team drafted Jayron Hosley and signed Antwaun Molden, Chris Horton and Stevie Brown. Depth at these positions would appear to be a potential Giants strength.
Of course, Ohm does raise one key point about this:
Potential weakness: Health. Thomas, Coe, Tryon and Johnson are all returning from season-ending injuries. If Thomas struggles to regain his form, the Giants will need someone else to step up. Amukamara required an injection to help strengthen his foot, which kept him out for half of last season. Health is always a concern for the Giants and their secondary. The Giants also lose valuable experience and leadership with Grant still unsigned.
Let's leave aside Grant for now, since there's a chance that he's one injury away from re-signing the way he did last year in training camp. The fact is that the depth the Giants have in the secondary rests entirely on the health of the players Ohm discusses in the first couple of sentences. Yes, Thomas says he's going to be ready to go when camp opens next week, but if he's not, and if Amukamara's going to keep struggling with his foot, the backups could have to play significant roles. That was well and good when they had a former first-rounder like Ross on the bench last year and were able to motivate him to play to his talent level. But while they like guys like Coe and Tyron and Hosley for depth, it'd be another story if those guys were pressed into starting duty.
This is one of the things at which the Giants excel, of course -- refreshing their roster from within, with the players they've developed in their system and their locker room. So it's possible that, even if the worst-case scenario happened and Thomas and/or Amukamara weren't ready to play the way they're expected to play, they could get some production out of the position. But their hope is that they can get or keep everybody healthy and play with all of this depth they appear to have. Move guys in and out to keep them fresh and put them in the best possible matchup situations to succeed. The health of Thomas and Amukamara is key to that plan, and to keeping this Giants secondary as deep as it appears to be on paper.