- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Amazing what a difference a couple of bad weeks can make. In this NFL32 clip, Chris Mortensen talks about the potential changes that could loom in the offseason for the New York Giants -- even if all of the breaks go their way and they manage to sneak into the playoffs Sunday.
"They know they've got to make some changes," Mort says, then specifically lists Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck as candidates to depart before also mentioning the offensive line and the secondary. "I've been told to expect a fair makeover of the New York Giants come 2013 regardless of what happens this weekend."
That word "fair" is key, because a major makeover would seem to be out of character for the Giants' front office. But what would be even more out of character is Jerry Reese sitting on his hands if he decided big changes were needed. (Remember, when Reese sat on his hands two offseasons ago it was because he thought he already had a team capable of winning the Super Bowl, and he turned out to be right.) If the Giants decide they aren't moving in exactly the direction they'd hoped to be moving at this point, things certainly could change.
But what caught my attention is this idea that they could part ways with both Tuck and Umenyiora. Even with Jason Pierre-Paul at defensive end, ridding themselves of those two veterans would likely ensure that the Giants make the pass rush the cornerstone of their offseason plan. They'd almost certainly take a pass-rusher in the first round of the draft (though they're always liable to do that anyway), and they'd probably have to probe a free-agent market that potentially includes such names as Cliff Avril, Michael Johnson or even Dwight Freeney.
A strong pass rush as the foundation of the defense is a Giants' organizational philosophy, established and ingrained in their DNA and unlikely to change even if they were to alter their defensive coaching staff. I'd personally be surprised if both Tuck and Umenyiora were gone this offseason, and if they are we'll all know what the Giants' top offseason priority will be.