John Fennelly, Lead Writer
We answered a few questions for you on Monday (read here) and today we’ll try three more….
What will the offensive line look like this season? Will Justin Pugh make an impact?
The offensive line is returning all five starters from 2012: C David Baas, guards Chris Snee and Kevin Boothe and tackles David Diehl and Will Beatty. If all make it through training camp without incident, they should be your opening game starters.
But this is the year I see the beginning of wholesale changes taking place. Snee and Diehl will contractually be done at season’s as well as physically done. Boothe is on a one-year deal and Baas continues to incur nagging injuries that are cutting into his playing time.
Look for several players to get long looks in training camp: James Brewer, Brandon Mosley, Matt McCants, Selvish Capers and Pugh.
Brewer has been riding the pine for a few seasons now and the team has to either blank or get off the pot with him. He’s been used mainly at tackle in the past, but the Giants are lining him up at guard these days. Mosley saw significant time with the ones at minicamp. McCants and Capers will have play lights out this summer to make the roster.
Pugh is versatile, but the Giants are grooming him to be the RT. Diehl looked fit a minicamp, but he’s another year older and is coming off offseason surgery. The plan is to integrate Pugh into the line as soon as possible. Right now, he’s still got a ways to go, so Diehl will be the starter come opening day.
What is up with JPP? When can we expect him back?
JPP will not begin doing anything physical until mid-July from what we’ve been told. After that, it will be a constant touch-and-go situation. The timetable for his recovery is 12 weeks, but when it comes to back surgery, one can only use that as a loose guideline. He may be back sooner, or he may not be back at all this season.
The real question is not when he will be back, but how much like the old JPP he will be when he does. Can he return to being the dominant player he was in 2011?
Will the Giants still look to bring in a veteran FB if they can’t sign Vonta Leach?
Leach looks like he’s out of the Giants’ price range. The lure of getting a ring doesn’t excite him, either, since he turned down the Ravens’ reduced offer to him last week. So the Giants’ even less-attractive offer won’t keep him from heading back to Baltimore or down to South Beach.
Signs are pointing that Henry Hynoski probably won’t be ready for the season. Don’t know that for sure, but the renewed interest in Leach indicates they’re unsure that Hyno will be ready.
As for other FB candidates, take your pick from this list: Ovie Mughelli, Corey McIntyre, Earnest Graham, Moran Norris, Lousaka Polite, Brit Miller and Owen Schmitt.