Sunday Mail Call: The LB shift and WR shuffle

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Some quick answers to some questions emailed into us this week…

What’s the story at LB with Jon Beason probably out through the beginning of the season?

Beason is irreplaceable in my eyes. The Giants don’t have anyone really close in ability or leadership in the LB group to truly fill his role. As a stopgap, they’ve moved free agent veteran Jameel McClain, who played some middle in his six seasons in Baltimore, into Beason’s spot. McClain had been penciled in on the weak side, which is now occupied by Jacquian Williams until further notice. Williams has been sidetracked by injuries in his first three seasons here and the Giants are hoping he can finally break into the starting lineup this summer. So far, so good but he may be displaced once again when Beason returns. At the SAM position, Spencer Paysinger is being challenged by rookie Devon Kennard. The Giants are very high on Kennard, who has been impressive this spring. All tolled, the unit looks to be deeper and more talented than it has in years.

We’re hearing that (new OC Ben) McAdoo plans on shuffling his WRs in and out and lining them up in different spots. Is this true?

We haven’t seen the offense line up in full pads in a real game yet, so anything is possible. McAdoo is leaning towards shuffling the deck on offense to keep defenses off balance. That would include moving Victor Cruz outside on some plays and Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham, Jr into the slot on others. It’s not a bad idea, considering the Giants are a team that likes their players to be as versatile as possible. As long as everyone can remember their assignments, I see this as a positive thing.

Per Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger, WR Marcus Harris is “is catching everything and getting open with consistency throughout the offseason workouts.” What are his chances of making the team this summer?

He’s looked impressive, but WR is an area where the Giants are stacked pretty high: Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham, Rueben Randle, Jerrel Jernigan, Mario Manningham, Julian Talley, Trindon Holliday, Travis Harvey, Preston Parker, Corey Washington and Harris. Long odds, but if he continues to capitalize on his opportunities, and plays special teams well (a la Devin Thomas) he’s got a shot.

JPP says he’s ready to be JPP again this year even though he admits his back isn’t 100%. Is he just blowing smoke at us?

Possibly, but he looks as healthy as he’s ever looked since joining the team in 2010. He has – and likely always will – feel those twinges in his back, so he’s resigned to play through it. He’s lighter and in better shape than he was the past two seasons. He appears to be learning his lessons the hard way, but to me he looks like he’s finally acting like a pro and taking his profession seriously as ever. He should put up much better numbers this season because he’s got a lot of good players around him. Damontre Moore and Robert Ayers could have breakout years and Mathias Kiwanuka  will probably play better, too, because his Giant clock is running out.




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