Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Top 5 Giants Off-Season Storylines

With a sour taste still lingering after a promising season to repeat as Super Bowl Champions faded and fizzled down the stretch, the chance at redemption for the New York Giants is fast approaching.

Training camp opens in Albany in just 8 days. With notable departures, key returns, and some big-time acquisitions, the Giants have had an active off-season. Giants’ Steps TV examines the team’s five biggest story lines of the 2009 Off-season.

Counting Down

5) The Departure of Derrick Ward – Losing a 1,000 yard rusher is never insignificant, but with the Giants’ talented stable of young running backs, someone will be up for the challenge. Who will rise to the occasion in 2009?

4) Bill Sheridan takes over for “Spags” – No coaching transition is ever guaranteed to be smooth, whether the scheme remains the same or not. The former Giants’ LB coach takes the reins as Defensive Coordinator for the first time, and will look to continue Steve Spagnuolo’s championship-caliber defensive scheme.

3) Free Agent Arrivals – Several offseason additions have laid the groundwork for a deep, aggressive and relentless Giant defense in 2009. Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard give the Giants formidable depth along the defensive line, while Michael injects a pass rushing threat and athletic pass defense capability to the line-backing corps.

2) Welcome Back – #72 Osi Umenyiora returns from injury to give the Giants the premier defensive end tandem in the NFL alongside fellow Pro-Bowler Justin Tuck. Opposing QBs better hope that field is extra soft when they play the Giants...

1) Filling Plaxico’s Shoes – The struggles of the Giants passing attack last season following the departure of Burress have led many to question how the remaining Giants wide receivers can have a better showing in 2009. Young veterans Steve Smith and Domenik Hixon will look to shoulder a bigger role, while other young guns Sinorice Moss, Mario Manningham, and rookies Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden, will look to establish themselves as viable targets for Eli QB Manning.

It's going to be a big year for the Big Blue. How these stories play out will have a major impact on the shape and performance of the team in 2009.

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