Giants 2012 Training Camp Preview: Offensive Center
Part 5 of our 2012 training camp preview examines the centers.
The Players: David Baas, Jim Cordle, Chris White
The Storylines: Last year, Baas, who signed as an unrestricted free agent, came into camp with no off-season, had to miss the first few days of training camp while the NFLPA ratified the new CBA, and then proceeded to go through an injury-filled year that included knee and neck injuries.
This year, Baas is hoping to benefit from having a full off-season to work with his fellow line mates and better get his head around the playbook. He’s also hoping that the injuries don’t get as much in the way as last season.
The good news is that Baas said this past spring that the work he was able to get in has made a difference. Although Baas was a veteran when he signed with the team last year as an unrestricted free agent, remember that he not only lost the entire off season because of the lockout, there was the additional delay at the start of training camp in which the had to wait to get on the field while the new CBA was ratified.
Keep an Eye On: Cordle was promoted from the practice squad last season and filled a variety of roles. In addition to being the backup center, he also filled in as the “bunch” tight end in the team’s short yardage package when injuries struck, and was a backup guard. The Giants like their offensive linemen to be versatile, but there are only so many versatile guys a team can carry on the roster.
Predictions: I’m not so sure the Giants are going to be able to keep an extra center from among Cordle and White. I’m thinking that should Baas be unable to play, the team will do as it did last year, moving Kevin Boothe to center and inserting Mitch Petrus at guard. Chris Snee can also play center in a pinch. Meanwhile, Baas needs to bounce back with a solid, healthy year, as last season, there were times when the line calls weren’t as consistent as they have been in the past. Further, because of his injuries, Baas didn’t look much like the future Pro Bowler the general manager Jerry Reese labeled him as at the start of camp last year.