New York Giants Reader Mailbag: Post Labor Day Edition

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After an unexpected delay, the Labor Day weekend mailbag is finally here. I received a lot of great questions, some of which have since been answered given the roster moves made by the team. Still, I hope you enjoy this mailbag, and I promise I’ll try to keep to a regular weekly schedule–most likely on the day after a game–from here on out, and will try to get to the questions while they’re still fresh.

Understanding the Waiver Wire

Thanks for the question, Joel. Players with less than 4 years of service are subject to waivers, meaning that once they’re let go by their current team, the other 31 teams have a chance to claim the player’s contract. If the player isn’t claimed, then he either becomes an unrestricted free agent or, if waived inured, he’s placed on season-ending IR.

The waiver priority (claiming) order is presently mirroring the draft order from this spring. That will change after Week 3, I believe, with the teams having the worst record getting first crack at waived players and the teams with the best down at the bottom.

Big Year for Young Shep? 

Interesting question Tom. I tend to be optimistic, so I’ll say yes, Sterling Shepard can be as good as Steve Smith or Victor Cruz.

However, I’d like to see Shepard improve in his YAC average–right now that’s what is keeping him out of the discussion of solid Giants slot receivers.  So we’ll see what he has up his sleeve to fix that this year.

Roster Concerns

Hi Mahmoud. I’m still a tad squeamish about backup offensive tackle. While I think Chad Wheeler improved over the summer, I’m not sure there would be a universal comfort level if he had to step in at left tackle should something happen to Ereck Flowers. I’m also pretty sure the coaches would rather not move Justin Pugh to that spot if an emergency called for such a move.

Flip-flopping the Offensive Tackles

Thanks for the question Lou. For better or for worse, Flowers is the left tackle and Hart is the right tackle. I don’t see them flip-flopping those two.

B.J. Goodson’s Role

Thanks for the question. Given the injury to Keenan Robinson, B.J. Goodson has had work as a three-down linebacker. I’m told he’s been making progress, but I suspect that once Robinson returns to the lineup, Goodson will go back to being a two-down linebacker.

Roster Tinkering on the Offensive Side of the Ball?

What’s going on Joe? For the time being, I get the sense they’ll stick with this roster. We might see some tweaks next week when veteran salaries aren’t guaranteed for the season. Also, given how the running game continued to struggle in the preseason, I think they need all the blockers they can get, don’t you?

Change in Play-calling Philosophy?

Thanks for the question Reggie. I think this year given the additions made in the Giants personnel, we’ll see different looks. I think last year a big reason why they always seemed to be in 11-personnel was due to injuries and the ineffectiveness of the tight ends.

I believe it Pro Football Focus tweeted a stat  claiming the Giants used 11-personnel this summer somewhere around 64 percent of the time and not 90 percent or higher, so already there is a change in philosophy. I’ll try to track that this year.

A Giant Steal?

Thanks for the question Stan. I think McAdoo was echoing a scouting report or two that had been floating around on Wheeler.  Truth be told, I wouldn’t put much stock into it. I’m more interested to see if he performs as a mid-round pick or better.  

Getting a Feel for the Roster

Thanks for the question Nick. I’m always looking forward to seeing how a roster shakes out. the coaching staff and front office spend a lot more time on evaluating the roster than any of us on the outside, so I think we have to have a degree of faith in what they put together. Of course, only time will tell, but on paper, this looks like a solid bunch.

Plan B at Running Back, Right Guard

Thanks for the question Andrew. Regarding the starting running back, I get the impression that who the actual “starter” isn’t as important because they’ll go with whoever the hot hand is. For example, Perkins might be on the field for the first snap of the game, thereby “starting” the game, but if Orleans Darkwa ends up with the hot hand, he could likely pass Perkins in carries.

Regarding Brett Jones, the problem with inserting him into the lineup next to Weston Richburg is that you give up size. I get the impression that they would rather put D.J. Fluker in there if John Jerry struggles.