So far, this isn't what Cullen Jenkins signed up for when he came to the Giants.

The veteran defensive lineman arrived as a free agent in 2013, just 14 months after the team had won a Super Bowl.

"Coming to the Giants, they've got a lot of history and a lot of tradition," Jenkins said. "A big winning tradition. When you come here, that's one of the things that you expect is to continue with that, continue winning, continue going to the playoffs."

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Instead, the Giants have a combined record of 13-19 in the two seasons since Jenkins arrived, both of them with sub-.500 results. They had a six-game losing streak to start the year in 2013 and a seven-game skid in the middle of last year. They haven't so much as sniffed the postseason since that Super Bowl victory that seems as if it took place decades ago.

Losing, it seems, has become the new normal.

"When you're not able to [make the playoffs], you feel like you're letting down the fans and the organization," said Jenkins, who won a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Packers. "There is an urgency now because we're trying to get back to what's normal and what's expected around here. And that's winning."

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That urgency can be felt in every corner of the Giants' headquarters, from the locker room (where young players and veterans alike know that a rebuild could cost them their jobs) to the front office (whose flops during the largely unproductive drafts of 2009-12 have left the team without a core in the prime of their careers).

They have past Super Bowl champions who are on the back end of their playing days and young talent they are rightly high on, but there clearly is a gap in the chain that links the successes of 2007 and 2011 with whatever the 2015 team's fate will be.

"We want to get back to winning games and making playoffs and giving ourselves opportunities to win championships, and doing that this year," Eli Manning said.

Heck, everyone wants that. The question is, how can the Giants get there?

"I think it's just the whole team coming in together with that same attitude," Manning said. "That's when you get the great teams. It's everybody buying in, everybody understanding that they have a job to do and we gotta go do it."

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For as many holes as the Giants have on their team -- and they have plenty -- they also have areas in which they should excel.

Odell Beckham Jr., despite no receptions in the first two preseason games, has shown little evidence that he will be any less effective and electrifying in his second NFL season. In fact, given his relative health compared with this time last year, he should be even more productive.

The offensive line, though not where it needs to be, is much improved from last season's jumbled mess. And if they can remain on the field, cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie should be able to compete well against the best receiving tandems in a pass-happy league.

Will that be enough to overcome the loss of two of their three most important position players to injury before the team even reported to training camp? Left tackle Will Beatty tore a pectoral muscle and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul lost a finger in a fireworks mishap.

Will it be enough to make up for inexperience at safety? Injury concerns at linebacker? A new defensive coordinator in Steve Spagnuolo with a system that has proved to be slow to grasp in the past with the Giants?

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Jenkins says yes. He believes the Giants do have the pieces to reverse their recent fortunes, to go back to the old normal.

"We should," he said. "Everybody should feel that way."

Of course, Jenkins felt that way heading into the last two seasons -- "That's a true statement," he said with a rueful grin -- and we all know how that worked out.