Coming off a disappointing 2012 season in which they missed the playoffs, here are three story lines as the Giants enter training camp Friday with their eyes on making a run to play for the Lombardi Trophy in February’s MetLife Stadium Super Bowl.
Jason Pierre-Paul is the backbone of the Giants defense. If he doesn’t fully recover from offseason back surgery, Big Blue’s pass rush will be a shell of its former self in 2013. Last year, Pierre-Paul recorded just 6.5 sacks, after 16.5 the year before. With Justin Tuck on the decline and Osi Umenyiora now with the Falcons, the Giants are relying on JPP now more than ever to rejuvenate the pass rush this season.
Veteran swan songs
Longtime Giants Tuck, cornerback Corey Webster and offensive tackle David Diehl each have two Super Bowl rings, and each of them will hit free agency after the season. Both Diehl and Webster took pay cuts to stay with the Giants in the offseason, and each of them will be fighting for their jobs in training camp. Tuck, who had just four sacks in 15 games last season, will likely remain in the starting lineup. However, 2013 third-round pick Damontre Moore is waiting in the wings.
Ahmad Bradshaw was let go, so the team will rely on a combination of David Wilson and Andre Brown to carry the rushing attack. On paper, both players appear to be up to the challenge. But neither has ever played a full season as a starting running back. Until proven otherwise, the running back position looks to remain up in the air.