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Giants' 'broken' offense will have to wait to be repaired

Giants owner John Mara speaks to the media

Giants owner John Mara speaks to the media in East Rutherford, N.J. (Dec. 30, 2013) Credit: AP

ORLANDO, Fla. - Giants co-owner John Mara famously called the offense "broken'' when the 2013 season ended, and yet the biggest additions in free agency have come on defense.

They re-signed linebacker Jon Beason and safety Stevie Brown and added cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond and linebacker Jameel McClain.

This while established starters Justin Tuck and Linval Joseph from the front line left for other teams. It was a surprising overhaul of a top-10 defense.

"I think that's more a case of that's where the opportunities have presented themselves,'' Mara said of the free-agency splurge, particularly in the secondary. "There were defensive players who were available that we thought could really help us. We did add some offensive players, but we have the draft coming up, so that will be another opportunity.''

The Giants brought in offensive linemen Geoff Schwartz and J.D. Walton, running back Rasheed Jennings and former Giants receiver Mario Manningham. But the team still does not have a proven tight end and also needs other pieces, which Mara said likely will come in the draft.

As for the attention paid to the secondary as opposed to the front line of the defense -- the Giants traditionally have spent their money on pass rushers, not pass defenders -- Mara said it does not indicate a change in philosophy. They are not trying to clone themselves into the type of back-to-front defense that the Seahawks used to win the most recent Super Bowl.

"There were good players that were available, and obviously, if you have a real strong secondary, it allows you to do a lot of other things,'' he said. "I think that was an area where we felt we had to improve a little bit. It wasn't our number one priority, but those were the players who were available. I think they should help us.''

New York Sports