Pat Shurmur said on Monday that the Giants will “address all areas” in an effort to earn their first win of the season on Sunday. Of course most people seized on the starting quarterback situation, and Shurmur made no distinction between that hallowed title and any other.
On Tuesday, the team announced that they will make a change there from Eli Manning to Daniel Jones. But here is a look at five other significant changes the Giants could, should and likely are looking at making during this soul-searching at 0-2:
Until they can get DeAndre Baker’s head on straight, they probably should keep him on the sideline. The first-round pick has looked lost in the speed and complexity of NFL action, and even his effort has looked subpar. Perhaps a better option would be Corey Ballentine, the sixth-round pick. He’s shown in the preseason and in training camp that he has good instincts for the ball and at least he will go full speed even if he might not always know the right direction.
This has always been Pat Shurmur’s offense, and he’s called the plays, but at times like these it’s important to have a head coach who oversees everything while the game is in progress. Mike Shula has experience in that capacity. He’s the quarterbacks coach, so he has a close relationship with Jones and he might be able to bring some spark to what has so far been uninspired down-to-down decision-making.
Mike Remmers may have been a star on some recent Giants offensive lines, but on this overall improved version he comes in as the weakest link. He’s coming off back surgery and was moved to guard by his previous team. The Giants don’t have much depth to replace him, but they could consider having Chad Slade or Eric Smith take his spot and see if there is an improvement. They also should use tight end Rhett Ellison to help support that side of the line.
Antoine Bethea was supposed to be on the field to bring a veteran presence and 15 years of NFL wisdom to the secondary. But there are times when he looks as lost as anyone. Fellow veteran Michael Thomas has played a decent amount, but he too has been out of position. If the Giants are going with their youth movement, go all the way and put either second-year player Sean Chandler in there or throw fourth-round pick Julian Love into the mix. Love is smart and versatile enough that he should be able to help the passing defense improve.
James Bettcher’s defense has never lived up to what we all think of as a James Bettcher defense. Even when he tried to simplify things this past week, it seemed to be beyond the grasp of the players. The Giants don’t have a very seasoned staff of defensive coaches who could take over the play-calling and game-planning – none of their assistants has ever served as a coordinator at the NFL level – so the best option may be to have Bettcher change his philosophies to suit the personnel rather than the other way around.