There are 32 NFL training camps opening this week, each of them filled with players who firmly believe that their team has what it takes to make a run at the Super Bowl.
In reality, most of them do not.
Where do the Giants fit into that optimism spectrum which runs from flagrantly false to definitely deserved?
“I think we have a little bit more validity behind it this year,” running back Rashad Jennings said Thursday as the Giants reported to training camp.
That’s because most of the high-powered offense is returning and many of the issues on defense have been addressed through free agency.
“This team can be really good, by paper and by talent that we actually have on this team,” Jennings said. “Speaking especially from the offense’s standpoint, going into Year 3, we’ve got high expectations and it will be a disappointment if we don’t complete what we’re looking for.”
Jennings said the continuity from last year is so strong that he feels the Giants could play a game right away, without any practices, and find success. It’s their third season under the system Ben McAdoo brought in as coordinator in 2014, and now that McAdoo is the head coach, the blueprint remains the same.
“The first time you put in an offensive system, that’s what you do – it’s a system,” he said. “The second year it becomes more of ours, and now it’s just everybody understands what we’re doing. I feel like we can line up right now and play a game because we understand our offense that well. With that being said, it’s a lot for us to work on and that’s what we’re going to do here in training camp.”
Like many players on the roster, Jennings has never been to the playoffs with the Giants. In fact, going into his eighth NFL season, he has yet to make it to the postseason with any team.
“And,” he said, “I’m definitely not going to say I’m going into Year Nine without it.”