“Counterparts to be counted on” is a 32-part series where we the “Front Office” of couchpotatogm.com analyze one offensive player and one defensive player on each team that MUST have a particularly strong individual season in 2015 for their respective teams to have a successful 2015 campaign. The ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl but a successful season doesn’t always result in hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. No matter what “you” consider to be a success these counterparts are essential to achieving that goal.
New York Giants “Counterparts to be counted on” 2015
Ereck Flowers – The University of Miami rookie offensive tackle will have a huge impact on the success or lack thereof for the New York Giants in 2015. This might be an unfair expectation for a player that will need to adjust to the speed of opposing pass rushers in the NFL; but life isn’t fair and the Giants found out the hard way when starting left tackle Will Beatty injured himself lifting weights in the offseason. Beatty is expected to be out for the first three months of the season. Beatty has his flaws, but he has been the most consistent player on the Giants’ offensive line in recent memory, starting the last 46 games on Eli Manning’s blindside. Since their most recent Super Bowl run the Giants have struggled to field an effective offensive line and just when the Giants were beginning to put together a solid group their most reliable lineman is lost for a significant portion of the season.
For all the quality players the Giants have on offense including: Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, and Rashad Jennings we all know that success starts up front in the trenches. The Giants drafted Flowers in the first round with the expectation of easing the rookie into playing time at right tackle as he was viewed as a player who still needed to refine his pass blocking technique despite his raw skill; not unlike Beatty coming out of Connecticut (2nd round – 2009). But with Beatty on the shelf, the massive Flowers (6’6” 329 lbs.) will be thrust into the starting left tackle position and if he struggles all the talent at the skilled positions will be for naught.
Jon Beason – Back-to-back UM players for the Giants as Jon Beason is the choice for defensvie “counterpart to be counted” for the G-MEN. As my esteemed colleague Strud stated in our NFC East Podcast, the Giants’ defense was “marshmellowy” soft last season and a lot of that had to do with their physical and emotional leader Beason being injured most of the year with a toe injury. At the beginning of the 2013 season Beason was traded to New York where he rejuvenated his career and the Giants’ defense carrying the team to a 7-4 record as the quarterback of the defense. His impact on the “D” is nothing to sneeze at and if he can stay healthy it will go a long way to getting “Big Blue” back in the playoffs.
Speaking of health, that will be the name of the game for the middle linebacker as his injury history is well documented going back to his Carolina days, ending up on injured reserve 3 of the last 4 seasons. When healthy Beason is a very dynamic player whose speed and athleticism allow him to get to the ball routinely. With former defensive coordinator Steve Spagnola back in New York expect Beason to be Coach Spags’ “Antonio Pierce.” Unfortunately, the Giants’ defense is expected to be the weaker side of the ball, especially with the absence of Jason Pierre-Paul, but a healthy Beason can stabilize the defense just enough to give the offense a fighting chance week-in and week-out.