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No thy enemy...:)

2003 RECORD: 4-12

TEAM RANK (NFL): Defense (22th); Offense (20th)


Free agents -- LB Carlos Emmons (Eagles), OL Shaun O'Hara (Browns), DT Fred Robbins (Vikings), LB Barrett Green (Lions), OL Barry Stokes (Browns), DT Martin Chase (Redskins), S Jack Brewer (Vikings), CB Terry Cousin (Panthers), DE Lorenzo Bromell (Raiders), OT Ed Ellis (Chargers), DT Norman Hand (Seahawks), K Bill Gramatica (Cardinals), DT Glen Steele (Bengals), WR James McKnight (Dolphins), WR JaJuan Dawson (Colts), S Jason Doering (Colts), S Brent Alexander (Steelers), QB Kurt Warner (Rams), OL Mathias Nkwenti (Steelers).

Draft picks -- 1. QB Philip Rivers (traded to the Chargers for QB Eli Manning), 2. OG Chris Snee (Boston College), 4. OLB Reggie Torbor (Auburn), 5. S Gibril Wilson (Tennessee), 6. WR Jamaar Taylor (Texas A&M), 7a. OT Andrew Strojny (Duke), 7b. DE Isaac Hilton (Hampton).


RB Brian Mitchell (released), RB Dorsey Levens (released), DT Cornelius Griffin (Redskins), LB Dhani Jones (Eagles), LB Mike Barrow (Redskins), CB Ike Charlton (Raiders), QB Jason Garrett (Bucs), OL Jeff Hatch (released), CB Ralph Brown (Redskins), K Mike Hollis (released), LB Brandon Short (Panthers), QB Kerry Collins (released), S Clarence LeBlanc (released), WR Ryan Hoag (released), S Ryan Clark (released), OL Jeff Roehl (Seahawks).

Team news | Roster | More on Giants draft

What they've added?

Change was the major theme of the Giants offseason. A 4-12 season when expectations were the playoffs will do that to a franchise. So out the door went laid-back Jim Fassel and in came drill sergeant Tom Coughlin. And as new coaches are wont to do, the roster was turned over to a great degree.

It was no secret that general manager Ernie Accorsi lusted for a franchise quarterback in the mold of Unitas or Elway. With the No. 4 pick and Eli Manning standing atop the draft board, Accorsi made his move for the Ole Miss QB. But what the front office didn't want was Manning starting the first game of season at Philadelphia. So when incumbent QB Kerry Collins was released after refusing to renegotiate his contract, the team brought in two-time MVP Kurt Warner from the Rams. What the Giants don't know is if they're getting the record setting, fresh out of the grocery store Warner or the player that hasn't won a game since 2002.

A big factor into which Warner the Giants have bought is how well the offensive line protects the quarterback. After an absolutely abysmal season, the line was shaken up in hopes of catching the same kind of magic it did in 2000 when the team signed Lomas Brown and Glenn Parker. The Giants have some options with who lines up where but assuming guard Rich Seubert isn't available for the opener, expect newcomers Shaun O'Hara (Browns) and Barry Stokes (Browns) to line up at center and left guard. While Ian Allen is working with the first team at right tackle, don't be surprised if second-year guard David Diehl is shifted to tackle and second-round pick Chris Snee slides into the right guard slot.

One of the biggest areas of concern the past few seasons has been depth on the defensive line. That should not be a problem anymore with the Giants adding tackles Fred Robbins (Vikings), Norman Hand (Seahawks), Martin Chase (Redskins) and Glen Steele (Bengals) to go along with last year's first-round pick William Joseph and holdover Lance Legree.

The linebacking corps went the extreme makeover route and will have three new starters. Manning the outside spots will be former Eagle Carlos Emmons and speedster Barrett Green from the Lions. With new defensive coordinator Tim Lewis employing some 3-4 defenses, expect to see fourth-round pick Reggie Torbor get some action as a rush linebacker on the outside.

What are they missing?

The biggest thing absent from the Giants is the known. While the team added Warner to hold off on throwing Manning to the wolves, there's a good chance they could be getting the concussion-prone, interception-throwing version of Warner -- that is a downgrade from Collins. And there's no guarantee the pieces they've added to the o-line will be any better than what they had last year. It's not as if the Browns line was top-notch last season. After Amani Toomer and Ike Hilliard, the team lacks depth at receiver. Tim Carter has the skills but can't stay healthy and James McKnight is a journeyman at this point of his career. Perhaps the most missed player on team, certainly on the defense, will be middle linebacker Micheal Barrow. Even after cutting Barrow in a cap move, the team tried to re-sign him at a discount before he decided to join the Redskins. Nick Greisen, he of one career start, will get the nod in the middle.

What it all means?

When the team drafted Manning and cut Collins, veterans across the board bemoaned the fact the team was rebuilding. But now that Warner is aboard, expectations are raised, although not nearly to the level they were last season.

The key to this team staying competitive will be health. Warner needs to stay off his back and tight end Jeremy Shockey, the man who makes the offense go, needs rebound after his recent foot surgery. If the team can keep their core players off the injured reserve, something they did during their 2000 Super Bowl run, they'll be able to compete near the top of a rugged NFC East.

Brian P. Kelly is an editor for ESPN.com.

Mon., June 28 - Pastabelly

Would they have been much better off if Collins had stayed to mentor Manning?

Kind of a tricky question there. From a competitive standpoint, in terms of games won and the overall productivity of the offense, one could make a pretty compelling argument that the Giants would have been better served keeping Collins around for the final season of his contract. After all, Collins is familiar with the veteran receivers there, and he did hold some sway in the locker room. Like everyone else, he would have had to assimilate a new offense under a new staff, but his knowledge of and feel for the existing skill-position personnel would give him an advantage. But the question deals more with the mentoring or Eli Manning, and not short-term results, and in that regard, the departure of Collins is probably a good thing. Remember, Collins was presented with a choice of sticking around and helping to prepare Manning for the future. He would have kept the starting job for '04, and could have retained his compensation of $7 million, more than his new team, the Oakland Raiders, is paying him. But he wanted no parts of helping to groom his own successor, and essentially forced his own release. We don't know yet if Kurt Warner will be a better tutor for Manning, but at least his temperament is better than that of Collins, and he has experience in dealing with a demotion. Warner ostensibly accepted the mentor's role when he signed his two-year contract, so he certainly was more compliant than Collins in that regard. Given that big-picture element to the equation, assuming that what is best for Manning is best for the franchise long-term, New York is probably better off with Warner on board.

Tom, good luck. :cheers:

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i don't see the giants being 4-12 this year. i think last year was a year things kinda snowballed to a terrible season.

Yeah I see them getting the first pick overall next year and then handing it to the chargers!!!!!!!

:gaintsuck :gaintsuck :gaintsuck :gaintsuck :gaintsuck :gaintsuck

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

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As far as the LBing corps, it looks as if the Giants made the right choice where Dhani Jones is concerned. I read reports he is having problems learning the Eagles defensive scheme. He is smart and maybe has been able to get by in the NFL up until now because of his intelligence. But, it looks like it is being shown that he has no NFL skills. Maybe it is just that he is smart and not talented. We'll see.

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I really dont think the Giants have improved much, the line isnt really that great, the qb situation is iffy unless Warner and Manning suddenly step up. Their defense seems alright though, as well as the receivers.

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