I was pleased to be joined by Ed, our New York Giants affiliate, who does a great job running Big Blue View, to preview Monday's game. Enjoy!
Chris: "The Browns and the Giants will do battle during the regular season. Do you look at the first half of this game as a challenge for the Giants to make another statement that they are the champs, or is it 'just the second preseason game'?"
Ed: "It's 'just the second preseason game.' It is interesting to me, and annoying, that the Giants seem to get so little respect even though they are defending champs. I know they feel the disrespect, so I won't worry about lack of motivation during the regular season."
Chris: "I was really intrigued by the Giants' decision to trade Jeremy Shockey, in a good way. How did Giants fans feel about the trade, including giving the starting role to Kevin Boss?"
Ed: "Honestly, I think it's a trade the Giants felt they "had" to make, not one they "wanted" to make. Shockey was a beloved, popular player for a long time, but his act had worn thin. Reaction on Big Blue View was pretty much that while fans wished it hadn't come to this, it was time for him to go. As for Boss, fans love the guy. He's quiet and he's a terrific receiver. The problem is he can't block worth a damn, so the Giants will have to work around that."
Chris: "It would not be a shocking statement for people to say that the Giants won't win the division this season. Heck, people may say they'll finish third in the division, considering how good the NFC East is. Last year, the Giants showed you don't have to win the division to take the Super Bowl though. Do you expect a first-place finish for the Giants this year?"
Ed: "I mentioned the lack of respect in a previous answer. In a way, it's understandable since the Giants were hardly a regular season powerhouse. I don't know what to expect because the NFC East has four playoff-caliber teams. In that division at least one, and possibly two, very good football teams are not going to make the playoffs."
Chris: "You asked this question to me, and I wanted to return the favor: if you could have any one player from the Browns, who would it be and why?"
Ed: "I'm torn between two players here. With Shockey gone, I would love to have Kellen Winslow. The Giants don't have a "complete" player at tight end now, though Boss, Darcy Johnson and Michael Matthews all have a variety of complementary skills. I think my answer would be Shaun Rogers, though. The Giants are decent at defensive tackle, but a big-time, dominating player in the middle of their defensive line would be a great addition."
Chris: "My users are probably sick of hearing about Brett Favre already, but I'm compelled to ask you: have Giants fans been affected at all by the Jets acquiring Favre? Are they excited since he's in the same city, or could they care less?"
Ed: "I really don't think the Giants fans care at all. We are, like you, Favre-d to death. Maybe our reaction would be different if we weren't defending Super Bowl champions, but we are and that is a huge source of comfort. We are still better than the Jets, and are still New York's team. Besides, come some cold, nasty December day when the Jets are getting pummeled we know Favre is going to wish he had stayed on his farm."
Once again, I'd like to thank Ed for taking the time to answer my questions. I also answered some questions he had about the Cleveland Browns, including which player I would choose from the Giants roster. I encourage you to head on over to his site to check them out pronto!