Because they have a new head coach, the New York Giants are allowed to start their offseason program earlier than most teams. They get going Monday, with players reporting for a couple of weeks of strength and conditioning to start the offseason. New coach Ben McAdoo will have his eye on a lot of things, obviously, but here are three items of particular interest on the offseason agenda:
The strength and conditioning program: This is a big area of change from the Tom Coughlin era. McAdoo replaced Jerry Palmieri, who was Coughlin's strength coach since their days together at Boston College, with former Notre Dame strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman. The Giants significantly remodeled their weight room, signaling a move toward what McAdoo describes as "more movement-based" exercise programs and "a little more tempo to everything we do." This is an area worth watching, as the Giants have been the NFL's most injured team for three years in a row and the organization is dying to figure out a way to keep its players healthier.
Young safeties: For the second offseason in a row, the Giants have failed to secure a veteran safety who can play the deep middle and regulate Steve Spagnuolo's defense on the back end. They believe one will emerge from the young group that includes Nat Berhe, Bennett Jackson and Mykkele Thompson, but all three of those players missed the entire 2015 season due to injuries. Berhe in particular is a player whose recovery and development will occupy the coaches' attention, since he's the one they had in mind for the role this time last year. He needs a strong (and healthy) offseason.
Jason Pierre-Paul: The Giants defensive end skipped the offseason program last year because he wasn't happy with his contract situation, then lost his right index finger in a fireworks accident July 4. He's expected to be in East Rutherford on Monday and for the entirety of this year's voluntary workout program, and he and the Giants hope a full offseason will help him be a more effective part of their defensive line this year. Everyone also wants to know whether Pierre-Paul will be able to practice and play without that heavy club wrap on his right hand, after he had surgery to improve the flexibility in the remaining fingers on his damaged hand.