New York Giants: All Time Team/Part 1
By Michael Stewart
The New York Giants have been around since 1925 and along the way they have had a long line of All Pros and Hall of Famers. With that in mind, I wanted to research the history of the Giants and put together my version of their 1st team Offensive team, Defensive team and special team.
The process was not as easy as I originally had thought as I had a very tough time deciding on a couple of positions. My criteria were based on the following: impact on the team and personal awards/honors. Length of service on the team was not a major factor for me and when they played; as you will see in my selections. In this 5 part series, I will begin with the Offense in a 2 part segment, Defense in a 2 part segment and finally special teams.
Starting Offense (QB/RB/WR/TE)
QB-Eli Manning (2004-Present): For me, this was an easy one to pick despite the Giants having such QB as Y.A Tittle and Phil Simms. For me, Eli Manning has to be the starting QB for the Giants all-time offense. Statistically, Manning is by far the best selection with currently 48,214 yards passing (Phil Simms 2nd place with 33,462). The debate here could be that during Simms time with the Giants, the offense was much more of ball control team and had roughly a 50/50 ratio in passing/running. No argument here, unfortunately I wasn’t going to base my decision on how the game was played during the player’s time.
RB-Frank Gifford (1952-60/62-64): Gifford was one of the most versatile backs in NFL history as he played 11 years for the Giants. During his career, Gifford amassed 9,682 all purpose yards (2nd all time) in Giants history and also collected franchise best 78 TDS. Gifford was a 8 Pro Bowl selections and named MVP in 1956.
RB-Tiki Barber (1997-2006): Barber might have tainted his persona after retirement with the Giants, however; make no mistake that Barber is arguably the best RB in Giants history. He holds the all-time rushing yards with 10,449 (17,359 total yards from scrimmage), along with the best yards per carry at 4.7
WR-Amani Toomer (1996-2008): Toomer played his entire career (13 seasons) with the Giants and understandably leads in most WR categories (9,497 yards/668 receptions). Toomers longevity and production makes this an easy selection.
WR-Odell Beckham Jr (2014-Present): Despite only being in the NFL and with the Giants for 3 seasons, no one can deny the accomplishments of Beckham’s short career. Amassing over 1,300 yards in his 1st three seasons (4,122 total yards receiving) and collecting 35 TDS as well, makes Beckham my hands down choice on the Giants all-time offensive team. Barring any unforeseen career threatening injuries and if he remains a Giant, Beckham will surpass and shatter every Giants receiving record.
TE-Mark Bavaro (1985-2000): Many could argue that Jeremy Shockey deserves this honor, or perhaps Bob Tucker or even Aaron Thomas (Who? Look up his stats). For my money Mark Bavaro was the best TE in Giants history and quoting Bill Parcels who once said “I would hate to fight that son of a gun” referring to his toughest. Bavaro only had 266 receptions for 3,772 yards and 28 TDS in 6 seasons as a Giant.
However; it was his whole body of work on the football field that made Bavaro special. Bavaro was such a devastating blocker, that he would have sole responsibility to block the great Reggie White. Every Giant fan will tell you that if they had to recall one play during Bavaro’s career that would symbolize his career; it would be without hesitation the Monday Night Game against the 49ers, when Bavaro carried Ronnie Lott and several other 49er defenders at least 15 yards on his back.
Final Thoughts: Notable options that could be debatable were Simms and Tittle at QB, Brandon Jacobs, Joe Morris or perhaps Rodney Hampton at RB, Del Shofner or Homer Jones at WR and finally Jeremy Shockey, Bob Tucker and infamous Aaron Thomas at TE.
All of these players here had outstanding careers in a Giants uniform, however; I stand by my selections and believe they are all deserving of 1st team offensive honors in team history. Next article: Giants all-time offensive line.