Kick-punt: Mark Moseley and Mike Bragg. Has it ever been otherwise?
Rookie help: Hey, get serious.
In NEW YORK, Mara vs. Mara has been settled out of court, and now Giant co-owners Wellington and nephew Tim nod to each other. They might even smile at each other if the Giants somehow make the playoffs. Don't bet on either. But out of the Maras' bitter struggle last winter for front-office supremacy came an honest-to-good-ness, living and breathing general manager, George Young, who's greatly respected around the league, and Young's own choice for coach, young Ray Perkins, who helped put the razzle in San Diego's dazzling offense last year.
Young and Perkins showed tremendous courage in the draft, where the Giants' record has been abysmal, by choosing Phil Simms, a no-name quarterback from Morehead State, as their first choice. The starter is still Joe Pisarcik, who will have a very sharp rookie to throw to in second-round pick Earnest Gray. The starting offensive line, with last year's top draftee, Gordon King, moving in for departed Left Tackle Gordon Gravelle, must stay healthy, because there are virtually no substitutes.
After years of carrying the offense, the Giant defense finally cracked in '78, when it was worst in the NFC in sacks and fourth worst in the NFL in stopping the rush. The secondary was never blue-chip, but it got by, and an exciting rookie named Terry Jackson gave the Giants some quality work at cornerback last season. The linebackers—Brad Van Pelt, Harry Carson and Brian Kelley—were never a problem. But the line didn't hang together after Troy Archer was lost for seven games with a broken foot. And this summer the team received a severe emotional blow when Archer was killed in a truck accident.
The answer to the defensive line problems could lie with rookie Phil Tabor, a nasty one from Oklahoma who was drafted in the fourth round, and veteran tackle Mike McCoy, acquired last week from Oakland.