To say that the past decade has not been kind to the New York Giants would be a gross understatement. Since the Giants hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in 2011, they have been one of the worst teams in the NFL. There was a lone bright spot in 2016 when they reached a wildcard birth, but a certain photo of a certain positional group on a boat in Miami proved to be a bad omen. They were unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs a week later, but the bad omen from that Giants boat trip has stuck around. Since then, the Giants have gone through a seemingly endless cycle of coaches and general managers. They have often looked confused, continuously one-upping themselves with their own levels of organizational ineptitude. However, this past offseason has flipped the script from what fans and pundits typically expect from the New York Giants. This change in regime and some new personnel has inspired a positive shift in energy that has people taking notice.
Players excited with new environment
It would make sense that the players are amongst the first people to notice any changes around the organization. In particular, new head coach Brian Daboll has made quite the impression on the players since his arrival in January. The introduction of the new offensive playbook has a number of key offensive pieces excited for the upcoming season. Wide receiver Kadarius Toney noted how the offense gives receivers more ability to be creative with their routes by using a looser framework for offense rather than a rigid script for plays. Fellow receiver Sterling Shepard stated that while this offensive freedom requires more work on the part of the players, he thinks that the new system will be a handful for opposing defenses and will make Big Blue faithful proud.
Defensive end Leonard Williams as also commented on how the Giants practice environment has changed, but it has less with the product on the field. He instead commented on the change in energy from the players around him and mentioned that his teammates seem excited to show up for practice. He added that teammates are happy with the coaches, going so far as to call this new energy “contagious”. This is a great sign for the Giants who have not had this kind of spirit in quite some time. Daboll’s style of leadership seems to have struck a positive chord with the Giants players, and they have quickly rallied behind him. In addition, the Giants seem to have found the right person to rebuild this offensive system. Brian Daboll (along with offensive coordinator Mike Kafka) are poised to bring a high octane offense to the Big Apple.
New personnel giving fans hope
The Giants front office until recently was prone to giving out bad contracts as well as making mistakes when drafting. New general manager Joe Schoen seems to be bucking that trend, as his first few months in the drivers seat have gone rather well. Schoen’s first draft with the Giants was excellent, securing two elite prospects and franchise building blocks in Evan Neal and Kayvon Thibodeaux. These picks have drastically altered the course of the franchise going forward and have given fans genuine hope for future success. In addition, Schoen made sure to secure multiple offensive line prospects to help build depth at a long neglected position. Schoen has also been shrewd with the management of the teams payroll, being very careful with who he has signed. Mark Glowinski’s 3 year, 18.3 million dollar deal is a perfect example of a low cost yet impactful deal.
Names outside the team noticing changes
The sweeping change in energy has also been noticed by people outside of the organization. Former Giants great Michael Strahan praised the both Brian Daboll and new general manager Joe Schoen for the way they have led the team to start their tenure. He specifically noted how the new regime has reached out to former Giants to have them return to training facility. Strahan was also complimentary of Kayvon Thibodeaux, saying he thinks the rookie will be a great player in the NFL. Even some former rivals have admitted that the Giants have made significant improvements. Jimmy Johnson, a Hall of Fame former coach with the Dallas Cowboys said that the Giants are in good hands at head coach after speaking with Brian Daboll. Strahan originally made the connection between the two, and they appeared to have a great conversation which prompted Johnson’s comments.
A good first step
Despite the compliments and recent success, the Giants are not a finished product. Question marks still remain at a number of key positions, most notably at cornerback, linebacker, and quarterback. Injuries also play a role as several players are returning to the field after missing significant time last season. All that aside, it seems like the Giants have finally built the foundation they have been looking for. With Daboll and Schoen taking the reigns, the Giants finally have competency at the most important positions in the organization. While there is still a long way to go for this team, the early reports have been positive. If they continue, this season could be the start of something special in New York.
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