Giants Chairman Steve Tisch sees promise in offseason moves

Posted Mar 21, 2016

Giants Chairman Steve Tisch spoke at the NFL annual meeting to discuss the team's new coach and players

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Steve Tisch has been part of the Giants’ family since his father Bob purchased half the team in 1991, and has been the team’s chairman since his dad passed away in 2005. Tisch has seen numerous changes in the front office, and hundreds of players come and go.

But he’s never seen an offseason quite like the one the Giants are in now.

“I think this is the most significant transition, and now one of the most exciting times in the last 25 years that I can remember,” Tisch said in an interview at the NFL annual meeting here today.

Since the end of the 2015 season, Tom Coughlin stepped down as head coach, Ben McAdoo was promoted from offensive coordinator to replace him, eight new assistant coaches were hired, linebacker Jon Beason retired, and offensive linemen Will Beatty and Geoff Schwartz were released.

And this month, the Giants re-signed defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and added three big-ticket free agents on defense in end Olivier Vernon, tackle Damon Harrison and cornerback Janoris Jenkins, as well as linebacker Kennan Robinson.

“I’m excited,” Tisch said. “I think it’s the right time to make these moves, these acquisitions. I think it’s sort of a perfect storm of new head coach, a lot of money to spend and some great players to bring onto the Giants, so I’m excited, I’m very excited. I think it’s going to make everybody from ownership on down excited about the 2016 season. I think you’ll see the enthusiasm at training camp, I think in the locker room, I think on the field. I know that Eli (Manning) is very excited. I know a number of the other veteran players are excited. It’s all about the fans, and the fans are thrilled. If we can improve this club in 2016, I can’t think of anything that’s going to make the fans and the Giants family happier.”

The Giants’ decision-makers were unanimous entering the offseason that the defense had to be improved. It was, after all, ranked last in the league in 2015 and struggled the season before that.

“Clearly, the last couple of seasons we saw where we need to be better,” Tisch said. “Part of the way to be better is to get better players, get a better sense of just how to put players on both sides of the ball that are going to have more impact and make the New York Giants a much more competitive team in the NFL. So the moves that (general manager) Jerry (Reese) made, I’m thrilled about. I couldn’t be happier. And the players that are coming onto the Giants this year seem not only to be athletically gifted, but really, really good people and really good guys.”

And they’re going to make a lot of money.
“It’s the cost of doing business in the NFL,” Tisch said. “No one’s buying wholesale. The retail prices are high and there’s a reason - it’s a market, it’s supply and demand. Like any other market, there’s a seller and there’s a buyer, and the price is determined by who’s going to pay for what. I’m not arguing about the amount of money we spent and the cost of what our players are costing us, I just hope we’ve got a group of guys that are going to play their hearts out and really be contributors and proud to be playing for the New York Giants.”

Tisch is also bullish on McAdoo, the first-time head coach who is putting his imprint on the franchise. McAdoo is only 38, but he has an impressive background and a seemingly endless list of ideas to improve the team’s fortunes.

“I think he’s a first-rate guy,” Tisch said. “It’s a little premature, because he’s been great for me and John Mara to deal with and for Jerry to deal with and for his coaches to work with. But until he gets those players in front of him - which is coming up pretty soon - that’s when his job really starts. But I think he’s going to a terrific, terrific head coach. I think he’s going to be a leader, I think he’s going to be accessible to the players. I happen to think that a head coach who’s 38 years old is a good thing, not a bad thing. What he lacks in experience I think makes up for by what he’s got in his brain, in his enthusiasm, in his passion. And he knows the game. He’s just a great communicator. And I love his enthusiasm; I think that has tremendous value.”

It’s all part of the Giants’ dramatic offseason overhaul.

•  The owners discuss numerous issues at their annual meeting. When asked what topics would most interest the fans, Tisch didn’t mention rules changes or future Super Bowl sites.

“I think there’s a tremendous desire on behalf of the league to share advances in technology, especially how it’s going to impact the fans and their in-stadium experience,” Tisch said. “Certainly technology for the fans that watch on traditional television sets, computers, iPads, and now mobile is one of the biggest platforms of all the ways to watch an NFL game. I think ownership across the league is fascinated by the game in 2016 - how to make the fan experience better, how to bring in younger fans to the game and into the stadiums. All of these challenges I think are great, and it’s exciting as opposed to confusing or scary. I love it.

“One thing I think about the NFL is they are so on top of technology and the role technology is going to play in the importance of the fan experience, and how to really tell 32 owners that the fan experience is so important, and building a new fan base for millennials and Gen-X. And it’s exciting. Certainly football is a generational experience. To capture that in 2016 going forward presents challenges, but I think the challenges are all very, very exciting.”