When he arrived, general manager Joe Schoen talked about putting the right people in the right seats. One of his biggest decisions was for the chair in which he used to sit.
That led to the hiring of Brandon Brown as assistant general manager, the role Schoen held in Buffalo as he and Brandon Beane built one of the best rosters in the NFL. Now the former right-hand man will try to do the same with one of his own.
"He's someone that I've always admired from afar," Brown said of Schoen. "We've been on the road together in the past, just knowing how he's a tireless worker. He beats every bush for information. He goes the extra mile in terms of evaluating the players. I see a lot of his traits in myself; that's why we've always gotten along with not being in the same building but being in the league or being on school calls or being at college games. Just seeing how each other works, it's always been admiration from a far. So, that's something that drew me to him."
A Long Island native, Brown was a four-year letterman as a defensive back at Fordham University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in business administration with a dual concentration in entrepreneurship and communications media management. After graduating in 2010, Brown earned a Juris Doctor degree from Barry University Law School in Orlando, Fla.
Brown, 33, spent the previous five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was promoted to the team's director of player personnel in 2021. In that role, Brown oversaw the Eagles' pro scouting department and did crossover work on the college scouting side with co-director of player personnel Ian Cunningham.
With the Giants, Brown described his job in two words: "football solutions."
"It's overseeing the pro personnel department, the college scouting department and also just being the checks and balances with Joe on the football operations side," Brown said. "So, for me it's just creating synergy through all of our supporting departments and our primary scouting departments."
The toughest part about any high-level personnel job is striking the right balance between the present and future. For that reason, Brown said he will split time between the road and team facility.
"One, being in the building is knowing the temperature of the building, what the roster is like and also knowing the landscape of the league currently," Brown said. "And obviously being on the road, knowing what that next crop is going to look like. So, I am going to balance that. Every week's going to be a little bit different just depending on what our needs are. There's going to be a steady balance of practice, games and also being in the building."
No two front offices are alike, and the Giants do not currently have a college scouting director. Schoen said they interviewed a handful of candidates, but they moved ahead without one for this season.
"I think with us, our biggest thing was people, process, culture," Brown said. "We had an extensive interview process, and we like what we came together with. Between (Director of Player Personnel) Tim McDonnell, who's already been here, (Assistant Director of Player Personnel) Dennis Hickey, who we brought in, and (Director of Pro Scouting) Chris Rossetti on the pro side, we figured we had the right department heads in place to get what we needed to get done just from a B to Y standpoint of process, process, process through it and also just putting the scouting process together the way we want it to be done. So, there's different ways to skin a cat, and that's the way we wanted to put it together."
With the second week of the preseason underway, clubs are preparing for important roster checkpoints. Rosters must be trimmed to 80 players on Tuesday and then 53 the following week by 4 p.m. on Aug. 30. That's when more than 1,000 players will hit the marketplace and be available via the waiver wire.
That's why Brown is "knee deep" in studying preseason film from around the league.
"It's an ever-evolving process where every stone has to be (turned)," Brown said. "You want to make sure that you're dotting your 'Is' crossing your 'Ts', whether it's position need, whether it's creating competition at all levels, you got to know what the marketplace is. Whether we're looking or not, you got to know what's out there."
They also have to know what they have inside the building.
"I think we have foundational pieces that we like," Brown said. "I think at the same time we are constantly trying to create competition. That's where you get iron sharpens iron, where you have pretty much at every position or at most positions, you want to make sure that you have guys that can push each other, whether it's front end or back end. That's really how you get the best out of guys, especially on the daily. No one gets lax. Everyone is always giving effort."
View photos of the New York Giants' 2022 roster as it currently stands.