The Giants.com crew reacts to the first week of a major offseason for the organization:
John Schmeelk: When the Giants decided to change their head coach but stay the course with Dave Gettleman as their General Manager, their rationale was simple. Ownership decided that Dave Gettleman deserved more than two years to see the impact of the changes he has made to the front office and his vision for the roster.
"I think we've had some hits and some misses," team president John Mara said regarding Gettleman. "He implemented so many changes within our organization, we just felt like at this stage to pull the plug on all of that would not be the wise thing to do."
When a general manager initiates changes in an organization and on a roster, it takes time for those changes to yield positive results. Draft picks take years to develop. The impact of the changes in the scouting staff, and other behind the scenes decision making processes don't seem evident until the players that are acquired develop, which takes time.
"There definitely have been some misses, no question about it," John Mara said. "I think that can happen to anybody. There were reasons for some of those personnel decisions. He does know that the batting average has got to increase going forward though."
In other words, with Gettleman entering his third offseason with the Giants, the expectation is the results of his past decisions and changes behind the scenes will begin showing up on the football field.
"We're all on notice," Gettleman said. "We truly are."
While many people will look towards the 2020 free agent and draft classes, it will be far more important for the 2018 and 2019 draft classes to improve and form the foundation of the franchise. Counting on 20- or 21-year-olds and free agents to turn a program around is not realistic. It is players like Dalvin Tomlinson, Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, Lorenzo Carter, B.J. Hill, Sam Beal, Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, Darius Slayton, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, Ryan Connelly, Nick Gates, Kaden Smith and Oshane Ximines who are going to have to take the next step to serve as the winning core of the franchise.
Successfully running a team as general manager is properly playing the long game. Football teams have too many moving parts for a complete roster transformation to take place in a year, or even two. But in season three of the process, it is reasonable to expect to see significant progress on the field in terms of quality of play and win/loss record. That's where the Giants and Gettleman are heading into 2020.
Dan Salomone: Every player who makes it to the NFL is talented to a certain extent. The good teams not only identify it, but they also develop it. That's what the Giants need to do with their young core, which is led by Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley and now includes names like Darius Slayton, Dexter Lawrence, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love and the list goes on. Ten rookies, including eight draft choices, started at least one game for the Giants in 2019.
"We have a lot of young players who have shown some promise," John Mara said, "but it remains to be seen whether they're going to develop into quality NFL players or not."
That will be the task of the next head coach and his staff. Having the answer at quarterback is a good start, though. Jones led all rookies in touchdown passes and came close to breaking the league record. Slayton, meanwhile, tied for the league lead in touchdown catches among the 2019 class. Barkley also became the first player in Giants history to start his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. All those tweet-worthy stats mean nothing if the players don't go to the next level.
"Hopefully the next coach will help them do that," Mara said. "None of them will be rookies anymore and again we have a very good cap situation and we're picking fourth in the draft. We should be better next year."
Lance Medow: The Giants wasted no time kicking off the first week of their coaching search as they interviewed four candidates with various backgrounds. Two come from the defensive side of the ball in Kris Richard and Don "Wink" Martindale, while the other two have offensive backgrounds in Mike McCarthy and Eric Bieniemy. All four of these candidates have a wealth of experience coaching in the NFL and two played in the league (Richard, Bieniemy).
Richard was a defensive back with four different NFL teams (Seahawks, Dolphins, Niners, Raiders) over six seasons (2002-2007) and helped shape the Legion of Boom in Seattle as he began his NFL coaching career under Pete Carroll in 2010 and rose to the position of defensive coordinator in 2015. Each of the last two seasons, he served as the Cowboys defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator so he has some familiarity with the NFC East and perhaps his most appealing trait is that between Seattle and Dallas, he has helped groom many young secondary players, something the new Giants coach will be tasked with accomplishing given the makeup of the current roster. The Seahawks and Cowboys have boasted some of the best defenses in the league during his tenure.
Like Richard, Martindale has also held several different positions during his NFL coaching career, including linebackers coach and defensive coordinator, in his stops with Oakland, Denver and Baltimore, where he worked with players like Ray Lewis, C.J. Mosley and Za'Darius Smith. Both Richard (2013 – Seattle) and Martindale (2012 – Baltimore) have also been a part of Super Bowl winning staffs, so they've seen first-hand what it takes to not just win one season but accomplish that feat consistently.
What stands out about Bieniemy is his track record with young running backs and quarterbacks given the presence of Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones. Bieniemy, the Chiefs' offensive coordinator, worked with Adrian Peterson in Minnesota and Jamaal Charles in Kansas City, as well as several other young backs who filled in over the years in KC. Most important, he oversaw the Chiefs' offense while Patrick Mahomes carved up the league in 2018, throwing for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns en route to winning MVP. Interestingly, each of Andy Reid's last two offensive coordinators, Doug Pederson (Eagles) and Matt Nagy (Bears), have gone on to become head coaches.
Of all the candidates, Mike McCarthy is the only one who has previously served as a head coach. He has a proven track record in Green Bay of running a winning franchise with six NFC North titles, nine playoff appearances and a Super Bowl title in 12-plus seasons. The key element of McCarthy's background is his experience working with various quarterbacks over his career. McCarthy worked his way up through the ranks as a QBs coach in Kansas City and Green Bay and has crossed paths with many young signal callers, including Elvis Grbac (Chiefs), Aaron Brooks (Saints), Alex Smith (Niners) and Aaron Rodgers (Packers). Why is that notable? Well, the next coach of the Giants will have to continue to shape the career of Daniel Jones.
A unique perspective from the 2019 season