The New York Giants took the field Tuesday for their first full padded practice of their 2023 training camp.
Last season, the Giants surprised many by finishing 9-7-1 and qualifying for the postseason for the first time since 2016 while becoming one of the league's most improved teams.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapaport joined the Giants Huddle podcast to discuss quarterback Daniel Jones' improvement, Dexter Lawrence's play and more.
The Giants turnaround was largely thanks to the changes that first-year general manager Joe Schoen and rookie head coach Brian Daboll made when they arrived at 1925 Giants Drive.
"You had a GM who came in here and because of, you know, essentially what he inherited, he had a quarterback and a running back, two deals that are extremely difficult to do, up at the same time, only one franchise tag," Rapaport said. "How do you manage that? And they did a really smart deal with Daniel Jones that I think will benefit the quarterback but also put the team in a good place, figured out the Saquon deal when a lot of people have not, I thought that was a really sort of next level way to handle it."
While Schoen has been able to assemble the pieces to build a winning organization, coach Brian Daboll's impact on the field helped fuel a winning season.
"Everybody likes him," Rapaport said. "He really put his mark on this team. He is the kind of guy whose players really buy in. He respects them as humans, and he reaches them all kind of individually."
Along with a new regime, the improved play of quarterback Daniel Jones was a key factor in the Giants making the playoffs, as well as winning a playoff game for the first time in a decade. Rapoport believes the franchise quarterback will continue to improve his play in 2023.
"He is definitely going to benefit from more talent," Rapoport said. "You have a lot more weapons and new faces. Parris Campbell seems like he is making an impression. Jalin Hyatt can probably be the kind of guy who can take the top off. Obviously, (Darren) Waller is a really big acquisition that's really going to help. It will allow Daniel Jones to play better even though he has played well."
In addition to Jones improving his play, the defense improved in different areas. A big reason why? The dominance of All-Pro defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, who notched his first Pro Bowl appearance last season.
"Dexter Lawrence has continued to be a problem," Rapoport said. "He is a very good player. For Dexter Lawrence getting that contract extension, besides just making him really rich, it probably called attention to how good he is. He is just an awesome player."
While the Giants have improved their roster quickly, the rest of the NFC East has continued to improve. What was once considered one of the weaker divisions in football is now the most competitive division in the NFL, as all four teams finished .500 or better in 2022.
The NFC East rival highlighted in this episode was the Dallas Cowboys, as Rapoport gave his take on whether or not the Giants caught up to the Cowboys going into the new season.
"I think the Giants have gotten significantly better, even though they are already good," Rapoport said. "The Cowboys did too, they added Brandin Cooks, should be good and close if you're the Giants making the playoffs, is awesome, last year was awesome, and everything was good, but you have to win your division games and for this team that's probably a goal to come out and establish yourself in your division."
The Giants will open up week one with an NFC East battle against the Dallas Cowboys in the first of five primetime games for the Giants on September 9th at MetLife stadium.
View photos of every move made by the Giants during the 2023 cycle.