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Cover 3: Building the identity of new-look Giants


At the midway point of OTAs, the crew picks one word to describe what they've seen from the new-look Giants:

Dan Salomone: "Fresh" is a word that comes to mind, and that's not just in reference to Brian Daboll's shoes. Coming off the 2021 season, team president John Mara said the organization needed to hit the "reset button and get a fresh start." This direction led to the hiring of general manager Joe Schoen and Daboll, two outsiders who brought a new perspective. The process started with "getting the right people in the right seats" and energizing the entire building, just like what they witnessed during their successful time together in Buffalo. The plan is coming to fruition as just last week Leonard Williams said, "It's just a contagious energy that's being brought right now." It has permeated through the facility, including the most important position in all of sports. Daboll has talked about QB Daniel Jones having a positive mindset and letting it rip when the situation calls for it.

"You never want to throw interceptions, but I think just the idea to be aggressive and take your shots and see if you can make something happen," Jones said. "Kind of let the receivers know that we're going to do that, we're going to give you all opportunities to make plays and we're counting on you to make plays in situations. I think that's kind of a mindset he has to attack a defense, attack downfield and as a quarterback, a decision-maker, you're a big part of that."

Lance Medow: The word "adaptive" is very fitting for the Giants' new regime. From the front office to the coaching staff, this group is subscribing to the philosophy that this league is constantly changing and evolving and, therefore, the approach to the roster and scheme should mirror that evolution. When Brian Daboll recently met with the media during OTAs, he stressed how important it is to get feedback from his players with respect to the schemes and cater the game plan to their strengths and skillsets. Although the Chiefs and Bills showcased dynamic offenses over the last few seasons, Mike Kafka and Daboll, respectively, aren't bringing those rosters to New York and Daniel Jones isn't a facsimile of Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen. It's more of a reason why you can't simply expect to duplicate what Kansas City and Buffalo accomplished given it's a completely new group of players.

The same can be said for defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, who will be working with an extremely young secondary after the team parted ways with veterans Logan Ryan, Jabrill Peppers and James Bradberry this off-season. Those moves mean Martindale will have to develop a group that showcases many players who have been drafted or signed between 2020-22. Their limited experience is quite the opposite end of the spectrum compared to what he coached on the back end of the Baltimore defense. As a result, Wink may have to tweak his strategy or move around his personnel.

A similar approach can be seen atop the organization as Joe Schoen has made some changes to the front office, bringing in individuals from various teams such as Assistant General Manager Brandon Brown, director of pro scouting Chris Rossetti and assistant director of player personnel Dennis Hickey, who worked alongside Schoen in Miami and Buffalo. The Giants new GM has surrounded himself with established relationships and executives who will bring their own unique perspectives to the table based on what they've experienced across the league. Teams and coaches that build stability in the NFL are the ones that are best equipped to constantly tackle change and open to fresh ideas.

Matt Citak: The word that best describes the identity of the new regime is "calculated."

Looking at every move made by the team since Joe Schoen was hired, it is abundantly clear that this new regime has a specific plan in mind for building the roster. Schoen's first move as GM was the signing of Antonio Williams, a running back with familiarity with Brian Daboll's offense from their days together in Buffalo. This was the first of many additions who know either Daboll's offense or Wink Martindale's defense, and that is no coincidence. Schoen and Daboll wanted to bring in players who were already comfortable with the offensive and defensive schemes that the Giants plan to run this season in order to help smooth the transition for the entire team.

Moving on to the draft, it's clear that the new regime went into the weekend with the goal of taking players with the specific skillsets to thrive in the Giants' schemes, instead of only targeting the best player available. Just to highlight a couple of picks, Micah McFadden and Darrian Beavers had a lot of success rushing the passer in 2021. Martindale is known for deploying a blitz-heavy defense, thus having athletic inside linebackers capable of getting to the quarterback fits perfectly with the type of defense he wants to run.

"You know, when I come to it, I like to see how people think and see what's their train of thought," Kayvon Thibodeaux said at his introductory press conference. "So for me, just coming in and seeing, like -- you know, I would ask different things, what's their perspective on the Draft, how do they think it's going to play out and what's their perspective on the upcoming season and changing, bring guys in.

"But they really have it down to a T. And when you talk about men with a master plan, they have the master plan and now it's just about for us to buy into that culture and be a keeper of the culture."

View the best photos from spring practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.


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