Joe Schoen made an in-booth appearance during the team's second preseason game against the Panthers on Friday. The general manager discussed a variety of topics, including the state of the roster and development of newcomers with the regular season just around the corner.
Here were the highlights:
Retaining core group
The Giants set out this offseason to add explosiveness and depth on both sides of the ball. While they certainly did that, Schoen also knew the importance of retaining the core group, including quarterback Daniel Jones, defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, left tackle Andrew Thomas, and running back Saquon Barkley.
"Based off the way they played last year and then where they are in terms of age and what they mean to the team and the organization," Schoen said, "that was definitely an offseason priority of ours to keep those guys."
Near-perfect first drive
Daniels shined in his game-opening drive against Carolina, completing all but one of his nine pass attempts for 69 yards, and capped it off with a touchdown. Four of the passes went for at least 10 yards, and he added a six-yard scramble.
"That was a good drive," Schoen said. "It was clean. I thought Daniel played fast. The offensive line protected him when he had to use his legs the one time he did, and I thought they executed well."
Football IQ high for Waller, skill players
Waller, a 6-foot-6, 245-pound tight end, was a prominent offseason pickup for the Giants as he embodies all of the tools required to elevate the offense.
"It gives us an opportunity to move players around and him being a smart player was very important to us," Schoen said. "The IQ of the offensive skill players is very high, one of the highest I've been around, and that allows that you use those guys as chess pieces, whether you move them up, move them around, you line them up what you do with them and you have to see some of that this evening."
Identifying future center John Michael Schmitz Jr.
With each practice and preseason game, second-round pick John Michael Schmitz Jr. strengthens his hold on the starting center job.
"He's in there early, he's in Daniel's hip pocket, and they're watching film together," Schoen said. "He's picking things up, and he's tested every day at practice against Dexter Lawrence and he's done the best he can in those one-on-one battles and continues to grow and develop. We're excited about what the future holds for him."
Importance of third tackle
Matt Peart, a fourth-year player out of Connecticut who is coming off an injury, looks to come back and continue to provide depth to the offensive line.
"He's coming off the knee injury last year when he arrived," Schoen said. "We didn't know a lot about him and then he came back late in the season, and we really didn't have a chance to figure out who he was on the field in the pads. So, this August has been very important in him knocking the rust off and getting these reps is very important to him. It's important to have a third tackle and he's competing for that job right now.
Improving depth at defensive tackle
The Giants brought in the likes of Rakeem Nuñez-Roches, A'Shawn Robinson and Jordon Riley to enhance the defensive line, ensuring there is more help around Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams.
"That was also a priority of ours," Schoen said. "So, to bring in Nacho and A'Shawn and Riley for a seventh-round pick has made some impactful plays this evening. We're excited about him, and we just brought D.J. Davidson back off of PUP. So, we turned something where we didn't have a lot of depth. I feel like over the offseason now it could potentially be a very good position of strength for us."
Tough decisions at wide receiver
The wide receiver corps has quickly become one of the deepest areas on the team, which makes for tough decisions.
"Those are position battles we're looking forward to working through," Schoen said. "Again, it maybe wasn't as tough last year, but there's going to be some tough decisions this year and that's ultimately what you want. You're creating competition and that typically brings out the best in everybody. So, there are numbers there and it's going to turn into a numbers game based on how it works out."
Canvassing preseason tape around NFL
Schoen touched on the importance of evaluating preseason games, not just their own roster but also other teams.
"This is important," Schoen said. "We watch all this stuff and not just our team. We're scouring every other team in their games and seeing how guys react and impact the situation."
Kicking the tires on QB Tommy DeVito
DeVito, an undrafted rookie out of Syracuse, has flashed in two preseason games. The third-string quarterback has appeared in both games thus far, combining for 16-for-22 in the air for 166 yards.
"I thought he started off a little bit slow this spring and he came back to camp, worked hard, really hard over the summer, came in an he's really opened a lot of eyes in camp as far as he's come from the spring to now."
View photos of the New York Giants' 2023 roster as it currently stands.