It's go time in the NFL.
In the past week alone, the Giants made two trades, played their preseason finale, announced the initial 53-man roster, voted team captains, and established a practice squad. Now, the season opener against Dallas is just 10 days away.
To break it all down, general manager Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll took the podium late Thursday morning at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Here's everything you need to know:
GM JOE SCHOEN
🔹 Schoen began the press conference by offering his condolences to the family of Hall of Famer Gil Brandt, a highly-regarded personnel administrator during his 29-year career with the Dallas Cowboys. Brandt, whose innovative management and personnel systems are standard operating procedure today, passed away at the age of 91 on Thursday morning. Schoen began his career a scouting assistant and then as a southeast and southwest area scout.
"I lived in Dallas for 11 years, and he was often at pro days, or I'd see him at the Combine. Somebody in my position that I looked up to and was a mentor for me. I enjoyed a lot of long drives on the road when I was out scouting listening to him on the radio. So, definitely a sad day for me. He was somebody I definitely looked up to."
🔹 "Hats off" to director of pro scouting Chris Rossetti and his department for doing "a phenomenal job combing through the league, trying to identify players that may help us whether it was via claim, trade or down the road, practice squad workouts, whatever it may be."
🔹 The Giants made two trades in a week, acquiring linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons (from Cardinals) and outside linebacker Boogie Basham (from Bills). "It's a collaborative process. You get the coaching staff involved, and Dabs. What's the fit for a player, what would the utilization be, the evaluation from the scouts, and then what the value is. If it makes sense, then we're always going to be aggressive if we need to be and make a move, and we're comfortable with the ones that we made."
🔹 Schoen said defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has a "vision" for Simmons, a former eighth overall draft pick. "He's a young guy, just turned 25, size, length, athleticism and versatility. So, for the compensation, we thought it made sense. We're excited to see what he does this year."
🔹 A common phrase throughout the press conference was "we'll see" when it comes to the regular season. "If we focus on our process," Schoen said, "we'll see results."
🔹 Sitting down at 26th in the waiver wire "came into effect" in the decision to trade for Basham. "Where we're sitting, will somebody be there that we like? There are some unknowns, certain guys may get cut, maybe they're a little bit more expensive. We take that all into account."
🔹 It takes a few weeks into the regular season "to figure out who the team is, how we're going to react when adversity strikes, and how we're going to handle if there's success, or if you're down at halftime. I think that showed last year against Tennessee in the second half. I didn't know how the team was going to react coming out of halftime or if you're playing Green Bay in London and you're down in the second quarter, 17-3. We still have a lot to learn about this team. We'll see when it comes to Sunday against the Cowboys, how they're going to come together as a team and jell and how they're going to react in those situations."
🔹 It's "natural" for quarterback Daniel Jones "to be more comfortable" in Year 2 of the system. "You've executed the plays multiple times, whether it's throughout last season, this offseason, and another training camp."
🔹 Schoen on Basham: "A young man we're excited to get. He was a second-round pick. He's been in the league for two years. He still has two years left on his contract at a reasonable price. We think he's got a lot of upside. He's got to come in here, he's got to learn the playbook, and it's a different system than what he played in Buffalo. So again, he's been here one day, and we're looking forward to working with him."
🔹 Schoen on the state of the offensive line: "We'll see, again, when we get to Sunday against the Cowboys. We won a lot of games with those players minus JMS (center John Michael Schmitz). It's his first year here, but won nine games and a playoff game with that group. So, we'll see how it pans out."
🔹 Schmitz, the former All-American and second-round draft pick, came in "mature." He has "some leadership about him" and "gets challenged more than anybody on a daily basis having to line up across from Dexter Lawrence."
🔹 Schoen didn't rule anything out, but they "have nothing on the docket right now" in terms of contracts to negotiate during the season.
🔹 Saquon Barkley "had a really good camp. He came in in shape, voted a captain, his leadership stood out from day one. I'm really happy with where he is right now."
🔹 Once Schoen and his staff come up for air next week, they will circle up and "see where we are salary cap wise, short term, long term and kind of come up with a plan there."
🔹 The Simmons and Basham trades are part of a youth movement on the roster. "I think I was looking at it earlier this morning again as the dust settles a little bit, stepping back and looking at the roster, I think we have 39 players that are 26 years old or younger. Which as of today is second in the league, so I think adding him – Boogie I think is 25 -- so again, kind of a young nucleus of core guys here. I think between the youth and some of the veterans that we have, it's a good mix and he fit into that."
🔹 Schoen was asked about the reason to waive running back Jashaun Corbin. "It was a competition, and we kept the four that we kept. Trying to get him on the practice squad, it's his choice to go somewhere else, but when you cut a player 31 other teams have the opportunity to claim him. It happened last year, and he stayed on the practice squad, and it happened again this year and nobody claimed him so it's his right to look elsewhere and that's what he decided to do."
🔹 It's "too early to tell" if wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson will be ready for Week 1.
View photos of the New York Giants' 2023 roster as it currently stands.
HC BRIAN DABOLL
🔹 Tight end Darren Waller was the talk of summer. It started with "good communication." He told them what he liked, and they "introduced him to some of the stuff that we think he could do well to help us. Again, he's done a nice job since he's been here."
🔹 Simmons is "fitting in" with his new teammates, some of whom are familiar faces. "He knew Dex, he knew Saquon from working out, Isaiah Hodgins, so there's some relationships that he's had and he's fit in well with really everybody on the team, not just the defensive guys but the offensive guys, too."
🔹 Daboll reflected on what the team accomplished this summer: "I think they had a productive camp. I think we've gotten better from where we started, but again until you start playing in regular season games and adversity strikes and how you respond to things. There's a lot of things -- you can't really take it from one year to the next year because it's a different team. Thirty percent of the guys are different, different things are going to happen, you're playing different opponents, how you react to certain things – you've really got to learn your team as you go in the regular season, and you just don't pick up where you left off last year or a preseason game. It's a challenge every season in the NFL, at least it's been in the 23 years that I've been in the NFL. It's always different, it's never the same, there's a lot of challenges every year and you're going to go through them. And how you react to them and focus and stay locked in on your targets, that's really important and then ultimately you've got to go out there and play well and coach well and that doesn't guarantee anything. So, we're just grinding along here. The guys have worked hard, they'll get a couple of days off then we'll get going here on Dallas."
View photos of every move made by the Giants during the 2023 cycle.