Jan 302023
 
Mike Kafka, New York Giants (May 19, 2022)

Mike Kafka – © USA TODAY Sports

MIKE KAFKA CONTINUES TO DRAW INTEREST…
The Arizona Cardinals are the fourth NFL team to interview New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka for their head-coaching vacancy, joining the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, and Carolina Panthers. The interview will reportedly take place on Tuesday. The Texans have interviewed Kafka twice, once virtually and the second time in person. The Denver Broncos reportedly may also be interested in Kafka.

The 35-year old Kafka first became a coach with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017, when he served an offensive quality control coach. He was then promoted by the Chiefs to quarterbacks coach (2018-2019) and then quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator (2020-2021).

COLTS INTERVIEW DON MARTINDALE AGAIN…
The Indianapolis Colts have held a second interview with New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale for their head-coaching vacancy. The 59-year old Martindale served as the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens for four years before joining the Giants last offseason. From 2012-2017, he was the linebackers coach of the Ravens.

BUCCANEERS INTERESTED IN SHEA TIERNEY…
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have interviewed New York Giants Quarterbacks Coach Shea Tierney for their offensive coordinator vacancy. The 36-year old Tierney served as the assistant quarterbacks coach of the Buffalo Bills for two years before joining the Giants last offseason.

Jan 262023
 
Brian Daboll, New York Giants (October 10, 2022)

Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

BRIAN DABOLL HONORED…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll has been named the “2022 NFL Coach of the Year” by the Pro Football Writers Association of America (PFWA). In his first season as the team’s head coach, Daboll led the Giants to a surprising 9-7-1 regular-season record and a playoff victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Daboll is the fifth coach in New York Giants’ history to lead the team to the playoffs in his debut season, joining Allie Sherman (1961), Dan Reeves (1993), Jim Fassel (1997), and Ben McAdoo (2016). Rookie coach Earl Potteiger led the Giants to the 1927 NFL Championship in the era before playoffs.

Daboll also became the first Giants’ coach to win his playoff debut since Reeves in 1993. Others to do so included Jim Lee Howell (1956), Ray Perkins (1981), and Bill Parcells (1984).

Daboll is the fourth Giants’ coach to be honored as the PFWA “Coach of the Year,” joining Parcells (1986), Reeves (1993), and Fassel (1997).

On Wednesday, Daboll was announced as one of the finalists for the Associated Press “NFL Coach of the Year” award.

GIANTS RE-SIGN TWO MORE TO RESERVE/FUTURE CONTRACTS…
In addition to the 12 players the Giants have already signed to reserve/future contracts, the Giants announced they have also re-signed WR David Sills and S Terrell Burgess to reserve/future contracts. Both players ended the season on the team’s Practice Squad.

Sills was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Buffalo Bills after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants signed him to the Practice Squad in September 2019 after he was cut by the Bills. He did not play in a game for the Giants that year. He also missed all of 2020 with broken right foot. In 2021, Sills played in four games with one start, finishing with just two catches for 17 yards. In 2022, Sills was pressed into extended playing time due to issues at the position. He played in nine games with five starts, mostly before the bye week, and finished the year with just 11 catches for 106 yards.

The Giants signed Burgess to the Practice Squad in November 2022. He played in one game in Week 12, exclusively on special teams. Burgess was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He missed most of his rookie season with a broken ankle. Burgess has played in 31 regular-season games with three starts, accruing 29 tackles and one pass defense. He played in five games with the Rams in 2022 before they waived him in November.

Jan 242023
 
Davis Webb, New York Giants (August 28, 2022)

Davis Webb – © USA TODAY Sports

TEXANS INTERVIEW MIKE KAFKA AGAIN…
The Houston Texans will be conducting a second interview with New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka for their head-coaching vacancy. Kafka interviewed with the Colts virtually on Sunday, as well as with the Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers for their respective head-coaching vacancies.

The 35-year old Kafka first became a coach with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017, when he served an offensive quality control coach. He was then promoted by the Chiefs to quarterbacks coach (2018-2019) and then quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator (2020-2021).

DAVIS WEBB PURSUING COACHING CAREER…
ESPN is reporting that New York Giants’ third-string quarterback Davis Webb “has expressed interest in starting the transition from player to coach.” The Buffalo Bills offered their quarterback-coaching position to Webb last offseason, but he turned it down to sign with the Giants. ESPN says “Webb will consider making the jump to coaching for the right opportunity.”

The Giants signed Webb to a reserve/future contract in February 2022. He played well in the preseason and the Giants surprisingly started him in the season-finale against the Eagles instead of Tyrod Taylor. It was only the second time in Webb’s career that he has played a regular-season NFL game and the first time he actually threw a pass in one. Despite playing with largely second- and third-teamers, Webb finished the contest 23-of-40 for 168 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions against one of the best defenses in football.

The Giants drafted Webb in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft, but waived in early September 2018 before the season started. The 6’5”, 225-pound Webb has spent time with the Giants (2017-2018), New York Jets (2018), Bills (2019-2021). Webb spent most of the 2021 season on the Practice Squad of the Buffalo Bills, serving as the team’s #3 quarterback.

QUINCY ROCHE RETURNS TO THE STEELERS…
New York Giants’ outside linebacker Quincy Roche has signed a reserve/future contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Roche spent a month on the 53-man roster and the rest of the 2022 season on the Giants’ Practice Squad, playing in three regular-season games and being credited with two tackles.

The Giants claimed Roche off of waivers from the Steelers in early September 2021. He ended up playing in 14 games in 2021 with three starts, and finished the season with 30 tackles, five tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, five quarterback hits and one forced fumble. Roche was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Steelers.

Jan 242023
 
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (January 21, 2023)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

Thank You to Eric and thank you to BBI for giving me the opportunity to put my thoughts here on this team weekly. I’ve been doing these reviews since the start of 2017, Evan Engram’s rookie season. This was the most fun I’ve had since then.

QUARTERBACK

-Daniel Jones: 15/27 – 135 yards / 0 TD – 1 INT / 53.8 RAT … 6 att / 24 yards

A week after what I considered to be the most big-time performance of his career, Jones entered Lincoln Financial Field looking for his first ever road win against the Eagles. David vs. Goliath. The odds were stacked against him no matter what angle you looked at it. Jones was tasked with elevating the team around him to create something larger than the sum of its parts. Overmatched in the trenches. Overmatched in coverage. Overmatched on the other side of the ball. All of this against a team coming off an extra week of rest. I did not have sky high expectations here. I did want to see him elevate, however. Do things that outsiders did not think he can do. NYG was one loss away from, what I consider to be, the biggest decision of their offseason and something that strongly impacts the trajectory of the franchise.

Jones folded. He did not elevate the team. He sunk. He did not derive a larger sum, it went below zero. He threw an interception in PHI territory. He fumbled in the fourth quarter after holding onto the ball too long. He did not get into the end zone. Now, none of that gets pinned on Jones alone. But the turnover down 14-0, the under throw to Darius Slayton in the third quarter on his deepest pass of the day, the wild pass to Richie James on the very next play (a third-down conversion attempt), and the inaccurate ball on 3rd-and-6 to Slayton when NYG had a little taste of momentum in the fourth quarter were lost opportunities. Were they make or breaks for his future? No. Were they even make or breaks of this game? Probably not. But the point still resonates – he had a chance to step up, he instead fell down.

RUNNING BACK

-Saquon Barkley: 9 att – 61 yards / 2 att – 21 yards

-39 of Barkley’s 61 yards came on a run in the third quarter. That ended up being the drive where NYG put seven points on the board. 11 touches for the team’s best player simply were not enough. The one negative of being reliant on a running game to get your best player involved was exactly this. NYG was down 14 points before anyone took their first pee break and no matter what coaches say, it does impact the offensive approach. Barkley subtly played a solid game. 7+ yards per touch is a good number against a defense like this. He played physically, he took what the defense gave him on those inside runs, he didn’t dance around. The game got away from NYG and the PHI defense put some serious attention on him in coverage. When he can’t be, or isn’t a big part of the offense, NYG is even more limited.

-Matt Breida carried the ball four times and gained 23 yards; he also added a 19-yard catch. He scored the team’s lone touchdown. If this game ended with a different result, we would be talking highly about Breida. I liked what he brought to the table this season and I think there is more in the tank for a team can get out of him.

WIDE RECEIVER

-I am going to start with Darius Slayton and Richie James, both soon-to-be-free agents. Slayton had one catch for four yards. He was targeted five times and was the victim of multiple bad throws by Jones. Put me in the camp of people that is simply disappointed by this guy. The talent is there, and we know he can make things happen. He’s done it. But at some point, this guy needs to be the one who steps up and makes a play. The one that picks up Jones. He hasn’t done it and remains among league-leaders in drops. Speaking of drops, James let one bounce off his hands on a play that would have been a touchdown. He ended up leading the team with 7 receptions and 51 yards, four of which went for first downs. I thought these two were going to need to step up for this offense to put up sufficient points. Neither did.

-The reason I thought Slayton and James needed to get more on the stat sheet was PHI’s plan against Isaiah Hodgins. It was obvious they would put an extra defender on him because Jones has been looking his way in key moments for a month. The problem with that, Hodgins is not the kind of athlete who can overcome it. To make it worse, Jones did not or could not get much going with anyone else. Hodgins finished with 1 catch for 3 yards.

TIGHT END

-Lawrence Cager had a first-quarter catch for 16 yards and Daniel Bellinger caught his only pass in the fourth quarter for 3 yards. I said prior to the postseason that I thought Bellinger could have been a sneaky-strong component to the passing game. He responded in the playoffs with 3 catches for 20 yards and a touchdown. I was hoping for more, but the looks were not there. The question with him will revolve around speed and ability to get open. I like his ball skills and he is sneaky-effective after the catch. But whether this front office and coaching staff believes he can run himself open will dictate a lot about what they do at tight end this offseason. I like Bellinger, but I think there is something missing from the position group.

OFFENSIVE LINE

-Really tough assignment for this group that did seem to solidify themselves over the past few weeks. But matched up against the deepest and best overall pass rush on long rest on the road? The interior was solid enough in pass protection. Nick Gates, Jon Feliciano, and Mark Glowinski allowed 1 pressure each. My negative on them, notably Gates and Feliciano, was the lack of movement they got off the ball in the running game. Again, it was a small sample size, so I won’t come down on them too hard. But watching the contrast in these two interior OLs was eye opening to me. The gap between the NYG line and PHI line is bigger than most think.

-Outside we saw the continued trend that has been there all year. Andrew Thomas was almost lights out, Evan Neal struggled mightily. Thomas allowed 1 sack technically, but I did not record it. It was an end-around sack and Jones held on to the ball forever. Can’t use that one against him. Neal was the turnstile again. He allowed 2 sacks and 4 pressures. There is a ton of ground to make up here for the #7 overall selection in last year’s draft. I will not sugar coat it. Yes, Andrew Thomas struggled in 2020. But if you want to play the comparison game (which is not necessary), the structure of Neal’s issues looks closer to Ereck Flowers than Thomas.

EDGE

-The NYG pass rush was abysmal and I initially looked at the edge defenders for that cause. It is true that neither Kayvon Thibodeaux nor Azeez Ojulari even sniffed Jalen Hurts. They were overmatched by the PHI tackles and that is the shortcoming in both of their games. They lack a power rush component and I think it is a team-issue that needs to be addressed. But I want to give a tip of the cap to Thibodeaux. In a game where they allowed 38 points and simply got owned as a group, he had 8 tackles and several of them were high level plays. His straight-line burst combined with sheer effort in pursuit was a difference maker. Ojulari, on the other hand, had just 1 tackle and lost the edge on multiple occasions. Defending a running game like PHI is so much about getting and keeping a hard edge and I thought Ojulari did poor job there. He also did not look 100%.

-Jihad Ward gave an admirable effort. He had 2 tackles and 1 TFL, but also did a lot of the necessary dirty work. If others stepped up and the defense itself did not miss so many tackles as a group, we would be singing more of Ward’s praises. I’ve said this a few times, sorry if it is repetitive. Ward’s role in the Martindale scheme is very important and not easy to fill. I do see some options in the draft, but in all reality, I’m not sure they can play as stout as Ward does against the run. On a day where I was disappointed by several of the front seven defenders against the run, Ward was a guy who kept showing up. Also, a great locker room guy. If the market ignores him like they did last offseason, I will welcome him back while they groom a rookie behind him.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

-I noted before the game how much the pass rush can throw Hurts off. It was a vital component to the defensive execution, more than usual. Whether or not Martindale built off his league-high blitz rate, we needed to see a big-time performance out of both Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams. They did not rise to the occasion. Williams had one pressure and was put on ice skates against the run, finishing with two tackles. Lawrence did not get any pressure at all and while he did have 6 tackles, only two of them were near the point-of-attack. The PHI line had their way with these two.

-Ryder Anderson and Justin Ellis saw rotational snaps and will likely wind up on the PHI offensive line highlight reel. They were getting 4-5 yards of movement on these guys in all directions consistently. This defensive line is incredibly thin and will need serious attention this offseason.

LINEBACKER

-This was a two-man show. Jaylon Smith and Jarrad Davis both played 90% of the snaps. Smith led the team with 14 tackles and Davis had 5, one for a loss. Both missed one tackle each and Davis was flagged for an unfortunate personal-foul penalty that could have gone either way. Both play a very tight game. What I mean by that is they may look impressive with their straight-line speed and power, and it does make an impact when they guess correctly. But in a game full of subtle adjustments and quickness, they just don’t have it. A running game like this exposes that. They’re late and they can’t adjust. NYG enters the offseason in need of not one, but two starters at linebacker.

CORNERBACK

-Adoree’ Jackson did not look like he was at full strength. I went back and watched a half of a game from earlier in the season to confirm that. The movement out of his breaks looked less explosive and needed an extra step. He also had no power when fighting blocks. He did finish with 7 tackles, 1 for a loss. He missed a tackle and was beat for a couple of third-down conversions. The long speed was there though, as he was able to stick to A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith on deep routes. NYG can go into the offseason knowing they have a good starter here at a solid price.

-Behind him? One could make a case it is the second biggest need on the team. Nick McCloud was not tested much but when he was, he allowed a touchdown to Smith. The lack of recovery speed was apparent there. He had the angle on him and just got beat in a short window into the end zone. McCloud was also another victim of getting owned by PHI receivers when they blocked. Promising young player though who I would like to see on the depth chart next season.

-Darnay Holmes added one tackle and missed two of them. Defending the run against a team like PHI puts pressure on the nickel to fill hard and make tackles. He failed there. He was targeted three times and allowed three catches. Holmes is a little perplexing to me. He has all the talent and I think he plays with the necessary energy and physical nature. But he is the cornerback version of Jabrill Peppers to me. There just isn’t enough feel and instincts in his game and a good offense can eat that up whenever they want. Nickel corner is way down the list of team needs and Holmes is back on the final year of his rookie deal in 2023, but it is a spot worth looking into at some point this offseason for the sake of 2024.

-Fabian Moreau was not tested much in coverage and he added 2 tackles. What they do with him will dictate some of how they approach corner in the draft. On one side, you can’t trust him to cover good receivers consistently. On the other, the 28-year old is better than what a lot of other teams are using and his contract is small.

SAFETY

-I’ve noted and praised Julian Love all season for how versatile and impactful he has been for this defense. To keep this real, however, I have to say he had the most disappointing performance of the night. Coming into the game, he had 6 missed tackles all year (one of the best rates in the league, all positions). In this game alone, Love missed 5 tackles and allowed the biggest play of the day on the game’s opening drive. Compared to what he offered all season, Love let this defense down in a big way.

-On the flip side, Xavier McKinney made a couple of flash plays. He had 8 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and a pass deflection at the line. I was excited for this kid at the start of the year and I know the coaches were too. The ATV accident was an unfortunate accident that reminded us this is all a part of life. It happens. Hopefully he learned his lesson because he may be one of the most important 3 players on this defense next year.

-Tony Jefferson and Jason Pinnock played just 7 snaps a piece. Pinnock should very much be a part of this team’s future. I think they have something here and at the very least, he is a stud special teamer. Jefferson was brought in because of the familiarity to Martindale’s system. Very common practice when coaches change locations. I expect that backup box safety role to be filled by a rookie next year.

SPECIAL TEAMS

-K Graham Gano: 1/1 XP
-P Jamie Gillan: 5 punts / 43.2 avg – 43.2 net

3 STUDS

-S Xavier McKinney, RB Matt Breida, EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux

3 DUDS

-QB Daniel Jones, S Julian Love, OT Evan Neal

3 THOUGHTS ON PHI

(1) Three games against the Eagles in under one month. On December 11, I wrote in the review that PHI would be the NFC representative in the Super Bowl. Fast forward to right now, I think they should be a heavy favorite over SF. And I like SF a lot. The gap between PHI and the rest of the conference has been a mile wide all season and even though SF has forgotten what it is like to lose a game, PHI matches up well and is simply better across the board.

(2) The PHI offensive line is the part of their team I am most impressed by. I think it is the best way to build a sustainable winning team. A good offensive line can make other players look better. A great offensive line can make other players look great. I am under the notion that no matter where you stand, the offensive line needs to be fed via the draft and/or free agency year after year. It is not one position. It is five. Used two first rounders on the line in recent memory? Cool. That isn’t enough if the other three spots are below average or average. Three? Not enough. Four? Maybe enough. But if you find five guys that can be considered near the top of their respective positions, your offense is going to be elite. On the Ourlads All-Pro team, PHI has the 1st-team center (Kelce), and the 2nd-team LG (Dickerson) and RT (Johnson). The other two starters are probably considered top-7 in the league at their positions. This line is one of the best I have ever seen. Their starters were brought in via the draft, every single one. 2011, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2021. Their backups? 2019, 2021, 2022, 2022. All in the draft or undrafted free agency. Feed the trenches. Draft better linemen. Then draft their backups. It will work.

(3) Now, on this loaded roster of theirs, someone has to shake free in free agency right? That is correct. DTs Hargrave and Cox are going to be FAs. DEs Graham and Quinn are going to be free agents. OC Kelce and CB Bradberry are going to be free agents. LBs White and Edwards are going to be free agents. The one guy I want NYG to take a long look at? OG Isaac Seumalo. Starting experience at both OG spots. Known for his pass protection skills. Constant movement as an inside run blocker. Would Joe Schoen bring him in even though they signed Glowinski last offseason? It could be a tall ask, but he is a rock-solid player who strengthens the starting lineup AND depth, as it would leave the revolving door they had at left guard in positions to fight for backup snaps.

3 CLOSING THOUGHTS

(1) How do you wrap up a season’s worth of reviews? I could go on and on. My simple statement here, though, is that this needs to be considered a wildly successful season for this franchise. More wins than anyone thought they would get, even those in the building I bet. The first playoff win in a decade. A coaching staff that seems to finally be right there with some of the best in the game. A forward-thinking front office that, all things considered, touched all the right buttons with limited resources and flexibility. NYG is back on the map and even though they’re still far away from the level of PHI and SF, they’ve at least entered the church and are walking toward the front pew.

(2) The 2022 rookie class officially has their first season in the rear-view mirror. Let’s take a very quick look and assess how it turned out to this point (but remember, a draft class can only be evaluated after 3 years). I consider a successful draft one in that over 50% of the players taken contribute and meet their expectation. More specifically, over 22% of day 3 picks. Over 65% of day 2 picks. Over 85% of day one picks. I still have some digging to do on that data there, but the success rate league wide for successful picks is around those ranges. When looking only at their rookie seasons: Thibodeaux and Neal are split as it simply was not a good year for the tackle. Robinson and Ezeudu saw enough time and I would consider them hits, as they both contributed and saw starting-caliber snaps and played well enough. I think both are competing for starting jobs next season. Flott is a hit. He will be a starter or heavy rotational player in 2023. Bellinger is a hit, no question. Belton and McFadden are both hits, both day three picks that saw starting caliber snaps at points and provided solid play. Davidson, McKethan, and Beavers are N/A because of injuries. This was a home-run draft class to this point for the front office and one of the reasons I feel optimistic moving forward. I’m not sure how many people understand just how good it was.

(3) Where do we go from here? The talks start with what this team needs the most in order to get them on the next level. Their top five needs, not necessarily in any sort of strict order are:

WR: At least one, preferably two starting-caliber guys who can play the outside and provide explosive plays. They need speed, one of them needs size.

Pass Rusher: Preferably one DL, one OLB. They can’t rely on the four-man nucleus for an entire year. They need depth in case one goes down but also, they need a couple guys who can give a credible 8-12 snaps per game, at least.

Offensive Line: A starting caliber OC or OG needs to be signed or drafted. That will improve the starting group but also give them a sense of plus-depth when injuries arise.

Linebacker: Two new starters. Maybe Beavers comes back strong and takes a spot. Maybe McFadden evolves into one. But, maybe not. At least one needs to be signed or drafted with the intention of starting.

Cornerback: Jackson is a good player and good value at a position that is hard to find both. Holmes and McCloud can offer solid competition and depth at nickel. I would love to see this team draft a young outside corner with the kind of upside they view as a team’s CB1 in the near future. I’ve only started to begin deep dives on the defensive side of the draft class, but I can see this corner group is one of the deeper ones I have seen in a long, long time.

***

The next order of business on this team will revolve around what to do with their money. Yes, NYG does have a lot of cap space this offseason AND even more slated for next offseason (depending on what they do in the next 2 months). But QB Jones, RB Barkley, OT Thomas, and DT Lawrence are going to swallow up a ton of those funds if all are re-signed. If you had to choose one to let walk, who would it be? Not an easy decision at all but positional value will lead to the notion that Barkley is the first on the list they let out the door. Franchise tags are always possible, but they always present issues to the team environment. This will be an interesting situation to watch. Of all 32 teams, NYG is set to have one of the most fascinating offseasons in the league.

Jan 232023
 
Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen, New York Giants (January 11, 2023)

Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen – © USA TODAY Sports

JOE SCHOEN AND BRIAN DABOLL ADDRESS THE MEDIA…
New York Giants General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday (VIDEO):

Joe Schoen: I just want to start off by thanking the Maras and Tisches. I’ve been here about a year, and thank them for giving us all the resources we needed throughout the season since the day we got here to build the best team we could last season along with any type of resources we needed. I would also like to thank everybody that works under this roof that contributed to not only the culture but their particular job responsibilities throughout the season. There’s tremendous energy in the building right now, a really good culture. I’m just really happy with everybody’s efforts throughout the year. I want to thank them for their efforts.

With that being said, I would say it was a good season for us in many different ways. When you come in when I did in January, you’re trying to get to know the roster, trying to get to know the players. Dabs (head coach Brian Daboll) had a very good plan in terms of the offseason, the OTAs, to bring the players together and start to develop that culture and comradery amongst the team. I thought that carried over to our fast start early in the season. The start we got off to was good. I think some of the positives were some young players got to experience success that maybe they haven’t in the past and how you handle that. And we had a little bit of a lull, I would say, after the bye week, and also allowed some of our young players to learn how to overcome adversity and steady the ship. And we did that down the road and were able to win a playoff game. A lot of young players were able to get playoff experience. So, all in all, a lot of those lessons learned throughout the season will hopefully continue to help us moving forward. The foundation has been set, and I think some of those experiences that the players were able to go through this year will just allow us to build moving forward. With that being said, I’ll open it up to questions.

Q: Do you plan on re-signing (quarterback) Daniel (Jones)?

Schoen: We’d like Daniel to be here. Again, he said it yesterday – there’s a business side to it. We feel like Daniel played well this season. He’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do. Again, there’s a business side to it. We haven’t went down that road yet. We still have to have our meetings with our staff late in the week, and we’ll devise an offseason plan. We haven’t had those meetings yet, but we would like to have Daniel Jones back.

Q: Having said that, when did you know? You and Dabs came in and had to do your due diligence and see what you had in Daniel (Jones) and everybody else. When did you make the decision, both of you guys, ‘This guy is our guy to move forward with,’?

Schoen: I don’t know if there was necessarily an ‘Aha’ moment or anything like that. We just continued to evaluate him throughout the season and what the coaches were asking him to do. And he was executing the game plans. Dabs and I communicate on a daily basis – not just Dabs and I, but the offensive staff and what they’re asking him to do. He continued to improve throughout the season. I don’t know the exact date or time when we’re like, ‘Daniel is our guy,’ but we’re pleased with how he played this season.

Q: Obviously you need a new contract with (running back) Saquon (Barkley). Is that somebody, also, you also would like to keep, and is the franchise tag a possibility?

Schoen: Again, this is a special team to me. It was my first year. We’d like to have all the guys back, I really would. But there’s a business side to it. There’s rules that you need to operate under in terms of the salary cap. Saquon, he’s a good player. He’s a great teammate. I loved getting to know him this season. He’s a guy we would like to have back. It’s just, again, we haven’t had our end-of-season meetings yet. We’re less than 48 hours after that game. Everybody is going to step back, take the emotion out of it, evaluate the roster and then we’ve got to operate under the salary cap. How are you going to divvy up? How are we going to create the roster? What are the priority positions, and how are we going to move forward? We would like to have Saquon back if it works out.

Q: Do you think you overachieved as a ball club, and do you think having sustained success is really what you’re going for most of all here? And is there a possibility that a team, if they did overachieve, could take a step backwards along the way to getting where you want to go?

Schoen: That’s a good question. I wouldn’t say we overachieved. I think Dabs did a good job, along with his staff, of like, ‘Focus on the process and not necessarily the results.’ They came in on a weekly basis and focused on the process. They saw the dividends came on Sunday. I think there was a lot of good football players on our team. I think there were a lot of good teammates. Maybe we weren’t the most talented, but we did have a good team. Guys cared about each other. The culture was good, and the process we had in place – again, I think the dividends showed on Sundays.

Q: When you say you want Daniel (Jones) back, ideally would you like that to be a long-term deal or a multi-year deal?

Schoen: We’re going to get into all that. Again, it takes two. Both sides have got to have those conversations. We haven’t crossed that bridge yet. There’s tools at our disposal. Again, we’ll go through several scenarios. It’s kind of like I mentioned it last year, maybe it was at the combine, with the ‘if, then’ scenarios. You got to go through all those because you don’t know how things are going to fall because it’s negotiating. This is why you love the draft – you turn in the card, and they’re yours. You know what the contract structure is; you know the years. This is where there’s two parties involved, and it’s going to be time consuming. We’ll get together as a staff. We’ll talk through the different options and have those discussions when it’s appropriate.

Q: When do you plan to start those negotiations with the agents about extensions? Is there any urgency to get it done before that tag deadline to lock one of those guys in?

Schoen: We haven’t discussed that yet. Again, we’re going to meet as a staff on Thursday. We’ve got all-star games coming up. The last couple days have been a lot of – we did exit meetings yesterday with the entire football team, each player individually, working on calendars as we move forward the next couple weeks, so we mirror personnel calendars with the coaches. We’ll have those meetings on Thursday, and those will continue through the weekend.

Q: With Saquon (Barkley), how do you view running back positional value versus he’s also, other than Daniel (Jones), your best playmaker?

Schoen: Listen, Saquon has done everything we’ve asked him to do, and he’s a good football player. Again, the positional value – we’ll get into how we want to build this team and allocate our resources. That’s what it comes down to. Again, he’s a good football player. He was durable for us this year; he played well. And again, he’s a guy that we would like to have back.

Q: In terms of the (salary) cap, would you like to do something to lower (defensive lineman) Leonard Williams’ cap number?

Schoen: We haven’t discussed that yet. I like his quote yesterday; I just saw that before I came down here that he would be interested in taking a pay cut. You guys did a good job on that, whoever asked him that. He didn’t mention that in the exit interview with us.

Q: You redid the deal, and the numbers are really high. It’s not like you have no cap space, but what’s your comfort level with a number that high in general?

Schoen: We’ll talk about that. Again, there’s several options. We’ve got to go through the entire roster, we have a lot of UFAs (unrestricted free agents). We have guys that are good players that have contracts on the horizon. That’s all part of the planning that we’ll go through. And again, we just got to talk about how we want to divvy it up and prioritize different areas. And if we need to open up money, we won’t rule that out.

Q: Joe just said, ‘We may not have been the most talented, but we were a team.’ Do you now look ahead, after your first year, and think, ‘Okay, now we are one of the more talented teams, we can do a lot more with this,’?

Daboll: You know me; I take it day by day. I think it’s year by year. Every team is different. Just because you won one year doesn’t guarantee you anything the next year relative to what players you have, what players you don’t have. You take a look at last year’s playoff (teams) – I think seven of them didn’t make the playoffs the following year. Two top seeds had losing records. I think our goal will always be just get better each day, try to put the best team we can together, work at it each day and not get too far ahead of ourselves. I appreciate, like Joe said, all the people that had a hand in this year. Obviously, it didn’t end up where we wanted to end up. But it took a lot of work. It took a lot of energy. It took a lot of people in all areas of our building. The offseason started the day after we lost, unfortunately. That’s where we’re at. We’ll do the best job we can of building up our team the best way we can, our organization, and then going out there and taking it day by day.

Q: Joes said that he wants Daniel (Jones) back. Obviously, you guys have talked about this a lot. Why do you want Daniel back and why do you think he can take this team, get another trophy for this team? Do you think he can?

Daboll: I’ve said it all year; he’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do as an offensive staff. And he’s done a really good job with operating and executing our offense. I think he’s made strides in a lot of different areas. Certainly, we can all make strides in more, but he’s been a good leader for us, played the quarterback position well for us. I’m happy we had him.

Q: How much does it change everything in regards to the team building that you have the quarterback, assuming you’re able to re-sign him, and you don’t have to find a quarterback or draft a quarterback and you can use those resources elsewhere?

Schoen: I don’t think it really changes. It doesn’t really change what we are going to do. We’ve still got to draft well. We want to be in good cap health. We’re in a unique situation in that we have some players that are upcoming that were drafted here previously before we came here that played well. Again, it just comes down to how we want to divvy it up. Again, the money and the resources that we have along with the draft – we’re still trying to build this thing so we can sustain it.

Q: But in Buffalo, you had to trade up to get (Buffalo quarterback) Josh (Allen), right?

Schoen: Every situation is different. I know you want to make the parallels with here and Buffalo. We made the playoffs the first year. I mean, every situation is unique and different. There were different factors that played into that. And again, I think Daniel played well enough this year. We’d like to have him back. And again – we have some difficult offseason decisions to make and how we are going to go about those. So, I look forward to getting to work on that here by the end of the week.

Q: On Saquon (Barkley), when you try to determine his financial value – how much do you factor in character and contribution to culture as opposed to talent when it comes to that evaluation?

Schoen: If that wasn’t important, we probably wouldn’t be approaching him. So, that’s kind of a starter for us – if you’re a good teammate, you’re a culture fit for how we want to do things. That’s where we go to those players. We don’t factor in – when you’re making comps (comparisons), it’s hard to put a value on that. It’s important, but you can look at how many yards, touchdowns, Pro Bowls, games played, games missed. Those are more markers that we can establish value on. We wouldn’t approach him or look to sign a guy if they didn’t fit our culture if we didn’t think so.

Q: How close were you with him (Saquon Barkley in bye week conversations)? How close were you with him, and did you consider yourself close when you had that conversation?

Schoen: We had productive conversations. We were off on the value. Again, we said we would circle back up at the end of the season and continue those conversations, but that time of year, we weren’t really that close I would think.

Q: When you talk about you have to make decisions when allocating resources, does it give you any pause that you see these big second contract for running backs kind of haven’t panned out, generally, across the league?

Schoen: I wouldn’t say all of them haven’t panned out. But there’s a risk to any big contract. Anybody can go out there and get hurt at any position. I think that’s risk-reward. The good thing about, I feel, extending people in-house (is that) you know their work ethic. You know their durability. You know their injury history. You know how they train. You know how they practice. So, in terms of eliminating some of the margin for error, it’s a known commodity.

Q: You’ve seen what a team can do when they bring in a top-flight wide receiver. You guys did that with (wide receiver Stefon) Diggs at Buffalo and (Eagles quarterback) Jalen Hurts with (Eagles wide receiver) A.J. Brown. If Daniel Jones is the quarterback, whoever’s under center, how much of a priority is it to get a wide receiver that you can prepare to continue that evolution?

Schoen: I think we want to continue to build the entire team. Again, I know a number one wide receiver can be important, but there’s some number one wide receivers that are home right now. You can go through this past weekend; you can go through a couple of weekends ago in the playoffs. A number one receiver doesn’t guarantee you anything. I think it’s important that we continue to build the team, and there’s multiple positions where we want to upgrade throughout the offseason. So, yeah, I’d love to have a number one wide receiver. But we’ve got to place value on everything we do, and if it makes sense, that’s something we’ll look to do.

Q: Who are your biggest weaknesses? What do you think your weaknesses are?

Schoen: We’re going to go through that with the coaches. Again, we’re going to talk through all that. Again, we’re going to step back, take the emotion out of it, evaluate the roster. We’ll come up how we want to approach the offseason and where we need to improve.

Q: What do you make of your rookie class, your first draft, and just your entire rookie class? What do you think about it, and was it what you wanted it to be?

Schoen: I like the guys we brought in. I think there’s some ups and downs, which you’re always going to have with rookie classes. (Outside linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux), he got injured in that Cincinnati game in the preseason and then kind of got healthy throughout the season and hit his stride. (Tackle) Evan (Neal), same deal – had some ups and downs and battled through injury. (Wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson) was really coming along. He had over 100 yards through three quarters in the Detroit game, so, he would’ve been a big-time contributor, especially down the stretch, if he would’ve stayed healthy. So, a lot of big contributions without going through everyone.(Cornerback Cor’Dale) Flott made some big plays, made a big play in the Minnesota game. Has a high ceiling; we’re excited about him. (Offensive lineman Joshua) Ezeudu started some games and then got injured. When these guys get healthy next year, I think that’s going to provide depth. And some of those guys are going to compete for starting spots. (Tight end Daniel) Bellinger, we thought, had a really good season. Again, he got injured. I think they all got injured except for (inside linebacker Micah) McFadden at some point unfortunately. (Safety) Dane Belton, same deal. When he was out there, he played well. Had two interceptions for us. (Defensive lineman) D.J. Davidson, unfortunately, had an ACL in London but was a contributor in a rotational role. (Inside linebacker Darrian) Beavers. in the preseason, he was competing to start at Mike. Excited to see him when he comes back. And then, (offensive lineman) Marcus McKethan was having a really good camp for us before tearing his ACL. So, when healthy, I think there’s going to be some really good contributors out of the class and then some other guys that will be really good depth players for us. But smart, tough, dependable players that we’re happy we have.

Q: Has (defensive lineman) Dexter Lawrence done enough to earn another contract?

Schoen: I would say Dexter’s done enough. Again, we want all of our guys back. We want them to be here for a long time. Dexter played well, and we’ve got him under the fifth-year option. And that’ll be part of our end-of-season review in terms of how we want to approach that. But yeah, Dexter played really well, great person, great teammate. Happy he’s here.

Q: You have him under contract, but I presume you’ll sit down and talk with him about it, right?

Schoen: If you presume. Well, we’re going to talk about it here in the future and then again, it goes back to we have certain cap space, and we have certain tools at our disposal. We’ll figure out how we want to utilize them.

Q: Now that you have that cap space – now that you are a little bit more financially healthier, significantly more financially healthy than you were last year – do you plan on being aggressive in the free agent market? Is that somewhere where you’re going to now look to really infuse this roster with talent that way?

Schoen: We’ve got some guys that are good players that are currently UFAs. These are known commodities in-house that we know intimately from being with them for a year. And we’ll see who we want to bring back throughout these meetings and what their market value is going to be based on our analysis. Again, if we can bring some of our own back, we will, mixed with guys outside the building. We’ll look at that. Ideally to me, the known commodities that are good football players that you know, that’s going to be our priority first. And then we’ll look outside the building, if we need to, to supplement the roster.

Q: In some ways, is taking that next step a bigger challenge for a football team, i.e., going from a playoff team to a true contender, is that a bigger step in some way?

Schoen: You’re saying from?

Q: From where you were, in a difficult situation to making the playoffs, is it harder to go to the next step? From being a playoff team to truly contending for a title?

Schoen: I think what Dabs said, each year is different. Each team is different, the players that we lose, the players that we bring in. Again, we like our process, whether it’s free agency, draft, waiver wire. In terms of improving the roster, we’re always going to look to do that. I’ve got a lot of confidence in our coaching staff and the personnel staff that we’ll continue to improve the roster any way we can. And again, every season is different.

Q: Do you think ownership still has patience for a long-term build and process? Or do you think your success this year may have accelerated expectations from ownership?

Schoen: We haven’t really talked specifically about that. I’m in constant communication with (President and chief executive officer) John (Mara), (senior player personnel executive) Chris (Mara), (chairman and executive vice president) Steve (Tisch) about what we’re thinking, what the plan is and where we are. That hasn’t come up.

Q: Was it challenging at all this year for you that you had your plan set, and if ownership wanted it accelerated, did you kind of have to hold firm on some of the things that you believed in and not accelerate the plan based on what you were seeing in the standings, record wise or even on the field?

Schoen: I think it goes back to almost my opening press conference. We wanted to see progress. The question was, ‘What’s a successful season?’ We wanted to see progress, and I think you saw that throughout the season. Again, credit to my personnel staff. They were relentless in terms of eating up the waiver wire, waiver claims and practice squad. Did a really good job. But again, to your point, we had to honestly evaluate the roster, whether it was the trade deadline or not. I don’t believe in the ‘You’re one player away.’ I think it’s truly a team game. And that’s where we were and the holes that we had. I thought it was best just to stay pat where we were. We have nine picks going into next year’s draft. We do have a little bit more financial flexibility. As a group, we thought that was the best thing to do.

Q: You called the loss to the Eagles ‘a crash landing.’ How do you balance the success of the regular season with the disappointment of that playoff game in evaluating the entire season?

Daboll: I think you just take a step back. You give the coaches some time to evaluate the players, and then we’ll have time to evaluate the things that we’ve done, whether that’s scheme, personnel, decisions. You just take a step back. Unfortunately, I’ve been involved in eight playoff losses. So, 24 wins. Each year’s a different year. It’s different than it was 30 years ago. Each year, you come in here in April 17 for the offseason program, and when you ask the new guys to stand up, it will be dang near half the room. So, what we’ve tried to build is our foundation – how we meet, how we practice, how we prepare, how we travel, our mindset going into games. You have guys that have been on the roster on the roster that are coming back and that can help facilitate that with the new players that are coming in because every year’s a new year. The team we had this year will be different next year, but that’s just the NFL. So, how you build the chemistry with the team is important. It starts in April. You’re glad you have some of the players that you’re going to have coming back, but certainly, you’re going to have a lot of new players, whether that’s draft picks, free agents, different guys. And everybody’s got to come together again and start building the team for the next season.

Q: Do you anticipate any changes to your coaching staff? Do you have to always prepare for the potential of replacing a coordinator if they get a (head coaching) job?

Daboll: Like I’ve said all season, I’ve had a lot of confidence in our guys. They’ve done a great job, and women, on our staff. When you have these interviews that come up, and I’ve been part of them the last three seasons, you always have to have a plan because you never know what’s going to happen if (defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale) gets a job, if (offensive coordinator Mike) Kafka gets a job. So, you have to go through the whole process. The good thing about being here for the second year is that you have a lot of people in place that again, to go back to what I said about the players, that know how we do things. So, as I’m sitting up there with (director of coaching operations Laura Young) LY and going through calendars and OTA practices and when the offseason starts and self-scout, we do a lot of things. Last year was the first time we all did it together. This will be the second time. So, a little bit more smooth.

Q: Do you think there’s a big gap between the Giants and the two teams that remain standing in the NFC?

Schoen: Yeah, I know Philly more intimately. And, yeah, I would say yes. There’s a talent gap there that we need to close, and to me, it’s the NFC East. I mean, we were 1-5-1 against the NFC East. If you win the division, the rest takes care of itself. So, that’s always going to be a goal of ours: to close that gap and be NFC East champs. That’s the goal, and that’s what we’re going to work towards.

Q: You had a lot of restrictions on you when you came in last year, financially, with putting together a staff. Things are a little more stable now going into this offseason. How much have you been looking forward to this offseason and really getting your hands on this roster and doing it the way you’ve wanted to do it?

Schoen: I didn’t want the season to end, I’ll tell you that (laughs). Dabs saying ‘a crash landing,’ that’s right. Still driving in this morning, it still hurts. But you just have more flexibility. There were times in season where there were maybe some veteran players that we wanted to sign that would’ve helped us, but we just weren’t able to do it. That part stings throughout the season because we could’ve helped the roster, but just didn’t have the flexibility. Yeah, to have financial flexibility, nine draft picks, to be able to devise a plan where you have a little bit more flexibility and resources, I’m definitely excited about that.

Q: For both of you, picking up on the Philly theme, with the two competitive games between the two of you, how much did the trenches – how much did the line of scrimmage – matter in both of those games where it certainly seems like Philly has more guys at that level, more of a rotation at those levels, to some degree, and just were better in that part of the game?

Daboll: I think you asked that after the game, too. They have a good defensive line and good offensive line. Everything starts up front. We certainly could’ve done a better job, too. But give them credit. They have good players on both sides of the ball. I think we have good players, but they just played better and did better than we did.

Q: How was that dinner with (wide receiver) Odell Beckham (Jr.)? And is he a player you’re going to revisit going into the spring?

Schoen: Dinner was good, and we’re going to consider, again, when we have this offseason meeting, every position, who’s available. Who are the players who are potential – that we could sign? Again, we’ll devise the plan from there. That’s kind of where we are right now.

Q: What’s your opinion of this free agent class in general?

Schoen: The UFA class? Again, you can look at it today, and it’s going to change by the time we get there because a lot of the times the good players that are UFAs end up staying with their teams. So, we’re working through that now. We’ll start our free agent meetings next week, devise a plan in terms of the players that maybe we want to target. But there’s definitely some players out there that would help us.

Q: Do you think free agency is more of a tool to build a team than it was maybe five, 10 years ago?

Schoen: It can be. It can be if you get the right guys and they’re durable because typically when you’re signing outside your building, you’re paying those guys a little bit of money that if they stay healthy and produce at the level, then yeah. It’s definitely a tool that we’ve used before. Obviously, the draft and develop, like I was saying earlier with players in your system already, in your building, you know them. You can’t really do a lot of research on some players that are with different teams, or you don’t know their work ethic or injury history. So, again, I think when you’re making those financial decisions, you’ve got intimate knowledge of the players, I think there’s less margin for error, in-house.

Q: Is (safety) Julian Love – I know you’re not going to go down the whole list – but he’s a guy, culture, you know him, he stayed healthy, he did a lot of different things. Brian (Daboll) said some good things about him. Is he a guy you look at and say, ‘Yeah, he’s important,’?

Schoen: Again, we’d like to have a lot of these guys back. It’s just as we go through this and we talk to the representatives, he’s a guy – I know he mentioned it yesterday – that we talked to in the bye week. And we weren’t able to get something done with Julian. Julian knows how we feel about him. We had a good exit interview with him yesterday. Again, as we start to get into the offseason planning, we’ll talk to the coaches. We’ll see where he fits in. And if we can get something done, that’ll be good.

Q: (Wide receiver) Sterling Shepard – the role he could have going forward. He’s been a guy that’s been around forever. Brian talked about him and the fact that he’s had an effect on the team culture.

Schoen: Love Shep. He’s awesome; juice guy all the time. He’s one of my favorites here. We’ll continue to monitor his rehab, coming off the ACL. He had the Achilles before. He’s been a tremendous resource around here for us. He’s a guy that we’ll talk about as well at the end of the week and continue to communicate with the training staff, (senior vice president, medical services/head athletic trainer) Ronnie Barnes and those guys, on where he is from that standpoint, when he’ll be healthy enough to play. Again, that’s something we may or may not entertain.

Q: Did your guys’ opinions on (safety) Xavier (McKinney) change because of the circumstances of his injury and how that happened? You saw him as a cornerstone moving forward. Did that change at all?

Schoen: Not for us. He’s a young man that made a mistake. To me, really initially, it wasn’t about football. It was more about his wellbeing as a young man. And we’ve got younger kids. Dabs has some older than mine. But we all make mistakes. And we’ve got to learn from it. For us, it was just about supporting Xavier through that. He fought to get back. Football was secondary when we got the call. I’m just glad that he was able to play again. He’s a great kid that we look forward to working with.

Q: With respect to free agency, how married are you to what you believe a player is worth and your walk-away number compared to sometimes when you’re in negotiations and the market value can exponentially change how much a player is going to get?

Schoen: That’s something our staff, they do a great job, and we talk about it all the time: ‘What’s the walk-away?’ We come up with a walk-away, and you have to be comfortable because, I’ll use the term I use around here, if you shop hungry, you overpay. It’s a bad deal, and then you get buyer’s remorse. It’s important in free agency to come up with the proper value – where you see them as a staff and the value and where it fits into your salary cap and your team. And then, I think it’s smart to have a walk-away number.

Q: Do you view Daniel (Jones) as a quarterback who can help you win a Super Bowl?

Schoen: We’re happy Daniel’s going to be here. We’re happy he’s going to be here. Hopefully we can get something done with his representatives. And that would be the goal – to build a team around him where he can lead us and win a Super Bowl.

Q: You’re saying he’s going to be here next year?

Schoen: We’re going to have these offseason meetings here at the end of the week, and we’re going to talk about it. And then with the resources we have, we’re going to talk to his representatives and hopefully be able to get something done to go off the first question.

Q: You were 22-59 before you got here. The Giants were 22-59 the five years that preceded you guys getting here. Why do you believe this team turned the corner this year?

Schoen: That’s a good question. A lot of factors. Again, I said it in the first press conference. The cupboard wasn’t bare. There was some talented players here – really good coaching staff. They did a really good throughout the season as we continued to, whether it was draft, free agency, waiver wire, improve the roster, our practice squad. We were able to create a good culture where the players were able to be themselves. And the coaching staff did a good job of maximizing the talent of the roster on a weekly basis. So, a lot of credit goes to Dabs and his staff.

Q: From your vantage point, what do you view as the reason for the injuries in the first half, early season? And have you already commissioned and kind of studied your evaluation of how to improve that?

Schoen: We’re working through that, specifically the rookie class. Is it the young players coming in, the onboarding process? Are we doing that right? We’re going to turn over every leaf to figure that out because healthy players give us the best chance to win. We had some ACLs this year. We had some MCLs, stingers. So, we’ll do a deep dive in the offseason and do whatever we can to try to improve that, that way we can be the healthiest we can.

Q: At what point do you close the book on 2022? Or is it something that’s fluid and that you’re constantly working on last year, building towards the future?

Schoen: It’s pretty much closed. It’s pretty much closed other than evaluating the roster off of the 2022 season. But we already kind of know what lies ahead. We talked to our UFAs and everybody yesterday. So now it’s, to me, All-Star games are coming here. You’ve got the East-West games, Senior Bowl, Combine meetings, free agency meetings. There’s no vacation. We’ve got to keep moving forward and devise that plan for the offseason.

Q: (A previous question) mentioned Dex, but there are other guys with one year left who seem like reasonable extension candidates. Do you simultaneously negotiate with them? Or are the UFAs the priority because they don’t have a year left?

Schoen: UFAs will probably be the priority early on, but we’ll also factor those in. We’ll look at it holistically, who’s under contract for ’23, ’24 and so on. Again, we’re not just planning for the 2023 offseason. We’re looking down the line of ’24 and ’25 as well. What’s on the horizon? How will this affect us moving forward? So, we’re going through a bunch of different scenarios, and we’ll continue to do that at the end of the week and throughout the weekend.

Q: How much further along are you in the process, looking ahead to the next season, coming off of what you just did rather than last year? Joe, I think you just got the job two days ago a year ago. Dabs hadn’t been hired yet. Do you think that is an advantage that you can actually move towards 2023 with everything that you have at your disposal rather than trying to catch up?

Schoen: Yeah, we talked about it the other day. Once we got through the exit interviews yesterday, we’ve pretty much been through a calendar year – a football calendar year together. So, the coaches’ evaluations of UFAs, the coaches’ evaluation of our roster, All-Star games, we’ve been through all of this stuff. So, the process is in place. Everybody here right now has been a part of that. So, there’s clarity in terms of what we want from our staff, what Dabs and his staff want from us. So, the transition into this offseason will be much smoother.

Q: There’s been a lot of time talking about, ‘Are you going to sign him? Are you going to sign him?’ Is there anybody you said, ‘Look, you’re not coming back,’?

Schoen: (Laughs) No, we didn’t have those conversations yesterday. No, we didn’t. That’s a good question, though.

Q: That gap that exists between you and the Eagles and the other Super Bowl contenders, given your roster and cap situation, do you think it’s possible to close that gap in one year? Or is it likely to take longer than that?

Schoen: We’re going to try to do the best we can. We’re always going to try to build a better roster, players, whatever it may be, whatever it is – resources around here. Anything that we can do that’s in the best interest of the franchise that’s going to make us better, we’re going to do. You can’t put a timeframe on that, but we’re going to be relentless in the pursuit of building a championship team here.

Q: How much is different this offseason because you came in last year and you basically just cleared the deck? You didn’t make any big signings. You’re going to potentially commit to guys, big money, long term. You’re going to sort of define your tenure. How do you view that? Is that a big difference?

Schoen: Obviously, the resources that are available are different than last year. I think, again, the advantage of being around the players for a year, you know who they are. You know how they work. And again, just having more flexibility, it’s different from that standpoint. As for defining my tenure and all, I’m not really worried about that. We’re trying to do the best we can with what we have to build a championship team where we can sustain success.

Q: As a team, what do you feel like you guys especially need to be to be a better team? Not to name the players or anything, but just as a team, what are the areas do you feel like you need to improve?

Daboll: That’s kind of what Joe talked about. We’ll dive into that as a coaching staff here. We’ll spend a lot of time on self-scout and process and things we can improve on, whether that’s night before meetings, whether that’s practice, whether that’s situational play calls, techniques, drills. I think you close the chapter on last season, but you need to figure out some of the things that you need to do a better job of. There certainly will be probably a significant amount of things that we sit back and say, ‘Boy, we could’ve done this a little bit different or improve on this,’ and take a deep dive into it. Take your time doing it. And then once you get back on April 17 and start going through it, you try to implement those new things or corrections that need to be made or scheduling differences.

But again, every year is such a new year – at least the 20-plus years I’ve been in the league. Again, half the team is usually different. So, you don’t just collect talent. You try to build a team. And that’s what we talk about all the time. There’s certainly players that will be out there – whether it’s free agents, whether it’s draft picks – that are talented players. But it’s how you put together the team, how the team responds to adversity, how it comes together in the offseason, leading up to training camp, the things you do in training camp – all the things that you go through each season, that’s what defines a team early in the stages and how you handle a lot of different things, the coaches, the players, the support staff. It’s just a new year. Every year is a new year. Like I told the guys when they left how much I appreciated their work and their commitment to the team, but unfortunately, you’re all not going to be here. You wish you could just bottle it up and then bring it back April 17, and the people in the seats are there and everybody has kind of worked together, been through some tough times. But that’s not the case.

So, however many new people are here, you’ve got to put them into your system. You’ve got to bring them along. You’ve got to build team chemistry. And every team that I’ve been part of has been different. Not one team is the same. So, that’s the beauty about this league is every year it’s a new year for everybody. There’s only four teams playing – the four best teams in the league. They’ve all earned it. So, every team that is not holding that trophy at the end of the season, it’s a stinger. So, you’ve got to try to figure out ways to do a better job the next season. But it’s such a new year. Every year is different. Every year that I’ve been part of has been different. I’ve been part of a Super Bowl team and then didn’t make the playoffs the next year. So, how we build our team and how we build the organization and continue to grow, I think all those things are important. But the team itself, that’ll all come together throughout the months of April, May, June, July, August, right into the regular season like this did.

TEAMS INTERVIEW KAFKA AND MARTINDALE…
On Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, and Carolina Panthers announced that they completed their respective interviews with New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka for their head-coaching vacancies. In addition, the Colts also announced that they had interviewed Giants Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale for the same position.

GIANTS SIGN CHRIS MYARICK TO RESERVE/FUTURE CONTRACT…
In addition to the 11 players the Giants have already signed to reserve/future contracts, the Giants announced they have also re-signed TE/FB Chris Myarick to a reserve/future contract. Myrarick spent time on both the 53-man roster and Practice Squad this season.

Jan 222023
 
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (January 21, 2023)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

COLTS INTERVIEW MIKE KAFKA…
The Indianapolis Colts announced that they completed their interview with New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike Kakfa for their head-coaching vacancy.

GIANTS SIGN 10 PLAYERS TO RESERVE/FUTURE CONTRACTS…
The New York Giants have signed 10 players to reserve/future contracts. All 10 players were on the team’s Practice Squad:

  • RB Jashaun Corbin
  • WR Jaydon Mickens
  • WR Kalil Pimpleton
  • WR Makai Polk
  • TE Dre Miller
  • OT Korey Cunningham
  • OT Devery Hamilton
  • DT Vernon Butler
  • CB Zyon Gilbert
  • S Trenton Thompson

The Giants signed OG Solomon Kindley to a reserve/future contract on January 11. He had also been on the Practice Squad.

The Athletic is reporting that OT Roy Mbaeteka turned down a reserve/future contract offer from the Giants. Mbaeteka, a Nigerian, has chosen to return to the International Pathway Program (IPP), which assures him of being on some team’s Practice Squad for three years. Mbaeteka, who was with the Giants in training camp, only spent part of the year on New York’s Practice Squad as a conventional Practice Squad player.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
  • WR Isaiah Hodgins (Video)
  • WR Wan’Dale Robinson (Video)
  • LT Andrew Thomas (Video)
  • RT Evan Neal (Video)
  • DL Leonard Williams (Video)
  • OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (Video)
  • S Xavier McKinney (Video)
  • S Julian Love (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media on Monday.

Jan 222023
 
Matt Breida, New York Giants (January 21, 2023)

Matt Breida – © USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 38 – NEW YORK GIANTS 7…
The New York Giants Cinderella season came to a crashing end in Philadelphia on Saturday night as they were crushed 38-7 by the Eagles. The Giants finished their surprising 2022 campaign with a 9-7-1 regular-season record and a 1-1 post-season record.

The overall final team statistics were almost as one-sided as the final score. The Eagles out-gained the Giants in first downs (26 to 13), total net yards (416 to 227), net yards rushing (268 to 118), net yards passing (148 to 109), and time of possession (35:43 to 24:17). The Eagles won the turnover battle 1-0 and were 4-of-5 in the red zone. Philadelphia was also an astonishing 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) on 3rd-down conversion attempts while the Giants were 1-of-3 on 4th down.

The contest was basically over by halftime. The Eagles scored touchdowns on four of their five first-half possessions while the Giants were shut out. Philadelphia’s drives:

  • 8 plays, 75 yards, touchdown,
  • 8 plays, 52 yards, touchdown.
  • 3 plays, -3 yards, punt.
  • 9 plays, 63 yards, touchdown.
  • 14 plays, 67 yards, touchdown.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ first drive ended with quarterback Daniel Jones getting sacked on 4th-and-8 at the Philadelphia 48-yard line. On the second play of their second possession, Jones was intercepted by former Giants’ cornerback James Bradberry at the Philadelphia 46-yard line. New York’s other three first-half possessions resulted in a total of 17 yards, no first downs, and three punts.

At the half, the Eagles led 28-0. The first-half stats were equally bad, with the Eagles holding huge advantages in first downs (18 to 3) and total yards (258 to 64).

The second-half of the game was pretty anti-climatic. Both teams exchanged three-and-outs to start the 3rd quarter. The Giants then drove for their only score of the game, a 10-play, 88-yard effort that ended with a direct snap to Saquon Barkley, who handed off to fellow running back Matt Breida for an 8-yard touchdown. With 6:15 left in the 3rd quarter, the Giants trailed 28-7.

The Eagles picked up two first downs and then punted on again on their second possession of the second half. New York then also picked up two first downs, but Head Coach Brian . Daboll decided to punt the ball away on 4th-and-6 from the New York 42-yard line early in the 4th quarter, down by three touchdowns.. The Eagles responded with a 15-play, 70-yard drive that lasted almost eight minutes and resulted in a 30-yard field goal. With just over five minutes in the game, New York now trailed 31-7.

The final minutes were just as ugly. The Giants did convert on 4th-and-16 from their own 17-yard line. But four plays later, they turned the ball over on downs with an incomplete pass on 4th-and-8 from their own 36-yard line. On 3rd-and-9, the Eagles broke off a 35-yard touchdown run at the 2-minute warning.

The Giants then ran the ball three times in their final five plays simply to end the game.

Jones finished the game 15-of-27 for 135 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. He ran the ball six times for 24 yards, but was sacked five times. Wideout Richie James was the leading receiver with seven catches for 51 yards. No other Giant had more than 21 yards receiving. Barkley broke off a 39-yard run in the 3rd quarter, but was held to 22 yards on his other eight carries.

The defense also played a bad game, allowing an unacceptable 268 yards rushing and only stopping the Eagles four times on 14 third-down conversion attempts. The Giants only had one sack and one pass defense. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was never hit except for the one sack. The team also did not force a turnover.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Friday, the Giants activated (standard elevation) WR Makai Polk and CB Zyon Gilbert from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

Inactive for the game were WR Makai Polk, OG Jack Anderson, OG Wyatt Davis, DL Henry Mondeaux, ILB Micah McFadden, CB Rodarius Williams, and CB Zyon Gilbert.

CB Cor’Dale Flott suffered a hamstring injury and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Players will be available in an open locker-room setting on Sunday. General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media on Monday.

Jan 192023
 
Brian Daboll, New York Giants (January 15, 2023)

Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

JANUARY 19, 2023 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Isaiah Hodgins (ankle), OLB Azeez Ojulari (quad), ILB/S Landon Collins (ankle), CB Fabian Moreau (hip), and S Julian Love (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis on Thursday. Ojulari is officially questionable for Saturday’s playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The other four players are expected to play.

CB Adoree’ Jackson (back) and S Jason Pinnock (abdomen) fully practiced. Both are expected to play against the Eagles.

MIKE KAFKA AND DON MARTINDALE WILL INTERVIEW ON SUNDAY…
New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka will be interviewed by the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, and Carolina Panthers for their respective head-coaching vacancies on Sunday. Giants Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale will also be interviewed by the Colts for the same position on Sunday.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Friday as the team travels to Philadelphia to play the Eagles on Saturday night.

Jan 192023
 
Scut Farkus

Eagles fans are unpleasant and unlikeable.

THE STORYLINE:
One of two outcomes will occur late Saturday night. The New York Giants will pull off one of the biggest post-season upsets in franchise history. Or the Giants and their fans will learn just how big the talent gap is between them and a Philadelphia Eagles team that will have won all three games against them this season.

Let’s address the unpleasant reality first. The Eagles are the better team. While the Giants have some very good players, the Eagles simply have more at all levels of offense, defense, and special teams. Almost as importantly, their depth is superior. When one of their starters leaves the game, the drop off isn’t as noticeable. The Eagles finished the season 14-3, best in the NFC and tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for the best record in football. Philadelphia has the #3 offense and #2 defense in the entire NFL. That’s balanced dominance. Thus, the odds makers have appropriately favored the Eagles by more than a touchdown to handily defeat the Giants.

Giants’ fans are understandably giddy right now. Their team was not expected to win a playoff game, let alone have a winning record or make the playoffs in the first place. It appears the franchise will not have to start over again at quarterback, thus accelerating the rebuilding process. Beating the 13-4 Minnesota Vikings on their home turf felt great. However, the NFL post-season graveyard is filled with Wild Card winners getting smacked in the divisional round by superior and well-rested teams. There is a good chance reality is about to slap New York fans back into reality.

But…

If I were a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, I don’t think I would be feeling particularly comfortable right now. Yes, your team has owned the Giants for the better part of the past decade, including the two regular-season games this year. But the Giants are clearly ascending at the right moment. Meanwhile, the Eagles seemed to prematurely hit their stride earlier in the season. There are questions about Jalen Hurts’ shoulder. And a group of predominantly second- and third-teamers just gave Philadelphia a tougher game than anyone expected less than two weeks ago against these very same Giants on your home field. Above all, divisional opponents have a way of making games far tighter than anyone anticipates. The Giants know the Eagles. Finally, Brian Daboll, Mike Kafka, and Don Martindale are far superior than the likes of Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur, and Joe Judge. Coaching won’t be an issue. The Giants will be ready to play.

Eagle fans are busy telling themselves this game is in the bag. The Giants are merely a road bump on an inevitable Super Bowl run. They believe the Giants did them a favor by beating the Vikings as it makes their playoff path that much easier. All of this might be true. But if being a sports fan has taught me anything over the past several decades, it is there is such a thing as karma. The more convinced you are of something, the more likely the powers that be will bitch slap you back into reality. Eagle fans are unpleasant and unlikeable people who live in an unpleasant and unlikeable city. Whatever self-awareness they might have is swallowed up by their ugly inability to relate to the rest of humanity. If anyone is due a karmic kick to the groin, it’s them.

Bring it on.

THE INJURY REPORT:

  • WR Isaiah Hodgins (ankle – probable)
  • OLB Azeez Ojulari (quad – questionable)
  • ILB/S Landon Collins (ankle – probable)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (back – probable)
  • CB Fabian Moreau (hip – probable)
  • S Julian Love (hamstring – probable)
  • S Jason Pinnock (abdomen – probable)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
I have already covered the Eagles in two previous game previews. Much of this will sound like a broken record. Big picture is that while many pundits and fans love to focus on offense, defense still wins games and the Eagles have one of the best defenses in the NFL. In terms of yards allowed, only the San Fransisco 49ers are better (and only by ONE yard). If anything, the Eagles defense is underrated. They are #1 against the pass and a more pedestrian 16th against the run. Most importantly, they are #8 in scoring defense.

What happened this offseason is the Eagles built up their secondary, combined with further improvements to an already strong defensive front. Adding ex-Giant James Bradberry at cornerback and ex-Saint safety C. J. Gardner-Johnson significantly altered Philly’s defensive backfield for the better. Bradberry now teams with Darius Slay for one of the better and more-aggressive corner duos in the game. Gardner-Johnson is still tied with the league-lead in interceptions despite missing all of December with a lacerated kidney. He was just activated from IR and can fill in as a slot corner.

The Eagles did not stand pat up front either. They drafted Jordan Davis at DT with the #13 overall pick. During the season, they signed Ndamukong Suh and ex-Giant Linval Joseph. These three are the BACKUPS behind Giant-killer Fletcher Cox (7 sacks) and Javon Hargrave (11 sacks). Milton Williams (4 sacks) is no slouch either. Outside is another Giant-killer in DE Brandon Graham (11 sacks). He teams with Josh Sweat (11 sacks) and in-season pickup Robert Quinn (18.5 sacks with the Bears in 2021). To add icing on the cake, the Eagles also signed Haason Reddick (16 sacks), a player who has given the Giants fits in the past with other teams. Long story short, the Eagles lead the NFL with 70 sacks. No other team has more than 55.  (The Giants have 41 sacks with Dexter Lawrence leading the team with 7.5).

In the Eagles’ 48-22 drubbing of the Giants on December 11, just over a month ago, Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor were sacked seven times and officially hit 12 times. The Eagles also were credited with an extremely high 10 tackles for losses. Brandon Graham had three sacks, but the usual suspects all got into the act too, including Cox, Reddick, and Sweat. In his game review, Sy’56 wrote: “This was a match-up nightmare for the NYG offensive line. Not just from a macro-perspective (PHI DL simply being better than NYG OL), but also from a micro-perspective. The holes in the games of the NYG line – player by player – were exploited greatly by the skillset of the individuals along the PHI defensive line.”

Sy’56 then highlighted the difficulties all of the NYG offensive linemen had up front. Andrew Thomas allowed a sack. The interior of the line really struggled. Evan Neal got abused, allowing two sacks and five pressures. Four weeks later, Thomas and Glowinski sat, but Neal, Bredeson, and Gates all played. Neal struggled again. So did Bredeson.

You’ve heard me say it for years now when covering the Giants and Eagles. The Eagles have dominated the Giants in the W-L column because they have dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. It’s really almost that simple. The obvious target for the ire of most Giants fans right now is Neal, but the entire line hasn’t been very good at all against the Eagles. If Thomas, Gates/Bredeson, Feliciano, Glowinski, and Neal don’t elevate their game against a very talented and very deep defensive line, the Giants are going to lose this football game.

As for the skill positions, they will not be playing the terrible Vikings’ defense this week. The Vikings can rush the passer, but they were 31st in the NFL in defending the pass. The Eagles are #1. I will say that again, the Eagles have the #1 pass defense in the entire NFL. Folks say the 49ers are tough, but they are 20th against the pass. In other words, Isaiah Hodgins, Richie James, and Darius Slayton are not going to be running as free as they did a week ago. Philly’s corners are good and aggressive, and safety Gardner-Johnson is back in the mix. The Eagles are tied 4th overall with 17 interceptions and have generated 27 overall turnovers (4th in the NFL). And the tremendous pass rush is helping everyone in coverage.

Even if the OL plays great, Daniel Jones will be under duress much of the game. There are four guys on the Eagles who have more sacks (49) than the Giants do as a team (41). There is a psychological component at work here too. When guys like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham see Giants uniforms, think how Lawrence Taylor and Leonard Marshall used to salivate when playing the Eagles in the 1980s. They just knew they were going to feast. Daniel Jones is going to return in 2023. He has gotten markedly better. But we’re about to find out what he is really made of on Saturday night. If he pulls this off, Jones deserves to be showered with praise.

As for the game plan, the Giants must employ the quick passing attack to get the ball out of Jones’ hands quickly. Saquon Barkley, who was battling a neck injury in the first game, must be a difference-maker. He’ll need help up front of course. The 10 tackles for losses was far too much in the original contest. Jones will have to run the ball and he’s going to take a lot of shots after carrying the ball an astounding 17 times against the Vikings. If Daboll and Kafka have any tricks up their sleeves, this would be the time to use them. The New York tight ends, both as blockers and receivers, will be on the spot. Daniel Bellinger missed much of the first game with a rib injury that he suffered during the contest.

I’ve seen posts this week where fans say, “we need to keep the tight ends in to help Neal in pass protection.” Perhaps this is the smart way to go, but I don’t think the Giants can play scared and win this game. They will have to take some chances to pull off the upset. I constantly preach not making mistakes and turning the football over, but sometimes you just have to play the game straight up and take your chances. Be aggressive. Be the hammer, not the anvil.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
On December 11th, the Giants gave up 27 first downs, 437 total yards, and 253 rushing yards to the Eagles. Philadelphia was 6-of-11 (55 percent) on 3rd down and 1-of-1 (100 percent) on 4th down. The defense only had two pass defenses and did not create a turnover. Jalen Hurt had a 109.2 quarterback rating, threw two touchdowns, and rushed for 77 yards and another touchdown. Wink Martindale’s defense gave up six touchdowns, two field goals, and 48 points. It was the low point of the season for his unit.

However, some important cogs were missing that day, including Leonard Williams, Adoree’ Jackson, and Xavier McKinney. Those three were sorely missed and change the entire defense by their mere presence. Newcomers Landon Collins and Jarrad Davis weren’t yet in the picture. However, Azeez Ojulari, who may have played his best game of the season against the Eagles on December 11th, is nursing a quad injury. Fabian Moreau is also not 100 percent.

Let’s address the scary parts first. Eagles are #3 in offense in both yards and points. They are dominantly balanced on offense with top-10 rankings both running (5th) and passing (9th) the football. You constantly hear coaches around the league preach about balance; the Eagles are as balanced a team as there is. In addition, the Eagles are 4th in red-zone efficiency and 2nd in big plays (20+ yards). Before he got hurt, Jalen Hurts was playing at an MVP level at quarterback. He has two dynamic, game-breaking wideouts in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. And just to add to the fun, Dallas Goedert is one of those tight ends who gives the Giants problems. Hurts has thrown 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions (101.6 QBR). But he can kill you with his feet too, 760 rushing yards and an incredible 13 rushing touchdowns for a quarterback. Throw in running backs Miles Sanders (1,269 yards, 11 touchdowns) and you have yourself a two-headed monster on the ground. Back-up Boston Scott has 10 career touchdowns against the Giants.

Loaded at the skill positions. But worse, loaded on the offensive line. And they get their stud right tackle, Lane Johnson, back. The man doesn’t give up sacks. But more than him, the Eagles have one of the best and deepest offensive lines in the game. They are the engine that allows for top-10 rushing and passing. The Giants are going to need the best from Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, and Jihad Ward up front. They have to play well, and play a lot of snaps. Guys like Ojulari are going to have to tough it out. Many eyes will be on the battle between Lawrence and Jason Kelce, who is an outstanding center.

Having Adoree’ Jackson and Xavier McKinney back is big and should help with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. If Moreau isn’t near 100 percent, we may see more of Cor’Dale Flott. He could possibly be a bigger asset in coverage against Smith. However, the thin-framed Flott is also likely to get abused in run defense. As much as damage as the Eagles can do throwing the football, their ground game is what makes that offense hum.

The potential fly in the ointment for the Eagles is Hurts. He’s no longer on the Philadelphia injury report and he may be close to 100 percent. But he will have to prove that both mentally and physically. If Hurts is as dominant running the ball as he was pre-injury, the Eagles are very difficult to defend. But if his shoulder prevents him and play-callers from being as aggressive, that will impact the offense. The pass rush can bother Hurts too, although he is extremely elusive and difficult to tackle. In a nutshell, the pressure is on Hurts to perform. The city expects him to lead this team to glory. They are not a very forgiving fan base.

As has been widely discussed, Martindale went against his tendencies in Minnesota and did not attack as much. I don’t think he can do that in Philadelphia. He’s got to take chances and live with the outcome. The key will be to mix things up to confuse Hurts and the Eagles as much as possible. After the last game these two teams played on January 8th, Hurts said, “(Martindale) does a great job. No doubt in my mind we will learn from that and if we see them again.” Wink has to anticipate what the Eagles will do to counter what he did on January 8th. Move and counter-move. Punch and counter-punch. I would not be surprised to see Adoree’ follow Brown. If he can keep him somewhat under control (a big if), then the questions are who can limit Smith and Goedert? And defending the all-important ground attack. Easier said than done.

Attack, attack, attack. Be aggressive. Gang tackle. Knock the ball loose. Intercept the pass. Win the turnover battle.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
If there was ever a time for the Giants special teams to make a statement, here it is. The Giants simply cannot afford to lose the special teams battle. Every player on the roster, including the guys who just play special teams, can make or break this game. Be smart, stick to your assignments, but make a play. A block, tackle, downed punt, return, or kick can make all of the difference in the world.

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale on Jalen Hurts: “Everybody’s saying he’s having an MVP season, and I agree because he can beat you with his legs. He can beat you with just being a drop-back quarterback. He can beat you with a sore shoulder. He can beat you a lot of different ways, and that’s a great challenge because there’s just a few quarterbacks that can do it that way. And you can have him dead to rights back there in the pocket, and he’s a magician. He’ll get out of it… It’s going to be a tremendous challenge.”

THE FINAL WORD:
On paper, the Eagles should win this game. They are the better team. They are at home. They are healthy and well-rested. The last team they played was the Giants so they didn’t even have to study up too much for this contest. They view playing the Giants as Giants fans used to view playing the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1980s, an automatic win. The last time the Giants won in Philadelphia was 2013, nearly a decade ago. If these two teams, as they are presently constituted, play each other 10 times in a row, the Giants may win one of those games.

However, I can’t get over the notion that this may be that one game in ten. There is such a thing as over-confidence. There is such a thing as rustiness. There is such a thing as momentum. There is such a thing as karma. It doesn’t make sense, but I give the Giants a shot on Saturday night. They won’t be perfect. They don’t have to be. As I said before the Giants played the Patriots before Super Bowl XLII, the Giants simply need to play their game. Or as this coaching staff preaches, be smart, tough, dependable. The longer this game stays close, the more the pressure will mount on Philly’s coaches and players. What does Wink say? Pressure breaks pipes.

Be careful for what you wish for, Eagles fans.

Jan 182023
 
Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants (January 15, 2023)

Dexter Lawrence – © USA TODAY Sports

JANUARY 18, 2023 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Isaiah Hodgins (ankle), OLB Azeez Ojulari (quad), ILB/S Landon Collins (ankle), CB Fabian Moreau (hip), and S Julian Love (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday.

CB Adoree’ Jackson (back) and S Jason Pinnock (abdomen) fully practiced.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players practice again on Thursday (11:45AM-1:15PM). Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.