Mar 252024
 
Joe Schoen and John Mara, New York Giants (October 22, 2023)

Joe Schoen and John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants President/CEO John Mara and General Manager Joe Schoen separately addressed the media on Monday at the NFL Owners Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

“Certainly, last season was a huge disappointment to me, especially coming off of a playoff year,” said Mara. “I still believe we’re headed in the right direction, and I have all the confidence in the world in Joe (Schoen) and his staff and in (Head Coach) Brian Daboll and his staff.

“I think the communication is terrific. I think the process they go through is great, and I do think we’re headed in the right direction. Obviously, until we start winning games not everyone is going to buy into that. But I happen to believe it… We were 6-11, so nobody was happy with that. I still very firmly believe that Brian is the right guy for us going forward.”

Mara on quarterback Daniel Jones: “I know a lot of you killed Daniel for his performance this year, but we had the perfect storm. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Guys got hurt. The wrong guys got hurt. Let’s face it, for a while we couldn’t block anybody, and Daniel was getting hit all the time. I still have every confidence in the world in Daniel. Let’s put a better team around him. Hopefully he’ll get healthy, and I think the real Daniel Jones is the one that played in 2022, particularly down the stretch in the playoffs.”

Mara on the offensive line: “It’s ridiculous, and it’s a continuing source of frustration for me. It’s time to get it fixed. We’ve invested in a couple of number one draft picks on offensive tackles. We have a number two draft pick playing at center, and now we have spent some money in free agency. We have a new offensive line coach. I expect us to be a hell of a lot better this year. That was certainly a priority going into this offseason was to get the offensive line fixed. You can’t win in this league unless you have a good productive, consistent offensive line. It’s what we had years ago when we were winning, and we have to get back to that. I think we have the right pieces in there now. We’ll see. Life in football starts on the offensive line. If you can’t block them, you’re not going to win.”

Mara on the possibility of drafting a quarterback: “If (Schoen and Daboll) fall in love with a quarterback and believe that it’s worth pick No. 6, or moving up, I certainly would support that. I let the general manager and the head coach build the roster. We have operated the same way for many years here. If they have a conviction about a player, I’m not going to get involved. I’ll question them about it, make them defend their position, but the only time I’m going to get involved and exert any influence is if I think it’s a conduct issue off the field. That’s happened not with this group, but in the past on very rare occasions. In terms of them evaluating the players, if they have a conviction about a player and want to draft one, want to get one in free agency, then all I want to make sure is that they’re both on the same page.”

Mara on the possibility of Jones and a high draft pick being on the roster together: “Why not let them both compete and let the better man win? Even if we draft somebody, I expect Daniel to be the starting quarterback when the season starts. He’ll still get all the reps in the world, assuming he is healthy, which we think he’ll be ready for training camp. So, I don’t see that being a factor.”

Mara on Saquon Barkley leaving for the Philadelphia Eagles: “It was tough, it really was. Everything he did for us on the field, off the field, he was a class act in every respect. I hated to see him leave. I certainly hated to see him go in the division. On a more personal note, I have 14 grandchildren who have a 26 jersey, and it was tough breaking the news to them, too. Saquon was everything you want a player to be. I hated to see him leave… Let’s be honest, I would have preferred if it was out of the division, but I have enormous respect for him. The people that are criticizing him for doing that to me are way off base. These guys, their careers are so short. I understand you’ve got to take the best deal that’s out there. That’s what he did. He grew up in the Pennsylvania area, so I don’t begrudge him that. I’m not looking forward to having to play against him twice in a year, but I’ll always have enormous respect and appreciation for everything he did for us.”

Mara on the new coaches on the staff: “(Daboll) wanted to make some changes with certain members of the staff at the end of the season. I always believe that you let the head coach pick his own staff. Obviously, you don’t want to have as much turnover as we had, but he wanted to make some changes. So, we let him go ahead and do that.”

Schoen also addressed the press.

“I think we’re still progressing,” Schoen said. “I just looked at this the other day, the 2021 roster when I got here. I went back and looked at that. We’re always evaluating ourselves.

“The first offseason, what could you do to really improve the roster? We didn’t have any money, so it was (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor), (center) Jon Feliciano, and (guard Mark) Glowinski. As I started going through the decisions we made and where we are salary cap-wise and trying to make sure we’re in good health from a salary cap standpoint building a young foundation.

“It takes time, as much as you want instant gratification, and nobody wants that more than me. I think you have to believe in the principles and in terms of how to build the team, and we’re going on our third draft. It takes time.

“When I look back at the 2021 roster and where we are now, I just think we’re heading in the right direction, and we’ll continue to head in the right direction in terms of bringing in our type of players and what we’re looking for schematically, what (Daboll) is looking at for his offense, and we’ll keep making progress.”

Schoen on outside linebacker Brian Burns: “I view him as a good young player that we’re looking forward to getting in. He’s been in the building for one day, so we’re looking forward to him coming in the offseason program and working hard and doing the best he can to help our defense and help us win games.”

Schoen on the offensive line in 2023 and moving forward: “I think anything that could have went wrong out there went wrong from the opening drive of the season when Andrew (Thomas) does his hamstring and then the next week (Ben) Bredeson gets a concussion and then John Michael (Schmitz) has – I mean, you just go on and on. We go to Buffalo, and (Joshua) Ezeudu does his toe, and then bring in (Justin) Pugh straight off the couch. You start going through it. I mean, there was a time there where I think it was Miami where three practice squad guys were playing for us. Fortunately, I’ve never run into a situation like that before where we’ve been decimated at the offensive line. You’ve seen a lot of the signings that we’ve had, a lot of guys that have played in the league and have started games and have versatility. That’s always going to be a priority. It was a perfect storm last year unfortunately in terms of injuries and then Andrew re-injuring as he was coming back… The offensive line is going to be important. Is it starts there. I truly believe that. We have to be better up front.”

Schoen on Daniel Jones: “I got an update on Friday. He is running on land now. So, he’s off the Ultra-G (anti-gravity treadmill), and he is throwing. Yeah, knock on wood, no setbacks, but he is in there attacking it every day and doing a good job. Every patient is different, and you can’t really predict if swelling is going to occur or if there’s a setback. He’s on the right track right now. Again, we just have to – it’s day-by-day and week-by-week. You just don’t know how he’s going to react as we ramp it up and he starts to do more. Hopefully, there’s no setbacks.”

Schoen on tight end Darren Waller possibly retiring: “I talked to his agent. Darren is going to take time and make his decision. He’s still undecided. I’m not going to get into the details. I’ve talked to him. He is undecided.”

Schoen on the tight end position: “We’re excited about (Jack Stoll and Chris Manhertz). We still have the draft. We don’t play until September. You just have to be patient. There’s ways to acquire players throughout the process. We did it with Jason Pinnock. We got him at the final cutdown. There’s different times of the year when you can acquire players, and we’re going to give Darren his time and I’m going to keep mine and Darren’s conversations between us. But we’re looking forward to the players that are going to be there in April, and we’ll keep building.”

Schoen on Saquon Barkley: “I wish Saquon nothing but the best. You can’t keep them all. He did a lot for the franchise. Walter Payton Man of the Year, a lot of production. I enjoyed working with him for two years and everything he did for Dabs and I in that playoff run. I wish him nothing but the best.”

Schoen on the NFL Draft: “We’ll look at all options, whether it’s going up, back, staying. Ultimately, I think we’ll end up with a good player.”

Feb 272024
 
Joe Schoen, New York Giants (February 28, 2023)

Joe Schoen – © USA TODAY Sports

JOE SCHOEN ADDRESSES MEDIA AT NFL COMBINE…
New York Giants General Manager Joe Schoen addressed the media on Tuesday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana (VIDEO). Schoen also answered questions from fans during a separate interview with Giants.com (VIDEO).

SCHOEN: How’s everybody doing? Always good to be back in the great state of Indiana here at the Combine. It’s always fun for me to come back where I’m from and just to think that 23 years ago, I drove over here and had a dinner with (Bills General Manager) Brandon Beane, which eventually led to me getting into the NFL. So, exciting time to be here as we go onto 2024.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank my staff. There’s a lot that goes into preparing for the Combine, whether it’s logistics, getting us to the airport, the hotels and all that stuff, so the staff did a fabulous job. I’d also like to mention (President and Director) Jeff Foster with NIC (National Invitational Camp) and the job he does putting this event together. He does a phenomenal job. If you guys understood half of the stuff he has to go through to get all these players here, the medical, the hotels, the flights… They do a phenomenal job for us.

As we move into 2024, it’s the first chance to get around a lot of these players that we haven’t been around. It’s important for us. The medical at the Combine is obviously very important for us, getting around the players in terms of interviews, the workouts… It’s a great opportunity for us to really get to start to know these kids and to develop our plan going into 2024.

I know you guys are going to have some questions about upcoming free agents on our roster. We have (running back) Saquon Barkley, which we’re going to talk to his representatives this week. There’s nothing new on that front. The conversation, the plan all along, was to meet here in Indy and have those discussions about how we’re going to move forward with him. He’s a guy we’d like to have back. So, those conversations will take place this week, and we’ll see if we can get something done with him.

And then (safety) Xavier McKinney, the same boat. His agent, David Mulugheta, will get in here on Friday. We have a meeting planned with him. I’ve had really good talks with Xavier over the last couple of weeks, but talks have not begun with that. I know there was something out there that maybe they’d began, conversations with a contract extension, but we haven’t had any talks other than that we’re going to get to the Combine, think about where you guys see the value, we’re going to have our comps and then we can start from there. Xavier is another player that we’d like to have back. He’s 24 years old, he was a captain, played 100 percent of the snaps. We think a lot of X and look forward to getting to the negotiation period here later this week.

So, with that, I’ll open it up to any questions.

Q: Have you talked to (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) about what your plans might be at quarterback in terms of adding somebody potentially? Will he be sort of in the loop at all in that?

A: Daniel’s been in there every day. He’s been working hard. We’ve had good conversations, and he understands where we are. He understands that we’re going to need to add a quarterback. He’s coming off an injury. (Quarterback) Tommy DeVito is under contract and Daniel, so we’ll bring in either a veteran quarterback through free agency—(quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) is in the mix there, too. We’re going to talk to Tyrod’s representatives this week, and Tyrod’s a true pro. He has been really good for not only Daniel but Tommy DeVito and his progress throughout the year. He’s a true pro. So, we’ll address the position. Again, it can be through free agency, and it doesn’t preclude us from doing it in the Draft as well.

Q: Do you have a better indication at this point with Daniel with his progress of when he’s going to be back? I know you said you can’t count on—

A: Yeah, so, he actually started throwing. Yeah, he actually started throwing. He’s been throwing for about two weeks stationary. Now, he’s not dropping back or doing any of that stuff. So, he is on track. He’s doing everything he can to get back. We’re optimistic about where he is. There’s some talk in the spring that he may be able to go through whether it’s seven-on-seven or individual, throwing routes on air, that he’ll be able to do some of that stuff. We probably won’t expose him to team activities. Every patient responds differently to surgery, so, knock on wood, we haven’t had any setbacks. He hasn’t had any setbacks. If he continues on that pace, he should be ready for the start of training camp.

Q: What is your faith in Daniel?

A: I have faith in Daniel.

Q: I mean, you signed him—

A: I have faith in Daniel as our starting quarterback.

Q: Is the bar for a starting quarterback if he can get you to a Super Bowl and win it? And if that’s the bar, is that still the bar you have for Daniel?

A: Say that again.

Q: Is the bar for your starting quarterback if he can get you to a Super Bowl—

A: Yeah, that’s the ultimate goal for everybody, to win a Super Bowl. So, we want to win a Super Bowl. It’s not one position; you’ve got to build a good team. You’ve got to have surrounding parts. There’s a lot of good quarterbacks that haven’t won Super Bowls. So, you’ve got to have a good team. It’s not just the quarterback position. I understand your question, but I think you’ve got to continue to build a team around the quarterback. It’s an important position, but I think you’ve got to build the pieces around him on both sides of the ball and in all three phases.

Q: There’s a lot of talk about whether the Giants might trade up in the Draft. In 2018, you guys traded up in Buffalo from 21 to 12 a couple weeks before the Draft. The Jets traded up from, like, six to three a couple weeks before the Draft. When you’re trading up weeks before the Draft – just process wise, not saying you would do that – do you have to like three prospects if you’re going to pick third, or would you trade up hoping to get one guy at that spot?

A: Yeah, that’s interesting, because we were actually, when that happened from six to three, we were actually doing a private workout with (Bills quarterback) Josh Allen. Like, literally there in Laramie, Wyoming, Josh is throwing, and Indianapolis traded that pick, and they were three. Again, you don’t know what other teams think of the players or who they’re going to get. Obviously, there was some inclination that the Jets were going up to get a quarterback at three. So, I think at that position, and I said it last year, it’s a different stratosphere. You’ve got to get around these kids and you’ve got to get to know them. Until you’re able to do that, it’s hard to make those type of moves. So, we were still going through our process at the time in Buffalo to get around those prospects. Then once we were comfortable, that’s when you make that type of move.

So, again, this is the start. There’s a lot of these prospects that it’s the first time we’re going to get around them, and we’re looking forward to it. Free agency will set the table for some of the decisions we make in the Draft. It’s an exciting time for us.

Q: You wouldn’t make, generally speaking, that kind of move for just one guy, right? Because you don’t know what the teams in front of you are doing.

A: That’d be hard to do until you’re on the clock. That’s a different occasion. I know the Panthers did it last year, and they did it, like, I think the date was March 10. They traded up to one. So, whatever exposure they had to (Panthers quarterback) Bryce Young or (Texans quarterback) C.J. Stroud, whoever their guy was, must have been good enough that they said, ‘We got our guy.’ And I think that’s important, because then if you get around them or you find information out that maybe you’re not excited about, you just traded a lot of draft capital to go up to get somebody that now you’re uneasy about. So, I think you’ve got to be comfortable with the film, you’ve got to be comfortable with who the player is, what the setup is going to be for that player to have success, before you do something like that.

Q: Are you comfortable with the state of your roster to give up the assets it would take to do a trade-up like that?

A: The roster is fluid. We still have free agency. The roster could look a lot different in three weeks from now based on what we do in free agency. So, that’s evolving. It’s hard to answer right now because of the way the roster is going to look, and that’ll help set our plan as we go into the Draft. Some of it’s going to be based on what we do in free agency, and again, the exposure to the players.

Q: Given what we saw last year with the running back market and the available backs this year, what do you make of the free agent market this year for running backs?

A: What do I think of the free agent running back market? Yeah, I mean, there’s some good names there. I mean, it’s a little bit of a saturated market. There are some guys at different ages that have had success, there’s some older guys that have had some success. So, it’s a diverse group.

That’s a good question. That’s a good question. I can’t predict what’s going to happen with the running back market. We’ll have a better feel here in a couple of weeks. Once you get into that when you start doing the negotiations and the contracts, but yeah, three running backs were franchised last year. We’ll see if they’re franchised again this year, or maybe they’re not, what their value is. So, there’s a lot of uncertainty as you go into free agency, because teams can re-sign their players up until that Wednesday. They can negotiate with them; we can negotiate with them starting that Monday. So, you’ll really get a feel for the market 13 days from now when we can start negotiating with agents.

Q: You’re in a unique spot with Saquon because you went through so many rounds of negotiations, and you don’t usually do that with a guy and be in the same spot the next year. How has his value changed in your mind from where you left it last July 15 or whenever that day was?

A: I wouldn’t say his value has changed, especially in the organization. He’s a captain, he’s a leader, he’s a hard worker. I think the world of Saquon and I still think he can play. So, my value for Saquon really hasn’t changed. Unfortunately, throughout the process, starting back in November of 2022, we weren’t able to come to an agreement in terms of where we both thought a deal made sense. So, we’ll circle back again. He has a new agent, Ed Berry, who we have a really good relationship with, with CAA. Really good guy and does a great job. Look forward to sitting down and having conversations with him.

I think we’ve all grown, Saquon, myself, the organization, through the last 12, 13, 14 months. Saquon may be in a different place now than he was then in terms of understanding the market and the business side of it. I’m looking forward to having those conversations with him.

Q: When you came here last year, you talked about how you were juggling a lot of balls. You had negotiations with two of your top players, you had the Combine. For your process, how much did you learn last year about how to do it and has your process changed at all? Are there things that you are now going to do differently that maybe you learned from last year?

A: Yeah, I think the process last year was sound. We’re always going to evaluate every decision that we make. But when I look back on it, whether it was getting AT (tackle Andrew Thomas) done, the deal with Andrew Thomas; the deal with (defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence II); we did the deal with Daniel. Unfortunately, we franchised Saquon, we were hoping to get something done with him. (Linebacker) Bobby O(kereke) I think was a good addition; (Defensive lineman) A’Shawn (Robinson), Nacho (defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches).

So, I think in terms of free agency, I think the process went well. We were able to sign some guys that were valuable contributors. Now, there’s some guys that we wish maybe we would have—we thought they would have contributed a little bit more. But I think it was a sound process, and every year is different. We don’t have that many young players that we’re looking to extend like we had last year. So, it’s balancing signing those guys outside the building that can be role players or starters, but also understanding we want to build this through the Draft. When we took the job, we still want to build the team through the Draft and supplement it with free agency. And that’s still going to be the case.

Q: Did the salary cap inflation last week, an unexpected amount, change your perception on using either the franchise or transition tags?

A: Yeah, that came into play. It really did. I was telling somebody earlier, Friday afternoon, I was watching film, and I get an email and it’s from the league. It’s the salary cap number. I opened it up, and our staff was on vacation through the weekend, so, I was in there and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe how much that that went up.’ Because we were very conservative on our estimates in terms of our plan. It’s caused us—we’re going to reconvene here and talk about some of those things that that you were talking about. Because, again, we were operating in the 241 to 243 (million-dollar range). We were being conservative. It’s a pleasant surprise where it ended up coming in.

So, yeah, we’re going to recalibrate and say, ‘Okay, now this is what the salary cap is, we didn’t think it was going to be this much, how will that alter our plans?’ If it’ll alter them at all. Looking forward to doing that with my staff later this afternoon.

Q: You’ve talked about how you watch film. I’m just curious, looking at last year’s draft class, (wide receiver) Jalin Hyatt, (cornerback) Deonte Banks, what are you looking for in your first watch? As soon as you turn on the tape, what are you looking for in these guys’ film?

A: It depends on what position it is.

Q: Wide receiver.

A: Yeah, wide receiver, you want me to walk through that? It’s the critical factors. We have critical factors and position specifics at every position. So, if it’s a receiver, you’re looking at quickness, can you separate, can you catch the ball? That’s a requirement for receivers, catch the ball. Athleticism that’s going to jump off the tape. And then you go down the line. There’re several things that we look at at each position, but those are some of the initial things at receiver.

Q: With Jalin Hyatt, what was it that caught your eye about him?

A: The production, the speed against very good competition.

Q: With Saquon, I’m just wondering if even psychologically, with the franchise tag being off the table and a new agent in place, maybe this can go smoother this time? Because he wants to be here, and you just told us you want him here.

A: I wouldn’t say the franchise tag is off the table, no. I think the new number if we’re going to franchise somebody for the first time at that position is, like, 11.9 (million), and his number’s not much more than that. So, the salary cap changes your philosophy on how you’re going to attack things. That’s not off the table. We don’t want to do it. In a perfect world, we don’t want to do that again.

We’re going to have conversations, we’re going to talk through it and see what his—I know he says he wants a fair deal and I appreciate that and ultimately, we’ve got to do what’s best for the franchise short term and long term. We’ll take all those things into account, but look forward to meeting with his representatives.

Q: When you talk about faith in Daniel Jones, does that faith rise to precluding drafting a quarterback in the first round?

A: Where we are at six, we’re going to look at everything. We’re going to look at everything. We’re going to look at all positions. You hope you’re not up there again; you don’t want to be picking in the top 10, but it’s a good draft. It’s a solid draft across the board, and we’re going to have an opportunity to get a good player, and we’re going to evaluate all the positions and take the best player we can.

Q: What’s it like when you’re negotiating with one of your best buddies (Brandon Beane)?

A: Negotiating with Brandon is always difficult because I sat in that room multiple times and watched him negotiate. So, I know his tells, I know when he’s BSing me, and it’s probably a little bit to my advantage negotiating with him. It’s good to have allies in this business, and if it makes sense… We were able to get that deal done pretty quick, but Brandon is one of my good buddies. I look up to him. He does a great job there and it’s always good to call him if there’s a player we’re interested in, specifically somebody we drafted and had intimate knowledge of. It’s good negotiating with him.

Q: You know how the locker room, the players in the room, feel about Saquon. Does that impact how you go about this situation with Saquon?

A: Yeah, and that was baked into a lot of our contract negotiations last year. That’s why you go to a player like that and you try to extend him, and you stretch and you stretch and you stretch and ultimately you couldn’t get something done. But yeah, all that bakes in. If they don’t fit our mold or the makeup that we desire or the locker room, then we’ll probably look elsewhere. It’s okay to let players walk now and then if they don’t fit that mold, but he’s somebody that we’d like to try to get back.

Q: What do you think of the top of this quarterback class?

A: It’s a good quarterback draft. It’s not just at the top. There are some guys that are mid-levels that I think will be good number twos. There are some guys that can be number threes in the draft. So yeah, I mean, I think it’s a solid draft all over.

Jan 082024
 
Don "Wink" Martindale, New York Giants (January 21, 2023)

Don “Wink” Martindale – © USA TODAY Sports

WINK MARTINDALE, THOMAS McGAUGHEY, BOBBY JOHNSON, DREW WILKINS OUT…
New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale has resigned from the team in order to pursue other coaching opportunities. Since Martindale was under contract, this was likely a mutual parting of the ways.

In addition, the team has fired Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey, Offensive Line Coach Bobby Johnson, Outside Linebackers Coach Drew Wilkins, and Defensive Assistant Kevin Wilkins (Drew and Kevin are brothers).

The 60-year old Martindale was hired by the Giants in 2022 after serving four seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens. He had also coached the linebacker units in Baltimore from 2012 to 2017.

The 50-year old McGaughey first served with the Giants from 2007 to 2010 as assistant special teams coordinator under Head Coach Tom Coughlin. After stints with Louisiana State University, the New York Jets, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Carolina Panthers, McGaughey returned to the Giants as special teams coordinator in 2018 under Head Coach Pat Shurmur. He was retained by both Head Coach Joe Judge (2020-2021) and Head Coach Brian Daboll (2022-2023).

The 50-year old Johnson served as offensive line coach with the Buffalo Bills from 2019 to 2021 with then Bills Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll. Johnson was hired by Daboll with the Giants in 2022.

The 36-year old Drew Wilkins came over from the Baltimore Ravens with Martindale in 2022. Drew served in various capacities with the Ravens from 2010 to 2021. Kevin Wilkins also came over from Baltimore, where he served in various capacities from 2015 to 2021.

As previously reported, the Florida Gators hired Director of Strength and Performance Craig Fitzgerald in the same position and Syracuse University hired Running Backs Coach Jeff Nixon to be their offensive coordinator.

GIANTS RE-SIGN 10 PLAYERS…
The Giants have re-signed the following ten players, who were on the team’s Practice Squad, to reserve/future contracts:

  • RB Deon Jackson
  • WR Dennis Houston
  • OL Yodny Cajuste
  • OL Joshua Miles
  • OL Jalen Mayfield
  • DL Ryder Anderson
  • ILB Dyontae Johnson
  • OLB Jeremiah Martin
  • CB Kaleb Hayes
  • CB Stantley Thomas-Oliver

2024 GIANTS OPPONENTS SET…
The list of teams the Giants will play in 2024:

  • Home: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Minnesota, and Indianapolis
  • Away: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Seattle

JANUARY 8, 2024 JOE SCHOEN AND BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday (VIDEO):

BRIAN DABOLL: So just a couple things here and then we’ll open up to questions. Made two staff changes this morning, moved on from (former offensive line coach) Bobby Johnson and from (former Special Team Coordinator) Thomas McGaughey. I want to thank those guys for what they’ve done the last two years. This is the hard part of the job, I have a lot of respect for them. Just felt we we’re going to move in a different direction, not going add anything to it. These were private conversations but I do respect both of those guys and what they’ve done the last two years, their commitment to the team, their work ethic but wanted to make a change. Again, those are private conversations, I’m not going to elaborate on any of it.

Q: On Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale and Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka returning.

BRIAN DABOLL: My expectation is Wink and Kafka will both be back so those are two of the changes we made this morning but there’s still conversations that are going to be had. We’ve only been here for a short time but those were two of the guys in the morning that I spoke with. Other than that, again, appreciate the way the guys finished and competed yesterday. We had an offseason meeting, leading into the offseason just a little while ago with the staff and the players and the coaches and all the administrators. It was a good year-end meeting. They’re meeting now with their offense and defense, respectively, position coaches. (Senior Vice President/General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and I will have some meetings here with the rookie class, with the second-year class, the UFA class after this conference here. Other than that, open it up to any questions.

Q: What are you looking for in an offensive line coach?

BRIAN DABOLL: Again, that’s a good question. That’s something that we’ll sit down and talk about as a staff, and we’ll work through that.

Q: What went into your thinking with deciding that both Mike and Wink will both return?

BRIAN DABOLL: It’s my expectation that they’re going to come back. I think they’re good coaches, so it’ll be good to have some continuity and bring them back. I know Wink talks about this as a destination place and things like that, it’s good. I appreciate how hard they work, their commitment to the team, so that’s my plan.

Q: Have you had conversations with them about that? I know you said last week you said that you haven’t had conversations with people.

BRIAN DABOLL: Not yet. I haven’t talked to those guys; I’ve talked to the guys that I let go, but that’s my expectation and that’s my plan.

Q: Would it be your expectation that Mike returns in the same role as a play caller?

BRIAN DABOLL: Those are conversations we’ll have here over the next few months of what direction we’ll go and we’ll make those decisions as we do a full evaluation.

Q: I’m sure you saw last week that (running back) Saquon (Barkley) said that he hopes in his exit meeting that you guys shoot him straight. Is a second franchise tag a viable option for him? Or is it get a long-term deal done before free agency?

JOE SCHOEN: Again, Saquon and I will talk about that. That’s a tool we have at our disposal. When we redid his deal before he came to camp, that wasn’t taken out of that deal. It wasn’t a ‘hey, we’ll do this but no franchise tag’ so that’s an option that we have on the table. We’ll have those conversations; I’m not saying we will, or we won’t. A lot of those conversations will be had over the next month or so.

Q: How much does (quarterback) Daniel’s (Jones) timeline for recovery affect what direction you’ll go with quarterback? Do you have a cutoff date where you say ‘okay, if he’s not at this point by this date,’ you go draft? Or free agency or anything like that?

JOE SCHOEN: Like I said during the bye week, I think ultimately we have to do something like, as I said, whether it’s the draft or a free agent just because (quarterback) Tyrod’s (Taylor) contract is up, we have (quarterback) Tommy (DeVito) who’s under contract and then Daniel’s injury and the return to play and the uncertainty there. When free agency starts, the draft, whichever avenue we decide to take, we will address the position.

Q: How much does his injury history overall just factor into the future at that position? Do you have to take that into consideration?

JOE SCHOEN: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Q: Do you feel like you can build a team around a quarterback who has that injury history now? With two neck injuries and now a torn ACL?

JOE SCHOEN: Yes.

It’s football and guys get hurt. You can’t always predict it. I think guys who have previous injuries – you’ve got to look at the injuries individually and what they were and how they were caused but I’ve got a lot of faith in our training staff as well. So again, hopefully he’ll be back for week one. Again, we don’t have a crystal ball here, but we’ll continue to build the team the way we see best.

Q: So, is it out of the question that Tyrod comes back?

JOE SCHOEN: No. No, it’s not out the question. We’ll talk to all the UFAs, like (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs said, and we’ll have conversations with them. The representatives, by the time we get to the combine, we’ll usually circle up with those guys. So yeah, it’s not out of the question. I thought he played well for us.

Q: What is your overall message to the fans here at the end of the season? And what do you believe the identity of the Giants is?

JOE SCHOEN: The message is believe in the process. We came in here year one and were able to go to the playoffs and win a playoff game and this year it didn’t go as well as we wanted it to, for various reasons. We’ve all got a hand in it; we’ve all got to do better going into next year and we will. That’s what this offseason is about. I’ve got a lot of faith in the staff and Dabs and our process, whether it’s down in the weight room, the training staff, our draft process, free agency. I’ve got a lot of faith in the process, and we’ll get this thing turned around.

Q: I know it’s more than one thing, of course, but can you put your finger, as you kind of assessed it, what has gone wrong between last year and this year?

JOE SCHOEN: I don’t think there’s one thing. I mean, there’s a multitude of things –

Q: There’s a multitude of things, obviously the quarterback situation –

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I don’t want to go through all 17 games but again, like we were in – there were several games that we could’ve won for various reasons. I’m not going to get into the details of every single game, you guys were there. ‘Hey, if it would’ve went this way or the ball fell our way’ or whatever it was, we could be in a different situation right now. We’ve got to have a good offseason, we’ve got to be ready to go, we’ve got to start faster, and we’ve got to be consistent week in and week out.

Q: When it comes to the offensive line, you’ve spoken the past two years of walking that line between development and having guys that are experienced and ready to go. After this year, going forward at that position, is there a solution in terms of young guys aren’t coming across so we need to bring in someone who’s going to develop them more or do you need more experience? How do you handle that position that’s really been hit hard here for a while?

JOE SCHOEN: When you say the development are you talking about coaching or?

Q: Well coaching but also bringing in younger players that you’re going to now rely on. You’ve done that the last couple years and it seems like their development has not come up as quickly as you needed them to.

JOE SCHOEN: Sometimes you get the ready-made product through free agency, or you bring in a young player that you expect to develop and improve, and we’ve seen that at some positions and at some positions we haven’t. I think that’ll be, as Dabs looks for a new offensive line coach, I think history of developing players will be something we’ll definitely hit on.

Q: You had mentioned the last time that we talked to you that (tackle) Evan Neal needs to get better and then he never played again. How do you look at him going into his third year? Can you pencil him in as one of our five starters, probably right tackle? Or do you have to bring in competition at that spot.

JOE SCHOEN: We’ll go through all those conversations over the next couple of weeks. Evan worked his tail off last offseason, came in in great shape, had a good start to camp, had the concussion. I expect him to attack this offseason the same way and we’ll see how it plays out.

Q: How do evaluate Brian’s second season? Obviously, you guys had promising first year, go to the playoffs, win a playoff game. How do you evaluate year two?

JOE SCHOEN: I thought Brian did a good job. If you’ve been in the league long enough, you’ve seen some teams quit and you’ve seen some players mail it in at the end of the season. I just think part of the reflection of the job that he did was that we went through adversity. Sometimes you have to go through it. We’re still in year two so things were pretty good in year one. We started fast, had a playoff win and maybe you didn’t see where all the issues were, whether it was in the building, on the team, in the coaching staff, wherever it may have been. Going through it, I think it sucked but it also opened our eyes to some things that maybe need to change, or we need to get better (or) we need to change the process. I think the biggest thing for Dabs is that he kept the team together. They continued to fight, they came and they prepared every week. The leaders did a good job of leading through difficult times and I think the results showed yesterday.

Q: What comes to your mind when you say you need to change process or things that you need to change?

JOE SCHOEN: I mean, it can be a multitude of things. I mean, it’s everything we do within the organization is going to be evaluated during this time.

Q: Something that you already came to the conclusion that you want to change?

JOE SCHOEN: We’re going to evaluate ourselves, again, whether it was, okay, what did we do when we signed (inside linebacker) Bobby O(kereke)? Did we nail that? (Wide receiver) Parris (Campbell) ended up not playing as much, let’s evaluate that process, what happened there. Those are type things that we’re going to go through and continue to evaluate our process, whether it was where we drafted guys, the way we signed guys, the way we practiced. We had some injuries at certain points of the year, are we’re doing things the right way. The entire process we’re going to evaluate.

Q: So, are you saying to some degree that some of the minor flaws or whatever that may have been present last year, you overlook a little bit because you are having success as a team, that maybe raised their heads this year, so to speak?

JOE SCHOEN: No, I’m not necessarily saying that, but there is a chance that that could happen. Again, you can look through things through rose colored glasses sometimes when things are going well. Maybe you put more weight in something that wasn’t, but again we’re going to continue to evaluate every part of the process and again, we’ll be better off for it, going through this.

Q: Obviously, the draft is pretty far down the road, but do you feel – you say you need to add to the quarterback room, do you need to add someone to that room someone who can potentially start and compete with Daniel for a job?

JOE SCHOEN: Well, there’s a chance he’s not ready week one, so yeah. You got to sign somebody that you can hope – again, plan for the worst, hope for the best, like you plan for him not being ready, so you’re going to need somebody that can hopefully win you some games early on if he’s not ready.

Q: And if he’s healthy, he’s anticipated to be healthy at some point at the start of the season or early in the season, do you have the same faith of him right now as you did when you signed him to the contract?

JOE SCHOEN: Yes.

Q: Something along those lines, have you had a chance to scout the quarterbacks expected to go at the draft of the top and how would you assess this class overall? Are there impact players immediately?

JOE SCHOEN: I would say overall it’s a good draft. We’re kind of moving out of that COVID cycle of the players getting the extra years and what not, so overall I think it’s a good draft and again, where we’re picking, I think it’s sixth, 39th, 47 I believe is the Seattle pick and then 70th. So, four picks in the top 70, you’ll have to fact check me on that, my guys sent me that last night, so I didn’t get a chance this morning to double check, but I think that’s what it is, so chance to have four players in the top 70, I’m excited about that. Again, that’s a way to impact the roster and it also gives you currency if you want to move around, or move up, move back, whatever it may be. Those are tools that you can use to continue to execute whatever the plan may be.

Q: How do you evaluate your second season?

JOE SCHOEN: It was a tough season. Again, that’s part of the things that we’ll do over the next few weeks is assess ourselves. I’m always evaluating myself on a daily basis because there is so many decisions that we make and so many things that go across my desk on a daily basis and there’s always room for improvement. At the end of the day, it starts with me, and I’ve got to do a better job throughout the entire organization. We’re a six-win team, you are what your record says you are, and I’ve got to do a better job.

Q: You mentioned Parris. Thinking year one to year two at receiver, do you feel, I mean I know it’s hindsight but did you overcompensate at the position because of the injuries that you had the previous year knowing that (wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson) was coming back, you didn’t know how quickly he was going to be back in the slot because it seemed like, as much as we talk about duplication, it almost felt like you were waiting for injuries to sort themselves out and the way it happened, it seemed like everybody was available and that kind of cut down on the opportunities for Parris and even (wide receiver) Shep(ard Sterling) to an extent?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, that’s a good question and so what it was, again, coming off an ACL, Wan’Dale coming off an ACL, so we didn’t know when he was going to be ready. We thought Parris would be a guy that could play inside, outside and I wouldn’t’ say overcompensate but we were trying to add some weapons. You do a deal with Daniel and you see how it was structured, so you try to expedite the process and give him a chance to succeed. Parris is a player that will still play in this league, I think he’s got a bright future. Things maybe didn’t go as well as he wanted this year, but the guy is a true pro and never once complained or fussed about it and he’s got a bright future. I think the kid has talent.

Q: How do you evaluate the rookie class?

JOE SCHOEN: Again, like any rookie class, you’re going to have highs and lows. I think the first three guys, I think everybody saw their ability. I think (cornerback Deonte) Tae Banks is going to be a really good corner in this league. (Center) John Michael (Schmitz) is going to be a good center and (wide receiver Jalin) Hyatt is going to be a good receiver. I think you saw with Jalin the explosive play ability. The intangibles for John Michael are off the charts, he’s got leadership potential. I’d be surprised if he’s not a captain down the road. Again, Tae Banks, with rare physical ability, and as he continues to grow and mature; what he did against some of the very good receivers in this league as a rookie, I thought was pretty impressive, so those guys are good. I thought (running back) Eric Gray had a good game last night when he was given opportunities. He probably didn’t get as many opportunities this year as he would’ve liked, but that’s a testament to Saquon and his availability. And then I thought some of the later round guys did a good job, too. Excited about (defensive lineman) Jordon Riley. Again, those guys have a big offseason coming into next year. We’ll expect them to be – either those guys are going to start or depth contributors going into year two.

Q: How do you evaluate the (tight end Darren) Waller trade and do you view him as an important piece going forward?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I would do it again. I would do it again with Waller. I mean, you guys saw him this spring, you saw him in the summer. Unfortunately, he had the injury before the Dallas game. Again, he was still a productive part of our offense when available. I would do that again every day of the week.

Q: So, he’ll be back?

JOE SCHOEN: What’s that?

Q: Darren will be back?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, we’ll have those conversations with the staff, but the expectation is he’ll be back.

Q: With the margins being as small as they are in the league, when you look at last year’s team and this year’s team, obviously six wins this year, nine last year plus the playoff win. How close were these two teams in reality when you look at it?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, well you know every season is a different season. Every team different. We closed out some games that first year, you know on the foot line against Jacksonville or the two-point conversion with Saquon being dead to rights. Tennessee missed a field goal. So, some of those – and the last play against Green Bay if you will. Games, a lot of these games, come down to at the end of the game, they’re close games and we had a few of those this year, whether it was the Buffalo game, whether it was the Jet game, whether it was the Rams game, that we didn’t close out. I’d say there’s always a difference, there’s some similarities, there’s obviously some differences. Got a lot of work to do but appreciate the way the guys competed. Again, the margin is very small in this league and that’s why there change every year in terms of playoff teams and not playoff teams. I don’t know what it is, how many years for four different playoff teams? What is it, 15? Whatever it is that I heard, something I heard. So, looking forward to really diving in, deep dive into really every aspect of the organization. Coaching, players, evaluation, staff and working to get better. It’s day one, 12 hours after our last game, so we’ll start on this and look forward to that process.

Q: The young guys who were affected by injuries, what do you lean on in terms of evaluating them, especially if they don’t have a lot on tape to really look at?

JOE SCHOEN: I’m trying to think, anybody specific?

Q: I’m thinking (offensive lineman Marcus) McKethan, (offensive lineman Joshua) Ezeudu, guys like that.

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, it’ll be big years for those guys. I mean, you’re going into year three and unfortunately – McKethan was healthy, he didn’t really come to – what was it, like third week of camp, I think, was when he started to practice, so he missed a valuable part of camp, but unfortunately Josh has been injured two years in a row, so yeah, I mean it’s a big offseason for those guys. I know they are planning on hanging around and being around the strength and conditioning staff and whoever we end up hiring as an o-line coach, but yeah, it’s a big year, third year, you’ve got to show something.

Q: Does it all begin with the offensive line in your mind? It’s an area that the Giants have struggled at for a number of years in a row.

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I think that’s important. Again, ultimately, it’s a team game, and I’d like to believe that starts up front on both sides of the ball. So yeah, that’s something that we’re going to have to look into. We’ve got to be better.

Q: (Safety Xavier) McKinney views himself as one of the elite safeties in the NFL. He’s headed into free agency. Do you see him that way, and what’s the interest in retaining him?

JOE SCHOEN: We’re going to talk to all those guys. I’m not going to negotiate myself against myself and call him elite or make some hyperbolic statement about how great he is. But no, I like Xavier McKinney. He’s been a good player since we’ve gotten here. He’s young, he played 100 percent of the snaps, checks a lot of the boxes. He’s a guy that we’ll obviously talk with. It’s just you’ve got so many resources and how are you going to divvy them up when you put the puzzle together in the offseason. So yeah, he’ll be a guy that we’ll talk to, obviously.

Q: Would you be open to using the tag on him?

JOE SCHOEN: We’ll have those conversations. Again, having just went through the tag, it’s not something I want to use on a year in and year out basis, but it’s a tool at our disposal. So, we’ll talk through all that stuff.

Q: You mentioned evaluating everything. You assume that’s a lot of bad stuff and stuff that didn’t go well, but you also mentioned signing Bobby O. That, I would imagine, is an example of a signing that you made that hit probably 100 percent. When you look at that signing, what can you take from that that can help you moving forward with other signings?

JOE SCHOEN: I would say that process—(defensive lineman) A’Shawn (Robinson), I think, was a good addition. I think Nacho (defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches) was a good addition. (Safety/inside linebacker) Isaiah Simmons was a good addition. I think extending (defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence II) was a good decision. (Tackle) Andrew Thomas was… You know what I mean?

You go through and you’re always evaluating yourself and so I think our free agent process was good. We brought in guys that fit our culture, they were good guys, they helped elevate their rooms and Bobby O’s one of those guys. I think that process overall went well, and again, we’ve just got to continue to—we’ve really had one offseason where we’ve had financial flexibility. Those were some of the guys that we brought in. I’m excited to get together with my leadership group and the pro scouting staff and hopefully have another good offseason and bring in guys that can bring similar value to the team as those guys.

Q: You mentioned culture right there. Two years in, how do you define the culture now and are you where you want to be?

JOE SCHOEN: I think last night is a good example. The last two weeks, even against the Rams, or even the second half of the Philly game on Christmas Day. The guys continue to come in and put in the work, compete, and we were in those games. I mean, Philly’s a playoff team, the Rams are a playoff team, and the last three games a year against two teams that are going to the playoffs. We took them down to the end and we beat Philadelphia. The ball goes our way, make the field goal versus the Rams, or the two-point play, or whatever it may be, who knows how it turns out. We took those guys down to the end and I think that’s, again, a testament to Dabs and the staff and the character of the players in the locker room.

Q: How do you think you guys can manage the injuries going into next season? I know you’re always evaluating this stuff, so any ideas now?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, absolutely. I know, you guys are aware that (Director of Strength and Conditioning) Craig Fitzgerald left for Florida. So, we’re in the process of looking for a strength and conditioning coach, and we’ll probably have something in place here shortly. We’re going to look at, again, every aspect of football operations, and have talks with (Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) and his staff. How we do things year-round to—it’s football, so there’s 31 other teams that are playing football as well. We know injuries are going to happen. But where we rank in the injury category, every year, you want to get better and get in that top 10, top five if you can, because it gives you the best chance to win. Not just on the field, but there’s a domino effect to your salary cap and replacement costs. If you’re consistently in the bottom third, that hurts you in several different areas. So that’s part of the process we’re going to continue to evaluate.

Q: When you talk injuries, I think there’s this perception that it’s the strength and conditioning, or it’s the medical staff. How does that all work tied together when you’re analyzing where the issues may be from an injury perspective for you? Because I know some of it is different, right? I mean, some of it is prevention, but also it’s the medical staff’s involvement when players do get injured.

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, and I’ve got a lot of faith in our medical staff and they’re very good at what they do. We have these conversations all the time. Belly (tight end Daniel Bellinger) missed some time last year, he got punched in the eye, you can’t prevent that. There are some things that are freak accidents, and you can’t prevent. We had six ACLs last year; we had two this year. One was in the preseason, one was Daniel. So, we improved there. Our soft tissue stuff has improved a year ago.

So again, if there’s a consistent injury that keeps popping up, you’re going to dive into that. Some of it is just football. We have the video of all the injuries, we go back, we analyze it, and we look at our strength and conditioning, is there something we can do better to help improve whatever that injury is? Or is it our return to play? We look at all that, and we’re going to continue to look at that. Some of it’s the player acquisition process. As we’re drafting players or signing players in free agency, are there body tests that we can do with the players? We’re looking into some of that just in terms of are there certain markers within the athlete’s physical makeup that lead them to be more durable and available on Sunday? So, we’re going to continue to look under every rock and again, having a healthy team gives you the best chance to win. So that’s the ultimate goal.

Q: You mentioned trying to expedite the process to help Daniel win with playmakers. How much does that remain a priority to upgrade that part of this team?

JOE SCHOEN: Offensively, we want to continue to upgrade. I think you saw last night Wan’Dale had some explosive plays, Hyatt’s an explosive-play guy, (wide receiver Darius) Slayton had some explosive plays, Waller was good for us down the stretch there when he came back. So, again, I think there’s offensive weapons. Saquon made some plays last night, too. It’s just a matter of being consistent. To see that on a week in and week out basis is the goal. We’ll continue to evaluate all that stuff. I think we do have some playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. If there’s, at the right price or the right spot in the Draft, a chance to upgrade, we’ll definitely look at it.

Q: As far as your staff, last year you let (former Running Backs Coach) DeAndre Smith leave for a lateral job. Is that a policy you have, or is it case by case? Would you let any of your assistants now who say they want to leave, leave?

BRIAN DABOLL: That’s something I talk with those guys about. Joe and I talk about it. Every situation is different.

Q: Speaking of staff, there was talk about Jeff Nixon, the running backs coach. Is he staying or is he leaving?

BRIAN DABOLL: No, he’s going to be the coordinator for Syracuse. Jeff’s done a great job. Jeff and I go way back. He eventually wants to become a college head football coach. Got a chance to say goodbye to him yesterday, his family, great people. His son is actually in the national championship tonight. So, he’s headed out there to watch him play.

Q: Has anybody asked to talk to any of your coordinators or assistants?

BRIAN DABOLL: No.

Q: How much cap space are you going to have?

JOE SCHOEN: Well, we don’t know the salary cap number yet. So, once we get that, we’ll have a better idea.

Q: What has ownership’s message been to you guys? I don’t know if you had a postseason meeting with (President and CEO) John (Mara) and (Chairman and Executive Vice President) Steve (Tisch) yet, but just curious what their overall tenor is about the season.

JOE SCHOEN: We talk to them on a daily basis.

BRIAN DABOLL: We talk to them every day pretty much. Good conversations. Private conversations. Great ownership. Appreciate them. It’s a good dynamic.

Q: Are you bullish on your team and this franchise going forward, and if so, why?

BRIAN DABOLL: Look, I’m confident in what we do, how we do things. Certainly, there’s a lot of things that we can improve. That’s what the offseason is for, really, in every aspect, like Joe talked about. Look forward to getting started. As you all know, once one thing ends, it starts up. So, then there’s the Senior Bowl and the East-West Game and evaluations, player evaluations, and the Combine. You enjoy that part of it, trying to improve your football team and improve the things that you think you can do better and we can do better collectively to get going for the next part of the season. So, you want to be playing this weekend. That’s the ultimate goal, to get yourself into that tournament, and we missed out on it. So, look forward to getting back into it and trying to improve in every way possible.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • QB Tommy DeVito (Video)
  • RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
  • WR Jalin Hyatt (Video)
  • LT Andrew Thomas (Video)
  • DL Dexter Lawrence (Video)
Nov 272023
 
John Mara, Joe Schoen, and Brian Daboll; New York Giants (November 26, 2023)

John Mara, Joe Schoen, and Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 27, 2023 JOE SCHOEN PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants General Manager Joe Schoen addressed the media on Monday (VIDEO):

Good morning, everybody. Hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving. We decided to do this on Monday as well so you guys could enjoy the bye week as well.

So, obviously, not where we want to be right now at 4-8, but I am proud of the guys and the way they’ve continued to battle and compete over the last few weeks. When things are bad, they can go one of two ways, and I’m really proud of the way the guys have continued to come in and compete. We’ve seen some progress over the last couple weeks and the results to show. We’ve got five games left against NFC teams, against four different teams, and we’re not out of it.

With that being said, I know you guys are going to have some questions in terms of upcoming free agents. I’m not going to talk about any of those guys today. That’ll be postseason conversations, whether it’s (running back) Saquon (Barkley), (safety) Xavier (McKinney), all of the guys that are UFAs. We’ll leave that for after the season, those conversations.

Then, with (quarterback) Daniel (Jones), he’s five days off of surgery. He’s in there rehabbing right now. He’s going to attack it. You guys all know Daniel and his work ethic; probably a guy we’re going to have to pull back. But the expectation is when Daniel’s healthy that he will be our starting quarterback. Again, we don’t have a crystal ball in terms of how the rehab’s going to go; different patients respond differently to these surgeries, and then whether there’s going to be swelling in the knee or any setbacks. Nobody has a crystal ball on this, but that’s the expectation moving forward.

With that, I’ll open it up to any questions you guys may have.

Q: You said this obviously is not where you want to be, but when you look at it, what are the biggest factors that have led this season to kind of go in this direction?

A: I would think early on, we had a difficult schedule right off the bat. Three games in 11 days, and two of those teams being atop of the NFC right now, or near the top of the NFC. We started off, very good drive against Dallas there to open the season, we get a false start, a bad snap, a blocked field goal for a touchdown, and it kind of snowballed from there.

Don’t want to make any excuses. We’ve had some injuries. We’ve just got to continue to build the depth and we’ve got to continue to build the team all around so when injuries do occur, we can overcome those and still be competitive when injuries happen. It’s going to happen every year. It happens. It’s football; it’s a contact sport. There’s going to be injuries, and we’ve got to be able to overcome any type of adversity that presents itself.

Q: When you say Daniel will be your starter, does that mean you won’t draft a quarterback next year?

A: No, it doesn’t. I think we’re going to have to do something on the quarterback, whether it’s free agency or the Draft. I mean, just where we are, (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor)’s contract is up,

(quarterback Tommy) DeVito is obviously under contract, and Daniel, we don’t know when he’s going to be ready. So, just from an offseason program standpoint, I think that’ll be a position that we’ll have to look at. There’re different avenues – free agency or the Draft – but we’ll have to address it at some point.

Q: When you look back, and I know hindsight is 20-20, do you feel the way you constructed the roster benefited the team with depth? I know you went heavy on receivers, maybe a little light on outside linebackers – it could have been because the guys that you wanted weren’t there – but when you look back on that, do you have any regrets on how the roster was constructed?

A: That’s a great question. You’re only afforded so many resources to build the roster. We’ve been here for, I think it’s 22 months and a day. So, you have to decide how you’re going to build it as you build it with the big picture in mind. You can’t do it overnight. What does it cost to go get more pass rushers, financially or draft capital, based on all the needs that you have, and where you are financially or in the Draft?

So, no regrets. Again, we’ll continue to evaluate our process. Were there other players available, other players you could have taken, did you miss on something? We’ll evaluate the entire process at the end of the season, but you can’t do it overnight. Instead of getting a (inside linebacker) Bobby O(kereke), who has been a very good player for us that we brought in in the offseason, do you use that money elsewhere in terms of allocation of resources? I like a lot of the guys that we brought in in the offseason, and we knew this wasn’t going to happen overnight, and it takes time to build it the right way.

Q: Regarding injuries, you mentioned that’s been a problem. I know you guys looked at that in the offseason. What takeaways did you have, are there still things that you can do, and have you identified things that maybe you can do? It might be too late now, but have you kind of said, ‘Hey, we’ve got to change this up for next year?’

A: We’re going to continue to evaluate that. I wish it was one specific injury. It just hasn’t been a consistent. If you could look and say, ‘Man, we have seven guys that have the same injury,’ you could really do a deep dive on what do we need to do to improve what we’re doing in that area, but there hasn’t been a consistent, other than we’ve been injured often. I have a lot of confidence in our training staff and (Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie Barnes and our strength staff with (Director of Strength and Conditioning Craig) Fitz(gerald).

We’re going to continue to look under every rock for any competitive advantage we can get from sports science, training, strength and conditioning, whatever it may be because it is, it’s hard to go in and compete week in and week out if you don’t have your best players. One of the guys was telling me the other day, going into the season, if you told me (tight end Darren) Waller, (tackle) Andrew Thomas, Saquon and Daniel would play less than 40 plays together, I wouldn’t have been real excited about that, and that’s the reality of how it played out.

Q: What is your evaluation of one, (tackle) Evan Neal, and two, Tommy DeVito?

A: I’ll start with Tommy. Tommy has done a good job as an undrafted free agent. He’s come a long way since he arrived here in May as an undrafted guy. That’s a testament to his work ethic and buying into to the process and (Quarterbacks Coach) Shea (Tierney) and (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kafka and what they’re teaching him. He’s taken care of the football the last couple of weeks, and he’s done a good job. He’s got some swagger and some presence about him that the players like and they follow him.

Evan got off to a really good camp, had a concussion, missed a couple of weeks, came back, and needs to play better. Evan needs to play better. He knows that. Look forward to getting him back here when he’s healthy, but I think he’d admit there’s some things that he can do better, and we look forward to him continuing to improve.

Q: A couple of things on Daniel: how do you assess how he played at the start of the season, those first five starts, and is there a worry that he has not been able to stay healthy? He’s had some major injuries, obviously. Moving forward with him, how much of an issue is that?

A: Any of these guys coming off the knees, it takes them time. (Wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson), (defensive lineman) D.J. Davidson, (inside linebacker Darrian) Beavers, some of the guys that had them last year for us, it does take time to come back from that injury. Some are able to respond quicker than others; it depends on the patient.

Daniel, early on, again, we got off to that rough start. We had three games in 11 days, there were some injuries after Week 2. On a short week, you’re going to play San Francisco without your starting left tackle, starting guard and Saquon. I mean, that’s a tough task for anybody. You guys have probably seen San Francisco enough this season to know that’s a really good defense. I think does Daniel wish he could have some throws back or some games back or do some things differently? Probably, but it’s a team game. There’s 11 guys out there and everybody’s got to be on the same page and do their job. So, we’ve got to continue to build the team. The quarterback position is important, but it’s ultimately a team game and it’s not all on Daniel by any means.

Q: With Daniel, how realistic do you think it is for him to be back for training camp and for the season, and also, was it just the ACL? Was there anything else that went along with that?

A: I’m not getting into specifics of the surgery. It went well, and then the recovery, like I said, it depends. I’ve seen guys come back in eight months; I’ve seen guys—we’ve got some that still aren’t back that had them a year ago. We’re probably going have to pull this kid back. He’s a hard worker. He’s already in there. I saw him walking across the parking lot this morning holding his crutches in his hands rather than using them. That’s the type of kid he is. He’s going to work very hard. We’ve just got to protect him from himself and make sure he’s doing things the right way and not overtraining. It’s really hard to say, to be honest with you, being in this for as long as I’ve been in it.

Q: How do you plan for it then, not knowing?

A: Kind of what I said earlier. We’re still going to have to address the position at some point because there’s no guarantee he’s going to be back Week 1, and Tyrod, his contract’s up. So, we’ve got to figure out—those will be offseason decisions. As we go through the offseason, we’ll have a little bit better idea of his return to play as he continues the rehab.

Q: There’s addressing the position and there’s using a possible first-round pick on that position. Where are you on that spectrum? If there’s a player that you like there that’s a quarterback in the first round, would you make that choice?

A: We’ll take the best player available. If the best player available for our team is at a certain position, we’ll take it. I mean, we won’t shy away from it. That’s a ways away; the Draft is in April. So, we’re still working through all that and the offseason progress. We have to come up with a plan, like I said, just for the offseason right now. Tommy’s the only one – I almost said Danny DeVito – that’s under under contract. So, we’ll look at all different avenues there.

Q: Why do you still believe in Daniel? How would you answer that?

A: I mean, I’ve seen it. You guys all saw last season. The guy won 10 games. He won a road playoff game for the Giants. You guys saw the preseason. I just think we got punched in the nose early on and we dug ourselves a hole and we weren’t able to get out of it. We’re trying to right now, but we still believe in Daniel and the person.

Q: When you look at your evaluation process, you have your plan, you guys set your plan up in college scouting, when you look through the season and the games you’re going to go to on the weekend. When things happen with the current roster, does that change your process at all? Where you may go, what prospects you may scout, or do you kind of stick to your plan throughout and then assess after the season?

A: You have to be able to adjust. That’s not necessarily our roster. It may be, ‘Hey, this kid at school X, we had really low and he’s playing really well,’ or, ‘This kid was a sophomore, and now he’s a junior, we didn’t know about him, and now, he may come out for the Draft, agents are saying he’s going to come out.’ So, you always have flexibility in your schedule.

I typically make my schedule in August based around where we may play geographically, where it’s easy to get me back up with the team. So, you kind of have an initial top 100, how many of those can you go see, and my staff does a very good job. They kind of give me a 20 must-see, 25 must-see, and I try to see those schools. Starting in August, I’ll map it out.

Q: How much work have you done on the top quarterbacks in this class?

A: I’ve done a lot of work on the entire draft. I’m further ahead this year than last year. Last year kind of being the first in-season as general manager, different schedule than what I’ve had in the past as an assistant GM or director of player personnel. So, I tweaked my process a little bit this year so I can stay up on all positions.

Q: How do you look at Saquon’s season both pre-injury and still being your most productive offensive player? There were some national reports that you still see him as part of your future. Can you address that?

A: Like I said, the UFAs, we’ll talk about after the season. We tried long and hard to get something done with him, and we’ll see what happens in the offseason.

Saquon, I mean, he’s a captain. He comes to work every day. I know there were some questions a couple of weeks ago about still coming to work and the longevity and the tread on the tires and all that stuff. He comes to work every day. He does everything we ask. He’s a great teammate. He’s a captain. Big reason, as you’re going through adversity, I think he’s a big part of keeping the locker room together. I respect Saquon a lot and the way he’s handled himself through this entire process, and I have a lot of respect for Saquon.

Q. Why did you make the (defensive lineman) Leonard Williams trade when you did? Obviously, the deadline, but why did you make it then?

A: Yeah, I think the draft compensation. When Seattle called and offered a second-round pick for a 29-year-old player that was on an expiring contract, we had nine games left. It just made the most sense long-term, in terms of the build.

Q. I just wanted to follow up on Evan Neal, you said he needs to play better, but are you at a point at the end of his second year where you need to think about whether he’s a tackle or he’s a guard?

A: No, I don’t think so. I went back and watched the Alabama stuff; the kid can play. We just got to get him to be more consistent. Like I’ve got a lot of confidence in Evan, he’s a hard worker, it’s killing him right now to be out there. He’s missing some valuable reps in year two, but as soon as he’s healthy, he’s scratching and clawing to get back. We are looking forward to getting him back there, but he knows there is some things he can do better and that’s what we expect from him.

Q. Why did you Saquon unavailable at the trade deadline? Seems kind of a counter to how you operate.

A: Why didn’t I make Saquon? I wasn’t going to move him. We had a conversation about it, it wasn’t even a – I think some of you guys asked a question about that maybe a couple weeks before the trade deadline or the week of and just to eliminate distraction. I think we just said he’s one of our most productive offensive players right now. To move that guy, it just didn’t make any sense and we didn’t take any calls or receive any calls on him.

Q. Where do you think the construction of the offensive line went wrong this year?

A: Andrew Thomas getting hurt the first series of the game of the season. That doesn’t help when you lose an All-Pro left tackle. I think through 11 weeks, we had nine different starting o-line combinations, which is the second-most in 15 years. We have 21 different o-line combinations, which is the fourth-most in 15 years. So, we were down to our fifth and sixth offensive tackles. It’s hard to prepare for that when you have eight or nine on the roster. When you go to camp you are talking about your fifth and sixth offensive tackles being in the fourth quarter of the third preseason game, in reality that’s what you are talking about, so you know we won 10 games with the same offensive line last year, with the exception of (center) John Michael Schmitz (Jr.). We inserted him. (Nick) Gates went on to Washington. I know you had asked about him. And (offensive lineman Jon) Feliciano went on to San Francisco, so we ran it back with the same guys. We thought John Michael would be an upgrade in there, which he’s done a good job for us. And again, as you are building this, was it more weapons for Daniel, was it outside backers, was it corner? We are trying to build this thing, as much as we want instant gratification and instant results, there is an element of patience as you build it and try to build it the right way and you just can’t address everything overnight, and we are going to continue to work on it and I do believe in building it up front and offensive line is important. Probably didn’t play as well as we needed to early on and it’s not all on the offensive line, sometimes it’s 11 guys on the same page, receiver doesn’t run the right route, the quarterback doesn’t get the read or doesn’t pull the trigger. I mean there is several different reasons and then the continuity amongst those five is very important. Whether you’re passing off stunts in games, the communication up there and when it’s a revolving door, it’s hard for the continuity and those guys to gel consistently. I know that’s a long-winded answer, but there is various reasons to some of the issues upfront that we have seen this year, but we’ll continue to address it.

Q. Given the lack of continuity at the line and injuries and stuff, how do you evaluate that and decide what you want to do with it moving forward?

A: Yeah, we have some guys that are up this year, that have started some games for us. Those will be postseason conversations on where we need to address, who do we want to bring back, what does it look like if we do bring some of those guys back and then the landscape of free agency and the draft, so those will be postseason conversations.

Q. How much would you say your voice is heard in terms of the depth chart and who plays and I’m asking that because there is theory out there that (running back) Eric Gray was kind of forced into the punt returner job because the front office used a draft pick on him and didn’t want to see him wasted.

A: I understand where you are going with that. That’s on me. To be honest with you, that’s another – we tried to address the punt returner. We knew it was an issue. In the draft some of the guys we liked went probably higher than where we deemed you would take a guy. Eric had done it at Tennessee, and he had done it at Oklahoma and the coaches were comfortable, we were comfortable going into the regular season based off what we were seeing. I know (wide receiver Jamison) Crowder is having success in Washington, you bring him up – we kept seven receivers; we couldn’t keep eight. Do the math, who do you move on from, from the group if you kept Crowder? So, there was some moving parts in there and that’s me being candid with you and that’s on me, the returner. I’m glad we got (wide receiver) Gunner (Olszewski) here, though. He’s done a really good job for us. And Eric’s got a bright future and we probably put him in a spot that wasn’t most comfortable for him either, but he went out there, didn’t flinch an eye, didn’t bat an eye and did what he could, but again that’s on me, early on. We couldn’t do everything overnight and as much as we wanted to and that was a position we continued to look for and Pittsburgh let Gunner go and we were able to get him.

Q. Is there a part of you that’s – I know you are not focusing on unrestricted free agency yet, but the overall financial health of the team going into this offseason and what you can potentially accomplish in terms of talent infusion because of where you guys are with the books?

A: Yeah, for sure and I think free agency is hard. Obviously, I’d like to draft and develop and sign our own, which we did some of those guys that had been here in the offseason, retained some of the guys that were here previously and we got some good foundational pieces in some of the draft picks that are here, but to hit on a guy like Bobby O, who fits everything that we are talking about – smart, tough, dependable, and a good player. When you are divvying up those type of financial resources outside the building, you got to really make sure you are bringing in the right type of people as well. Their work ethic, the ability to learn the scheme. So, there is some risk in free agency, but we’ll do our homework, and we are in a relatively healthy cap situation, and we can move some things around if we need to open up more, but I think we’ll be judicious in our process in terms of the free agency market.

Q. Do you expect any changes to the coaching staff and what would your involvement be in any decision like that?

A: Yeah, those are all – I know you guys just asked Dabs (head coach Brian Daboll) about that, so those are all postseason conversations and I’ll lean on Dabs on that.

Q. Last year you won 10 games and made the playoffs, do you look at this team as that is what we are or is it more a 4-8 team is what you are right now?

A: Yeah, you are what your record says you are. We are 4-8 right now, unfortunately. There was some close games. Yeah, there were a couple games we wish we could have back recently, but we are 4-8 and we are having some adversity this year, but I’ve got a lot of confidence in the coaching staff. I think we have some young pieces on the roster to build around. I think we are the second youngest team in the league, so some guys are getting some valuable playing time. Again, it just takes time, it takes a couple off-seasons, it takes a few drafts to build it the right way. Trust me, it hurts when you lose and you’re 4-8 and it’s not fun, but you don’t want to lose sight of the big picture and the proper way to build the roster and that’s what we’ve got to stay focused on.

Q. That report said there was a chance (defensive coordinator Wink) Martindale might not finish the season with you guys. Is that something you have to look into? What’s your role in figuring out or getting to the bottom of it?

A: What was the report, I didn’t see – what was the report?

Q. You didn’t see the report?

A: That Wink’s not going to make it through the season?

Q. Jay Glazer from FOX reported that there is a chance that Martindale might not make it through the season and that he probably wouldn’t be back after the year. It was yesterday during FOX’s national broadcast.

A: I didn’t realize he said that he wasn’t going to make through the year. Yeah, I don’t know, I think Dabs just addressed that.

Q. Do you have a comment on it potentially?

A: Listen, there is always going to be noise. There is a lot of noise in this market. It is what it is. I know what we think inside those four walls and that’s what matters. I’ve got a great relationship with Wink, I don’t know where some of this stuff comes from. I’ll yield to Dabs on what he said on that.

Q. What have you seen from the relationship between Wink and Dabs?

A: In the twenty-two months we’ve been here, it hasn’t changed.

Q. You said that you had a lot of faith in the coaching staff, what are your thoughts on how Dabs has handled the adversity compared to last year? Must’ve been easy compared to coaching this year.

A: Yeah, it’s easy to lead when you’re winning and you’re out front and you’re running out front, it’s easy to lead. I think as we continue to build this, it’s year two, going through adversity, you find out a lot about people and it’s been challenging for everybody in the building, including myself and Dabs, and how you lead when things aren’t going well, I think, is important. And I think Dabs has done a good job. We are starting an undrafted free agent the last two games and we’ve won two games. It’s not easy to keep everybody together, but there is a lot of those guys in the locker room that are under contract for past this season and understand there is a – we are still in it, it’s 2023 and we’re focused on the Packers, but the big picture as well. To go up in front of that team when things aren’t going well or there’s injuries, or whatever it may be, it’s not easy or you trade a veteran player who is a leader in the locker room, that’s not easy. It’s not easy to do, so myself and Dabs as leaders within the organization are still learning as well, but through trying times I think we’ve found out a lot about the people in the building, the players on the roster and that’ll benefit us going forward.

Q: When Leonard talked in Seattle after the trade, he kind of made comments that when he met with you, the way he framed it, it was almost that you gave him a choice as to whether or not he’d be traded to Seattle. Is that how that played out? What was that conversation like?

A: I understand the question. I’ll keep our conversation between Leo and I. Paul (Schwartz), I think it was you that talked to (agent) Brandon Parker. I think he did a wonderful job articulating and mapping out exactly what happened. I’ve got a lot of respect for Leonard. Again, I’ll keep our conversation between us, and I think Brandon did a good job of walking through that process and how that went down.

Q: So, if Leonard said he didn’t want to go to Seattle, you wouldn’t have made that trade?

A: It’s a hypothetical. I’m not going to get into it.

Q: It’s just counterintuitive to how you really carried your first season, not in the relationship aspect of it, but the idea that the team came to you with a second-round pick. With a draft asset like that, the fact that you would put it in a player’s hand, at least that’s how it was portrayed through the agent and through the player.

A: Yeah, and that won’t happen for everybody. It was just Leo and where we were. These aren’t just—as much as you’d like it to be transactional and fantasy football, like, just drop a player, add a player, drop a player, add a player, there’s a human element to it, there’s a locker room element that you’ve got to think about, the ripple effect. Still a lot of games left, so, that was a very difficult decision on many fronts. Just as many pros as cons.

I’ll just keep Leo and I’s conversations between us, but that’s the human element of this job. What makes sense for this franchise moving forward versus relationships, locker room perception, you’ve got to take all that into account.

Q: Going back to something you said earlier about that you learn about people during adversity and whatnot, what have you learned about yourself and what do you feel you can do better moving forward as you approach these last few games and the upcoming offseason?

A: What have I learned about myself? You’ve got to have a good poker face, because as bad as it eats you up inside when things aren’t going well, people are looking to you for confidence and hope that things are going to get better. I know that because I’ve been on the other side of it. My second year in Buffalo, I think we actually were 6-10 and at this point in Buffalo, we had the exact same record that we have here.

You’re always looking to the leaders. Whether it’s my scouts, the coaches, the assistant coaches, that things are going to get better and they’re going to be okay. You’ve got to go through the building on a weekly basis and, ‘Listen, trust the process, trust the plan, we’re going to get this thing going.’ I’ve got a lot of talented people in the building, whether the personnel staff or the coaching staff. You’re going to go through adverse times in the NFL and you’ve got to understand that things are going to be better and trust the process and it takes time. I believe that the staff in there has stuck together and been strong and they understand where we’re going and what the big picture is, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.

Q: Specifically with the quarterback position, with Daniel, I imagine you know what you have in him. That you know what you believe his potential is or what you see, basically what you’ve evaluated him on the last couple of years and throughout his career before you came here. How do you balance the known with the possibility of acquiring an unknown with a different ceiling with something like that?

A: I’m trying to figure out—so, the known of Daniel? I would say—

Q: Like acquiring another player through the Draft or something like that when you don’t necessarily know what his ceiling is because he hasn’t played in the league.

A: There’s always risk. Look at the past however many years of top 10 quarterbacks. I just went through the 2018 Draft and how many of those guys are starters, how many are with different teams? Some are out of the league that were taken in the first round from that draft. It’s not a position you can just evaluate on film, I don’t believe. You’ve got to get with these kids, you’ve got to meet with them, you’ve got to get around them, you’ve got to put them on the board. Can they learn? Can they process information? You’ve got to talk to the people, especially in this market. Bringing a quarterback into this market, I mean, it’s not for everybody. Not everybody can handle it.

But again, it could be a free agent, whatever, we’re going to have to address it at some point. We have a UFA here that we could always sign back. There’re different ways that we could address the position, but there’s no guarantees, as of right now, that Daniel will be ready Week 1. So, that’s how you’ve got to approach it. Who can we bring in that can maybe help us win a couple of games while Daniel gets healthy, or maybe Daniel will be ready Week 1. There’re just some unknowns right now, and we’ll know as we get closer to free agency where he is in his rehab and how we need to approach the offseason.

Q: You talked about your focus on the bigger picture, and everybody still believes in that. From your conversations with ownership, are they still believing in your vision and Brian’s vision and what you guys are going for even though the season hasn’t been what you wanted?

A: Yeah, absolutely. We have constant communication with the Mara family, the Tisch family, and articulate the plan. They’re on board with it. As much as it hurts to go through this, there are a lot of young players that are getting valuable experience. Another offseason, another draft, we will continue to build it. The communication is very helpful. The fact that (President and Chief Executive Officer) John Mara is here on a daily basis, we can explain the ‘why’, why we’re doing things, how we’re going to do them. They’re in the loop and they’re on board.

NOVEMBER 27, 2023 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday (VIDEO):

Q: The players are off all week now, is that correct?

A: Yeah. In here for treatment if they need it. Similar schedule to last year.

Q: What considerations will you give over the next week or 10 days to who’s your next game starting quarterback?

A: We’re just getting started here, we’re just finishing up. Still got a little bit to go, finishing up with the coaches on this game and will work as a coaching staff and discuss a lot of things, look at a lot of things and try to fix some things. That’ll be something, obviously, we talk about as well.

Q: Is it as simple as who gives you the best chance to win or are there other things to consider?

A: I’d say we’re just getting started on that process now. We’ll have plenty of meetings here tonight and tomorrow.

Q: In your mind, do you have a list of things that you prioritize that you want to address in the coming week, and do you have enough time to address them?

A: Yeah, yep. I’ve been working on that for the past couple of weeks here as we get going. Once I get done with this, get back up with the coaches – I looked at the game last night and still have a few more things to do with that, then we’ll get on to some of the self-scout and maybe looking at a couple of other things around the league.

Q: I was just going to ask with the quarterback situation, how much do you factor some continuity and sticking with Tommy versus experience?

A: Yeah, that’s something we’ll talk about. We’ll talk about it all.

Q: What about you personally?

A: I’d say we’ll have all discussions collectively about it and make a decision.

Q: What about an update on the health of (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) and also (tight end) Darren Waller? What are your expectations for those two guys? Do you expect to see them this year?

A: I’d say they’re getting better. We’ll see where they’re at. I haven’t talked to the medical guys yet, but they’ve been getting better.

Q: Do they have a chance of returning after the bye week?

A: We’ll see. Yeah, we’ll see.

Q: There are so many quarterbacks that are drafted in the first round, second round, third round. In their first year, they can’t even operate in the NFL, and you have (quarterback) Tommy (DeVito), I know it’s not perfect, but he’s functioning. What characteristics did he have that have either

developed underneath you or coming out of school where you’re like, ‘this guy might have something’?

A: It’s an important position to try to develop. It’s a hard position. This guy, like I said, since OTAs he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. I thought he’s had two good mentors in there in terms of players. I think (quarterback coach) Shea (Tierney) does an excellent job with him, (offensive coordinator Mike) Kaf(ka) does a great job with him. Him and I meet once a week. We have since OTAs and discussed a lot of different things. I actually just met with him just now right before I came down here. So, he’s got the right mindset, a lot of work to do. He’s a young, young player, but he’s made some progress and he’s done a good job for us.

Q: One thing with him is he doesn’t hesitate to let it rip downfield. How important is that for a quarterback and just for an offense to be able to get those plays?

A: Yeah. See it, let it go. Trust your eyes. I’d say, be intelligently aggressive. I think he had a little fade adjust to go route and they were playing cover two to (wide receiver Jalin) Hyatt on the left-hand side, high level throw. We were just talking about it upstairs. Exactly what he saw and why he went there. He’s got good field vision. Usually when he comes off the sideline, he can articulate what he sees, which is not always the easiest thing, whether it’s for a young quarterback, even older quarterbacks, but ‘hey, I put it here because I saw this guy move, the safety didn’t open his shoulders, he stayed square, he was at 12 yards. I figured I had a chance to get it in there.’ Most of the time, he sees it the way it is after you’re watching on tape, which is always a hard thing to do or you can come off to the sideline and say, ‘hey, this is why I didn’t do this’ or ‘man, I screwed this up. I should have let this one go or got it out a little quicker.’ I think all the reps that he has had the last couple of weeks has helped him. We’ve just got to try to keep improving them.

Q: When you set out your developmental plan you saw Tommy as a developmental prospect, you couldn’t have foreseen what happened ahead of him at the position. Does it hurt that process or has this acceleration almost helped him come along faster because of what you’ve had to do?

A: I think every situation is different. It was different when I had (Bills quarterback) Josh (Allen), it’s different with Tommy. I think the third guy that doesn’t get a ton of reps out there other than he goes over and maybe throws one-on-ones with the tight ends and running backs at times or he goes over there with (Assistant Quarterback Coach Christian Jones) CJ on a separate time and goes through some of the plays in his head. The meetings that I had – I do that because you got to spend so much time with these other quarterbacks to get them ready. It’s a demanding position and it takes a lot to prepare for a game, so you’re devoting everything you got to the first guy, the second guy and you never want the third guy to feel left out at all. So, I think those meetings that we have have been important. I got to know him a little bit. He gets to know me and now when he’s in there, he’s in there with Shea and Kafka all the time, but we still do our stuff. Again, he’s played only a few games and has a long way to go, but he’s got the right mindset. He’s done a good job.

Q: When you saw the schedule come out, I’m sure you look at where things are and where the bye week is, and you saw how late it was. Did you kind of look at it and say, alright, where are we going to be at that point? I know you look at it the first game, but where do you think you are right now even after the two wins at the bye? This is sort of a reset with the 4-8 record.

A: I just say we take a week to week. Look at the stuff we got to look at this week and get ready to play Green Bay.

Q: Is this a reset do you think for you and the team?

A: It’s a bye, so you do the things you do normally during a bye, get healthy, as healthy as you can, and make sure you evaluate some stuff, try to fix certain things and then come back ready to go and get ready for a Monday night game.

Q: Can you talk about the young players that have developed and really been a bright spot for you? The Hyatts, the (cornerback Deonte) Banks, the DeVitos, the (wide receiver) Wan’Dale’s (Robinson) and so forth.

A: Sure, yeah. I mean, look, those guys – it’s a long season. I think from – even guys like (inside linebacker) Micah (McFadden) and (outside linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeaux, that have played quite a bit of football for us. That’s the objective is to get players in your system that you think have a good skillset, the right mindset and play them and get them to improve and those guys have done a good job. (Tight end Daniel) Bellinger, guys who have played behind. (Tight end Darren) Waller’s out, now Bellinger’s in, so those guys have got the right mindset. I think the coaches work hard with them; they work hard to improve but we still need them to keep improving.

Q: I know you said you haven’t met with medical staff yet but how did you come out health wise?

A: Honestly, right now, I don’t know. I’ll meet with those guys later, I’m sure, after you guys are done with (Senior Vice President/General Manager) Joe (Schoen).

Q: I know you downplayed any friction with (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) yesterday but just in your experience, you’ve been in the league a long time, do coaches have to get along? I’m sure there’s times where there’s different personalities and there’s conflict.

A: Look, you’re in a competitive industry so the people you work with, you’ve got a lot of respect for. Everybody’s trying to get the same thing.

Q: One of the finer points of that report, can you assure that Wink will be here?

A: I addressed what I said last night and I’m going to leave it at what I said last night.

Q: Have you had a conversation with Wink about it within the last 24 hours? Between after the game and today.

A: I’m done with that.

Yeah, I just met with Wink a little while ago. We had donuts.

Q: What prompted you giving him the game ball? I’ve never seen you do that.

A: I’ve done that before.

Q: To a coach?

A: Yeah.

Q: Well, why did you give one to Wink yesterday?

A: Because we had another game of three turnovers and held them to seven points.

Q: I’m not sure if you answered the question. Can you say for sure he’ll be the DC for the rest of the season?

A: Guys, I talked (and said) what I said last night. We’re moving on here. Getting ready to for the bye week.

Q: Do you know if (tackle) Evan Neal is going to play again this season?

A: Do I know? Not for certain but I think he’s getting better so I’m hopeful.

Q: If he’s ready to play, will he return to the lineup?

A: This is stuff we’ll all talk about when he’s ready to play. I don’t think he’s ready to play quite yet but he’s getting there.

Q: What do you look to get accomplished over the last 5-6 games of the season?

A: I’m just focused on these next couple of days and looking at our stuff, things we can improve on, and start some Green Bay prep.

Q: Back to the question about the timing of the bye week, do you have to do different things this bye week as opposed to last year when it was earlier? Because it’s so late in the year.

A: I mean, you have more to look at, but you still look at some of the things that you know you want to place an emphasis on improving. So, it’ll probably be about 10-12 tapes that I’ve set up for the defense and offense to watch and four or five for the special teams that those guys will get started on here shortly. We’ll have a normal Monday, we’ll work pretty late tonight, same thing tomorrow. We’ll see what we can get done and get on to Green Bay.

Q: With the increase of Thursday night games, the extra game that you guys are now playing with Week 18, it seems like this year, more so than others, there have been a significant amount of injuries to quarterbacks and to positions all over. Would you be a proponent of a second bye? Do you believe that could potentially help long term?

A: Never thought of it. Yeah, never thought of it.

Q: Answer on the fly.

A: Never thought of it, doesn’t cross my mind. Whatever you can do to minimize injuries.

Q: Are you going to have Tommy do more work this week even though it’s the bye?

A: Yeah, he’ll have his weekend off and stuff like that but I’m sure he’ll be – I know he’ll be doing stuff, we just talked about it. Again, young player, lot to develop in terms of that position, which is important, and I know he’ll work at it.

Q: Like what? What kind of stuff can he do during that time?

A: Watch tape, get ahead on Green Bay, look at his past two games, talk about plays that he really likes, maybe plays he didn’t like during a game, those are some of the main things.

Q: Players will be back Monday? Next Monday.

A: Yeah, yep.

Q: And you’ll shift the schedule probably because of the Monday night game?

A: Yeah, so right now, tentatively it’ll be – and this is kind of a ramp up too with the training staff. I’ve still got to meet with the medical staff, but this is tentatively. Monday, we’ll kind of get back in, we’ll do a little bit of a walkthrough. Tuesday will be similar to a Wednesday but an additional walkthrough with it. Wednesday will be a Wednesday. Thursday will be a Tuesday so that will be the players day off like we’ve done in the past. Friday will be a Thursday; Saturday will be a Friday. Got all that?

That’s tentatively. I want to meet with (Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) and the rest of the trainers and make sure and the sports science people but that’s kind of what we have mapped out, starting last weekend to now.

Q: One thing that happened today was (Former Panthers Head Coach) Frank Reich was fired. I was wondering is less than a year –

A: Frank was?

Q: Yeah, is less than a year a fair amount of time for any coach?

A: You’re asking the wrong guy; I’m just trying to do the best job I can. Never like to see that with any of the guys you know.

Q: Is it too late to change anything? Moving forward on how your processes or your practice schedule or anything like that to get the guys through the rest of the year?

A: No, we do that every week. Yeah, every week.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
With the Giants in their bye week, there is no availability to the team from November 28 to December 3.

Aug 312023
 
Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll, New York Giants (August 26, 2023)

Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

GENERAL MANAGER JOE SCHOEN AND HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Joe Schoen’s and Brian Daboll’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

GIANTS SIGN TWO MORE PLAYERS TO THE PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed running back Taiwan Jones and offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield to the Practice Squad, meeting the 16-man limit.

The 35-year old, 6’0”, 195-pound Jones was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. He has spent time with the Raiders (2011-2017), Buffalo Bills (2017-2018), Houston Texans (2019), and Bills again (2020-2022). Jones has played in 137 regular-season games with no starts, carrying the ball just 53 times for 223 yards and no touchdowns. He has also caught 19 passes for 260 yards and one touchdown. Jones was a special teams captain in Buffalo.

The 23-year old, 6’5”, 320-pound Mayfield was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. He played tackle in college but the Falcons named him their starting left guard during his rookie season when he started 16 games. Mayfield missed all of 2022 with a lower back injury. The Falcons waived him on Tuesday.

INJURY REPORT…
CB Aaron Robinson (ACL) remains on the Reserve/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List from the Active/PUP List. TE Tommy Sweeney (unknown) remains on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List.

WR Parris Campbell (rest day), WR Cole Beasley (quad), TE Lawrence Cager (ankle), LB Cam Brown (ankle), CB Cor’Dale Flott (hamstring), and S Gervarrius Owens (hamstring) did not practice.

RB Gary Brightwell (knee) and S Bobby McCain (concussion) returned to practice.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off until Monday, when they return to practice to prepare for the opening game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Jul 262023
 
Brian Daboll and Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (July 26, 2023)

Brian Daboll and Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 26, 2023 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their first summer training camp practice of the year on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

“Today was really go out there and compete,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice. “There’s going to be a lot of mistakes that’ll be made. We’re going to try to put you in difficult situations; move on to the next play as quick as you can. Support your teammates. Go out there and play as hard and smart as you can. Again, today is kind of page one of the of the 2023 season. A long way to go, let’s just take it day by day and get better each day.”

ABSENTEES AND INJURY REPORT…
The following players began training camp on injury or did-not-report lists:

  • Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: WR Sterling Shepard (ACL), WR Wan’Dale Robinson (ACL), OG Marcus McKethan (ACL), DL A’Shawn Robinson (meniscus), DL D.J. Davidson (ACL), and CB Aaron Robinson (ACL)
  • Active/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List: WR Jamison Crowder (calf)
  • Reserve/Did-Not-Report List: DL Vernon Butler

WR Jalin Hyatt (illness and heat related) left practice early with trainers, but later returned.

DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches suffered a concussion in a car accident while leaving the team’s facility. He is currently in the concussion protocol.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The focus of Day 1 of training camp was 7-on-7 and some 11-on-11 red zone drills. The players are not in full pads yet.
  • Bobby Okereke and Darrian Beavers started at inside linebacker.
  • The starting defensive backs were CB Adoree’ Jackson, CB Deonte Banks, slot CB Darnay Holmes, S Xavier McKinney, and S Jason Pinnock.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, QB Daniel Jones scrambled and threw a touchdown pass to RB Saquon Barkley, who made a fully-extended, toe-dragging catch for the score against S Xavier McKinney.
  • TE Darren Waller stood out throughout practice as the defense had problems covering him. Waller made a juggling catch in traffic near the goal line on a pass from QB Daniel Jones. Jones later connected with Waller for two more touchdowns.
  • Both TE Darren Waller and WR Parris Campbell were used out of the backfield.
  • QB Daniel Jones threw a dart to WR Parris Campbell for a touchdown (Jones connected with Campbell on two scores). Jones then threw another dart to WR Cole Beasley on a slant pattern for a touchdown against CB Darnay Holmes. Beasley received a lot of first-team reps.
  • QB Daniel Jones threw a touchdown to a diving TE Daniel Bellinger in the corner of the end zone.
  • First-team offensive line was LT Andrew Thomas, LG Joshua Ezeudu, OC Ben Bredeson, RG Mark Glowinski, and RT Evan Neal.
  • QB Daniel Jones scored on a designed run on the edge of the defense.
  • WR Jalin Hyatt flashed his speed on an end-around for a touchdown.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, QB Daniel Jones threw a touchdown to WR Isaiah Hodgins against CB Deonte Banks.
  • QB Tyrod Taylor threw three touchdowns to David Sills, and one each to WR Kalil Pimpleton and WR Collin Johnson.
  • WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton flashed and caught a touchdown pass from QB Tommy Devito.
  • QB Tommy Devito also threw two touchdowns to WR Jaydon Mickens and another to RB James Robinson.
  • ILB Micah McFadden and S Dane Belton broke up a passes.
  • TE Lawrence Cager also caught a touchdown pass.
  • One caveat with all of the touchdown passes. Some came after the quarterback was forced to hold onto the ball because no one was open.

GENERAL MANAGER JOE SCHOEN AND HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Joe Schoen’s and Brian Daboll’s press conference on Wednesday 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…
The New York Giants practice Thursday morning (10:00-11:45AM). The practice is open to the public. Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.

Apr 202023
 
Joe Schoen, New York Giants (December 4, 2023)

Joe Schoen – © USA TODAY Sports

GENERAL MANAGER JOE SCHOEN 2023 PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants General Manager Joe Schoen held the team’s annual pre-draft press conference on Thursday. The following is the transcript from the event (the VIDEO is also available courtesy of Giants.com):

JOE SCHOEN: Go ahead and fire away. I’ll let you know if there’s anything new.

Q. Just tell us who you’re drafting, and we’ll leave.

JOE SCHOEN: I wish I knew. I’m trying to figure out. 25 it’s a little bit harder than 5 and 7 to come up with names.

Q. What position group?

JOE SCHOEN: That’s a good question. I mean, there’s depth at different parts throughout the draft at all positions, so it’s hard to pinpoint one.

Again, based on where you’re picking, like if you’re at a certain part of the draft, there may be a run on four or five players in that draft. So, the top of the draft at a certain position, then it’s gone, and now there’s no longer depth at that position. I think there’s position and value across all positions throughout the draft just depending on where you’re picking, but I’m not going to identify one being stronger than the other. Just where the value matches up with where you have them on the board.

Q. What do you think about the idea that especially — in the first round and you don’t have an exorbitant number of first rounders compared to the past?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, again, I don’t know where everybody else has people on their board. I know we’re going through the process now of who may or may not be there, and we’re pretty confident that there will be a player there that we like.

Q. Do you have 25 first round grades?

JOE SCHOEN: I’m not going to get into how many first-round grades that we have. We have guys in the first round that we like, and we are pretty confident that there will be somebody there when we pick at 25 that we’ll be happy with.

Q. Looking at COVID, an extra year of eligibility, does that help or hurt this draft, given some of these guys are now older prospects?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, there are more players when we were going through it that are 24, 25 years old that we don’t usually see. You see it sometimes at certain schools. But there are more of those players. We look at each individual case-by-case basis, and if there’s an injury history or they are a smaller school or whatever it may be on the player and does that affect their age or their position. We look at them on an individual basis. Rarely does that come into play and deter us from drafting somebody.

Q. Where do things stand with Saquon (Barkley)? are you still negotiating?

JOE SCHOEN: No, nothing has changed since we talked, whatever that was, three weeks ago, four weeks ago. Nothing has changed since we talked at the owner’s meetings.

Q. How about with Dexter (Lawrence II)?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, after I talked to Dexter’s representatives this week, dialogue’s good there. So yeah, I’ve talked to him. Again, it’s hard this time of year. We’re deep into the draft and the draft prep so — but yeah, we have had good conversations with Dexter’s representatives, and we’ll see where that stands moving forward.

Q. With Saquon, do you have a next contract offer in your head?

JOE SCHOEN: I’m just going to get through the draft right now. Again, my focus right now is totally on that. So, there’s no rush right now. I just want to get through the draft and step back after that and see what the roster looks like, and then go from there.

Q. Knowing that you’ve said on the record that you want to get something done and you’re negotiating, is it disappointing at all that Dexter chose not to come here, or are you fine with that and that you would rather not be here when you’re going through this?

JOE SCHOEN: What was the quote, “it’s April 17th”? I’m not going to give you that. It’s voluntary. If Dexter chooses not to be there, that’s his decision. Dexter knows how we feel about him, and he knows he’s an important part of the organization, and there’s a business side to it, too. But him showing up for the off-season program is voluntary.

Q. You guys have obviously discussions with Saquon previously and there have been numbers widely reported, and free agency seems to have changed the running back market dramatically. Does that then alter your approach in terms of how much you may or may not be willing to devote to that position in terms of finances?

JOE SCHOEN: When we had the conversations with Saquon, it was known that we were going to get to a certain point, and then we were going to move on and regroup at some other time. So it was before free agency started, so no, that has not really affected anything we talked about.

Q. The tag is obviously a one-year deal — does that impact how you approach running backs in the draft?

JOE SCHOEN: No. There are players at all positions that are in the mix at 25, and I’m not going to rule any position out.

Q. Can you add realistically, add ten more, at least, rookies to your roster or would you like to package some of those to move up, so you have less than ten picks or trade a pick for a veteran player rather than have ten more young guys on an already young roster?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, that’s a good question, and we’ll see how the draft plays out. I mean, right now we have ten. So, we have go through it, and if there’s somebody we want to move up for we have some extra draft capital to do that. If we want to move back and collect some, we can do that, too. Again, you have to look at the roster, not just today but 2024, 2025, who is coming up. Again, financially there are players making a pretty good chunk of money on our team and some contracts on the horizon potentially. So yeah, those young cost-controlled players for four years that can be contributors, whether that’s a role on offense or defense, four core special teams guys. I think it’s important to continue to build depth and competition, and that’s what we’ll try to do with those picks.

Q. Will you try to trade for a veteran guy like you did with (Darren) Waller?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, we’ll always pursue any type of opportunity to better the roster, whether it’s trade, draft, late-round, college, free agency, whatever it is, definitely.

Q. How important is it when you look at the roster and the draft, when you look at roster duplication, where you think, for example: We have a smaller slot receiver, we don’t need to get another one; we have this kind of a slot cornerback, we don’t need to get another one; or do you say, no, no, we are just going to get the guys in and we’ll figure it out?

JOE SCHOEN: There’s a little bit of that on offense. I think Dabs, that’s one of his strengths and Mike Kafka, taking the pieces that you have and trying to accentuate what they do best. We have had a really good dialogue with the coaches all week. We’re still doing it. We did it all morning. Certain players, and just going through what their role and utilization will be on the roster, first-down, second-down, third, what’s their fourth-down value. If there’s any discrepancies or questions from our part on what their role will be, we try to clear the air now on that. So come Draft day, we’ve had all these conversations, and again, it’ there’s a certain value, how they will be utilized. They come in different size, shapes, speeds, but we are going through all those conversations right now.

Q. As far as like receivers and things like that, there’s a big group of them — is that somewhere where you say, look, let’s bring them all in and we’ll figure it out?

JOE SCHOEN: Yes, the offense has a very defined plan on how they are going to utilize certain positions, and it makes it easy to go scout players for them. Again, we are going through all those players that you’re talking about regardless of position, regardless of what they look like physically, and trying to figure out what their fit would be with the team and what their role would be.

Q. Knowing that you had the coaches going out and actually getting the pro days, whereas a lot of the last year, Brian was getting the staff together and they weren’t able to get out as much?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, the coaches have done a tremendous job. They are a big help and big part of the process. I think it’s important to consensus-build throughout the building and again when you draft a player, if the coaches don’t want him, the chances of success a lot of times are slim.

So we like to do our due diligence in all the prospects, and the more you can be around them, I think it puts you at ease when you turn in the card for those prospects that you’ve been around them a lot and you know exactly what you’re getting with your investment.

Q. What about your staff? Again, you were just coming in and getting everything together and making changes, how much more comfortable are you with the changes that you’ve made and are they that much different than what you did last year?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, it’s great, more time on task. Going through more situations with these — some of the personnel, whether it’s Brandon Brown (Assistant GM), Tim McDonnell (Director of Player Personnel), Dennis Hickey (Assistant director of player personnel); Chris Rossetti, our pro (scouting) director came in from Miami. So going through kind of a cycle, a personnel cycle whether it was draft, free agency or whatever it may be, you kind of get to know strengths and weaknesses of your scouts. So yeah, again, after going through it for a year, I definitely feel more comfortable this year going into it than a year ago.

Q. Going back to Buffalo for a second, in 2020 when you drafted Gabe Davis what traits did you prioritize and how did you protect a fourth-round receiver to be a starter in the league?

JOE SCHOEN: With Gabe it started with his makeup. He was off the charts with the way he learned, the ability to move him around, his work ethic, checked all those boxes, and he was a very productive receiver at Central Florida. Again, that was the COVID draft. I remember I was in my basement when that happened. It’s not always what you can see on film, and I think that’s why we go and spend so much time with these kids is to try to figure out what’s the makeup. Because when you get to this level everybody’s good; what’s going to give you the competitive advantage. Why is a fourth- or fifth-round player going to make it: Is it their work ethic; is their tireless pursuit of being great, whatever it may be, you try to identify those traits through this process, whether it’s bringing them in on 30 visits, going and seeing them. We talked to a bunch of coaches this week around the country, whether head coaches, position coaches or coordinators and getting as much information as you can on why this kid can be successful, and Gabe was one of those players.

Q. What have you learned about the top of this wide receiver class throughout this process and those interactions?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, it’s a good group of receivers draft the top of the draft, depending how you have them ranked. Everybody’s got different strengths and weaknesses, and again I think there’s a lot of talented players in the draft. And it goes back to what I was just saying with Pat’s question is identify what’s going to separate those guys from the pack and what makes them great. Again, every year I think there’s 20-plus receivers that are drafted, and how many truly go on to have success, you know, that’s what we’re trying to figure out.

Q. How do you determine who you bring in for Top 30 visits and what’s the value of that to you?

JOE SCHOEN: Some of its elimination. Maybe we need to confirm there’s some uneasiness with a player and confirm they are not a fit, or how will they pick up our system; our offense is very complicated. Or sometimes it can be medical; if they are non-combine to get the medical. There are varying reasons for why we bring players in. But again, it’s a great opportunity not to just to get them around myself and Daboll and the coaches, but the rest of our support staff, training staff, strength staff, nutrition, whatever it may be. It’s just good to be around these players as much as you can.

Q. You talk a lot about the alignment for a full year with the coaches and scouts and the division. How different is your board this year because of that alignment than maybe a year ago where you didn’t have that hundred percent alignment? Do you think about that and how much does that shape where you guys are going forward?

JOE SCHOEN: I wouldn’t say we weren’t aligned a year ago. It was just trying to get a grasp on how the players were going to be utilized in Wink’s system. So, I wouldn’t say we weren’t aligned. We ended up, there’s consensus building, but there’s definitely after going through a full season and a training camp and seeing it applied, how he’s going to utilize players. There’s a better comfort level, not just myself but even Dabs. Dabs had never worked with Wink, either; as we’re going through it, how he’s going to utilize players first down, second down, third down. So yeah, there’s definitely a better comfort level this year, but I wouldn’t say we weren’t necessarily aligned last year.

Q. I didn’t mean that necessarily. You’ve talked about Wink and knowing what Wink and just knowing what Wink wants and how that changes maybe the way you scout players.

JOE SCHOEN: Absolutely.

Q. So for you as a scout at heart, how does that change what you’re looking for you may look at a certain guy because you — have what you may think overall?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, we’ve had to retrain a little bit how we look at different positions or the value we put on them based off Wink’s system, and I think that’s what’s most important is what is the value for the Giants and how do we see them and how they are going to be utilized, which we are still having those conversations. We definitely had to retrain how we think about some things at different positions and what the value of those traits are that we covet and where those align in the draft. But definitely feel better going into it this year in terms of what exactly he’s looking for.

Q. Where in this process have you spoken directly with Saquon?

JOE SCHOEN: Nothing’s changed since we talked at the owner’s meetings. There’s nothing new. I haven’t talked to him.

Q. When you draft at the back of the draft, where you are this time, how do you define what a successful draft pick, five years from now when you look at a player, how would you define success?

JOE SCHOEN: We like to look at the play time over three years. Usually, it’s over three years what their play time is, their contribution, whether they developed into a starter, that’s obviously a hit; if they turn into a good starter, that’s good. That’s what you strive for. But there’s also role players and there’s really good special teams players that you value.

So again, it’s their role. It’s their fit on the team, their contribution over that four-year period, but usually after three years you know if they are a contributor or not and there’s going to be different types of contributions.

Q. You mentioned changing positions — what position have you personally changed your outlook the most on the way you evaluate?

JOE SCHOEN: It’s really the front seven. It’s just a different defense than I’ve been in. It’s really the front seven.

Q. Is there a danger to that? You’re building a team for the next three, four, five, six, seven years. Wink may not be here; he almost went this off-season. Is there a danger to drafting for a coach?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, it’s actually something that Coach Parcells told me a long time ago. He told me, “Coaches come and go. You need to draft good football players.” Yeah, you don’t want to get too pigeonholed into scheme-specific, because then, you’re right, if Wink gets a head job a year from now and you bring somebody else in that runs a totally different defense, you a scheme-specific player. Part of our job is to balance that. Like is this guy, again, add value. Like, he’s only going to fit this one scheme. And yeah, Wink’s got a really good chance to get a head coaching job. If he moves on and we change things up, then yeah, you definitely have to balance that and be aware of that.

Q. You obviously have your starting quarterback locked up but are you somebody who would like to have a young developmental quarterback on the team and also, I say that because there seems to be a thought around the league that Brock Purdy has changed, maybe reemphasized the idea that teams — you pick day three quarterback and see what happens going forward?

JOE SCHOEN: I would just say right now we are happy with Tyrod. Tyrod is the backup. I think we are in good shape right there.

Q. You don’t have a third quarterback, right?

JOE SCHOEN: We had Davis Webb last year. We’ll continue to look whether it’s a veteran free agent or somebody in the draft or post-draft, whoever it may be. Yeah, we’ll have three quarterbacks in camp.

Q. Where do you see your O-Line? Are you comfortable where that is right now?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I think we have 14 offensive linemen under contract right now. So no different than the owner’s meetings, what I told you guys.

Q. Do you remain optimistic that Saquon will be on the field for you at the start of the season? From the outside looking in, it doesn’t seem like an obvious resolution.

JOE SCHOEN: You have to ask him. I’m not sure. I don’t know what his plan is. I haven’t talked to him in probably three weeks.

Q. From your experience before you got here, talking about Buffalo, you were on the road a lot there, scouting prospects, and I know when you go to pro days and stuff, you’re not just looking at guys who are in that current draft. Curious, now, in this process, are there guys, do you go back to your notes from two years ago where guys may have stood out to you when you were on campus, someone may have said something to you, and has that factored into your evaluation of guys that are now available to be drafted?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, for sure. I actually went through some of my books. There are some guys in this draft that I know I wrote in Buffalo. I meant to call Brandon and get some of those. I can’t find them. Yeah, definitely, I was on the road a lot more. Probably see 50 schools a year when I was in Buffalo. When players do go back to school that are now in this draft it is helpful because you have a previous exposure to the player if I wasn’t able to get out and see them this year. There were definitely some definite benefits to the amount of work that I was able to do in Buffalo. It’s still paying off.

Q. On Dexter, when a position’s market keeps resetting in the off-season, how do you balance as a GM not letting that dictate what you pay but also trying to properly pay the player?

JOE SCHOEN: We have a formula that we have in place in terms of coming up with the value of players based on various factors. So, you know we stay true to that when we are coming up with value, whether that’s free agency, contract extensions, whatever it may be. We have a formula that we like to stick to.

Q. Enter that equation —

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, same deal. Any time you’re paying a player, whether it’s inside the building or outside the building, we come up with a value of what we think is fair. You create a case on why you see the value is where it is. Again, takes two to get a deal done.

Q. Is Bijan Robinson the best back in this class, and how do you feel about running backs in the first round?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I think there are several good backs in the draft. And again, if it’s a good player and a team decides to take them, and they have success for their system, then I don’t think you can go wrong with taking good football players. I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into saying I would never take a certain position in the first round. It’s a good running back class. It’s got some depth to it, and Bijan is a good player.

Q. When you’re constructing your roster, how much of your decision-making is impacted by your own system but combating what division rivals and competitors do well?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I think you always have to look at that because that’s the ultimate goal is to win the division. When you are building your team, you obviously want to give the coaches what they want in order to run their schemes and execute their schemes at a high level. But you also have to look at the division, I reflect on when I was in Miami, and they had Gronk all those years. You’re looking for some sort of linebacker that can match up and cover Gronk, and it was just impossible to find somebody that could do that. So, if there are players or schemes, or whatever it may be throughout the division, you’re always looking at that and studying and seeing how you can maybe counter one of their strengths.

Q. One of your traits is you’re able to separate emotion from team building, but when you have a player that’s been a good Giant but maybe financially or when team building resources, it doesn’t make sense, do you find you’re good at separating those two things, and if so, where did you learn that trait?

JOE SCHOEN: Not really. No, it’s tough. Again, these guys are around, they work hard, and we had a heck of a season last year and you become close with them, and it’s hard. But there is — you have to separate it. I’m not going to say I’m good at it there’s a human element on both sides, for them and myself. But there is a business side to it. And yeah, again, in a perfect world there’s no salary cap, and you can make everybody happy and pay everybody. But you know, that’s something I haven’t been through before. Last year, we didn’t extend anybody from our roster. It was signing some people outside the building. After going through a season with the players, and then this next step of the process whether it’s extending or players leaving the organization, yeah, the human element, that part stinks because you do like all these guys, and you know they put in a lot of work for you, and you know, again starting this time last year. So it’s tough to separate the business end and the human element. The way Dabs and I are around the building and getting to know the players, maybe we do that more than most. But you do become attached for sure.

Q. Your philosophy on trading up, curious what your philosophy on that is? Would you be hesitant to dip into next year’s draft class?

JOE SCHOEN: I’d be open to any of that. I’m never going to rule it out. If it’s the right player and the value aligns, I’d move up. If it was a future pick, I would do that, too. Last year, just where we were financially, we needed as many depth pieces as we can. So, moving back a couple times last year just made sense. It got us some more bodies that — so that was a little bit of the thought process that went into that.

Q. How much has the big play receiver changed in the sense that when I was younger, it was a big guy who could run fast and catch a 40-yard pass. Now is it somebody who can attach 15-yard pass and make it a 40-yard pass?

JOE SCHOEN: That can be part of it. I think both of your comments are correct. If you have got a guy that can take the top off and throw the ball down the field and goes up and gets it like a Randy Moss, then you’d love to have that; or if it’s Steve Smith in Carolina, you throw a slant, and he can take it 80. Any time you can generate yards after a catch, I think that helps you. You don’t have to do the 15, 16-play drives. Maybe now it’s six because a guy had a 50-yarder in there. I think all those things are important when you’re looking at the receiver.

Q. The center better position in this draft — you don’t have anybody on your roster that has extensive experience as a starter. How important is it for you to add to that position in the draft whether, whatever portion of the draft and what do you think of that group in particular?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I think there’s some depth in the draft, but I don’t think we have to. Again, we have these meetings. As soon as the Eagles game was over, that week, we had meetings and we went into the off-season: If we can’t get Nick (Gates) back; if we didn’t get (Jon) Feliciano back, what does it look like. You know, talking with the coaching staff and the personnel staff, there’s people in house third page are available candidates for that: You know, Ben Bredeson, Jack (Anderson), Shane Lemieux, JC Hassenauer we just signed a week ago. So there’s guys that there that have played center, have played games, and you know, it will be good competition.

Mar 282023
 
Joe Schoen, New York Giants (February 28, 2023)

Joe Schoen – © USA TODAY Sports

JOHN MARA, JOE SCHOEN, AND BRIAN DABOLL AT NFL MEETING…
New York Giants President/CEO John Mara, General Manager Joe Schoen, and Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media at the NFL Annual Meeting on Tuesday:

  • President/CEO John Mara (Video)
  • General Manager Joe Schoen (Video)
  • Head Coach Brian Daboll (Video)

BOBBY McCAIN PRESS CONFERENCE…
Safety Bobby McCain, who the Giants signed as a free agent after he was cut by the Washington Commanders, addressed the media last Thursday. The transcript of this press conference is available in The Corner Forum, while the video is available on YouTube.

Mar 082023
 
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (August 11, 2022)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

DANIEL JONES ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones addressed the media on Wednesday, the day after he signed a new 4-year, $160 million contract with the team (VIDEO):

Q: There’s a lot of different aspects that go into a contract. What was most important to you about the way this was structured? Was it the average value? The length? The guaranteed (money)? Take us through your thoughts on that a little bit.

A: There’s several really key components to it. And I think going in, it wasn’t really one thing or the other. I think it was the overall deal and how it worked together and how they balanced each other out. So, I don’t think there was one thing that was overidingly more important than the others. I think it was more about the balance of the deal and putting all those things together in the best way we could.

Q: How did negotiations work for you? I don’t think you were sitting down at the table with (senior vice president of football operations & strategy) Kevin (Abrams) and (general manager) Joe (Schoen). How did the communication work as far as you with your agents, your new agents? Can you take us through what that process was like?

A: I was certainly communicating with them a lot and talking to them, getting updates after their conversations with the Giants. And I was keeping pretty close touch with all that. I thought they did a great job.

Q: Was there ever a point where you thought it might not get done? Joe Schoen told us last week that he saw you in the facility on Monday, and he kind of told you, ‘This is your first negotiation. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.’ Did it get worse before it got better?

A: Yeah, it’s my first time going through it. There’s certainly an emotional component to it as well, and we went up to the deadline, as you know. But it was good. I think there were probably some points where you had more confidence and some points in time where you had less confidence. But I wanted to find a way to work it out, and that was the goal. It was very much my mindset, and I’m glad we did. I’m thrilled to be back.

Q: Obviously, your contract is your contract. And you’re entitled to go for as much as you can, but how cognizant were you of what you get maybe takes from others? And you and (running back) Saquon (Barkley) were linked here as far as franchise tags and things like that?

A: In a situation like this, you’re trying to do what’s best for you and your family while also balancing being part of a team and understanding the goals and vision that we have as a team and as an organization. That was certainly important to me throughout the deal. And I think we found a way to do both those things and to do it the right way for both sides. That was certainly important to me. Saquon – I’ve said it, he means a ton to me as a teammate, as a friend. And he means a ton to us as a player. So, I won’t talk about his business. But that was a piece of it, too.

Q: There have already been, this morning, columns that said, ‘Oh, Daniel’s paid like a franchise quarterback. Now he needs to prove that he is one.’ Do you feel any added pressure, added responsibility, with the new deal?

A: I’ve always felt that responsibility. And playing this position, especially for a team like the New York Giants and this city, you have that responsibility. And I take that very seriously. It certainly doesn’t change. I certainly do feel that, and it’s my goal to earn that every day and in the offseason while we’re preparing for the season and when we get to the season, doing my best and preparing this team to win games and me to put us in a position to do that. Yeah, I take that responsibility very seriously.

Q: You obviously have mentioned, seemingly everyone has mentioned, how close you guys got to a deadline yesterday. From your perspective, emotionally, did you take any time after you got that, ‘Okay, it’s agreed upon,’ and thought about what this process was like? I can’t imagine it’s been easy, especially the last week or so?

A: I certainly did. Yeah, just super grateful for the opportunity and grateful to the Mara family and the Tisch family. And just to be part of this organization has meant a ton to me. It’s been an honor to represent the team. Just very grateful for that and grateful for all the people that helped me get this opportunity along the way: my family, my friends, teammates, coaches, everybody. So, definitely took some time to think about that. I talked to a lot of people. I haven’t talked to everybody yet. Just very grateful.

Q: People always admire the way you’re able to stay even-keel. Was it more challenging to prevent your emotions from getting involved here and riding a bit of a rollercoaster, especially down the final minutes or final hours of what was going on here?

A: There’s certainly an emotional component to it. And you feel the pressure of the deadline. I think we all felt that. And I did as well. I wanted to be here, like I said. And I’m glad we got it worked out. It was always my goal to get it worked out. I’m glad we did.

Q: How did you celebrate this? And how was coming to an agreement on something like this different than being drafted?

A: I had dinner last night with some friends and my agents. Just grateful to have the opportunity to be back. I think it’s similar to being drafted. It’s an opportunity to play, but also an opportunity to go earn it and to prove it and continue to improve as a player and win a lot of football games. That’s my goal, and I’m tremendously excited about the opportunity. But there’s certainly a lot of work to do going forward, and I’m excited for that part of it, too.

Q: Was it at all strange to be in these intense negotiations knowing that no matter the outcome, you were still going to be a Giant? And why is it more valuable to you to be on this long-term deal than on the (franchise) tag? One of the things, you might have lost Saquon if you didn’t get a deal done. But why was that so important to you?

A: Well, I think it’s better for the team. It gives us a little more flexibility, and that’s an important component to it. I wanted to be here. I wanted to find a way to work it out so that it was good for both sides, and it worked. And it allowed us to have an opportunity to do what’s best for us going forward. So, I think that was a key component to it. I think we did that.

Q: I think the question when you mentioned dinner is did you pick up the check then after signing that kind of deal? Was that an expectation there at that point?

A: (Laughs) Yeah, I picked up the tab.

Q: The numbers that were thrown out there throughout the process, there were some big numbers thrown out there, how much did you hear that? And how important was the $40 million mark for you?

A: I think I saw some of that. There was plenty of numbers thrown out. Some may have been true; some may not have been true. It’s a negotiation. That’s part of it. But I’m glad with where we ended up, and I’m excited about it. I’m excited for the opportunity. I think it’s a great deal for both sides and allows us to do some things going forward and continue to grow and improve.

Q: Was that $40 million a benchmark number for you at all? Or was that an exaggeration as well?

A: I think, as I said earlier, it’s more about the deal as a whole – each piece of it fitting together in the best way it could.

Q: Since this was your first time, you obviously have a lot of contacts around the league. (Former Giants quarterback) Eli’s (Manning) in the building. Did you talk to any quarterbacks or any players who have gone through this before for the first time to kind of get a feel for how things would go? Or did you pretty much rely on what your agents had to say?

A: Yeah, I spoke to Eli before the process started and a little bit during. And he gave me some good advice. I think his message was just that things, they’ll work out how they’re supposed to. One day, you’re going to feel good about it. One day, not as good. But just to keep working. Like I said, we had the goal the whole time to get it worked out. So, I’m glad we did. But he gave me some advice. I leaned on my agents and my family, certainly.

Q: Did you talk to any other players that have gone through this, whether it be teammates, veteran teammates, guys you played in college with or anything like that to get some advice?

A: Certainly, my current teammates and some guys who have been through it. I would say I leaned heavily on my agents and my family.

Q: Where were you physically when you found out the deal was done? How did you find out? Do you remember what time it was?

A: I was in the building. I think it was 3:53 or 3:54, something like that. It was right up next to the deadline.

Q: Who did you find out from? Did your agent call you or just find you in the hallway? Or how did that happen? Were you in the room?

A: They told me. My agent told me where it was, and I accepted it. So, it was exciting. Like I said, very grateful, very appreciative about the opportunity.

Q: Why was it important for you to change agencies? And did you feel like the time it took for you to do that put some pressure on both sides to kind of make it happen in a short amount of time?

A: I’m certainly very grateful and appreciative of CAA and have some really strong relationships with those guys. I just thought this was the best thing for me going forward to work with Athletes First. And it was great working with them. I think we worked hard these last few weeks to get it done. And I don’t want to speculate on how it would’ve gone if it was different. You never really know. But we got it done, and we’re here. We’re excited about it. I’m excited to be back.

Q: Did you have any conversations with the Giants about going out and getting a number one receiver, adding to the receiving corps? Was part of you committing here long-term a commitment and a belief that they were going to go and further upgrade your weapons in the passing game so that you could go and earn it and prove it?

A: I think that’s a question probably for Joe (Schoen) and Dabs (head coach Brian Daboll). So, none of that was discussed specifically. We were focused on my deal, and I was focused on my business and getting the deal done. And I’m excited about it.

Q: Was there ever a moment – during the season, after the season, during these negotiations – where you had to say to yourself, ‘I might not be a Giant long-term,’?

A: I think it was always my goal to be back here and to be here long-term. I’ve really enjoyed being here. I think it’s a special place. It’s a special organization to be a part of. So, it was always my goal and my hope that we’d find a way to work it out and that they’d bring me back. I’m excited about that. I think you go through times where you’re more confident, times where you’re less confident. But it was always my goal and hope to be back.

Q: I heard what you said toward the beginning about Saquon, but you’ll forgive me if I ask you yet another question about Saquon Barkley. Is it your expectation that you’re handing off the ball to him in September and he’s a teammate and he’s also happy with everything going on with the Giants? You know him better than most.

A: I’ll let Saquon speak for himself. He’s meant a ton to me as a teammate, as a player. He’s a tremendous part of what we’re doing. So, he’s a big part of this team. I’ll let him speak about his business. He means a lot to me. I’ve loved playing with him.

Q: I assume it’s taken weeks or months to get this contract together. Did they tell you how long it’s going to take to dot all the ‘I’s and cross the ‘T’s until you can finally put your signature on it? Or have you done that yet?

A: Yeah, I signed it last night.

Q: Do you have any part in how much your cap hit will be? Or is that something you leave to Joe and the agents or whatever?

A: I think that’s something that I let them figure out. I’m not an expert with any of that stuff or how it all works. So, I let them handle that.

JOE SCHOEN ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants General Manager Joe Schoen addressed the media on Wednesday to discuss quarterback Daniel Jones as well as other team personnel issues (VIDEO):

Q: Now that everything is done, could you bring us inside the negotiations a little bit? Obviously, it went up to the deadline. It was a lot of talks in the last week or so. What were the sticking points, and what brought it over the goal line?

A: It started roughly, I think it was three weeks ago today, when Athletes First, their group flew out here. We had a dinner initially. They were actually in the building Thursday, Friday, for a couple of days. We started our initial conversations then. And then we kind of went remote after that up until the Combine. So, we were in constant communication with them. I use that ‘It’s going to get worse before it gets better.’ We started off; we were far apart. Then, just over the days, weeks, hours, we eventually got closer. It pretty much came all the way down to the finish line, I think. Literally, it was like 3:54. The deal got done. And there was a lot of moving parts to it. But without getting into the details of the sticking points and whatnot, I thought for the most part, at the end of the day, we’d get a deal done. Again, I said it all along that franchising him wasn’t best for the franchise and it wasn’t best for (quarterback) Daniel (Jones). So, at the end of the day, I was pleased to get it done. It definitely went up to the wire.

Q: You talk a lot about walkaway numbers and lines in the sand. Did you have to slide that at all as the clock was ticking yesterday? Or did you hold firm at whatever that number was in your mind throughout the process?

A: All the way to the end, you’re not going to get everything you want in a negotiation. Rarely is that ever going to happen. I think that goes for both sides. There was give and take. People were standing firm on what was most important for each side. At the end of the day, each side had to give a little bit. That’s why it went down to the wire. We’re happy we were able to get it done.

Q: You came in here with Dabs (head coach Brian Daboll) and were evaluating everybody and certainly did not have to fall in love with Daniel Jones as a quarterback. You didn’t draft him. By giving him this deal, are you saying that you feel you can win a Super Bowl with him?

A: Yeah, that’s the goal. Everybody’s goal is to win a Super Bowl. I think Daniel, he played well his rookie year. He played well for us this past year. I think the coaching staff has confidence in him. As an organization, we have a confidence in him. We’re going to continue to build the team around him. That’s the ultimate goal.

Q: Would you say that this contract is about what he can do rather than what he has done? Because around the league, a lot of people look at this and say, ‘Daniel Jones – $40 million a year? No way.’ And they just recite numbers that show he’s not a $40 million a year quarterback. So, why is he?

A: We can’t worry about what people are saying outside the building. All we care about is inside these walls. And we’ve got a very talented, experienced coaching staff and a very talented personnel staff, I believe. And what matters is what we think inside this building. That’s how we’re always going to make decisions. We’re not going to worry about the outside noise. And we’re going to be convicted in what we’re doing. It’s a well thought out process, and we’re happy with the decision that we made. And we’re happy to move forward with Daniel.

Q: Did you put any pressure on yourself as the process moved along – the idea that you knew what you wanted to accomplish, and you knew what you didn’t want to happen? As it started getting closer, did you have to dig in and maybe learn a little bit about yourself in this negotiation as far as how to handle it, how to deal with the emotions? We just asked Daniel whether that was on the other side of the table or not? From your perspective, what did you come away with down the stretch of this negotiation?

A: I think the quarterback deals are always going to be the – I talked to a couple of general managers at the Combine. The quarterback deals are the difficult ones. I went through one a few years ago with (Buffalo Bills quarterback) Josh (Allen). I learned a lot from how (Buffalo Bills general manager) Brandon (Beane) handled the situation. (Senior Vice President of Football Operations & Strategy) Kevin Abrams did a great job. (So did Director of Football Operations) Ed Triggs, (Football Operations Assistant) Charles Tisch, (Football Data & Systems Coordinator) Max Kirin, (Director of Football Data & Innovation) Tyseer Siam. They all did a great job whether it was stats, where we were going with our incentives, contract structure, whatever it was, the negotiating part. They all did an amazing job. Last year, we didn’t have a lot of money. So, this is kind of my first time going through a major deal with the team and the negotiating team that’s here. And they did a phenomenal job. So, there was some learning there back and forth. I know I’m stubborn. I know I like to dig in. Some of that came out, probably different sides of me that those guys hadn’t seen. But my experiences that I had in Buffalo, I leaned on some of that. Again, it was a deal we wanted to get done. So, you have to be willing to be flexible with these deals. That’s how we eventually got it done – just being flexible and doing what’s best for the franchise. I was at peace with whichever way we went with it at the end, whether it was franchise (tag) or getting the deal done. But ultimately my job was to do what was best for the franchise and keep that in mind. I think where we landed was best for both parties.

Q: Did you guys have kind of a drop-dead time where you said, ‘You know what? We can’t be messing around knowing that Wi-Fi goes down and the tag doesn’t go into the league office.’ We had that fax issue years ago with (former Broncos defensive end Elvis) Dumervil, I think it was.

A: That came up. One of our guys was saying, ‘I don’t trust the Wi-Fi. We’ve got to get this in.’ So, that was real. We tried to propose like, ‘Hey, noon deadline. Let’s agree to something by noon and then that way we don’t have to scramble at the end.’ And that didn’t happen. We went all the way to the deadline. We were scrambling. We were prepared. We had several emails prepared, depending which way everything went. Fortunately, I think the best-case scenario came to fruition.

Q: Obviously, with you guys extending Daniel, you were able to franchise tag (running back) Saquon (Barkley). So, I was just wondering where things stand right now with him. Are you guys still negotiating? How are those negotiations going? Is there hope you might be able to get something long-term done with him as well before the new league year begins?

A: I’m going to talk to Saquon today. I talked to him yesterday before we put the franchise tag on him. Again, we’ve had deals out, whether it’s the bye week or recently. We’re going to continue to negotiate. We love Saquon. He’s a good teammate. He’s a captain. He’s a hell of a player. So, right now, he’s under the franchise tag. As we build the team and continue with our offseason plan, we’ll do what’s best for the team. We’re still mapping that out.

Q: Daniel said he was in the building yesterday when the deal went down. I was wondering if you were able to talk with him after, what those conversations were like and now that it’s finally settled, what it was like to kind of see him in that atmosphere and that environment.

A: I think it was a big relief for everybody. It was stressful enough over the three weeks as we’re going through the process. But then with the time crunch at the end, it was just added stress on top of it all the way up to the deadline. I think there was a sense of relief on all parties afterwards, gave some big hugs. Then I ran off to do the other things that we needed to do before four o’clock. Again, he was here late last night to sign the deal. I think there was just a lot of relief on both sides.

Q: For the fans, you can sit around, and you can say, ‘The Giants went into free agency with $48 million – or whatever the number is – in cap space.’ For the average guy, you’re going to think, ‘Well Daniels is getting $40 (million). Saquon is getting $10 (million). Do you have anything for anybody else?’ Can you explain to them how there is money available for other people?

A: Yeah, with the salary cap and the signing bonus, again, where we were, the way we did Daniel’s deal with the signing bonus, that spreads out over four years. And then his P5 is $9.5 (million) this year. And then the proration of the signing bonus, which I think was $36 (million), so that’s where we have money there. Everybody looks at the $40 (million) number, but that frees up some money. We’ll see what happens with Saquon. The franchise number is just over $10 (million). If you extend him, and there’s a signing bonus involved, you can free up more cap space. There’s more people. (Defensive lineman) Dexter Lawrence is a guy we’ve started talking with his representatives. He’s on the fifth-year option. You can lower that number with a signing bonus. So, the signing bonus allows you to spread the money over the length of the contract up to five years, and that’s how you’re able to lower the yearly amount that counts against the cap.

Q: And it leaves you money for everybody else?

A: Yes.

Q: You mentioned that you’ve had conversations with Dexter Lawrence’s reps, but I’m just wondering: with Daniel having fallen into place, Saquon a tag in place now, where do you stand with decisions regarding (wide receiver) Kenny Golladay? Is he a pre-June (cut) or a post-June (cut)? And also, what about (defensive lineman) Leo(nard Williams), who I think you’d mentioned you were looking to maybe do something with him?

A: Those are ongoing conversations. We got back from the Combine late Sunday night. Athletes First was here on Monday. The meetings that I’ve had this morning are usually done the Monday after the Combine. So, it was kind of a ‘wait and see’ until we knew where we landed with Daniel and Saquon. And now that we’re there, now we’re really going into strategy meetings leading up to Monday when we can start negotiating with free agents. Kenny – we’ll see. There’s a good chance that we just take the hit this year. We already have some money that’s dead money in 2024. Just to get through this past season, we had to do some financial moves and actually kick dead money into 2024. So, if we can take our medicine this year, I think that’ll help us in 2024 and get out of the business of having a lot of dead money in any year.

Q: The advantage to making Kenny a post-June 1 (cut) is that you don’t get to use the money after June 1, but you get a lot more. And you of course have a spillover to the following year when the cap goes up. Might that be an option for you to consider, considering that will give you enough to get you through 2023, plus if you want to extend somebody, now you have a nice little cushion?

A: That can be said for next year if you’re sitting there with $17 million in dead money, and it’s 12 months from now, (you might think), ‘Gosh dang, I wish we would have just taken our medicine last year. We’d have more money.’ And we have (tackle) Andrew Thomas who’s a good player, (safety) Xavier McKinney – there’s other players on the roster who you may want to extend, or you may want to go outside the building. So, if we have the financial flexibility just to take our medicine and take on the dead money this year, that may be better. But those are all decisions that we’ll make moving forward. We’re having those meetings now and going through what the best-case scenarios are. We still have until Wednesday to make that decision.

Q: Now that you have Daniel under wraps, and I’m going to presume Saquon, how do you go about making this offense better and making this team better around what is now your franchise quarterback?

A: There’s several avenues. Now we have some financial flexibility this year. This morning, we’re going over the free agent market. I know people want to talk about offense and the receivers a lot, but we’re still building a team in all three phases. We’re going to look to upgrade offensively, defensively and our special teams unit. So, it’s nice, again, to have the draft capital that we have, the financial flexibility we have to really start building this thing. I don’t want to say this starts the build, because we made some moves last year and through the draft and some waiver wire claims that are still going to be here. But this is finally where we have flexibility and draft capital, second draft class. And we can really start building this thing knowing that we have Daniel in place.

Q: You inherited somewhat of a mess last season. Is there a way you would be able to explain to us how much better you feel about the organization right now and its flexibility in some respects?

A: (Laughs) I’ll give you a good example. We were just talking about a player. I won’t name the position or anything. We were like, ‘Yeah, we’re guessing his market might be $2.5 (million),’ and I was like, ‘We can afford that. It’s only $2.5 (million). We can actually afford it.’ We’re not shopping for minimum players anymore. So, even players like that that can be really good depth players will make us that much better. So, just having the flexibility now to be creative, go get players at maybe a little bit higher value, but also being able to sign, whether it’s tier three players, two, one, however you do it. We can map it out, and there’s players that we can go procure now that maybe we weren’t in the past. So, this offseason we’ll build a bit. I still believe in building through the draft. And we can sign guys in free agency to help the roster. I still think with Daniel and Dexter coming down the road and some of the other players, you’re still going to need to build through the draft because I think there’s going to be some players who will be making good money on our roster. So, it’s still going to be important.

Q: Did you hear from anyone in Buffalo congratulating you? You went through that with Josh, obviously. And now you have your own situation.

A: Yeah, I had a few. A lot of those. And talking with Brandon (Beane); I talked to him last night. I watched him go through this, but until you actually go through it, you don’t realize the stress, the pressure, the back and forth and sleepless nights and how much it weighs on you. I told him I totally understand now those mornings when he came in and he looked like hell because he wasn’t sleeping. And I knew exactly where he was.

Q: In the eleventh hour when you said both sides had to stand for what they wanted most and then concede some things. As Daniel ends up getting $40 million – getting his guaranteed money – what do you feel like the team got in concessions that were important to you guys at the end of the day?

A: I don’t want to get into the details of it, but we came to a spot where what was important to them and what was important to us, we came to an agreement. They got what they wanted, and we got what we wanted. And there were some concessions on other things that maybe weren’t as big of a priority. So, we hashed that out all the way up to the end. And I think where they gave and where we gave, I really do (think that) the best deals are won when both parties are happy at the end. I think that’s the landing spot we came to.

Q: (Safety) Julian Love looks like a guy who you now have to turn your attention to. Wondering if you have any optimism that that will get done or if you feel that there’s still a gap there with about a week to play with here?

A: That’s a good question. We’re going to reach out to our UFAs today. Kevin Abrams did an amazing job, Ed Triggs, those guys did awesome, Charles Tisch. We’re going to start reaching out to the agents today, kind of seeing where they are, where we are. We’re going to see if we can get something done before Wednesday, when the new league year starts. We’ll be in constant communication with those guys over the next few days.

Q: How involved or not involved was (President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Director) John Mara in this deal actually happening, at the end getting done? How involved was he in the process?

A: John Mara, (Senior Player Personnel Executive, Board Director) Chris Mara, (Executive Vice President, Chairman of The Board) Steve Tisch, I got a text chain with them. I called them. I talked to them. I kept them abreast since the beginning of the process we started three weeks ago. So, phone calls or text chains just keeping them abreast of what was going on.

Q: How much time do you guys think that you and their side put in in the last two or three days? I know they came out here Monday. Did you guys pull an all-nighter that night? How long were you working on it? Were there points where you guys separated and were like, ‘Man, I’m not sure we’re getting there,’?

A: We were here late Monday night, back in early Tuesday morning. It was on our mind that last 72 hours – I’d say the last three weeks because we’ve been in constant communication. But them being here physically, we met with them nine straight days up to the end, in person. Nine straight days of meetings; that’s a lot of time, whether it was at the Combine or when they were here. So, a lot of time. It got a little dicey as it was getting close to 3:30, 3:40. There was part of me that was like, ‘We may not get to the finish line.’ Again, the last four or five minutes, we tied a bow on it, luckily.

Q: You said both sides kind of stood ground on what was important to them. I’m curious: what was important to you when you went into this deal? What did you want to get out of it – a big picture?

A: I wanted to know we had our quarterback here and it wasn’t a franchise tag type of teal. So, to me, that was a worst-case scenario – putting the franchise tag on him. But I also knew I had that as a tool. So, the deal had to make sense for the franchise, both short-term and long-term. That’s what was important to me. The fact that we didn’t have to put the franchise tag on him and the way the deal was structured and the years, I think both parties were happy at the end.

Q: When a new regime comes in – you and Dabs came in last year – this is not how this usually goes when there’s a quarterback in place that there’s a question about. I’m curious if a year ago you thought you’d be here today – signing Daniel to a long-term contract and when you really thought that that’s the direction that you wanted to go.

A: I would say if I thought I was going to be here a year ago, I would’ve done the fifth-year option. But again, I knew from doing work on Daniel coming out of the draft, the type of person he was. From everybody in the building, the type of person he was, his work ethic. He has all the physical tools. He’s athletic. He can make all the throws. Just the situation he was in, I do think you have to look into that. Year two and three, what he went through. The talent that was around him, the injuries. There’s a lot that went into it. But being around Daniel for the last 13 months and seeing him play and the fourth-quarter comebacks and winning a playoff game on the road, there’s a lot of positives that a 25-year-old young man just displayed throughout the season. And the upside, I’ve got a lot of belief in our staff and Daniel’s work ethic and their relationship that will continue to grow, and Daniel will continue to get better. If he’s just at his floor right now, I’m really excited about what his ceiling is going to be.

Q: You mentioned Saquon, but he had said as soon as the season ended that if he was tagged, he would not be happy. Do you get the impression right now that he is not happy? Or have you alleviated that by saying, ‘We’re still working here, Saquon,’?

A: I haven’t talked in-depth with Saquon yet. I’m going to talk with him today. That’s negotiations. We had some deals out there, and we tried to get a deal done with him and his representatives. And we couldn’t. I think both parties knew at the end of the day that this was an option, and if he’s frustrated, I can understand some of that. We could be frustrated as well that we weren’t able to get a deal done. I love Saquon. He’s a good player. He’s going to be a part of this team going forward. We’ll see where it goes from here.

Q: How much of an impact, now that you do have some money to go out and spend, how much of an impact do you think free agency, outside free agents, can have on improving your team this offseason?

A: At certain positions, I think it’ll have a major impact, depending on where we go and the price point. Again, we can’t negotiate until Monday. So, we’re not really certain where some of these players are going to be from a financial standpoint, contract years and those types of things. So, we’ll be fiscally responsible with the moves that we make. Again, I think when you’re signing people outside the building, you’ve got to make sure you’re right on the character, the medical. It’s not like the draft where we can go to the Combine, and we can do physicals on these guys and see where they may have previous injuries and what those look like. You don’t get to interview them and go to their schools and all that stuff. So, we’ve got to be diligent with our research on the players and also, like I said, be fiscally responsible with where you pay these guys. So, we’re going to do our research. I think we’ve got some players targeted that will make impacts if the contract structure is right. And again, if not, we have plan B, C and D if we need to go there.

Q: Just following up on (a previous question) about Julian. You had said last week, ‘Some guys have been released. Let’s see where the safety market is going.’ How do you feel about, without naming any names, this free agent safety market?

A: I think there’s some depth there. I really do. When you’re looking at the markets, I think you really need to look at the draft, too. Let’s say it’s a deep safety market in free agency, and there’s some really good safeties in the draft, well then sometimes that suppresses the market. We’ll take all that into account. If a player and their price gets out of hand, we also know what the landscape of the draft looks like. There’s different avenues where you can acquire players. Again, we’ll make sure that we’re aware of all those.

Feb 282023
 
Joe Schoen, New York Giants (February 28, 2023)

Joe Schoen – © USA TODAY Sports

JOE SCHOEN ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants General Manager Joe Schoen addressed the media on Tuesday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana (VIDEO). Schoen also answered questions from fans (VIDEO).

GIANTS TO CUT KENNY GOLLADAY ON MARCH 15…
ESPN is reporting that the Giants will release wide receiver Kenny Golladay on March 15, the first day of the 2023 League year. Depending on whether the Giants choose to designate him a pre- or post-June 1st cut, they can “save either $6.7 million or $13.5 million against the 2023 cap, respectively. However, the latter option will kick dead money into 2024.

Golladay will go down as one of the worst free agent signings in NFL history. The Giants signed Golladay as an unrestricted free agent from the Detroit Lions in March 2021 to a 4-year, $72 million contract. According to Spotrac, he received over $40 million of that contract in his two years with the team, playing in 26 regular-season games with 18 starts, catching just 43 passes for 602 yards and one touchdown. He had only six catches for 81 yards in 2022, as mediocre receivers easily passed him on the depth chart. He also dropped four targets on the limited chances he did get.

The 6’4”, 214-pound Golladay was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Lions. Golladay broke out in 2018 and 2019, catching 135 passes for 2,253 yards and 16 touchdowns. Golladay missed 11 games in 2020 with hamstring and hip injuries. He finished with just 20 catches for 338 yards and two touchdowns in five games.

GIANTS LOSE ANOTHER COACH TO COLTS…
The Indianapolis Colts have hired New York Giants Assistant Offensive Line Coach Tony Sparano, Jr. to be their new offensive line coach. The Colts hired away Giants Running Backs Coach DeAndre Smith earlier this month. The 56-year old Sparano joined the Giants last year after serving as assistant line coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2017-2020) and Carolina Panthers (2021).

For a complete listing of the coaching staff, see the New York Giants Coaching Staff section of the website.