Daboll-Schoen era begins as Giants open training camp
NEW YORK GIANTS (4-13)
CAMPSITE: East Rutherford, New Jersey
LAST SEASON: The Giants had five straight losing seasons in which they went through three coaches, an interim coach and two general managers. A four-win season led to the firing of second-year coach Joe Judge and veteran general manager Dave Gettleman. Injuries played a big part in the 2021 debacle. A weak offensive line was decimated early with the losses of C Nick Gates (broken leg) and LG Shane Lemieux (knee), while the defense lost inside linebacker and leading tackle Blake Martinez. Overall, the offense was poor, and coordinator Jason Garrett was fired in November. QB Daniel Jones was inconsistent and missed the last six games with a neck injury. With little daylight to run, RB Saquon Barkley struggled to recover from an ACL injury. Neither first draft pick Kadarius Toney nor leading signee and fellow WR Kenny Golladay caught a TD. The defense played well at times, with LB rookie Azeez Ojulari getting a team-high eight sacks and S Xavier McKinney leading with five interceptions. Co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch switched to the Buffalo formula for 22, hiring Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to turn things around.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Point rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux and OT Evan Neal with the fifth and seventh overall picks in the draft. In free agency, OL signed Mark Glowinski, Jon Feliciano, Matt Gono, Jamil Douglas and Max Garcia; QB Tyrod Taylor, TE Ricky Seals-Jones, WR Richie James and Robert Foster, DT Justin Ellis, RB Matt Breida, LB Jihad Ward, P Jamie Gillan.
MAJOR LOSSES: CB James Bradberry, S Logan Ryan, TE Kyle Rudolph, TE Kaden Smith, RB Devontae Booker and P Riley Dixon, TE Evan Engram, S Jabrill Peppers, DL Austin Johnson, G Will Hernandez, LB Lorenzo Carter and DB Keion Cross .
CAMP NEEDS: Daboll must find a way to get the attack going. That means finding five linemen who can work together, giving Jones time to pitch and opening up holes for Barkley. New defensive coordinator Wink Martindale promised an aggressive and unpredictable unit. There are health issues on both sides. WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles), Martinez (knee) and Gates (leg) are doubts heading into camp, along with the talented Toney, who has missed too much time with an assortment of injuries.
KEY CAMP COMPETITIONS: The O line, tight end, cornerback against Adoree Jackson. Maybe the quarterback job should be watched. Jones, who has yet to live up to the No. 6 overall pick in 2019, is the quarterback starter heading to camp. Veteran Tyrod Taylor could push him. The line appears to have bookend tackles in Andrew Thomas and Neal. Feliciano was signed to play center and Glowinski played well at right guard in Indianapolis. Lemieux, second-round pick Joshua Ezeudu, Max Garcia, who had 11 starts with the Cardinals last season, will compete at LG. Second-year pro Aaron Robinson will get the chance to replace Bradberry with Rodarius Williams and rookie Cor’Dale Flott backstage. Daniel Bellinger and Seals-Jones are the best choices to replace Engram at tight end.
EXPECTATIONS: Teams with new coaches and general managers usually get a first-year bonus, with players being a bit more motivated. That said, the only new coach to take the team to the playoffs since the Giants won the Super Bowl in February 2012 was Ben McAdoo in 16. Judge came close in 20, his freshman year and the pandemic season. . New York has talent on defense with Leonard Williams, Ojulari and Thibodeaux. The key is the offense. If the line works, Golladay returns to form, Toney and rookie Wan’Dale Robinson bring an element of speed to the wide points and Jones and Barkley rebound there’s an outside chance. The odds are definitely stacked against them.
SUPER BOWL ODDS: +8000.
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