Since the turn of the century, there have been some constants in New York sports. The Yankees are most likely to be pretty good and make the playoffs. The Giants will win a Super Bowl every decade or so. The Mets are bad, ok, good and then will collapse and now seem really good. The Jets are terrible and yes, they won on Sunday but have a long way to go before that classification is lifted. I will provide Robert Saleh a receipt for that statement for his files.
The NFL season starts this week. The never-ending water-cooler talk about the Giants, the Bills, even the Jets, begins in full swing, as the final minutes of true summer dissolve Labor Day weekend. School is back. Summer hours are over. So, who are the 10 New York Giants you should know about to keep up with the conversations this fall?
By answering who is the best of the worst, you are also answering who is the worst of the worst. The Buffalo Bills without question are the best football team in New York. Many will argue that they are the only football team in New York but that is a discussion for another day. The New York Giants and the New York Jets go into 2023 with major question-marks surrounding their organizations. Forget the excuses, which team will have the most wins at the end of the season?
There are the NFL players that use training camp to "tune-up" their game. They learn the play book. They endure team contact drills for the first time months, all while enjoying their big contracts. Then there are the "other guys." These are players trying to earn or keep a spot on an NFL roster. They are trying to win a job.
It was my third year working New York Giants training camp, as part of my responsibilities as the Associate Athletic Director at the University at Albany. Back then, from the beginning of July until mid-August, the Giants' front office personnel would occupy the athletic administration offices of the Great Danes and many of us had camp responsibilities. In those days, there were two-a-day practices and about three to five thousand fans would show up each day to see head coach Tom Coughlin and his team.
With the firing of general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Joe Judge came the realization that the New York Giants football organization was a complete mess and it was time to get back to basics. New general manager Joe Schoen and his trusted head coach Brian Daboll should come to their own realization, no matter what anyone tells you, Big Blue had better start winning some football games quickly or the next hot-dynamic duo will be leading the Giants in 3 years. Translation: loyalty to any of the players of the past regime should go right out the window.
The Buffalo Bills are the odds-on favorite to win Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona next February. A lot of things have to go right for Sean McDermott's team but they are certainly built for the task. Nobody knows that much better than the New York Giants new braintrust, general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll. That's why it will be very interesting to to watch over the next few weeks as teams whittle their rosters down to 53 by 4pm on August 30th, how many former Buffalo Bills become New York Giants.
Contrary to the fears of many New York Giants fans, the entire 2022 Big Blue roster is not terrible. There are talented football players that have been put in compromising positions, early in their careers by either bad coaching or awful teammates signed by the previous front office and coaching regime. Some of the veteran Giants players are taking advantage of their new opportunities and are personally making the most of them.
In 2016, New York Giants fans were more than dreaming about Odell Beckham Jr. and Eli Manning combining to win a Super Bowl for Big Blue. The 11-6 Giants were taking on Aaron Rodgers and the 11-6 Green Bay Packers in an NFC Wild Card match-up. Then, days before the Giants first playoff game in five years, controversy struck with OBJ smack in the middle.
Training camps for all 32 NFL teams have opened. Veteran players were required to report to camp on Tuesday. Over the next few weeks, all eyes in New York Giants camp will be on running back Saquon Barkley and what kind of performance he is capable of in 2022. Beyond the eyes of Big Blue fans on Barkley, will be the focus of fantasy football team owners. Can the former second overall, first round pick deliver some big games/points in the upcoming season?
There is little question that the New York Giants appear to be going in a better direction than they were a year ago. The subtraction of former general manager Dave Gettleman was enough to propel Big Blue up in my rankings. New GM Joe Schoen and his confident first-year head coach Brian Daboll are attempting to create Buffalo south in East Rutherford, NJ. However, Ben Linsey and Pro Football Focus (@PFF) ranked all 32 NFL teams on ESPN+. Will the Giants be better in 2022? If they are, it may not be because of the players.