The New York Giants held a "meet the coaches" event on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center, and it was an interesting, different experience. There are eight new assistant coaches on the staff of rookie head coach Ben McAdoo, so there were lots of introductions and "get yo know you" probing from both coaches and media during sessions that were held in the team's practice bubble.
A few impressions.
It's a staff filled with crew cuts or bald heads. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti, strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman are crew cut guys. Tight ends coach Kevin M. Gilbride is also a short-hair guy, as is offensive line coach Mike Solari. Incidentally, after going with the full beard for a while with the san Francisco 49ers, Solari is clean shaven. Linebackers coach Bill McGovern, wide receivers coach Adam Henry and cornerbacks coach Tim Walton rock the bald heads. New defensive line coach Patrick Graham was wearing a cap, so I can't call that one. Best hair on the staff goes to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan.
New strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman is a serious guy.
"It's about maximizing strength, speed, power, and minimizing the stress on the body, mitigating risk," Wellman said in describing how he sees his role. "That's what it's about for me."
The story-teller in the group is going to be McGovern, an Oradell, N.J. native who was voted to the Bergen County All-Century Football Team in 1996. He is basically coming home to coach the Giants, and there was a lot of laughter during his 45-minute session with a constant parade of reporters.
McGovern was kiddingly asked about the supply of tickets he would need for friends and family, and said "they buy their own.
There were also a lot of questions about Mark Herzlich since McGovern was his position coach at Boston College.
"He was always that guy that once he set his mind to it he was gonna get it done," McGovern said of Herzlich, who overcame cancer while at BC to return to football.
Patrick Graham, the defensive line coach, is coming to the Giants from the New England Patriots. He said his role is to help players understand their roles and assignments, but that "it's on them as a player to start to execute the techniques, execute the assignments."
Graham said "there's a tradition here of good defense, good players. What I'm bringing is just my work ethic in terms of what I'm gonna try to do to get better."
Former Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty was a guy who really enjoyed and entertained the media. It appears McGovern will be that guy on the new staff. It won't be new offensive line coach Mike Solari, who is very willing to answer questions and thoughtful, but not entertaining.
Of course, what really matters is whether or not he can help young linemen like Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart get better.
"Ereck Flowers is a good football player," Solari said. "He had a great learning experience (as a rookie).
"He played like a rookie. There are some things we've got to build on. A rookie is a rookie ... it's challenging."
Players report for the beginning of the offseason program on April 11, and that's when the work of really getting to know the roster will begin. Until then, this new group of coaches will continue to get to know each otherand we will continue to try and get to know them.
We will have much more from Friday's media session in the coming days, so stick around for that.