OK, OK, you love me. I know. I feel your adoration every day in the comments. Yet, you get tired of reading my views on things over and over. I know that, too. So, today, something different. I asked our Big Blue View contributors to chip in by letting us know what was their favorite move this offseason by the Giants.
Here are their responses.
My favorite move of the New York Giants offseason is the team drafting Sterling Shepard in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The Giants needed a second wide receiver to pair with Odell Beckham Jr. who could be a versatile threat, which Shepard provides.
Shepard's size is comparable to Beckham's or someone like Green Bay Packers star Randall Cobb, but he can truly line up on the outside, in the inside or in the slot. He has great hands, and an even better catch radius. With Victor Cruz still a question mark and Dwayne Harris more of a slot receiver and kick returner, the Giants needed a starter to emerge, and Shepard looks the part to do so.
I'm tempted to go in a number of ways. Signing Snacks and Vernon, drafting Sterling Shepard, hiring Aaron Wellman ... But I think I'm going to have to go with hiring Ben McAdoo as my favorite move of this offseason. It's my favorite move for several reasons. First, because it appears that McAdoo worked with Jerry Reese and Steve Spagnuolo (once he was re-hired or retained) to build a cohesive plan for renovating the Giants. First they rebuilt the coaching staff, which I think might be the biggest change that isn't being talked about. Personally, I believe that in addition to some draft misses and far too many injuries, some of the assistant coaches could be blamed for the lack of production from the third round on. I'm looking forward to seeing what effect the new defensive line and linebacker coaches will have in particular.
Then finally they attacked free agency and the draft with a plan and a certain profile of player they wanted in their locker room. They didn't have to completely reboot the roster because it already had their fingerprints on it. The offense has already largely been re-built for McAdoo's system, and while the defense needed restocking, the framework of an aggressive 4-3 defense was already in place from Spags' first stint in Giants-land.
And in general I like the sense of renewal and energy that McAdoo seems to have brought. I have a ton of respect for Tom Coughlin, however, McAdoo is a new, albeit familiar, voice. Acknowledging that Coughlin did many things well, but they also needed new avenues to fix what was broken, is heartening. McAdoo has already shown a penchant for effective creativity as the Giants' offensive coordinator, and seeing what he could come up without trying to fit within someone else's team vision is exciting.
This is a great question considering the Giants have NEVER had an offseason quite like this. Between Coughlin "resigning," upside/risky draft picks, and Reese's free agency spending spree, this is easily the craziest offseason in Giants history.
This may be a non-answer or a cop out, but I think the overall aggression the front office used is the biggest move. It wreaked of desperation, and I'm OK with that. Reese knows he's on the hot seat, the Mara's know the fans are restless when we don't make the playoffs, and McAdoo has some pretty large (and grumpy) shoes to fill. A normally conservative organization, the Giants needed a shake up, and that's exactly what they gave us this offseason.
The defensive line upgrades are definitely my favorite moves. A team does not need to be perfect at every position to be a Super Bowl contender. Heck, the 2007 and 2011 Giants showed that you can have a couple of weaknesses and still be a viable contender. As long as the defensive line is in top form, then anything is possible. Giants teams in recent years have trended away from having a dominant defensive line and the results show.
If I had to choose a favorite signing between Harrison and Olivier Vernon, I would have to pick Snacks. He's a proven elite run stopper and pairing him with Johnathan Hankins creates a whole slew of problems for offensive coordinators. Many analysts pegged the signing as redundant given that the Giants already have Hankins. However, these analysts are quick to peg Hankins as a mere run stuffer when in actuality, he is a very well rounded defensive tackle. If Harrison can focus on stopping the pass, Hankins is freed up to wreak havoc on his own. This defensive tackle combination has the potential to be lethal for offenses and can propel the Giants back into playoff contention.