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Dave Gettleman making his mark, and more Sunday thoughts

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Random notes for Championship Weekend

NFL: Washington Redskins at New York Giants Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The jettisoning of Bobby Hart as the end of the 2017 regular season was the first indication that things around the New York Giants would be different with Dave Gettleman as GM than they were under the reign of Jerry Reese.

Now comes a report from Paul Schwartz of the New York Post that Gettleman, while not making massive personnel changes other than removing Marc Ross, is overhauling the way Giants’ scouts do their jobs.It’s sort of a “you can teach an old dog new tricks” type deal because Gettleman is apparently instituting a grading and evaluation structure he learned while GM of the Carolina Panthers.

“We’re changing everything around in the department, from how we operate to the grading scale, everything,’’ a Giants source familiar with Gettleman’s thinking told The Post. “Everything. Nothing’s going to stay the same.’’

I’m heartened to hear it. I was particularly drawn to this line: “Under Reese and Ross, the Giants were often drawn to height-weight-speed prospects who too frequently went bust rather than boom. It is believed Gettleman will bring the emphasis back to production on the field — stressing passion, desire and mechanics rather than raw talent.”

Reese famously said the Giants weren't’ interested in drafting gymnasts, right before they drafted the back-flipping Jason Pierre-Paul. Over the years, though, he was too often guilty of drafting players based on athletic traits rather than what they had shown on the field during games. Getting away from that should be a good thing.

It was disheartening to hear that Reese had gotten in the habit of watching Giants’ walk-thru practices on Saturdays rather than going to Rutgers or making another short Eastern trip to watch college prospects on a Saturday. That reeks of complacency.

Gettleman might be a smashing success as Giants’ GM. He might fall flat on his face. Right now, there is no way to know. What we do know is that he’s not complacent and that it does not appear to be “business as usual” at Giants’ HQ. Fans should be happy about that.

McGaughey for special teams?

Reports that have suddenly popped up that they have hired or are going to hire Thomas McGaughey as special teams coordinator. Let’s wait until there is a head coach in place.

The Giants might hire McGaughey. It makes sense. He was just let go by the Carolina Panthers, and he was an assistant with the Giants from 2007-2010. Thus, GM Dave Gettleman knows him well.

There could be some behind-the-scenes chatter going on regarding Giants’ assistant coaches — that kind of thing happens regularly in the NFL. Since they don’t yet have a head coach, it would seem like putting the cart before the horse to start announcing assistants before Pat Shurmur is actually in place.

It will be a good day when the Giants officially move on from Tom Quinn. Let’s not celebrate just yet, though.

Championship Weekend predictions

I am terrible at predictions and don’t like making them. It is, however, NFL Championship Weekend and since I’m writing I feel compelled to make predicsions on today’s games. So here goes.

Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots (AFC)

I really, really want to pick Jacksonville here. I am, however, not stupid. This is what the Patriots live for, it’s where they are almost every year. They’re at home, they know the drill, they have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Jaguars are on the road, and they have Blake Bortles.

I think Cinderella’s slipper is about to fall off. The Patriots are going to crowd the line of scrimmage, they will make life brutal for Leonard Fournette running the ball. They are going to dare Bortles to beat them by throwing the ball down the field — and he has spent four years showing the world he isn’t very good at that.

I think the Jaguars are going to wake up, realize where they are, and get their doors blown off.

Final score: Patriots 34, Jaguars 14

Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles (NFC)

The Vikings are 60 minutes away from becoming the first team to play in a Super Bowl being played in their home stadium. All they have to do is go into Philadelphia, handle that hostile atmosphere, and beat the Eagles.

Easy, right?

Well, no. Sometimes, though, I think there are teams and things in sports that you just can’t really explain, and for me Minnesota has been that this season. No fancy analysis here, but I’m going with the Vikings.

Final score: Vikings 30, Eagles 27