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Valentine’s Views: Thoughts on Panthers East, re-designing the helmet, more

Yep, it’s time to take a tour of my brain once again

Jonathan Stewart
Photo by Ed Valentine

We know you need a New York Giants fix during your holiday weekend, and we’re here for you. Here are some thoughts for you in the latest edition of ‘Valentine’s Views.’

Panthers East?

The Giants’ signing this week of former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Russell Shepard brought out some comments that amounted to “why is Dave Gettleman signing all these guys who used to play for Carolina?”

Reality is, this is what new regimes do. When there is a fit, they bring in players they are familiar with. Part of that is because they have more familiarity with a player — they know precisely what they are getting. When there are new schemes being taught, veteran players who are familiar with the coaches and schemes also ease the transition.

Gettleman has brought in former Panthers Shepard, running back Jonathan Stewart and cornernback Teddy Williams. There are a couple of Pat Shurmur guys on the roster in offensive lineman John Greco (Cleveland) and tight end Kyle Carter (Minnesota) and a couple of James Bettcher guys (Kareem Martin, Josh Mauro).

The other reason for bringing in players who know the coaches — especially veteran ones like Stewart and Greco — is that the Giants are trying to re-establish the culture in a locker room that was broken. Veterans who are familiar with the staff and who do things the right way help set whatever standard the coaches are looking for.

What about the helmet itself?

I offered some thoughts a few days ago on the new kickoff rule. Whatever it ends up looking like, I hope these changes allow the kickoff to stay in the game. It is one of the game’s exciting plays, and the sport wouldn’t be the same without it.

I wanted to make a comment on the helmet rule. I get what the league is trying to do and effort to decrease head injuries have to be supported. I just have no idea how the new rule is going to work, or be officiated. I’m not sure some of the hits in the video below are even avoidable, or how offensive linemen can avoid involving the helmet in many of their blocks.

I know there are ongoing efforts to redesign the helmet, and for me that’s the thing that has to change to really increase safety. Current helmets are estimated at 6 pounds, and I wouldn’t be surprised if NFL helmets are heavier than that. There has to be a way to design a lighter, more flexible helmet that protects the player wearing it and won’t do as much damage to players who get with it by other players running at high rates of speed.

Summer School is in session

I have to admit that I’m as excited as I’ve ever been about our ‘Summer School’ series this offseason. Chris kicked us off with a look at the role of 5-tech defensive ends. With new schemes on offense and defense for the Giants this time around, there is a lot of fertile ground for us to cover. Chris and Dan have some great content coming for you, and I hope you enjoy it.

OTAs resume on Tuesday

The Giants will be back to work on Tuesday with their fourth OTA. Media will have access to that one, and yours truly is planning to be in attendance.

Finally, I hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day Weekend. Have fun, stay safe and thank a veteran.

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