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BBV mailbag, 8/3: Giants’ power structure, Jadaveon Clowney, Eli Manning, more

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The mail’s here!

We are in the middle of training camp for the New York Giants, with a preseason game coming up in just a few days. So, let’s check the mail and see what questions we can answer.

BigBlu56 asks: It has been commented often how John Mara has ruined the team, chose an old friend for GM, bows to Eli on decisions, etc. It has been commented often how Getty has ruined the team, bows to Eli on decisions, and is not up with the analytics that modern football has become. I believe none of this is true, and the Giants have a strong structure and shared position responsibility amongst the front office, between Mara, Getty, Shurmur, etc. I would be shocked if John Mara strong armed personnel decisions and who plays/who doesn’t.

You may have touched on this before, but can you do a quick breakdown of who makes what decisions, and if the Giants are more stable than most other teams … as far as you know. Also, please comment if Getty truly is behind the times, or if he is using the most up to date technology.

Ed says: I have touched on this before, but I will do the best I can to give you what I know.

The Giants pride themselves on stability, and the Mara family has always owned the team. One of the tricky parts of the current ownership structure is that the Mara and Tisch families have a 50-50 financial split, which gives them equal power. Decisions can be harder to reach because they have to come to an agreement.

Ownership doesn’t “strong-arm” decisions. One thing I will say, though, is that I do believe there is a determination — especially from John Mara — not to embarrass Eli Manning as his career winds down.

As for Dave Gettleman, I truly don’t know about the technology aspect. He quite obviously has some “old school” beliefs. I know the Giants have used GPS tracking on players in practice to monitor them, and I believe they still do. I know that Gettleman said he learned some things from the scouts in Carolina that he brought to the Giants’ scouting process. I know that he drafted a boatload of cornerbacks, which dovetails with the analytic idea that pass coverage is more important than pass rush.

It’s my understanding that assistant GM Kevin Abrams is the cap/analytics guy with the Giants.


Douglas Mollin asks: From Pat’s recent column: “Jones is probably not going to get any snaps in a game that counts for as long as this team is in the playoff hunt.”

This question has been asked and answered a thousand times here at BBV. But I’m asking once more.

Should Jones play whenever he is deemed ready ... regardless of how the team (or Eli) is playing?

My two cents is yes ... but I have a feeling the Giants will not do that, and might in fact, sign Eli to a one year extension and sit Jones two years.

Ed says: Douglas, I’m just going to say that Pat and I have been in complete agreement on this for a while. I’ve written it a number of times, and said it on my podcast.

If the Giants had a “placeholder” like Case Keenum, Tyrod Taylor or Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jones would play when he was ready. Probably before he was ready.

This is Eli Manning, two-time Super Bowl MVP, longest-tenured player in franchise history and a guy who has been a class act his entire career. The Giants will do everything they can not to embarrass him. If they are in the playoff chase, he’s playing. That’s how I see it. How Pat sees it.

Both of us will be very surprised if it goes down any other way.


Houston Texans v New York Jets
Jadaveon Clowney hits Sam Darnold.
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Jim Cardamone asks: With Jadeveon Clowney holding out in Houston, do you think a trade could be made to bring him to the Giants? There has been rumor of the Bills and Eagles showing interest. If he were to land in the NFC East better to be in Blue than Green. What do you think?

Ed says: I would be stunned if the Giants made a trade for Clowney. Perhaps if they were on the cusp on Super Bowl contention and had the cap space. Not now. I’m not sure exactly what the price would be, but it would probably cost the Giants one or more early draft picks. They need those to continue building the roster. Now, free agency next offseason might be different if Clowney gets there.

I think the Giants really believe they will be better than people think in terms of pass rush if Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden and Oshane Ximines all stay healthy.


David Gray asks: In the 2014 draft the Giants made a great pick when they drafted Odell Beckham, Jr. at No. 12 — any player who becomes a Pro Bowler is a great pick — but Aaron Donald went at the very next pick (no. 13) and Zack Martin went No. 16, both of whom (at the time of the draft) were connected to the Giants. Both Donald and Martin have become All-Pro (Donald four times with two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards; Martin three times), and on their current trajectory are heading toward the Hall of Fame. If you could do a re-draft, would you still draft Beckham or one of Donald or Martin (and in what order)?

Ed says: If you have read Big Blue View for a while you know that I believe you build a team from the inside out. You don’t take wide receivers, running backs, cornerbacks before you have built your lines — and before you have found your quarterback.

There is zero question what I would have done in this circumstance. If I were GM I would have selected Zack Martin, no question, no hesitation, and called it day.

Odell Beckham Jr.? This is where former GM Jerry Reese and I differed philosophically. Beckham wasn’t even on my radar. He wouldn’t have even been a consideration for me if the decision were mine to make.

As far as Aaron Donald, I was one of those who bought into the “he’s too light and doesn’t fit what the Giants want in a defensive tackle” chatter. Foolish me.


Bruce Frazer asks: In the first pre season game vs the Jets I have chosen two rookies, Oshane Ximines, and Reggie White Jr. with interest as to how well they play (one defense, one offense). Do you have any particular rookie player, one from the defense and one from the offense that you might single out in this first game?

Ed says: Face it Bruce, all eyes are going to be on Daniel Jones. By the end of his two quarters or so of work most of the fan base (at least those who haven’t yet made up their minds) will have decided if he is a bust and a wasted pick at No. 6, or if Eli Manning should get the boot and they should start making Jones’ Hall of Fame bust.

I’m curious about a lot of guys. C.J. Conrad. The defensive backs. Dexter Lawrence. Lots of guys. I’m curious to see how just about any player fighting for a roster spot does.