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‘Things I think’ about Jason Garrett, Odell Beckham, more

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It’s a Sunday ‘Valentine’s Views’

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

As we learn more and more of the names of the people who will be on Joe Judge’s New York Giants coaching staff, here are some things I’m thinking about.

Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator

Like almost anything in life, there are pros and cons to the Giants hiring of Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator.

I think, though, this is a move that I am very much in favor of as rookie head coach Joe Judge puts together his first NFL coaching staff.

To start with, if you’re a Giants fan you simply have to let go of whatever venom you had for Garrett because he spent the last decade coaching a team you hate, the Dallas Cowboys. You have to let go of snickering at his work as Cowboys head coach, which, by the way, was still a heckuva lot better since 2012 than anything the Giants accomplished. Garrett’s not the head coach and he won’t be making head coaching type decisions. He will be running the offense, with Judge in his headset to tell him what he wants and when he wants it.

Forget for a minute what offense Garrett runs and what kind of play-caller he is, or isn’t. This hire is about sooooo much more than offensive scheme. That, in fact, is probably at the bottom of the list.

This is first and foremost, in my view, about hiring a guy who can help Judge navigate the rough seas of being a first-time head coach with the vulturous New York/New Jersey media circling and drooling at the possibility of feasting on your every mis-step, or anything that can even be spun into a mis-step.

This is about helping Judge navigate the day-to-day demands of a job you simply can’t be completely prepared for until you have held it.

This is about surrounding Daniel Jones with coaches who can help him become the player the Giants need him to be.

Honestly, in my view, it’s only marginally about what offensive scheme Garrett will run.

Head coach of the Dallas Cowboys is probably the most difficult job in the NFL. Jerry Jones is the most high-profile, meddlesome owner in the sport. The fan base is rabid and the expectations are win the Super Bowl or be a failure every year. There is almost always a national spotlight, and there is a massive local media following.

Ultimately, Garrett didn’t deliver the Super Bowl that is really all that would have satisfied Jones, and he got replaced after a disappointing 2019 season.

Still, he lasted 13 years in Dallas, 10 of those holding the league’s hardest head coaching job. He made some mistakes along the way and we learned that he has flaws, bu no one is going to be perfect over a 13-year span.

Garrett brings all of that experience — player, position coach for the demanding Nick Saban, coordinator and head coach in the league’s most difficult environment — to the Giants. To Judge.

Garrett’s job isn’t so much to run an offense as it is to help Judge handle the minefield of head coaching experiences he will be thrown into for the first time in 2020.

Of course, the Giants want him to build a good offense. Oh, by the way, Garrett’s offenses in Dallas were top 10 in eight of his 13 seasons. Dallas fans will tell you how awful he is, but he had to do some things right along the way.

Daniel Jones should benefit from Garrett’s presence, as well.

Garrett played the position in the NFL from 1993-2003. He backed up Troy Aikman in Dallas, then Kerry Collins with the Giants. He has helped the careers of Tony Romo and Dak Prescott. He knows what good quarterback play, and good offense, looks like.

Of course, we know that Garrett hasn’t been a full-fledged offensive coordinator since 2010 a decade ago. We know that his more vertical passing attack isn’t the one Daniel Jones ran at Duke or last season with Pat Shurmur.

We know that there is always the risk that after a season or two Garrett will bolt the Giants for another opportunity to be a head coach. That should not have, and obviously did not, stop the Giants from hiring him.

Should they have hired a lesser coach because he would stay longer? That’s silliness. You hire the best coaches you can hire FOR TODAY. If they do a really good job, which is what you are hoping when you hire them, other employers will want to give them higher opportunities.

That’s how the NFL, that’s how life and the job market, works.

I don’t know how this will work out. I don’t personally know Scott Linehan, Freddie Kitchens and Chad O’Shea. I have talked to Mike Shula. Maybe years from now we will look back and think one of them might have been a better hire.

Right now, though, I can see exactly why the Giants hired Garrett and I think Giants fans should feel good about that decision.

Yes, trading Odell Beckham Jr. was right move

Does anyone still not understand why the Giants traded Beckham last offseason? In my view, it just becomes more and more apparent.

The whole handing out cash in plain view to college players/slapping a police officer on the butt thing is just the latest “thing” with Beckham.

That’s the problem. There’s always a “thing” with Beckham. Drawing attention to himself for wearing a $200K watch during games. Wearing shoes that violate league rules. Whatever.

They’re all stupid. They don’t make him a bad guy. The problem is that Beckham is about being Beckham. He will deny it, but he craves the attention. He craves the limelight. He needs the story, the camera, the attention to be about him.

It can’t just be about football. It can’t just be about his team. It can’t be about his school that just won a national championship. He’s always got to make sure he carves out a piece of that attention for Odell Beckham Jr., that part of the story is always about him.

Yeah, Beckham is good at football. Unfortunately, he might be better at keeping his name in the headlines.

Do you really think the Giants wanted him around Saquon Barkley every day? Do you really think they felt he was a good example, a good influence for the young, impressionable roster they had, and still have?

Steve Politi of NJ Advance Media, an ardent Dave Gettleman critic, wrote the other day that trading Beckham “was absolutely the correct thing to do.” Politi added that Gettleman was “right to recognize that he was a migraine headache that would never go away for this franchise, right to make sure he wasn’t contaminating efforts to rebuild a roster around young, impressionable players.”

Beckham, incidentally, is watching his production steadily decline. He’s coming off a year in which he had full-season career lows in catches (74), catches per games (4.6), touchdowns (4), yards per game (64.7) and receiving yards (1,035).

What Beckham did after the LSU title victory wasn’t the worst thing in the world. It was, though, stupid, unnecessary and just another example of him drawing attention to himself for something other than his skill on the field.

Argue all you want about whether the Giants got enough in return. That’s not what we’re talking about. In my view, Beckham simply continues to show why making him an ex-Giant was the right thing to do.

One liners

  • I’m taking the Chiefs and 49ers in Sunday’s conference title games. How about you?
  • It seems to be all Bill Callahan all the time when Giants fans talk about the team’s next offensive line coach. Callahan is likely going to be able to choose his opportunity, so I wouldn’t count on that.
  • In his appearance on the ‘Giants Huddle’ podcast, it was interesting to listen to Garrett quickly adopt some of Judge’s language, especially about currently only having an outsider’s perspective.
  • Upset by Tom Quinn still being on the coaching staff? You’ve got to let that go. Quinn has the respect of special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, earned from years of working together and from Quinn being classy enough to return to an organization that fired him to help McGaughey during his cancer battle. Besides, can’t you do better things with your time than complain about an assistant special teams coach?