Here are some random ‘things I think’ for your Super Bowl Sunday.
Odell Beckham, other Giants in the Super Bowl
Odell Beckham Jr. is the most notable former Giant in the Super Bowl. I feel good for all of them, even the hard-to-like Eli Apple.
When it comes to Beckham, anyone who has been around BBV long enough knows I was critical of the young Beckham with the Giants. You also know that I thought the Giants did the right thing when they traded him to the Browns.
All I ever hoped for from Beckham was that he would grow up a little, stop making headlines for silly reasons that distracted from his immense talent, and let us focus on how good he can be on the field.
He never really showed that talent in Cleveland, and I wondered how much of it was still there. He is happy, productive and — as of this writing — awaiting the birth of his first child. Good for him.
Rams cornerback Donte Deayon was always a favorite of mine. I didn’t think much of Grant Haley as a player, but always appreciated how hard he worked.
On the Cincy side, B.J. Hill is a good guy and deserves his success. As for Bengals special teamer Michael Thomas I’m still of the opinion that Joe Judge made a massive mistake by jettisoning Thomas for Nate Ebner, one of his personal favorites.
3 questions with Mike Tannenbaum
Ed: How significant is it for the Giants that a) they have gone outside their usual comfort zone for a GM and b) that they have brought a coach and GM in together who should be aligned in how they want to build a team?
Mike: I think it’s a real positive that the Giants took their time and went outside their organization. It’s a great opportunity for new sets of eyes/ideas.
Ed: Obviously much of the chatter w/the Daboll hiring is about Daniel Jones. What should the level of optimism be that Daboll and Co. can get better play out of Jones in 2022? No matter what happens, how likely does it seem that the Giants will have a new QB in 2023?
Mike: I like Daniel Jones, believe they can win immediately with him as Coach Daboll will design an offense where he can be effective. Most notably, look for him to make plays with his feet, much the way Josh Allen did it Buffalo.
Ed: Both Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll have resisted the idea that a total tear down is needed, both roster-wise and organizationally. Nonetheless, do you believe that is ultimately what they will have to do, what they have really been hired to do?
Mike: Assuming Jones develops under Daboll, the Giants could compete for a Wild Card spot next year.
Valentine’s View: I think Mike is giving us the best-case scenario for Jones and the Giants. If he’s right, great. If he isn’t, well, it might be back to square one.
A study in contrast
The coaching staff Brian Daboll has put together couldn’t be any more different than the one Joe Judge had with the Giants. Judge leaned into his coaching background and hired a staff filled with college coaches who had never worked in the NFL. At the beginning of his tenure, I understood it — even liked it. In the end, though, I have to believe that lack of NFL experience on the sideline was costly.
Daboll, also a first-time head coach, has hired a staff filled with experienced NFL hands. Also impressively, he has not employed the NFL “buddy system.” He has not just gifted his friends with jobs. He has hired a number of people he has never worked with.
I love that. There is no telling if all of the pieces of the coaching staff will mesh, but there are a lot of quality, experienced people who come from quality, winning teams. That has to be a good thing.
A quick Brian Daboll story
A week ago I did an in-depth look at new coach Brian Daboll. Here is a story I just heard from a former teammate at the University of Rochester, where Daboll was a hard-hitting safety.
Thurley was a year ahead of Daboll, and by Thurley’s senior year at U of R, Daboll was a volunteer assistant at William & Mary.
“He would call me in the morning on game days and he would have like Metallica playing in the background. He’d be like, ‘hey man, it’s time to play football today, Let’s get going.’ He wasn’t even at the U of R anymore. It was pretty cool,” Thurley told me.
“That’s one of the things I remember about Brian after he left. He was still interested in U of R football.”
Just an example of how Daboll, even back then, was all about relationships.
Things to be aware of
These are some things at Big Blue View I think you shouldn’t miss.
- Nick Falato’s fantastic piece on Wink Martindale. It’s 4,000+ words, so make sure you have some time. Nick also did a nice video breakdown of Martindale for our YouTube channel.
- I think my interview with Tiki Barber, regardless of your personal feelings about him, is worth your time.
- Chris has been cranking away on NFL Draft prospect scouting reports.