Here are your Giants-related headlines for the day.
From Big Blue View
- Giants’ fans believe! 64 percent think New York will beat Philadelphia Eagles
- Giants’ DC Wink Martindale deserves opportunity to be a head coach
- Do the Giants have a playoff-caliber offensive line?
- Film Breakdown: How Mike Kafka successfully used 21 ‘PONY’ personnel vs. Minnesota
Other Giant observations
The Winds of Winter, the next book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the source material for HBO’s Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, has been in limbo for 12 years. You know what else has been missing that long? A Super Bowl win for the New York Giants.
“They keep me going,’’ Shepard told The Post amid the hustle and bustle of the locker room after practice Thursday. “I don’t thank them enough for how much they do for me mentally. When you’re at home by yourself, thoughts start to creep into your mind. You’re essentially at rock bottom and you want to be around people that make you happy. Other than my kids, these guys keep me going. It’s like the highlight of my day.’’
“There are so many Giant fans that are okay if the Giants lose, but how can you be okay after getting this far, after exceeding so many low expectations, after blowing through the ceiling that was artificially set for this Giants team because there was so much unknown?” Tiki began. “‘Who's our head coach, who's our general manager going to be, what's our quarterback situation, what about the offensive line? It's one of the worst in the NFL. What about defense? We know this Wink guy, but didn't get fired from Baltimore? What are we doing? We don't have any talent.’
“Guess what? You have a lot of talent. You got a great coach, you got a great general manager, and most importantly, you have belief. You can't discount belief. I'm not talking about us as fans. I'm talking about inside the locker room. Those guys believe that they can win.”
A rising coaching star and Andy Reid disciple who began his playing career in Philadelphia, Kafka mixes his usual even-keeled, all-business approach with creative calls — like that Statue of Liberty play in last week’s wild-card win — and those moments of levity in meetings. But he is mostly content to grind quietly, away from the spotlight, rarely yelling at players.
“He’s a very serious guy,” said his mom, Sandra Vega. “He doesn’t like B.S. He is kind of boring — but not boring in a bad way. He doesn’t like attention or any of that stuff.”
Kafka came by his modesty and work ethic honestly, the product of an American dream realized. His maternal grandparents, factory workers in Puerto Rico, moved to the Bronx to own a bodega, eventually relocating it to Chicago, where he grew up.
On Sunday, his own head-coaching dream moves forward, as he’ll interview with the Colts, Panthers, and Texans via video chat. But first, Saturday night at raucous Lincoln Financial Field, he will return to his routine — sitting down in a booth high above the field, pulling on his headset, and calmly speaking play calls into Jones’ helmet speaker.
“Football can be chaotic at times,” Kafka said. “It’s important to keep your composure, find a way, and be able to problem-solve. Being in that demeanor allows me to problem-solve, think clearly, and get the guys the right information. That’s really all the players want, is an answer.”
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