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For head coach Brian Daboll, he sees the run as just the beginning for his group. Speaking with NFL Network’s Judy Battista at the annual League Meetings on Saturday, Daboll shared his thoughts on the future of his group.
“I thought it was a good start,” Daboll said. “We laid a foundation. Have a long way to go. But just to interact with the people in the building, not just on the football side, but the business side, all the different departments. I thought (general manager) Joe (Schoen) and I tried to establish what we wanted to bring to the table.”
Daboll is excited to see what he’ll do with undoubtedly his strongest cast of pass-catchers thus far in his career.
“That’s just another step going into the offseason of adding some more pieces,” Daboll said. “More players around him. And also him growing into the quarterback that we think he can be...The team from last year will certainly be different this year. Just because there’s different people. So, how you lead those people, how you manage all their different personalities, that’s what I get excited about.”
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Schoen said he's in "constant contact" with Barkley's agent but that any offer that was on the table prior to the Giants tagging him no longer is, as the team has pivoted to other business.
"There's no outstanding offer right now," Schoen said. "Once we put the franchise tag on him, we stepped back. We knew throughout the negotiation that there was going to be a time where, if we couldn't come to an agreement, we were going to go to the franchise tag, and that's what we did."
Mara remains in Barkley’s corner
Giants’ John Mara says he last spoke with Saquon Barkley about 10 days and that it was a good conversation— Charlotte Carroll (@charlottecrrll) March 27, 2023
“We want him to be a Giant for his entire career” pic.twitter.com/uSRWIkrxBU
The Giants hope to be set at the top of the outside linebacker depth chart for years with 2022 first-round pick Kayvon Thibodeaux and 2021 second-round pick Azeez Ojulari. But the position is barren behind that duo, and it’s fair to have concerns about Ojulari after he missed 10 games with an array of injuries last season. Even if Thibodeaux and Ojulari are healthy and productive, it would be beneficial to boost the depth at this position with another pass-rushing threat.
But there are still other glaring holes that need to be addressed. In the offseason, the Giants have done little to improve the cornerback room instead of bringing in former Detroit Lion Amani Oruwariye and undrafted free agent Leonard Johnson, the latter a 2022 NFL Draft prospect that got injured and didn’t get an opportunity last year. While there is still time to add veterans like Marcus Peters, who has experience with Wink Martindale, the expectation should be for the Giants to target cornerbacks early in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Top under-the-radar move: Re-signing defensive end Jihad Ward.
Ward serves a big purpose in Wink Martindale’s defense. He’s the tough, set-the-edge outside linebacker this team needs to complement Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari. The Giants need him to improve the 27th-ranked run defense. Ward tied for the team lead with seven tackles for a loss last season. He led all Giants’ outside linebackers with six “stuffs” and a 2.3 stuff percentage, per NFL Next Gen Stats data. “Haddy,” as they call him, is also a Martindale favorite.
The Giants under/over number is 8.5. In the NFC East, the Eagle's number is 10.5, the Cowboys at 9.5 and the Commanders are at 7.5. The top team in the NFC is the San Francisco 49ers at 11.5.
29. New York Giants (Via NO): C Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin
Trade: New Orleans sends Nos. 29, 115, 165; New York sends No. 25, No. 240
Tippmann didn’t test at the combine, but The Athletic's Bruce Feldman featured him on his “Freaks List.” Tippmann has the size to play guard, as well, if that’s where a team views him long term, but regardless, the Giants get newly extended quarterback Daniel Jones some protection on the interior after adding extra draft capital. Tippmann’s 88.3 run-blocking grade over the past two seasons ranks eighth among FBS centers, and he could fit in any scheme at the next level given his size and athleticism.
25. New York Giants, Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College. Flowers gives the Giants a true over-the-top threat who is also capable of working underneath. Daniel Jones should have an array of weapons at his disposal now.
At the NFL Honors ceremony during Super Bowl week, Sanders presented the AP Coach of the Year award to the New York Giants’ Brian Daboll while wearing a black suit and a gold pocket square, CU colors. As Sanders exited the stage, Daboll told him about a player he should consider at Colorado. Sanders immediately got Daboll on the phone with his chief of recruiting.
“That doesn’t just mean that he respects me, and he would love for this kid to play for me,” Sanders said. “You know how much noise we’ve got to be making right now, for that gentleman, as we’re walking off the stage, saying, ‘I’ve got a dawg for you.’
“I said, ‘I ain’t hard to find, Coach’.”
Andy Reid thinks the world of Darren Waller, the most prolific addition to the Giants’ offense this offseason.
“He’s a beast,” the coach of the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs said Monday morning during the AFC coaches breakfast inside the Arizona Biltmore hotel. “He’s tough. He’s big. He’s fast. He’s strong. Good hands. Smart...When he has children, I want to sign them.”
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