Good morning, New York Giants fans!
In Year 1 with head coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka the New York Giants made tremendous strides on offense, finishing 15th in the league in scoring after placing 31st in 2021.
Can the Giants continue to take steps forward on offense? While BBV's Ed Valentine looks at each position grouping, let's spotlight one player that has been the buzz of the spring: Darren Waller.
Can Darren Waller stay healthy?
Waller is different. He looks, moves, and plays differently than a normal tight end. The fact that he practiced almost exclusively with the wide receivers during the spring and spent most of his time aligned in the slot or on the solo side of 3x1 formations tells you the Giants plan to use him differently.
“I view this season as an opportunity to get back to having fun and just being available for my teammates every and each week. That’s something I haven’t been able to do the last couple years, and I’m fully aware of that,” Waller said recently. “I’m doing everything in my control to be able to be out there and be accountable, be reliable, by just being out there every day. I’m excited about that challenge. I’ve done it before, and I’m ready to do it again.”
If he can, and he still has something approaching the ability he displayed a couple of seasons ago, the Giants will have a unique and game-changing player at their disposal.
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Other Giant observations
The Giants’ offense looks a lot more explosive thanks to the new receivers around quarterback Daniel Jones.
“The name of the game for those guys to get open is to use their speed,” quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney said. “You can see that with Parris. You can see that with Waller, Jalin, Jeff Smith. All those guys we added can roll. That helps the risk/reward, the faster those guys are running downfield, the easier it is to make the decision because it is happening that much faster for us. They’ve been great additions.”
Another one: Baldy excited about the impact Darren Waller will have
The Giants have voiced their desire to keep Barkley in New York long term, and despite his explosiveness returning last season, Tiki can’t say for sure that he wouldn’t be easy to replace given the nature of the position.
“I know Giant fans want Saquon Barkley on this team, and feel like they need Saquon on this team,” Tiki said. “But the fact is, if he’s not on this team, I honestly don’t know if they’d be worse off. I think they would be because of the locker room, but I can’t say for a fact, ‘This team won’t win 10 games without Saquon Barkley.’ I can’t say that.”
PFT’s Mike Florio makes a larger point that is hanging up the negotiations between Barkley and the Giants.
It’s a frustrating and unfortunate situation. The players who are playing the most dangerous position in football can’t get a fair return for their efforts. They can’t get to the open market until it’s too late to matter.
And no one seems to care, other than the men who play the running back position. The NFL doesn’t care. The NFL Players Association doesn’t care. Why should they? The league and the union created the system that screws the league’s running backs.
What does Giants’ new running backs coach Jeff Nixon think about depth behind Saquon Barkley? | NJ.com
What Nixon has liked most, however, is the group of running backs that he did get to coach this spring.
“Matt Breida has a veteran presence and really understands the offense,” Nixon said. “He’s a great guy to have around to help some of our younger running backs. I really think we have some talent. Gary Brightwell … when he got opportunities last year, I thought he performed well. He’s still an arrow-up player. And (Jashaun) Corbin, I think he will show what he can do in training camp.”
As for fifth-round pick Eric Gray, Nixon says “He’s someone we thought performed as a three-down running back (at Oklahoma). He fits right in with this group of running backs that I want to coach."
11) Brian Daboll, New York Giants
Brian Daboll won Coach of the Year after leading the Giants to a playoff appearance, shattering expectations for a team that many thought would be in line for another top-10 draft pick. With both of his coordinators back, Daboll must add talent to New York’s roster, but he’s already shown he can get the most out of what he’s given. Daboll’s best trait may be his understanding of the modern NFL game and the importance of the QB run. But hiring is an important part of coaching, and gathering a staff of Mike Kafka and Wink Martindale was an outstanding decision.
Coach Daboll mic’d up this Spring
Giants 53-man roster projection: Improved depth has pushed notable veterans to bubble | The Athletic
CB Darnay Holmes looks like he’ll have a tough time making the Giants roster. Meanwhile, LB Jarrad Davis could be a surprise cut.
22. New York Giants
A season ago, Giants’ linebackers posted the second-worst overall grade in football at 35.8—43.2 run-defense grade and 30.0 coverage grade necessitated a significant acquisition. That acquisition came in the form of Bobby Okereke, who proved his worth in a lead role in Indianapolis while Shaquille Leonard was injured for most of the season. His 73.3 overall grade bettered every player in the New York linebacking corps. Finding Okereke some help on the second level will be a major issue, with Jarrad Davis and Micah McFadden looking like the primary options.
New York Giants legend Carl Banks is still racking up big numbers thanks to his ongoing success in the football fashion industry, extending a legacy that was already well-established on the field of the NFL.
Around the league
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