The New York Giants are wrapping up one exciting offseason that has the fanbase feeling hopeful for the first time in a long time. There are many eye-catching storylines surrounding the new-look Giants entering 2021. For this reason, the Giants might be the perfect team to be featured on this year’s “Hard Knocks.”
There are specific criteria to meet in order for a team to be featured on “Hard Knocks.” Per The Swing of Things, the criteria are that no teams who were in the playoffs in the last two seasons, no teams with a first-year head coach, no teams which have been featured on “Hard Knocks” in the last 10 years will be eligible for “Hard Knocks.” The five teams meeting that criteria in 2021 are the New York Giants, the Denver Broncos, the Dallas Cowboys, the Carolina Panthers, and the Arizona Cardinals.
HBO’s “Hard Knocks” gives fans an exclusive look at what goes on behind closed doors in an NFL organization. The annual series has captured some exciting moments, like Jon Gruden’s return to coaching and Antonio Brown’s many antics of the 2019 offseason. The New York Giants are one of this year’s teams eligible to be featured on “Hard Knocks” and they might just be a perfect choice.
One of the best scenes in “Hard Knocks” history came in 2015 when the Houston Texans were featured. That offseason, the Texans hosted the Washington Football Team in a joint practice during the preseason. HBO was able to capture an awesome moment of trash-talking and ankle-breaking between DeAndre Hopkins and DeAngelo Hall.
The New York Giants have scheduled two joint practices this season. They will practice with the Cleveland Browns and the New England Patriots. Both of these practices will be away from home for the Giants. Both of these practices have intriguing storylines attached to them.
For the Cleveland Browns practice, this could be an opportunity for Odell Beckham Jr. to interact with his former team on the show. The superstar wide receiver is coming off of a significant injury, just like his former teammate, Giants’ star running back Saquon Barkley. Maybe the show could capture a moment between these two catching up and discussing their shared injury experience. The Browns are also one of the more exciting, young teams in the NFL entering this season. Cleveland is looked at as a potential Super Bowl contender. These should be some exciting practices for the Giants and, if fans were able to get an exclusive look at them on HBO, the practices could create some quality television moments.
The practices with the New England Patriots will allow the show to focus on the Giants’ head coach Joe Judge. Last year, the Giants hired Joe Judge as the team’s new head coach. Coach Judge won the fanbase over almost instantaneously. He’s a fan-favorite personality that has brought a lot of excitement to the team and he alone would make the Giants a great choice for “Hard Knocks.” But the link between Joe Judge and the New England Patriots is what gives this joint practice some added intrigue. Before being hired as head coach of the Giants, Joe Judge worked on the New England Patriots coaching staff from 2012-2019. He is a disciple of the Bill Belichick coaching tree. Belichick, a former New York Giant himself, has spoken very highly of Joe Judge. Fans would love to see some scenes of the two coaches catching up and working together as members of different organizations.
Exciting new players
The Giants totally crushed the 2021 offseason. They landed the top wide receiver on the free agency market in Kenny Golladay. They also re-signed Leonard Williams and landed a stud cornerback in Adoree’ Jackson. Then, in the draft, the Giants added premier prospects in trade downs, landing Kadarius Toney and Azeez Ojulari in the first and second rounds.
In short, the Giants added a lot of exciting new players to the roster this offseason. This was a roster already young, exciting, and budding with talent. But now, the Giants have a legitimate playoff-contending roster built around a core of youthful players like Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. Giants fans are excited to see this new talent hit the field and would eat up every opportunity to see them practice behind the scenes on a show like “Hard Knocks.”
Hard-nosed head coach and big personalities
Joe Judge has a big personality and is your quintessential hard-nosed, no-nonsense football coach. Much of his personality was adopted from the likes of Nick Saban and Bill Belichick, the two head coaches that Judge worked under throughout his career. But Judge’s blue-collar mentality has won over the hearts of Giants fans in the tri-state area. Judge’s ability to make and keep promises while shifting the culture of the team in a new and promising direction has fostered a new sense of hope around the team and its fans. Featuring Joe Judge on a show like “Hard Knocks” would be a great way to get a closer look at the 39-year-old head coach that will lead the Giants into a new era.
Judge’s hard-nosed personality would also benefit the Giants while there are cameras all over the place documenting their offseason. Those cameras could pose risks to the organization as NFL teams need to stay tight-lipped. However, Judge has made it clear that he prioritizes secrecy and would ensure that no sensitive information leaked to the masses via television.
There are other big personalities that would make the Giants’ “Hard Knocks” experience worthwhile. General manager Dave Gettleman is a character with a thick Bostonian accent and a plethora of funny catchphrases. Linebacker Blake Martinez is one of the best defensive players in the NFL and also one of the biggest Pokémon card-collecting influencers on the internet. Daniel Jones is of course an exciting young quarterback with a cool nickname, Danny Dimes, a solid sense of humor, and a knack for hitting the town and throwing back some brews with the boys.
There are plenty of big personalities and likable characters on the Giants at which fans would enjoy getting a close look. There might not be any divas like Antonio Brown on the Giants’ roster for HBO to focus on, but that’s a good thing. No distractions or negative attention. Rather, HBO could focus on the good men and women that make up the organization of the New York Giants as they enter the 2021 season with a ton of excitement and a promising future.