Anyone with a basic knowledge of football can tell you the New York Giants were in a state of peril during the 2019 season. The defense was putrid, the offense was stale, and the in-game coaching was some of the worst we’ve ever seen.
Former head coach Pat Shurmur is a talented offensive mind, but he was in over his head with the job that subsequently landed in Joe Judge’s lap, an option with no HC experience. However, the team already seems to be on a better path, with two former head coaches joining the coaching staff as offensive coordinator (Jason Garrett) and tight ends coach (Freddie Kitchens).
The New York Giants feel they are in good hands:
Rob Gronkowski: "Joe Judge is out of control. He's fun to be around, he has a lot of great jokes and is funny. He's a great coach for the Giants' organization. He loves the game of football to the max and knows the game inside and out."
— The Giant Insider Newspaper & Podcast (@GiantInsider) January 29, 2020
The way forward starts with Judge evaluating the current players on the roster and grading them appropriately. That will give management an idea of what positions need significant draft/cap allocations this offseason.
One former Giants great that was willing to express his opinion on the state of the team is Michael Strahan, stating:
“Can’t have a bunch of nice guys and win. It doesn’t work. We need to find some dogs,” Strahan told The New York Times’ David Marchese in a Q&A.
“Defense is where I struggle, because there are times I’m watching, and I’m going, ‘Wow, this is pretty bad. We don’t have a playmaker, per se, on defense,’ and that’s been a little disheartening,” he said. “Where’s the guy who inspires everybody to play better?”
General manager Dave Gettleman brought in several veteran players in 2019 to help improve the leadership factor. Antoine Bethea, Alec Ogletree (was already on the team), and Markus Golden were all considered the leaders in the locker room and on the field. Nonetheless, the unit ranked 19th in the NFL in points allowed.
“Front-office wise, I don’t know what their plan is,” he said. “I mean, we got rid of Jackrabbit [Janoris Jenkins], trade [Damon] Snacks [Harrison], got rid of Odell Beckham Jr. We got rid of a lot of guys who were opinionated, but you’ve got to have a soul to your team.”
There are players and positions that Strahan complimented:
“All right, the things I like: Daniel Jones,” Strahan began. “Excited about Saquon Barkley. If we can get Evan Engram to stay healthy, he is a dynamic tight end. We need some work on the offensive line, and we need a big-play receiver, but offensively I feel good about the team.”
Michael is right, the offense is in a good place, starting with Daniel Jones. Barkley is a playmaker who can break games open, but health continued to be an issue for Evan Engram. If Gettleman can piece together the offensive line this offseason, they will be in a far better spot in 2020.
The demise of the team lands on the defense, who need bolstering at the highest level. Expect the Giants to allocate plenty of capital towards a pass rusher, linebacker, cornerback, and free safety.