The New York Giants have had an eventful off-season, littered with high-profile free agent signings and a strong draft class. Acquiring WR1 Kenny Golliday, CB2 Adoree Jackson, and a bevy of adequate depth pieces, the Giants are heading into the 2021 season with a revitalized sense on both sides of the ball.
For current players, watching the Giants go out and spend big money to acquire more talent was exciting; it represented the progress and forward momentum of the organization.
This present-day Giants team is far different than the one we experienced in recent years, ranging from personnel to front office decisions. Even the players noticed a change, compared to their old teams or just in one off-season with Big Blue.
Arizona radio station interviewed Giants’ LB Blake Martinez, who described the difference between playing in New York and Green Bay — they were quite extreme:
â€œI think the biggest difference between both is the age of the given guys on either team. I think in Green Bay, it was a lot of older, veteran guys, where in New York it was a lot of young guys still in that college mindset and everyone hung out with each other and had that camaraderie. Not that we didnâ€™t have that camaraderie in Green Bay, but it felt more like a high school (or) college vibe in New York,â€ Martinez said.
The locker-room aspect of any given team is extremely important, but the camaraderie the Giants currently have is outstanding. The coaching staff has put together a disciplined roster containing a variety of demographics, ranging from youth to veterans. With so much youth on the team, there has a college feel to it, which boosts morale and excitement.
The New York Giants had an “awesome” offseason:
â€œItâ€™s awesome. Throughout the whole thing, I was excited, especially with the free agency process and the guys we brought in on offense and defense. In the draft, we got multiple defensive guys â€” a couple outside linebackers, a cornerback, the list goes on. The skyâ€™s the limit, and I think the potential is there, but each and everyday as a group, we just have to keep going back to that foundation and that culture and put that work in to be able to reach that potential. If we do that, I think itâ€™s going to be a very successful year.â€
That is exactly what you want to hear from your mike linebacker, who played such an integral part in boosting the defense to a top 10 year in 2020. Martinez finished his first season in blue with 151 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, six QB hits, 3.0 sacks, and a career-low 6.2% missed tackle rate. Martinez is a reliable player, playing at all 16 games despite battling injury at points of the season. He set the example for the younger guys, and with Martinez’s excitement, should come an even better 2021 campaign.