The New York Giants turned over their entire coaching staff this off-season after an extremely tumultuous 2019 campaign. The team went 4-12 last season, finishing 3rd in the NFC East and ranking 30th in overall efficiency. The Giants have ranked no better than 3rd in their division since 2016 when they made the playoffs.
Despite players getting into legal trouble, the feeling around the team is improved. New head coach Joe Judge seems to be a disciplinarian who focuses on fundamentals, and while everything is just talk until the regular season comes around, players seem to be appreciating his approach and respect his mentality towards success.
New York Giants’ top offensive lineman, Kevin Zeitler, spoke to how the team is approaching a virtual offseason and his approach toward the new coaches:
“It’s definitely different from the norm, but we were able to take advantage of it,” Zeitler told the Giants Huddle podcast. “We got good work in, our coaches did an excellent job setting everything up where this wasn’t just a waste of time. It was great work and we’re definitely a lot further along than when we started.”
The virtual aspect of this off-season has been problematic to a large degree, as players can’t work out in person, and it leaves them to make poor decisions, considering DeAndre Baker and Aldrick Rosas’ legal troubles.
“He knows where he’s trying to take this team,” Zeitler said of Judge. “He’s going to make sure he emphasizes that. That’s great. That’s what you want in a head coach. I can’t wait to experience it all in person.”
Judge has ample experience on successful teams, having spent the last eight years with the New England Patriots, attending multiple Super Bowls. In 2018, reports indicated that Judge would leave the Patriots to join Josh McDaniels in Indianapolis, but when McDaniels spurned the Colts, Judge stayed put as well.
Now, he has a tall task ahead of him to reinforce a Giants team that has been messy for the past few years. Luckily, he has plenty of talent to work with, and he’s taking over in the midst of a rebuilt. This is his team, and he knows exactly where he wants to take them, which Zeitler attests to.
“I like [Garrett] a lot. He seems like a great guy,” Zeitler said. “He puts [in] great energy. When the offense is together, he has a great focus in getting us to the point of what the meeting is. Great first impressions.”
Garrett spent 13 years with the Dallas Cowboys before excepting an offensive coordinator position with the Giants this off-season. He has called plays, served as a walk around head coach, and helped develop each and every part of the Dallas roster. His work with Tony Romo and Dak Prescott stand out the most, and I believe he will be an influential factor on Daniel Jones’s progression in the NFL.
As for Marc Colombo, who served as the Dallas offensive line coordinator in 2019, Zeitler is excited to get to work with him.
“He’s been great. He’s obviously worked with a lot of good O-linemen, O-line coaches in his career,” Zeitler said. “I like his energy. He’s passionate. I think we’re ready to get to work … He knows there is no time to waste. He’s going to keep the energy up and he’s going to get us going.”
Colombo is known for his disciplinary and intense mentality. Former players have stated their appreciation for Colombo and what he brings to the table. The Giants’ offensive line will be no weak spot, as Colombo will demand grit and toughness in the trenches.
“Overall, everyone is excited,” Zeitler said. “We’re ready to put last year completely behind us. I think we already have. We can’t waste our time about that. It’s all about building up with this new staff, this new experience, and we’re excited to get it going.”