We are two days away from the opening of the NFL season. Teams have gone through training camp and cuts have been made. All 32 teams have their rosters set. Now it is time for the players to produce, and the coaches to coach. Now lets dive into the New York Giants coaches’ perspectives on the upcoming season.
Head Coach Pat Shurmur knows this is a big season for his team. It is also a big season for his own personal coaching career. He has had winning and losing seasons throughout his career. When asked if he knows at what point is that particular year going to be good or bad, he said “I think you play out the games and you get a feel as it’s going along. You learn about your team a lot. There have been years when you’ve won the first game and didn’t make it to the playoffs. There have been years when you’ve lost the first game and made it to the playoffs. What’s important is we keep playing. We do everything that we can to win the game we’re playing, and then just keep playing. If you keep playing, keep practicing, and you’re fortunate enough to stay healthy, then your team will develop and push through the year.”
“I think we had a good week of training. That gives you a chance to have success on Sunday. You have to go do it. When you don’t train well, then Sundays are up for grabs. But when you do train well, you give yourself the best chance. I think that’s where we’re at.” Shurmur’s comments on where the team is at emotionally before the season begins.
The Giants are heading into Dallas for week 1. They played them in week 17 of last year. Their last two games are against the same opponent. When asked if they or Dallas, as a coaching staff, have any advantages going into the game, he stated, “I don’t know that. We’re both different teams at this point. I don’t know if there is an advantage one way or the other. We were a different team when we played them at the end of the year than we were in the beginning of the year. I would like to think that we’re going to continue and play more like we did in the second half of the year than we did in the first half, especially on offense. I don’t know beyond that.”
Defensive coordinator James Bettcher is excited for the start of the regular season. “I hope everyone is doing well. Really, coming out of training camp I really like where we’re at. I think this is a group that every day there’s really a come to work (mindset). I think there really is a difference between work and purposeful work. These guys are in the meeting room, they are highly engaged. The mix of young guys and vets has been really fun for me to work with because you get a lot of the questions that are foundation questions, whether it’s scheme, whether it’s how to do, what to do. Then you get some of the advanced questions that guys that have been through either this system before or been through different systems, those guys kind of have different questions and take the conversation to the next level.”
” I think at practice, people have probably seen, it’s been there, this group they fly around, compete, they are going to play hard and they are going to play 60 minutes” he continued. “Really look forward to getting to this weekend, without skipping the process that is necessary to prepare. Looking forward to getting to Sunday and seeing these guys go play. I know one of the questions will probably be about the starting cornerback opposite ‘Jack” (Janoris Jenkins), we’ll have a great plan for that Sunday and that will reveal itself as it goes. Plan to see multiple guys at that position and that will reveal itself on gameday. Excited to see whoever that is go compete and play, just like all the other guys are going to be out there playing.”
The Giants defense is a mix of rookies and seasoned veterans. Deandre Baker, Dexter Lawrence, Julian Love, Ryan Connelly, and Oshane Ximines are all rookies who will have to play a lot of snaps throughout the year, and will be counted on to make big plays.
The challenge of having so many rookies on each level of the defense has not gone unnoticed by the defensive leader of this team, “I think for me personally it’s just being mindful of the conversations we need to have in preparation. Then on gameday, we are going to play, we are going to run the plan and what we are going to call, we are going to call. How we get them ready for Sunday is our course of preparation. Making sure in meetings we are covering what we need to cover, walkthroughs, and we are putting them in situations of things we are going to call on gameday and they are going to be the things we major in. I think from a preparation stand point, you are very mindful, I would say that is the biggest thing for me.”
Coach Bettcher also has a plan for getting the young guys ready for the environments they’re going to be in. “It’s just daily preparation, and then our mindset is we play one play at a time and that’s all that matters, the play we’re in. We talk a lot about being where your feet are on defense, that’s in the moment, that’s focused, locked in, eyes, communication. Every down you get a call, you communicate the call, you get in a stance, you get your eyes right and when the ball is snapped you go play. Being able to do that as a young player for 20 plays, for 45 plays, for 60 plays, whatever you are tasked with doing that week, that’s how rookies have to do.”
The Giants coaches know what they’re working with this upcoming season. They have a young team, but they have a lot of talented players. They are an experienced coaching staff that have a lot of wins on their resumes. This staff is going into the season with a very optimistic attitude, and as a Giants fan you have to love that. You have to believe they are going to have the team prepared each and every week to go out on the field and play competitive football.
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