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Big Blue Report: Joe Schoen’s Magic


With the opening of the new NFL season a little over a week away, the fanbase of the New York Giants have the feeling of excitement and high expectations.  A feeling that has been missing since Eli Manning was under center. For those who do not remember that time frame, you have to look back to 2011-2012.. Yes, that long ago.

The Giants, who came off their first playoff win since their last Super Bowl year run back in 2011 have found a gem that makes you believe that this might be the year that knocks out Dallas and Philly. No, not Daniel Jones, or Dexter Lawrence..  His name is General Manager Joe Schoen.

Schoen, who joined the front office last season from the Buffalo Bills, made all the right moves in what might be a game of football chess with the rest of the NFL. After being handcuffed with little money to work with during his first offseason, Schoen and Head coach Brian Daboll were faced with cleaning up the mess left from the last regime, including to decide if Daniel Jones was the right fit at Quarterback.

Knowing the task ahead of them, Daboll and Schoen assembled a staff  together on and off the field  that looks to be in sync with each other. Schoen explained what makes this system workable.

“I would just say really good communication” said the second year GM. “It starts there between Dabs and myself or his staff and my staff. From last year when we got here, they did a very good job of defining what they want at each position, which makes our job easier when we’re going to look for players. So, I think it starts with communication.”

“Year two, everybody’s on the same page” Schoen Continued. “We’ve been through a season. If you need something as a coaching staff, come to us, and we’ll go try to find it, or vice versa. I think that’s the biggest thing, that there is alignment amongst the coaching staff and the scouting department. Again, I think year two definitely went much smoother.”

With great coaching and patience from the front office, the Giants made the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. Schoen’s master plan was in full effect by this point as the 44 year old GM knew that his work had just begun.

With the win against the Vikings during the Playoffs, the Giants and Schoen decided that Jones was their general on the field. Management was anxious to make this deal with Jones and set a plan for the offseason. A plan that came with some drama.

The drama came with the use of the team’s franchise tag on star RB Saquon Barkley. Reports came out that a deal was in place for Barkley if a deal was not reached with Jones. As you know a deal came together five minutes before the deadline back in March for the young quarterback and left management to put their tag on Barkley.

After months of negotiation, Barkley and the Giants failed to come to a long term agreement which led to speculation of a possible hold out training camp for Saquon. Management was able to come to an agreement with their star running back and avoided the drama that would have come with a hold out.

Not only did Joe Schoen resign their star quarterback and running back, he also gave long term deals to LT Andrew Thomas, Defensive stand out Dexter Lawrence as well as adding weapons for Jones to connect with down the field with WR Paris Campbell and TE Darren Waller. 

“A lot of times, again, we go through a process, whether it’s contracts, trades, what’s the value of the player, risk versus reward… It’s a collaborative process.” said Schoen at Thursday’s media session. “You get the coaching staff involved, and Dabs (Head Coach Brian Daboll). What’s the fit for a player, what would the utilization be, the evaluation from the scouts, and then what the value is. If it makes sense, then we’re always going to be aggressive if we need to be and make a move, and we’re comfortable with the ones that we made.”

Schoen’s magic continued last week as he pulled off what some would consider the heist of the century as he made a deal for Isiah Simmons, a young linebacker from the Arizona Cardinals. The price: a seventh round draft pick.

” We talked to (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale); he’s got a vision for the player,” said Schoen. “He’s a young guy, just turned 25, size, length, athleticism and versatility. So, for the compensation, we thought it made sense. We’re excited to see what he does this year”.

With both the Simmons and Waller trades coming out of left field, the Giants have expectations on themselves for the first time in many years thanks to the new management regime. While meeting with the media, Schoen seems optimistic but not ready to punch that playoff ticket yet.

“I like some of the guys that we brought in in free agency,” Schoen reiterated. “I like some of the guys that we drafted but they’ve still got to go out there and do it on Sundays.”

The Giants open up their season against the Dallas Cowboys  September 10th on Sunday Night Football!



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