The stewardships of Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur and Jerry Reese, while not too long ago, feel as if they are in the distant past. The imprints of Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge are still deep within the Giants’ roster. But as the team gears up for the 2022 season opener versus the Tennessee Titans on the road this Sunday (4:25 p.m.), it is firmly the Joe Schoen-Brian Daboll era now.
“I’m just trying to do the best I can to help the players out in terms of their preparation, practice schedule, and really not focus on that,” said Daboll on Tuesday regarding his emotions ahead of his regular season coaching debut, per the Giants website.
“I’d be lying to say that I’m not honored, again, to be standing up here. But my focus is on the game and the players. There will be a time and place for that. I want to do everything I can to get ready for this game.”
The Giants’ first-year general manager Schoen and rookie head coach Daboll are charged with pulling the Giants out of the abyss. Former coaches McAdoo, Shurmur, Judge and erstwhile GMs Reese and Gettleman all share in the accountability for the Giants not making the playoffs since the 2016 season and failing to win the NFC East division since the 2011 campaign, their last Super Bowl championship season.
But the success of an organization begins and ends with the ownership, which ultimately signs off on the organization’s most significant hires and often the selection of high draft picks, particularly quarterbacks, many who become the faces of NFL franchises. So Schoen and Daboll aspire to replicate the success the Giants experienced in winning Super Bowls XLII and XLVI, first with Ernie Acorsi as the GM followed by Reese, who was the director of player personnel under Accorsi before rising to general manager. Both had Tom Coughlin as their head coach and Eli Manning at QB for those momentous victories.
Schoen and Daboll enter their inaugural season with the Giants having Daniel Jones as QB1. Daboll will be the third head coach for which Jones has played since being drafted fifth overall by the Giants in 2019. One of the first significant decisions Schoen and Daboll made was not exercising the fifth-year option of Jones’ rookie contract, meaning they can either place the franchise tag on him after this season, sign him to a long-term deal, or let the Charlotte, North Carolina native walk. It is an urgently important season for the 25-year-old Jones, and an intense and consequential evaluation year by Scheon and Daboll.
Similarly, after enduring the egregious mistakes and missteps of the previous regimes, diehard Giants fans will be heavily scrutinizing Schoen and Daboll. After developing the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen into one of the NFL’s best QBs, the duo are keenly aware how an elite quarterback can elevate the fortunes of a franchise.
For Jones, it will be a week to week journey over the 17-game schedule. “It’s about us, it’s about us executing our plays and doing what we need to do as a unit and an offense,” he said from Giants practice on Tuesday. “We’re preparing for [the Titans], but we’re really focused on us this week.”
And the focus of many eyes will be squarely on him.