It’s time for another edition of the Friday 5 with good friend Ed Valentine of Big Blue View. This week’s questions looks at the offseason which should start to crank up as far as activity in the coming days.
You can see my answers to these same five questions on Big Blue View.
We have both done some version of “things the Giants can learn from the Eagles Super Bowl title. If you had to pick ONE lesson the Giants should learn what would it be?
Ed Says: I think it’s more something that have been “reaffirmed” and not learned. That is, that to win you have to have a complete team, not just one or two superstars. Shoot, the Patriots throughout their run the past 10-15 years have really also been an example of that. Philly just won with a backup quarterback, and without RB Darren Sproles and OT Jason Peters. They got a brilliant touchdown catch from an undrafted running back in Corey Clement. You need talent and depth across the roster, and a coaching staff that understands how to maximize the ability of the players it has.
As of right now, it appears that the offensive coordinator position is going to come down to Minnesota QB coach Kevin Stefanski or Eagles’ RB coach Duce Staley? Who would be your first choice, and why?
Ed Says: Both guys would seem to be good hires. Both are young, up and coming coaches for whom this job — coordinator without play-calling responsibilities — would be a step forward. Truth is, we only really know these guys from resume, what we read and perhaps what little we have been told about them.
That said, I would probably prefer Stefanski. Why? Mostly because of his breadth of experience. Staley was an NFL running back, and that position is all he has ever coached. Stefanski has coached running backs, tight ends, quarterback and played defensive back at the college level. Both would probably do a good job, but there is something about Stefanski’s exposure to the different position groups that appeals to me.
GM Dave Gettleman brought in Mark Koncz, with whom he worked in the Carolina front office, this week to help evaluate players. Could this be a hint that a post-draft shakeup might be coming in the scouting department, or is that reading too much into it?
Ed Says: I don’t know much about Koncz, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if there is an eventual shakeup in the Giants’ personnel department. That is not the kind of thing you do in the middle of an NFL draft cycle, simply because that puts you too far behind. Once the draft is done, though, all bets are off. VP of Player Evaluation Marc Ross is already out, and Gettleman has already altered the way the Giants evaluate players and structure their draft board. To me, it wouldn’t be a major shock if the Giants eventually revamped their scouting department with some younger scouts already familiar with the evaluation process Gettleman wants to use.
Free agency is coming. On the Giants’ list of unrestricted free agents who, in your mind, would be the single “must keep” player? Or, is there one?
Ed Says: The two biggest names on this list are Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg, but the presence of Brett Jones, Pugh’s injury history and the likelihood that the Giants will pursue guard Andrew Norwell take them off the “must keep” list. Truth is, I’m not sure there is a “must keep” player on the list. There are guys like D.J. Fluker, Devon Kennard, Ross Cockrell and Orleans Darkwa that I would like to see the Giants keep. If I had to choose one it might be Kennard, simply because he is a good linebacker, the Giants don’t have enough of those, and if they are going to play more 3-4 it’s a position they need to add to.
This will be the first “football-less” weekend. Do you miss football already?
Ed Says: Are we ever really without football? There are no games, but with the exception of about six weeks a year football is always front and center in the sports news cycle. There is always something to talk about, whether it’s draft prospects or potential free agent signings, and always something happening. The NFL has mastered the calendar. If I need something to watch this weekend, I can always find some incredibly exciting curling or ice dancing in the Winter Olympics.