Dave Klein was the Giants' beat
writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books
and he was one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls
up until last year. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.
JONES, BARKLEY MUST BE RE-SIGNED;
SCHOEN WORKING ON IT
Now that the dream season
has popped, as do most dreams, the Giants are faced with the reality of continuing
their team-building work in order to get better - much better? - and present a
real threat to the other teams in the suddenly powerful NFC East.
To that end, general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll must address
various decisions in order, perhaps starting with the most important, and if that's
the case two names must appear at the top of the list - quarterback Daniel Jones
and running back Saquon Barkley.
has a contract now that the season is over, both were instrumental in what the
Giants did manage to achieve - a 10-7-1 record despite all odds and expectations
- and, well, they MUST be signed, or similar young stars must be signed.
Yesterday, Schoen was asked about his plans regarding those
two anchors. "We'd like Daniel to be here," he said. "Again, as
he said yesterday - there's a business side to it. We feel like Daniel played
well this season. He's done everything that we've asked him to do.
again, there's a business side to it. We haven't gone down that road yet. We still
have our meetings with the staff late in the week, and we'll devise an offseason
plan. We haven't had those meetings yet, but we would like to have Daniel back."
"Again, this is
a special team to me," Schoen continued. "It was my first year. We'd
like to have all the guys back, I really would. But there's a business side to
it. There are rules you need to operate under in terms of the salary cap.
"Saquon is a good player. He's a great teammate. I loved
getting to know him this season. He's a guy we would like to have back. It's
just, again, we haven't had our end-of-season meetings yet. We're less than 48
hours after that game.
"Everybody has to step back,
take the emotion out of it, evaluate the roster and then operate under the salary
cap. How are you going to divvy up? How are we going to create the roster? What
are the priority positions, and how are we going to move forward? We would like
to have Saquon back if it works out."
Did he say if
it works out?
The thought here is that it had better work out, you know?
Schoen decided to add to that statement. "Listen, Saquon
has done everything we've asked him to do, and he's a good football player. Again,
the positional value - we'll get into how we want to build this team and allocate
our resources. That's what it comes down to. Again, he's a good football player.
He was durable for us this year; he played well. And again, he's a guy that we
would like to have back."
As to Jones, it is possible
that Schoen made a little slip of the tongue later in his press conference.
As follows: "We're happy Daniel's going to be here,"
Schoen said. "We're happy he's going to be here. Hopefully we can get something
done with his reps. That would be the goal - to build a team around him where
he can lead us to win a Super Bowl."
is an unrestricted free agent, a clarification was sought regarding the statement
that Jones is "going to be here."
going to have those offseason meetings at the end of the week, and we're going
to talk about it," Schoen said. "And then with the resources that we
have, we're going to talk to his representatives and hopefully be able to get
something done to go off the first question."
more than likely that Jones and Barkley will remain with the Giants, perhaps at
the cost of a few other veterans. But graded on levels of importance, there doesn't
seem to be another way.
***** ***** ***** *****
I was just working
on my top historical quotes and comments from the Giants' storied past and so
far here's what I have come up with:
After losing to the Washington Redskins, 72-41, (is it still all right to use
that nickname since the game was in 1966?) head coach Allie Sherman moaned: "I
never thought I'd coach a team that scored 41 points and lost by 31."
--- After New England's Tom Brady was sacked for the hundredth time in Super Bowl
42, inflicting a 17-14 loss that end the Patriots' unbeaten streak at 18 games,
the quarterback was prone on the ground next to Giants' defensive end Osi Umenyiora
after one of those sacks.
Osi," he asked. "Why don't you slow down just a little?
To which Osi responded: "I will, Tom, if you'd just hold the ball a little
--- The Giants had one
of the all-time characters on the roster in 1964, their first-round draft pick,
running back Joe Don Looney.
his first training camp, he approached Sherman after practice and said: "Coach,
I won't be making practice tomorrow."
Understandably, Sherman asked why.
I already know the plays," he said. "So it's kind of a waste of time,
--- The day after the
final game of a season in the 1960s, Sherman told defensive tackle Rosey Grier
he had a goal for him.
weight during the off-season," he told Grier, who was then a 300-pound plus
eater when such "body building" wasn't as common as it is today. Rosey
The following summer, when the
team reported for camp, Sherman approached the even-heavier Grier and said: "Rosey,
you lied to me, you didn't lose a pound." Rosey stared at him. "I tried,
coach, I really did. I even bought that Metrecal (a popular brand of powdered
diet drink) and I had two or three cans with every meal." Obviously, the
dose was one can - instead of a meal.
--- During a game in 1966 at the Los Angeles Coliseum (site of the first-ever
Super Bowl, by the way), a two-year wonder named Tom Kennedy was at the quarterback
At one point in what would
turn into a rout by the Rams (55-14), Kennedy barked signals, pivoted and smartly
threw the ball out of bounds. He was then stunned to see the teams change sides.
When someone told him he had stopped the clock on fourth down, he looked stunned.
"Nobody told me it was fourth down," he said. "Am I supposed to
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