Team Giants


Special Report

Sent: 06-13-20

Dave Klein was the Giants' beat writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books and he is one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.


By Aaron Klein
So what's new in Giants Land? Not too much, to be honest. The team has finished with its virtual meetings, missed the entire off-season workout program, all Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and will not hold any minicamps.
Next up, we are told, will be formal training camps at a date yet to be determined. As per NFL mandate, all camps must be held at team facilities, not at an outside location.
According to many reports, all clubs will start camp on the same day; there is a strong possibility that teams will circle July 28 on the calendar. There have also been reports that the preseason will be cut to two games to give teams more time to prepare after missing the entire offseason.

Could a shortened preseason become the new normal in future years? You can be sure that such a plan has been discussed and it might not be a bad idea. Haven't we seen too many injuries in the preseason? Aren't coaches and general managers capable of making decisions based on training camp workouts and two preseason games? While these summer contests are not meaningless in terms of preparation and evaluation, four is too many.

Many of you remember when there were six preseason games, and that was patently ridiculous. From 1970-1977, coincidentally during the Giants' darkest era, the NFL held six preseason games (three at home, three on the road), thanks to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act exemption that was granted to the NFL, which had just merged with the AFL, and allowed the league to force fans to pay for preseason games in order to retain regular season tickets.
What a bargain! In the last year of the six-game summer schedule, the Giants went 1-5, losing to New England, 19-3, New Orleans, 23-7, and San Diego, 29-17, beating Buffalo, 24-21 (OT), Jets 10-0, then losing again to Miami, 27-21 before recording a pitiful 5-9 regular season record. Two seasons later, the Giants cleaned house and brought in general manager George Young and head coach Ray Perkins for the 1979 season.

One can make a case for returning to a four-game slate in 2021 but playing just two preseason games seems smarter and safer, and it also opens the door for the 18-game regular season idea.
For the record, the Giants' current preseason schedule is as follows: the New York Jets on Aug. 13 (away), Tennessee on Aug. 22 (away), Green Bay on Aug. 29 (home) and New England on Sept. 3 (home). We don't know which two games would be cut if the league does change the schedule, but it's a fair guess that they would be played on those last two weekends before the regular season kicks off at home against Pittsburgh on Sept. 14 in the early slot of a Monday Night Football double-header.

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Heck, there isn't even much chatter going on, other than the broken record that the team will eventually re-sign linebacker Markus Golden and that negotiations with defensive lineman Leonard Williams and his representatives are ongoing. Williams was given the Franchise Tag earlier this season, but it would appear that both sides would prefer a long-term deal.

However, if he doesn't sign by July 15, he'll be on the one-year Franchise Tag ... but no one has publicly decided if that tag would pay him as a defensive end or a defensive tackle, a difference of nearly $2 million.
If you want to consider reports that second-year quarterback Daniel Jones hosted informal workouts that he held with a group of teammates as news, then it's news. The story goes that skill players including Saquon Barkley, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Kaden Smith and Corey Coleman participated. That Coleman was involved is a good sign that he is not only healthy but is driven to make it back to the roster.
Also, Jones taking on a leadership role and getting even some veterans to come along for the ride could have a major, positive impact on the team's future.

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There's a story going around, courtesy of NFL Network, that the Giants will field the fastest 11-personnel base offense in the league, based on 40-yard dash times. According to the story, the average combined 40-yard speed of Barkley, Shepard, Tate, Darius Slayton and Evan Engram is 4.42. Impressive for sure. In second place are the Kansas City Chiefs with a 4.45.
Maybe that's a bit interesting to some, but is there any real importance to this concept? Absolutely not. Yet, there are many making an issue about it. Where on this planet does three-tenths of a second make any difference at all, especially when compared with the Super Bowl champion Chiefs, Denver (also 4.45), Carolina (4.46) and Houston (4.46)?
It's a curious bit of trivial information, one that must be attributed to the lockdown and lack of real news, but there's isn't much validity to any argument that says, “See, the Giants can compete with the best teams in the league.”
It doesn't hurt to have speed, but it's how head coach Joe Judge and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett use that speed this season that will add weight to this treatise. Besides, there is game speed and there is track speed, which in this case was based on times recorded at the Scouting Combine, before any of the players had played a single snap in the NFL.

Questions? Comments?
Send it all over to
and follow me on Twitter @_AaronKlein_
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Check out Dave's website at E-GIANTS where you can subscribe to his newsletters which run much more frequently than what is available here.
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