The New York Giants are coming off one of their worst seasons in recent memory. Nothing went right from injuries to locker room chemistry. General manager Jerry Reese and head coach Ben McAdoo were ousted before the end of the season and new GM Dave Gettleman and new head coach Pat Shurmur have worked hard to restore the locker room and bring back Giants’ football to its former glory. With OTAs under way things are starting to round into shape with the Giants and the best word to describe it is encouraging.
Eli Apple and Ereck Flowers are two of Reese’s first round picks that have failed to live up to expectations. They were also involved in some of the locker room discord. Both were given a clean slate by the new regime. Earlier, it appeared that Flowers would shoot himself in the foot and stay away from the Giants after the team signed Nate Solder to play left tackle. However, Flowers has appeared at OTAs as he tries to learn to play right tackle while holding off Chad Wheeler and other contenders for the right tackle job. Apple has also shown up and has owned his behavior and poor play from last season. He knows he has a clean slate and so far he is showing flashes of first-round talent in camp.
The Giants needed to get this offseason off on the right foot. With a new system being implemented on both offense and defense it was important for all players to get and get to work. There is a different outlook now among the players and the defeatism that crept into the culture last year is gone. This is a team looking for revenge and they have the weapons to make a good run if the chips fall their way.
Shurmur and Gettleman deserve a lot of credit for not making examples of certain players. They surveyed their team and decided the talent was worth the risk. So far, both players are taking advantage and putting in the work and earning praise from the media and teammates.
It was crucial for this team to come together and find common ground heading into the new season. These OTAs were essential to building this team. The Giants need Flowers and Apple this season. They need them to take a step forward. Both will play crucial roles for this team and the first steps have been taken. Both players are moving in the right direction and hopefully the Giants are too.