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New York Post

Joe Schoen feels Giants are in ‘much better shape’ entering second season

By Paul Schwartz,


At least he can now use a glass or a water bottle.

“I was drinking out of a fire hose last year,’’ Joe Schoen said.

There is no great appeal to such anxiousness, which is why Schoen is so much more comfortable nowadays dealing with all he has to deal with in his demanding job, entrusted with moving the franchise forward as the general manager of the Giants. It is slightly more than one calendar year since he was hired and quickly moved to bring in Brian Daboll as his head coach. Together, Schoen and Daboll strengthened a partnership first spawned during their four years together with the Bills. The Giants profited from this relationship. No one expected the team to go 9-7-1 and win a playoff game, but Schoen and Daboll made it happen.

It was natural for Schoen to reflect on all this earlier in the week during his time at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. That was the first event he attended a year ago as he slipped into his new position. He liked the feeling much better this time around .
Schoen reflected on a first year full of surprises as the Giants’ GM.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

“I came down the day after Dabes’ press conference, so we didn’t have a staff in place,’’ Schoen said of his itinerary last year. “It was my first time meeting the college staff — I didn’t know any of the scouts, I knew a couple of ’em but I hadn’t met ’em. I’m way more comfortable this year, the processes are in place, the staff’s in place.

see also Brian Daboll’s long Giants year continues at Senior Bowl

“I feel much better this year than I did last year, just having the staff in place, Dabes and I are aligned, the defensive staff and the personnel staffs aligned, the offensive staff is aligned with the personnel staff, we’re on the same page in terms of what we’re looking for in the process moving forward. We’ve now been through a year cycle, we’ve done everything together for 365 days and everyone knows the expectations. Yeah, I think we’re in much better shape this year.’’

That bodes well for the Giants, who moved into offseason mode after their loss to the Eagles in the NFC divisional playoff round. While the Eagles prepare for their Super Bowl LVII meeting with the Chiefs, the Giants are tasked with trying to figure out how to close the gap on Philadelphia in the NFC East.

In what essentially was a trial run, Schoen last year navigated through a free-agency period with meager salary-cap space at his disposal and engaged in his first NFL draft as the man in charge of the entire operation. At this time last year, he was far ahead of where he is now, in terms of his study of draft prospects. That was a focus for him as the Bills’ assistant general manager. This year, that was not his focus, given all the other supervisory requirements eating into his time.
Daboll and Schoen previously worked together on the Bills.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Daboll and Schoen convened at the Senior Bowl a year ago armed with two prime picks, as the Giants owned the No. 5 and No. 7 overall selections in the 2022 draft. Schoen used them to anoint his first draft class as an NFL general manager, taking outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux and offensive tackle Evan Neal with those first-round picks. This time around, the Giants own the No. 25 overall pick.

There were no major issues the first time through the cycle for Schoen and Daboll, primarily because the two had that working and personal relationship from their years together in Buffalo, Schoen as general manager Brandon Beane’s top assistant and Daboll as the Bills’ offensive coordinator. One year later, the expectation is that the process will run even more efficiently.
Joe Schoen, left, walks with co-owner Steve Tisch ahead of the Giants’ loss to the Eagles on Jan. 21.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

After scouting the college all-star practices and games, Schoen will engage in free agency meetings, plan out the NFL scouting combine plan of attack for that event in Indianapolis the last week of February and the first week of March. Then come extensive draft meetings, player visits, Pro Days to attend and, finally, the compilation of the draft board the Giants will use as a guide to make their nine selections. The Giants currently have nine draft picks and could see their total rise to 11, as they likely will receive two additional picks — possibly in the fifth and seven rounds — for losing Evan Engram, Lorenzo Carter and Austin Johnson in the 2022 free-agency signing period.

There is much work to be done. The second-time around should be a smoother ride, with no fire hose drinking for Schoen.

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