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Joe Schoen, New York Giants GM

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
August 7, 2023 6:56 pm

Joe Schoen, New York Giants GM

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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August 7, 2023 6:56 pm

New York Giants GM Joe Schoen joined Zach to discuss the upcoming season and how they look to build off of the 2022 campaign.

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That's ShipStation.com slash audio. Alrighty, we continue. This is the Zach Gilb Show, coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. We're getting closer and closer to week one of the NFL season and we're very excited. So let's head out to the hotline right now and welcome in the second-year general manager for the New York Football Giants.

And that, of course, is Joe Shane. Joe, appreciate the time as always. How you been? I've been great. Thanks for having me. Look forward to it. Always appreciate when you come on.

So let me start you off. I know you guys are getting ready for the first preseason game later on in the week and then before you know it, week one will be here up against the Cowboys. But you guys made a nice first impression last season. When you look back at last year, what are really the memories that come back to mind and how you reflect on what the Giants accomplished? Yeah, it was a great season.

Obviously, starting off with the first win in Tennessee. That's a great memory for us. Dave went for it down there, went for two to take the lead. So that was a great start to the season and then we obviously got off to a fast start. So just the job that we did as an organization from the coaching staff, the personnel staff, from bringing players in that were brought in as depth players and they had to eventually graduate up to starters. And the job that the coaches did from a scheme standpoint with the players that we had and game management and execution and scheme and just organizationally, it was an outstanding year.

Because there were a lot of good people in the right seats and they did a really good job at executing their job responsibilities at a high level. No one ever knows how year one will go. For you, it surprised a lot of people, but did it surprise you that you guys ended up making that run to a divisional round weekend in the NFL? Yeah, I would say the fast start probably surprised me more than anything and that really helped build confidence. But I've been in this, unfortunately, I've had a little bit of experience with startups from my second year in the league. We hired John Fox and his second year we went to the Super Bowl. I went down to Miami and Tony Sperano his first year, went to the playoffs and Adam Gates went to the playoffs his first year. Sean McDermott went to the playoffs his first year. So I've seen it done quite a few times and then Dave did it here his first time. So I've been part of those year one builds with new coaching staff and was able to reflect on how those builds took place and what it looked like.

But yeah, I was a little bit, early on, you're not really sure how things are going to turn out, but I've seen it done several times before and kind of stuck with the blueprint that I'd seen before with some of the different organizations. And you know how this works, once you make a big impression, people expect you to improve the following season. A bare minimum improvement would then be going from the divisional round to conference championship weekend. When you look around this team in training camp, Joe, do you think you have a shot to be playing the NFC title game this year?

Yeah, I'm not going to go that far. Right now, every team is different and what we did in 2022 was great, but that's in the past and the 2023 New York Giants are going to have to build their own identity, our own chemistry. And we're working on that right now at training camp, coming together with some of the new pieces we have, what do they do best, and the coaching staff does a great job of putting players in position to accentuate their strengths and how that fits in our scheme. So, you know, not going to make any, you know, how many games we're going to weigh and where we're going to go. Right now we're focused on trying to get the best 53 on the roster, understand the guys that we have on our team and what they're going to do best. And once we come up with the right 53 and we start to build that chemistry and bond, we'll see how far we can take it.

Fair enough. Joe Shane here with us. I know you paid Daniel Jones this offseason, but what did he show you? What did you learn about your quarterback last year? Yeah, ultimately that guy, his job is to win games and he did that for us last year and he had, you know, fourth quarter comebacks early on in the year. He's got the thighs, he's got the arm strength, he's athletic, you know, he can gain yards with his feet, he can, you know, make all the throws and he just, he carried the team when it mattered most in the fourth quarter. And, you know, like I said, he had those comebacks, he had a playoff win on the road and played really well. And again, he's got all the physical talent, he's wired the right way, he's one of the hardest workers on the team. And, you know, when you take the traits that he has along with his habits, you know, I think there's a high feeling there and the continuity of the staff. And, you know, having Kafka back again year two is his offensive coordinator and, you know, the addition of guys like Darren Waller and Jalen Hyatt and, you know, Campbell and some of the other guys that we brought in. You know, just can really get to see what he can do this year. Again, it was a little bit of a revolving door last year and he was still able to, you know, perform at a high level despite the constant change at receiver or tight end or whatever it may have been due to injuries.

And he was a very steady presence out there for us. Yeah, and I like the structure of the contract. I know some people look at it and go, $40 million a year, does he actually deserve it? But I like the way that you guys structured the deal. What do you say to people, I know you just praise Jones a lot, but that go, you know what, I'm still skeptical on Daniel Jones and I doubt what the Giants did this offseason with him. Yeah, I think we'll see.

I think you'll see this season. Again, I've got a lot of confidence in Daniel and our coaching staff and the weapons that we've added. And again, we still got to come together as a group and we're working on it now because there are new pieces, but the good thing is, I think the biggest thing for Daniel is just the continuity, the staff, the understanding, the offense, the ability to execute at a high level.

And then you upgrade some of the talent around him. You know, I think you're going to see the best version of Daniel Jones this year. And I love the move that you made to get Darren Waller just the phenomenal tight end.

The only concern is can he stay healthy? What have been your early impressions getting to see Darren Waller up close and personal? Yeah, it's been great to be around Darren. I mean, he's a tremendous worker since the day he got here.

He's in here all the time. He's working hard. He's picked up the offense. Very smart, very talented, versatile the way we can use him. So, he's been a great addition thus far. We're excited to see what he can do when we get to the regular season. But he's been great since he's been here. And again, we're just excited for him to assimilate into the offense.

And him and Daniel have had a good rapport thus far and look forward to that and continue to grow. Joe Shane, we all know the presence, a tight end comply. We've seen it with Gronk and Travis Kelce be number one weapons for the Patriots and Chiefs leading to multiple championships. I remember when you guys were in Buffalo, you ended up getting Josh Allen a number one weapon in the great receiver in Staphon Diggs. Is this move trading for Waller comparable to what you guys did in Buffalo even though Darren clearly isn't a wide receiver?

Yeah, I think so. When we looked at the market, who was available for a trade? What was the draft going to look like? I know a lot of the people have been harping on us about a number one receiver. Yeah, I think if you have a weapon like Waller, whether it's a number one receiver or a number one tight end that can just change the way you do things. Yeah, I think you've got a chance to be a dominant player in this league. Again, we've got to come together and mesh as an offensive unit.

We'll see what that looks like. But the talent is absolutely there. How do you evaluate the rest of the receiving room when you get to just solely the receivers? Yeah, I think we have some good players there with versatile skill sets, whether it's Daris Slayton and his ability to stretch the field. Dad and Jalen Hayek who can also stretch the field. Both of those guys can also run routes. Isaiah Hodgins came in for us late last year and performed at a high level for us. The addition of Parris Campbell from Indianapolis had a good year for them last year and we got to see him first hand late in the year. He was a good player from there. We have Wandell Robinson coming back off the ACL. He'll be probably returning to practice here in a week or so. So we're excited about him.

Daniel Bellinger in year two. Then the running back room, Saquon Barkley and those guys. So there's going to be some weapons and you've just got to figure out how we're going to, again, how it's going to all come together week one versus Dallas and we're working towards that.

But I'm excited about the group we have. When you got Hodgins, and I know that you were familiar with him during your time with the Bills, did you guys know that you had this hidden secret or did his play kind of surprise you guys as well? Yeah, Hodgins was a guy that always, again, he made plays for us in practice in Buffalo.

Again, where they were with their group. It comes with special teams when you're taking so many receivers to the game. Isaiah wasn't doing a lot on special teams for him so I think that's probably why he came free. Again, he had familiarity with our offense and we knew he was our type of guy and Dave's familiarity with him so when he became available, we put the claim in for him.

It was a no brainer for us. Joe Shane here with us, the second year general manager of the New York Football Giants. You guys are starting to have foundational pieces on this team and you're taking care of them. One of those players, Andrew Thomas, you guys gave a big contract to and was well deserved. Was the second team all pro last year. Joe, I don't know how much you pay attention to these lists. Did you see that he wasn't on the NFL top 100 list because I couldn't believe that one.

I did, yeah. I was surprised to see that. Again, a young player, he's a great kid, he's a pro, he's still 24 and a half, athletic, it's hard to find these left tackles. He played at a high level for us last year so I was definitely surprised to see that he wasn't on that top 100 list. And I remember the first time we talked, you expressed how you really got to build through the trenches and we've seen now Thomas, right, what Evan Neal has been able to do but on the other side of the ball. I know Dexter Lawrence got paid and I know that he is considered to be a great player but I still feel like Dexter Joe is underrated around the NFL.

Yeah, not for us. After seeing him out here for the first 8-9 days of training camp, holy cow, I feel bad for some of our interior guys having to go against him on a daily basis. But another great kid that works hard. Man, he's a load in there. He was a good player last year, played at a high level, I was glad we were able to get something done with him. And again, known commodities like Andrew Thomas, Dexter, Daniel, whoever it may be, you eliminate the margin for error when you're around the kids every day.

You know how they work, you know their injury history, you know what they're about and that just makes those decisions easier. And he's an absolute mauler on the football field. There's been some comparisons to Aaron Donald. I'll say this though, he seems like Dexter Lawrence and you know him better than I do clearly, like the nicest person off the field. Oh yeah, no name for you though, he's got a switch.

He can flip the switch. Alright, I gotta ask you about Saquon Barkley. So the deadline comes and goes of July 17th, you didn't get the long term deal done and then you found a way shortly after that to make something work to get him back in the building. I was shocked that you guys were able to get something done so quickly, you didn't have to miss any of training camp. Had that come together?

Yeah, I think it's just a reflection of the kid. Like Saquon wanted to be here. He's been a big part of this organization. He's an unbelievable teammate, an unbelievable leader. And at the end of the day, he made the decision that he wanted to be here and we were ecstatic that he could be here at the start of camp. So I'm glad the way it worked out. Our relationship's good, the relationship with all of his teammates, coaches, everything.

Didn't miss a beat and he's had a really good camp thus far. With how much work that was put into it on both sides, was it frustrating to not get a long term deal done? Yeah, I think anytime whether it's a minimum salary guy or a guy of Saquon's stature, we're all competitive and you want to get something done and you're trying to do what's best for the organization.

He's trying to do what's best for his family. I know this is highly publicized, but there's a lot of deals that don't get done. It can be with our coaching staff, it can be with players. This happens all the time. It's life. I'm sure you've been through negotiations. Maybe you didn't get done or you didn't get what you think you should get and everybody goes through it on a daily basis.

Sometimes they don't get done. Like I said in my press conference, that's okay. We're still in a good spot. The relationship's good and we're looking forward to Saquon having a really good season.

The shelf life of a running back, this has been well publicized and the state of the league and paying running back is always tricky. When you look at Saquon, even though you didn't get a long term deal done this time, do you still kind of look at him and say this is a guy that is going to be here for a while with the Giants? We'll see what the season holds. We haven't had those conversations.

We're just coming off of getting into camp. We'll let it play out and have those conversations down the road. We take the world of Saquon on the field, off the field, in the locker room.

All that stuff is important to us. We'll let it play out and see where we are at the end of the season. Last thing I'll ask you, Joe Shane, you know the Buffalo Bills organization very well, your time there with Brandon Bean. You also got a chance to know Damar Hamlin. That was one of the scariest things I've ever seen on a football field that Monday night late in the year. Now, to see him back on the field and making plays in training camp, just what are your feelings being able to see something that many of us thought would never happen?

You just saying that gives me chills. He's such a great kid. I was there when we drafted him. To see his ascension, he's a backup year one and starting some games year two, I was super proud of the kid.

To see what happened on the field there, nobody ever wants to see that. Obviously, a lot of prayers were answered. For him to be where he is right now from that day on the field is just unbelievable. It's a true blessing. I'm ecstatic for him and the organization. The training staff did a phenomenal job there. I know all those guys personally.

They're one of the best in the league and showed that evening. Joe, I always appreciate the time. Thanks so much for doing this. Thanks. I appreciate it. Take care.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-07 20:21:51 / 2023-08-07 20:28:49 / 7

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