Giants’ future bright if they keep Jones, Barkley

PHOENIX — Michael Strahan believes the Joe Schoen-Brian Daboll Giants are on the rise, and he sees Big Blue skies ahead with Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley.

Strahan’s advice: Keep them. Pay them.

“You gotta keep Saquon,” Strahan said at a Fox press conference. “You can see that Daniel Jones is better with him in there, the team is better with him in there, he’s a leader in every single way. I think Saquon Barkley is one of the players that you have to keep on this team in order to build off what they did last year.”

Strahan believes Jones is the heir apparent to Eli Manning.

“This guy hasn’t been in the same system with the same head coach, coordinator, anything since he’s been with the Giants,” Strahan said. “See what he did this year? With a receiving corps that was depleted? It’s just amazing to me that he made the playoffs. And he took over games when he needed to take over.

“I love Daniel. I think he’s gonna be great for the Giants. Put the right pieces around him, I think he can make this offense pretty proficient.”

But he can only do that if he stays with Big Blue.

Michael Strahan
Michael Strahan

“I think you have to keep Daniel Jones,” Strahan said. “You have to pay Daniel Jones. That’s just the way football works right now. And the hardest position to fill is quarterback. So, if you don’t keep him, somebody else will get him and then what’s your next move? There’s no guarantee anyone else is gonna be great. So I think that Daniel did enough to earn himself a great contract there in New York. I think he has the right temperament. I didn’t think I’d meet anybody or see anybody who’s more quiet than Eli Manning when they played, and Daniel Jones has accomplished that. He’s done that.”

Strahan hopes offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, a finalist for the Cardinals’ head-coaching job, stays for another year to work with Jones. Either way, get Jones help.

“Wide receiver’s probably the biggest position where they probably go look for a home-run hitter,” Strahan said. “They need some playmakers, some big playmakers.”

They don’t need a GM or head coach. Strahan gushed about Schoen and Daboll for the culture they were able to build.

“For Daboll, here’s a coach who goes up to the front office and walks into offices of people who he never needs to know and introduces himself,” Strahan said. “Says hello. He builds a community around him, and I think Joe Schoen does the same thing.

“Just to know what those two have brought to New York in a one-year period shows me that the future’s really gonna be bright under these two, and they’re great talent evaluators, and I think they’re gonna work out, and hopefully I’ll be doing one of these and we’ll be talking about the Giants in the Super Bowl.”

He loves Daboll’s authenticity.

“I think [former coach Joe] Judge just had a different way that he went about it, and Daboll came in as Brian Daboll. He didn’t come in as someone trying to be another coach. … He knows how to push you, but he knows how to pull back, he knows how to motivate you. … I don’t know, it’s just something about him — you look at him, he’s this big and he’s round, and you go, ‘I want to play for him. I like that guy.’ ”

Strahan has been a mentor to 2022 first-round pick Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Daniel Jones
Daniel Jones
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

“Kayvon had to learn to play without thinking,” Strahan said. “I saw later in the season he was pass rushing a little more instinctively based off just being free and not thinking about the technique of it all, and that was something that I struggled with as a rookie — just trying to make sure my technique was right, instead of doing what comes naturally to you as an athlete. I think the future’s bright for him, I think he’s the type of player, that you can definitely build a defense arithmetic between him and Dexter Lawrence and [Leonard] Williams in the middle. I think they have a good nucleus of a potentially great defensive line.”

Does Strahan see Thibodeaux (four sacks) as a double-digit sacker?

“Oh absolutely,” he said. “I think he’d be disappointed if he wasn’t a double-digit sacker.”

Of course he would.

“He seemed to always find himself in kind of the middle of something … but he’s oblivious,” Strahan said. “He’s his own man, that’s what I love about him. He doesn’t let the opinion of other people shape who he is, he knows who he is, and that’s a hard thing for most rookies to do.”

Strahan beamed reminiscing about the Giants’ Super Bowl XLII upset of the Perfect Patriots at the stadium that is hosting Super Bowl LVII.

“I’m looking forward to just going to the stadium, maybe I’d put a little grass in a jar or something, take it back home with me,” he said with a chuckle. “One of the greatest memories of my professional life of being here in this stadium … the confetti’s falling, it’s for the Giants, and we beat a team that seemed to be unbeatable that year. I’m gonna have a smile on my face the entire week.”

Asked what his favorite memory of it was, Strahan said: “Yeah, the end of it! I was so tired. The first time in my 15 years I felt like I left everything on the field.”

There was no verbal back and forth between him and Tom Brady.

Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley
Getty Images

“He was just yelling and cursing out his O-line and slamming that ball down,” Strahan said. “Tom told me, ‘I would give up a few Super Bowls for that one.’ ”

Steve Spagnuolo was Coughlin’s defensive coordinator. Now he does the same job for Andy Reid.

“I love Steve Spagnuolo, man,” Strahan said. “He changed my life. He’s a brilliant coordinator. He … lets you know that he believes in you. You felt more like you just don’t want let him down.”

He felt confident once Manning somehow scrambled out of a sack and David Tyree made his Helmet Catch.

“Two of the most unlikely guys to do either of those things,” Strahan said.

Wait … another memory. “Watching Tom Coughlin eat an In-N-Out burger after practice one day,” Strahan said.

Strahan didn’t offer a prediction for Sunday’s Super Bowl, but he seemed to be favoring the Eagles over the Chiefs.

“I think that pass rush [70 sacks] is ferocious,” he said.

He doesn’t want to see the Empire State Building lit up green. Only blue, thank you.

“Watching them play against the Eagles, getting beat, let them know how far they need to go to get to the point where they can compete at that level,” Strahan said. “When it comes to the Empire State Building, I think whoever did that should look for another job. That’s just flat-out disrespectful. I don’t remember us winning the Super Bowl and going to the Super Bowl and Philly lighting up blue. It didn’t happen. It’s called the City of Brotherly Love, but it’s not. It’s just not.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *