Joe Schoen era will hinge on Giants having a top quarterback

Given that Giants general manager Joe Schoen advertises himself as a man of culture and character, quarterback CJ Stroud, who he will be watching Saturday night, has just presented his Ohio State Teammates handed out $500 gift cards so they could wear new suits. They host Notre Dame.

In the Wild West era of names, images and likenesses, a star Division I player could make a deal with a clothing company like Stroud via “Express” and make things happen. On the other hand, the young Mr Stroud just did a very thoughtful thing about the rest of the dressing room without any urging from the manager.

Schoen should have it in his notebook before arriving in Columbus, Ohio, in case Stroud’s name gets thrown in the Giants’ draft room next spring as they compete for a new quarterback.

Up front, understand that Daniel Jones deserves a fair and just opportunity to convince rookie Schoen and his rookie coach Brian Dabore that he deserves to be the Giants’ long-term quarterback.

“I think Daniel’s in a good place. I’m happy where he is,” Schoen said Thursday, while acknowledging that “everyone has to go to the show on Sunday” and that nothing else matters.

Even after Schone turned down his fifth-year option for more than $22 million, Jones likely has the size, arms and athleticism to make it happen. If Jones proves he can stay healthy and throw more touchdowns and fewer interceptions than his last 25 starts (21 touchdowns, 17 picks), maybe, just maybe, he can still be in the Giants’ The next stage becomes “The Guy”‘s never-ending rebuild.

Giants general manager Joe Schoen will be looking for Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud (top left) if they decide to go in a different direction than Daniel Jones after this season.
Giants general manager Joe Schoen will be looking for Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud (top left) if they decide to go in a different direction than Daniel Jones after this season.
Bill Kostroun (2); Associated Press

But chances are, that won’t happen. Even if Jones plays at a higher level in 2022, Schoen and Daboll have a lot of incentive to identify and acquire their own quarterback in 2023. New hope at this position buys general managers and head coaches some extra time to realize their vision — a chance to change Year 2 back to Year 1 — and gives the Giants a chance to see what Jones doesn’t have that first-line advantage.

Josh Allen selected Schoen’s Bills with the seventh overall pick in 2018 after Dave Guttman’s Giants grabbed Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick.

Although Schoen contributed to Wyoming’s Allen as Buffalo’s assistant general manager, he didn’t get that credit. Brandon Beane is the exec who traded and got draft money to move up after the Giants and others scoffed at Allen, and Beane is a laudable exec. This is how it works.

Before that fateful 2018 draft, a veteran NFL scout had actually sent a message to Lieutenant Gettleman that if the Giants and Browns put Barkley and Baker Mayfield above Allen on the draft board, They will regret it. Of course, if the Giants had drafted Allen four years ago, Gettman would likely still be in charge, and Schone doesn’t know where.

These are the break times for the game. What matters now is Schoen’s ability to find a QB1 who will become the next Eli Manning and win the team’s fifth Super Bowl.

Not that any such searches were a matter of public discussion Thursday, when GM sat in front of the news media ahead of its season opener 10 days later in Tennessee. Instead of being alone, Schoen sat next to Daboll — who is open to reporters every day — in an apparent attempt to underscore the message that they are a 24/7 partnership.

Schoen praised Daboll’s talent for leading and motivating the entire team, not just his offensive unit in Buffalo. Daboll praised Schoen’s communication skills, calling him “a very good listener.” A very good listener, Schon has heard the pain of fans after a brutal decade of football and has subtly tried to manage expectations by refusing to set any.

He needs to restructure some contracts and ultimately give the Giants more flexibility next year. Schone said he was curious to see how the Giants would respond to adversity and how they would respond to success.

Smart Money says they will have more practice to deal with adversity this year.

Side by side, Schoen and Daboll appear to be preparing for the rough seas ahead. While harmony between the front office and the head coach is never a bad thing, history shows it isn’t necessary. Giants general manager George Young didn’t get along with Bill Parcells (or defensive coordinator Bill Belichick), but they won two Super Bowls together. In New England, Belichick had no brotherhood with Robert Kraft, and together they maintained the greatest NFL dynasty.

Like most of his peers, Joe Schoen talks about the importance of culture and what it takes to build the right people. Do you know who built a culture in the NFL? A great quarterback.

Maybe the Giants’ rookie general manager will find him when he heads to Ohio State on Saturday night.


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