Joe Schoen’s first lesson as the new face of the Giants organization
Say that’s not true, Joe. Say you won’t be a Division III wide receiver from Elkhart, Ind., hiding from the big-city spotlight and cowering under his desk when the Giants are losing and the questions are tough.
Joe Schoen, 42, has come a long way from DePauw University and his days as a ticketing intern with the Carolina Panthers. He ended up in Miami, where he worked under Bill Parcells, who was among the many voices who gave the Giants his blessing on this hugely important hiring of Schoen as general manager. After Miami, Schoen helped Bills GM Brandon Beane wrest the AFC East from Bill Belichick.
It’s funny how life works. The Giants might never have fired Dave Gettleman if he had drafted Josh Allen when he had the chance in 2018, and now they’re replacing Gettleman with an executive who got the job because his former franchise has drafted Josh Allen when given the opportunity in 2018.
But that was then and it most certainly is now. Schoen takes a monumental leap from a fairly anonymous Buffalo assistant to the man hired to save the New York Football Giants from themselves. Although John Mara and Steve Tisch and everyone else were busy saying wonderful things about Schoen on Friday, it’s worth remembering that the same people were saying the same wonderful things about Gettleman four years ago, before that. ‘he only turns out to be completely overwhelmed.
Gettleman wasn’t just a terrible decision-maker. As the losses grew, it also withdrew from public responsibility and became smaller and smaller. The Giants did what they could to protect the GM, but Pat Hanlon, their longtime communications czar, is no David Copperfield or David Blaine. He couldn’t make Gettleman’s considerable flaws go away.
Hoping young Mr. Schoen is much more approachable and nimble around a microphone when Daniel Jones gets injured again, draft picks are underperforming and people are starting to ask uncomfortable questions about why the Giants did not choose Schoen’s finalist, San Francisco. Adam Peters, who arrived late in the process and nearly turned the race into a tie.
Right off the bat, if he studies the market, Schoen will find that the real survivors are those who are available to their paying customers (via media channels) when the storm clouds gather. Brian Cashman has been the Yankees’ general manager for nearly a quarter century, at least in part because he’s willing to own unacceptable performances and say things like “we suck right now” and the game of the team “stinks to heaven” – while the Yankees were still above .500 in another playoff season.
Don’t follow the Gettleman model or the Leon Rose model. If the Knicks keep playing like they have, Rose will find out soon enough that New York’s hiders never get the benefit of the doubt when they need it.
Don’t hide, young Mr. Schoen. Follow the lead of the only Giants quarterback to win two Super Bowls. Eli Manning has always made himself available to answer questions in the aftermath of defeats, to accept his share of the blame, while keeping a low profile in the aftermath of victories, to allow lesser-known, lower-paid teammates to bask in the light. What a fine policy for a first GM who inherits a roster designed to fail.
Schoen needs a new head coach to start with, and among the top contenders are two guys named Brian — Daboll, Buffalo’s current offensive coordinator, and Flores, Miami’s former head coach. Mara and Tisch will give Schoen plenty of leeway to make changes and install his own philosophy on how to build a winning program, although Mara and the new GM used the word “collaborative” to describe the approach planned in the release. of the team. Some Giants personnel will stay and others will leave, and Schoen will likely make many changes to his department after the next draft.
Those changes will be judged on the scorecard, of course, which has been the meanest with the Giants for the better part of a decade. A team official recently said, “I want to know how we got into this position” after winning that second Manning-Tom Coughlin Super Bowl. Schoen was hired to figure that out, and nothing about how he’s judged will be, you know, collaborative.
Get this: It was Schoen’s job to lose from the start, and he deserves credit for not losing it. A few weeks ago, a team source identified Schoen first when nominating candidates for Gettleman’s office, and Buffalo’s assistant general manager received the Giants’ first interview request and interview. himself. Nine men participated in Zoom calls with Tisch and John and Chris Mara, all impressive in their own right. Baltimore’s Joe Hortiz, an expected finalist who didn’t make it, talked about Jim Harbaugh and Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale as potential coaches. The best of the others focused on Daboll, Flores and Dan Quinn.
In the end, Kansas City’s Peters and Ryan Poles were the hardest to beat, but Schoen beat them.
“It is an honor to accept the position of general manager of the New York Giants,” he said.
Schoen should remember these words and stick to them, because there is no honor in hiding in this market.