If you'd like to submit a question for the mailbag, please use this link to avoid having your question land in spam. You may also post your questions on X (formerly known as Twitter) to @Patricia_Traina, hashtag #askPTrain. Please note that letters may be edited for clarity/length.
Is it time for Mara and/or Tisch to move on or hand over responsibilities to someone else? Since the last SB they seem to be the only 2 constants still around in the organization with substantial influence? Are they out of touch? #AskPtrain— Edwin Gommers (@ECPGOM) November 17, 2023
Edwin, who's to say when or if it's time for a team owner to "move on"? Not for nothing, but do you think that John Mara and Steve Tisch aren't bothered by the state of the franchise? They are. But I've said this before and will say it again. The general manager and head coach drive the train here. The only time ownership intervenes is if they feel strongly about a decision about to be made. Otherwise, why hire a general manager if you know everything and want to run that part of the show?
#askptrain you spoke this week about potential coordinator changes. Any thoughts about if Ronnie Barnes comes back in light of the giants awful injury history. He is 71. Perhaps he “retires” #askptrain— pete m. (@pjmazz813) November 17, 2023
Pete, I keep telling people this, and I don't understand why it's not getting through. Ronnie Barnes and his staff TREAT INJURIES. The S&C staff is tasked with running strength and flexibility programs. That said, I think it's fair to wonder if the Giants training staff is up on the latest methods.
For what it's worth, I will have a special guest on the next Locked On Giants podcast who would have a pretty good idea about how NFL teams work in that regard. This gentleman will hopefully provide a little clarity for fans who continue to blur the lines of responsibility. (That podcast will air during the bye week--not sure what day yet, but it will be that week.)
Do you think they will keep Evan Neal at tackle next season, or do you think they'll move him to guard, maybe as early as before this season ends?— Max Schippe (@M29S1099) November 17, 2023
What's up, Max? I don't know if they've thought that far ahead, but I personally would like to see them move Neal to guard. Coach Gene Clemons has an article dropping later today about the idea for an offensive line, and he, too, makes the case for moving Neal inside to guard.
Were we too hot with last season & are we too down on this season?— Matthew Wright (@matthew01wright) November 17, 2023
Matthew, I think last year's successful season caught a lot of people off guard and raised expectations for this year. But in retrospect, perhaps we should have looked at last year with more of an "eyes wide open" approach than to sit and dream about what could be. I'll have more on that during the bye week.
How much trust as a reporter do you have in Schoen and Daboll to turn this team around?— Kody Dunbar (@KomanGiantsGod) November 17, 2023
Kody, not to sound flippant, but do we have any choice in the matter? That said, I keep noting this and will note it again here. Just as the determination of this franchise didn't happen overnight, the restoration isn't going to happen overnight, either. Schoen and Daboll built up some equity last year by making something with limited resources, so let's see what happens with a better cap situation and some more premium draft picks.
As a team, have the Giants hit rock bottom or can it get any worse this season? Besides Washington, who else is beatable?— Ed Helinski 🇺🇸🇵🇱 (@MrEd315) November 17, 2023
What's up, Ed? I mean, just when you think things can't get any worse for the Giants, they have found a way to top themselves this season. So who's to say if they won't continue down that path? As for beatable teas, I would say Washington, New England, and the Rams all fit into that category, but then again, I thought the Raiders and Seahawks were beatable.
If you had the Giants 1 round pick who would you select?— Kody Dunbar (@KomanGiantsGod) November 17, 2023
Kody, I'm not getting into the draft until the season is done. I don't know enough about the prospects to comment (though I will have a piece posted about the top quarterbacks, as authored by Brandon Olsen--that will be out later today.) Circle back with me in January, and then I can give you what I would probably do.
Over the past few years, which NFL team has the fewest injuries?— Nick Harlow (@AuthorHarlow) November 17, 2023
SInce the Giants always have the most players hurt, can we steal that team's trainer?
I don't know about the past few years, but the Jaguars were the least injured last year. There is a pretty good article about this as well regarding what they've done to curtail man games lost. You can read that here.
What direction will the franchise go in your opinion if they decide to draft Harrison instead of a QB because of ownership influence— Jonathan Rada (@JonathanRada7) November 17, 2023
Jonathan, I think if they go with Marvin Harrison Jr in the first round--and that's a big "if"--the second round, in which they have two picks, would probably need to include an offensive lineman and a quarterback in some order. This team also desperately needs another pass rusher, so I wouldn't rule that out either.
(From Dave S.) I still think Daboll could be a great head coach. But I read that the Giants gave up more yards on defense against the Cowboys than any Giant team in 80 years. I am interested in your take on this game and the McAdoo, Shurmur, and Judge teams. Was the Cowboys game the worst? Bottom five?
Dave, to be honest, I've seen so many bad games by this franchise over the last decade or so that they all run together. I try to move on from them rather than reflect and compare which was the worst. But I'll say this much: anytime you get blown out by a divisional foe, that hurts twice as hard.
(From Pat L.) Do teams look at the quarterback prospect's mental processing ability? It seems like Daniel Jones holds onto the ball too long. When DJ was out and Tyrod Taylor took the helm, he was more decisive and knew when to run or throw it away when no one was open. What do you look for in a prospect if the Giants use a high draft pick?
Pat, mental processing is one of several core traits teams look for in players. I did some training a few years ago with the Scouting Academy to better learn how to watch and evaluate different positions. For a QB, the following specific traits are usually graded by teams: Accuracy, Decision-making, Progression, Anticipation, Poise, Arm Strength, Pocket Awareness, Mechanics, Footwork, and Mobility. The following are the core traits for all positions: Mental Processing, Competitive Toughness, Athletic Ability, Play Speed, and Play Strength.
(From James C.) Do you think the Giants need to re-think their strategy on drafting offensive linemen and think more "nasty" as a top priority? Is Tommy DeVito related to Tommy DeVito of the Four Seasons? You do a nice job during interviews with the coaches and players.
Thanks for the kind words, James. I have no idea if Tommy DeVito is related to the guy from the Four Seasons. I didn't even think to ask that, to be honest. As for your other question, so long as I have my notes out from my Scouting Academy studies, here are the traits teams look for in offensive linemen besides the core traits I mentioned in the previous response: Play/Functional Strength, Mental Processing, Use of Hands, Gap/Power Blocking, Zone/Space Blocking, Pass Protection, and Anchor.
I'm sure there are X-factors like demeanor and such, but from a football perspective, these are the qualities that O-linemen must have high grades in if they wish to be drafted.
(Richard H.) Are the Giant players having more non-contact injuries (such as hamstrings) than other NFL teams? If so, is their warmup/conditioning program adequate?
Richard, I can't speak to their warmup practices or conditioning program because I don't get to see how they warm up in-season, and I have no idea what their conditioning program consists of (even if I did, I'm not schooled in knowing what's adequate and what isn't). As I noted above, I'm going to have agues on the Locked On Giants podcast who can maybe address some of these questions.
(From Mike Z.) Last year, the talent level of the Giants was middle to below average. They allowed people to leave and cut others so they could play the youngsters. I think that’s why we have the drop-off this year, giving younger players the experience to grow. Is this a good analysis?
Mike, that could be part of the problem. But there might be more, such as how they're being developed. Why, for example, has Josh Ezeudu not been able to make the left guard job his? Why did Tre Hawkins cool down after an impressive summer? Young players will certainly take their lumps as they develop, and progress is never linear, but ultimately, you want to see steady progress and more peaks than valleys.
(From Brandon M.) Going into 2024 Draft, the Offense has holes all over the place, except for LT, Center, Tight End. The defense also can use some help, but Outside of Quarterback, assuming we go that route with a high pick, what position would you tackle with your next pick?
Brandon, again, I don't get into the draft until after the season. We don't even know which underclassmen are declaring right now, so I'm sorry, but I can't give you an educated answer. I'll be happy to try again once the underclassmen declare. And I've had a chance to study who's who. I will say that I disagree about not needing more at tight end--Waller couldn't stay healthy this year, so I'm not sure if you can count on him moving forward.
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