To say the New York Giants have made major changes this offseason would be a bit of an understatement. Not only have they seen a massive roster shuffle, they also overhauled their offensive coaching staff following the retirement of offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. Accordingly, head coach Tom Coughlin says these moves will bring about a culture change in the Giants' locker-room — including how the team approaches the every day X's and O's.
"The culture will change. Now, the principles and the values will not change, but how we go about our business has to change, because we have so many new people that have to be integrated into the system. Am I concerned about the X’s and O’s? Yes, I’m concerned about the X’s and O’s," Coughlin told Giants.com last week. "That whole situation in terms of the new system and our new offensive coordinator [Ben McAdoo], those things are all going to have to be presented to our team, both veterans and new people. It puts them basically in the same boat, because they’re all learning from scratch, there’s no advantage to anybody.
The collective changes, Coughlin says, will impact the team from top to bottom. Not only will new players and coaches have to come in an learn about the Giants' way, but the remaining coaches and personnel will now be subject to learning a new offensive system, familiarizing themselves with new faces and, ultimately, finding a way to gel quickly enough that it does not negatively impact them once the regular season begins.
A tall order? Indeed. But not something that Coughlin believes in insurmountable.
“It’s a challenge, but that’s alright. That’s good. That’s part of the challenge," Coughlin added. "We don’t have any less time than anybody else, but nevertheless, people will look at the fifth preseason game and hopefully that becomes an advantage for us. I think it’s necessary to say that perhaps the few extra practices that we’ll have will help us and then the ability to evaluate new arrivals, how particular players fit in, that’s going to be very important as well.”
Ultimately, the Giants will have a long adjustment period that's crammed into a short amount of time. But as Coughlin alludes, the early preseason and extra preseason game should help in both the adjustment and the culture of change. Of course, that's only a positive if the team remains healthy — something they've been unable to do since Coughlin took over as head coach in 2004.
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