Not long ago, New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin went all in with another one of his mantras for the upcoming NFL season. The end result was simple: Faces change, expectations don't. While that one may be a bit under-whelming, it’s the Giants way. Under Coughlin, the Team First bylaw hasn’t been altered. The exodus of some players this offseason may have proved that.
While it’s true that the offensive system was slated to change days, perhaps weeks, before former offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride retired, the fact remains that more than a few new players were needed in order for a catalyst to initiate good change.
“The culture’s going to change, too," Coughlin said via Giants.com last month. “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. And you know what? It’s good for us. It’s good for us at this point in time. I said all along that the stimulation here, even for our veteran players, for Eli [Manning] to re-focus and to be energized by the new learning, the new presentation of material, the different terminology, the things that must be mastered before you even get out of the huddle. I think all of those things are stimulating.”
Some have voiced concern over said changes and new comers and not necessarily without warrant. However, could it be much worse than what was on the field in blue for 2013? 2007 is bought back in remembrance for many different reasons, but change came around back then for the offense in the way of a brand new offensive coordinator with surprising results. Like back then, it was time.
Coughlin recently reiterated his “change, yet same” sentiment this past week and threw in a “Let’s win a Super Bowl!” for good measure and excitement. When his words are echoed early on, it’s a good sign. It appears lately that an important team captain is that echo. Safety Antrel Rolle has been spreading his coach’s expressions — usually after a “First and foremost” which seems to have replaced his “at the end of the day.” This past week, he, too, talked about the excitement and energy on the team — on the defensive side of the ball while appearing on NFL Network’s NFL AM.
“The excitement and the passion that we share amongst each other in such an early stage of the offseason program. I think you know, what the Giants have done this offseason has been nothing shy of phenomenal and I definitely think it’s going to pay dividends once the season starts," he said.
That excitement is definitely out there, along with Coughlin’s energy. Let’s hope it stays corralled and the team leaders remember coach’s other mantra to spread to the new faces: Focus.
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