Daboll’s Year Two Can’t Be A Step Backwards

Year Two of Brian Daboll’s Giants won’t be the same as Year One.


That is, when it comes to expectations. The leash was long for Daboll last year with a quarterback with still some lingering questions, and offensive and defensive units seeking consistency. 


It would be a combination of a honeymoon period as well as an anxiety-based one to see if Daboll could wave his quarterback wand and bring his high-powered Bills’ offense to the Meadowlands.


The G-Men responded with a 9-7-1 record and stunned the high-powered Vikings in the opening round of the playoffs before they were hammered by the Eagles, 38-7. in the divisional round.


The offense was well suited for quarterback Daniel Jones, and running back Saquon Barkley became the centerpiece, as it wasn’t a version of Buffalo South. In simple terms, it worked.


So, the long leash is off. This season, it is playoffs or bust for Daboll and the boys. It won’t be easy with the Eagles looking very good through their draft, and the Cowboys always tweaking for a Super Bowl run. The Giants were 1-4-1 against NFC Eagles opponents last year.


Jones has settled in as the team’s quarterback after he threw for 3,205 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions and also ran for 708 yards. To his credit, Jones will be out of the spotlight this summer due to the Jets-Aaron Rodgers hype.


 Barkley played through an injury-free season, and had flashes of his studded rookie campaign, running for a career-high 1,312 yards. The question now is will the Giants offer him  a new deal during the summer after they slapped the franchise tag of $10 million on him. 


Apparently, the two sides are still far apart, and a Barkley training camp holdout could cause a major tear in the team fabric.


The Giants did extend defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, who also had a career year and became a leader of the defense, placing him among his top-flight peers in the salary bracket. That was one potential big flame that was extinguished.


There has been some chatter that they will go after former Cardinal DeAndre Hopkins to bring a big, playmaker receiver into the fold. 


Yet, somehow Hopkins doesn’t seem to fit this puzzle. Daboll brought back reliable Sterling Shepard and will also look to developing Darius Slayton and last year’s newcomers Isaiah Hodgins and Wan’Dale Robinson to further emerge. Ex-Jets and Bill Jamison Crowder was a good pick up to fill the slot.


There is a mandatory mini -camp June 15-`17, and barring a new deal, Barkley likely won’t be there.


Still, everything appears copacetic and harmonious in Giants’ land.


They hope it stays that way. The leash is short, the honeymoon is over, and a pretender is now a contender.


About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

Get connected with us on Social Media