The New York Giants need a lot of work to return to respectability. Pat Shurmur will need his team to focus on football instead of feelings.
Pat Shurmur is going to need a lot of things to go right if he wants to pilot the Giants back into the playoffs this season. The new coach’s first priority must be to get his locker room focused on the right things.
Mainly, that means they should worry more about football than anything else. That hasn’t been the case so far this offseason. In particular, safety Landon Collins’ decision to chalk Ereck Flowers’ absence from the team up to the lineman’s hurt feelings has gotten the Shurmur era off to a shaky start.
For his part, Shurmur isn’t pleased with Collins’ decision to speak on the issue publicly. He flatly told the press that he doesn’t “think (his) players should be talking about another player’s situation.” That comment was clearly directed towards Collins.
The simple truth is the Giants aren’t talented enough to get caught up in locker room drama. Dave Gettleman worked hard to add talent through the draft, but there are still significant holes in the roster. In fairness to Collins, the ability of Flowers to effectively play right tackle is certainly one of them.
Flowers isn’t the only player on the roster whose performance should be under a microscope though. That honor goes to quarterback Eli Manning. The team have given him serious weapons to leverage this year. The addition of Saquon Barkley at running back and Will Hernandez at guard were designed specifically to keep Manning’s career going. If that doesn’t work out, the Giants may be further away from the playoffs than ever before.
There’s a lot of time between now and Week One, but Pat Shurmur already has new challenges popping up in front of him on a regular basis. If he and the Giants want to be relevant this season, everyone needs to start rowing in the same direction. That means everyone in the building must be fully focused on football and nothing else.