New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo sent a message to his players during the very first team meeting: band together and win a Super Bowl.
It isn’t always pretty, it’s rarely comfortable, and it’s often a war of attrition. Nevertheless, if you’ve watched a single New York Giants game this year, then you know just how hard this team works on every single play.
Though ending a five-year postseason drought would be a win unto itself, the Giants have their eyes set on No. 5.
Every team sets out to win a Super Bowl, so it’s hardly surprising when one hears that a postseason-caliber team is thinking of winning the big one. Only one team can realize that vision, however, and the Giants are positioning themselves to do so.
According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN’s NFL Nation, head coach Ben McAdoo has been preaching teamwork and a Super Bowl as mutually exclusive goals.
"“It was talked about in the very first meeting and just about every meeting since then,” veteran defensive tackle Damon Harrison said. “If you don’t take anything from any meeting we have, you know the ultimate goal. It’s not about individuals or one side of the ball. It’s the ultimate team goal. He’s done a great job of preaching that message and instilling that in us. Every guy in this locker room knows exactly what the goal is. We work hard every day to try and achieve that.”"
That’s the mark of a great team.
Damon Harrison is one of the players whom the Giants invested big money in during the 2016 offseason. Harrison has justified the $46 million contract—as well as the $24 million guaranteed—by anchoring the No. 6 run defense in the NFL.
Fellow offseason signings Janoris Jenkins and Oliveier Vernon have been just as special and committed, helping New York to rank No. 2—in a good way—in passing touchdowns allowed.
On the opposite end of the field, New York has overcome injuries to key players such as Justin Pugh and Shane Vereen to do enough to be 10-4. Pugh is healthy and available again, but even without him, the Giants were playing at a postseason-caliber level.
It’s fair to put that on the defense, but the strength of the Giants is the players’ willingness to commit to one another.
There have been moments during which the Giants have looked like they could come apart at the seams. Instead, the players have taken accountability and the coaches have continued to stress the need for team needs to take precedent over individual desires.
Through 14 games, the Giants have bought in and are as legitimate a Super Bowl contender as any team in the NFL.
One team, one goal.