The NY Giants kicked off the new decade with an eventful month of January. Get caught up on all you need to know from the previous 31 days.
It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in 2020 and watching the Best (insert literally anything sports-related) of the Decade videos on every social media channel possible. Now, we sit less than 24 hours away from February with the Super Bowl upcoming and the NY Giants in full off-season mode.
Although last year – really the previous three years – haven’t gone remotely according to plan, the naive fan in (most) of us went into 2020 with some optimism that only the new year can bring with it.
While we might not have been getting excited watching New York Giant playoff football during the month of January, the G-Men were still very much in the limelight of the NFL over the previous month.
In case you were living under a rock, don’t follow GMENHQ on Twitter, or prefer to just live a happy, stress-free life, let’s recap all things New York Giants from the month of January:
Kris Richards Interviewed for HC Vacancy: Dallas Cowboys defensive passing game coordinator Kris Richard became the first candidate interviewed for the vacant head coaching position after the Giants’ front office let go of two-year HC Pat Shurmur on December 30, 2019.
Mike McCarthy Interviewed for HC Vacancy: Former Green Bay Packers’ HC Mike McCarthy was the second candidate interviewed for the newly available HC job of the G-Men. In his 12 full seasons, the Packers qualified for the playoffs nine times and went 135-85-2 with a Super Bowl victory.
Eli Manning Voted 2020 Bart Starr Award Winner: The same day as his 39th birthday, everyone’s favorite Giant was voted by his NFL peers as the recipient of the 2020 Bart Starr Award, given annually to the NFL player “who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community.”
Eric Bieniemy Interviewed for HC Vacancy: Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy was the third candidate brought in for an interview regarding the open HC position.
Don Martindale Interviewed for HC Vacancy: The New York Giants continued their head coach search with Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale. During his two years as DC, the Ravens allowed 311 yards/game, were ranked in the top-6 in rushing and receiving yards allowed/game and gave up just 17.8 points/game.
Joe Judge Interviewed for HC Vacancy: The New England Patriots’ special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach became the fifth candidate interviewed for the HC position. Judge was a part of five championships between his time at Alabama under Nick Saban and with the Patriots and Bill Belichick.
Four Giants make PFF’s Top-50 Rookies List: There is no denying that the G-Men have a pretty impressive group of young talent on their roster, and Pro Football Focus’ Top-50 Rookies of 2019 list backs that statement up. Dexter Lawrence came in at No. 9, Julian Love at No. 13, Darius Slayton came in at No. 22, and Daniel Jones at No. 34.
Joe Judge Named New York Giants Head Coach: A relatively unknown and dark-horse candidate for the HC job, Judge became the 19th head coach in franchise history shortly after Baylor’s Matt Rhule decided to sign with the Carolina Panthers. The 38-year old had no previous head coaching experience and had been with the New England Patriots since 2012.
Patrick Graham Tabbed as New Defensive Coordinator: The first important hire of the Joe Judge era came in new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who held the same title with the Miami Dolphins in 2019. Graham previously served as the Giants’ defensive line coach from 2016-2017, and before that worked alongside Judge in a variety of roles with the Patriots from 2009-2015.
Dexter Lawrence Earns PWFA All-Rookie Team Honors: The No. 17 overall pick continued his off-season domination after being named to PWFA’s All-Rookie team. Lawrence started all 16 games as a rookie and tallied 38 tackles, 2.5 sacks, nine QB hits, and a forced fumble. His selection marks eight straight years a New York Giant has been represented on the All-Rookie team.
Former GM George Young Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: Almost two decades since leaving the G-Men, former General Manager George Young was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as one of three contributors in this year’s uniquely large 20-person class. Young served as the Giants’ GM from 1979-1997, where he was named NFL Executive of the Year five times and oversaw eight postseason appearances, three NFC East titles, and two Super Bowl wins.
Jason Garrett Named New Offensive Coordinator: After swirling rumors that Garrett would become the next Giants head coach, the long-time Dallas Cowboys HC was hired on by Judge as the new offensive coordinator. Garrett’s head coaching experience and connection to a division rival are a plus, and he served as a backup NFL quarterback for the Giants from 2000-03.
Eli Manning Announces Pending Retirement: On Wednesday, January 22nd, 16-year quarterback and future Hall of Famer Eli Manning announced that he would be retiring from professional football. The writing had been on the wall since Manning was benched in week three of the 2019 season, and thankfully we got to witness his farewell moment as he walked off the field vs the Dolphins during the last home game of the year.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP hung up his cleats as the Giants all-time leader in every major QB statistical category and will leave the NFL ranked 6th in passing attempts, 7th in completions, 7th in yards, and 7th in touchdowns all-time in league history.
2020 Senior Bowl: The New York Giants were well represented during the week-long scouting event held annually in Mobile, AL. In case you missed the game or some of the prospects to watch for, our very own Brandon Olsen spent the week covering the practices, events, and players that would be a great fit for the G-Men.
Joe Judge Adds Key Pieces to Offensive Coaching Staff: Many were skeptical of the Joe Judge hiring, but after a fiery press conference and ringing endorsements from former players and coaches, the move seems to be growing on most of the fan base.
After nabbing his offensive and defensive coordinators and bringing back Thomas McGaughey as the special teams coordinator, Judge bolstered the offensive staff with a handful of smart, experienced individuals. New faces brought in include running backs coach Burton Burns (from Alabama), tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens (from Cleveland), offensive line coach Mark Colombo (from Dallas), and Derek Dooley (from Missouri) in some sort of assistant capacity.