NFL execs expect Joe Schoen to bring New York Giants overdue ‘culture change’

Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula (left) walks with assistant general manager Joe Schoen (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula (left) walks with assistant general manager Joe Schoen (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

The New York Giants’ hiring of Joe Schoen as general manager was met by executives across the NFL with praise, and the expectation he’ll change the culture in New York

By hiring Joe Schoen as general manager Friday, the New York Giants, for the first time in seemingly forever, reached outside the organization for the voice who will aim to lead the franchise back to prominence.

“It’s a very smart move,” Senior Bowl Executive Director, and former NFL Scout, Jim Nagy told FanSided by phone Friday. “A really smart move from an organizational standpoint, I know it probably isn’t the easiest thing to part from your methodology and a culture change. That speaks to where the Giants’ organization is.”

Schoen arrives into a situation where he’ll likely be tasked with overseeing an overdue rebuild after the Giants finished just 19-46 record during Dave Gettleman’s disastrous four-year tenure as general manager. Entering this offseason, the New York Giants are projected to be nearly $5.7 million over the cap, but do have a pair of top-10 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Having a fresh voice, a new perspective and a new philosophy could be key to the New York Giants rebounding since losing 100 games since the franchise’s last Super Bowl win in Feb. 2012.

“They’re bringing in an outside voice and fresh ideas,” Nagy says. “I think it can be a great thing. You’ve got a guy now who’s been in different organizations and seen how things are run, he’ll bring a fresh perspective and I think the Giants deserve credit for being open-minded enough to do that.”

An NFC personnel executive who has known Schoen for years believes the Giants hit a home run with this hire.

“Joe’s a great person and hard worker, I think he’s going to be a great fit on the Giants,” he says.

How Joe Schoen’s experience prepared him for New York Giants’ GM job

Prior to his impending arrival in East Rutherford, Schoen rose up the ranks in the Carolina Panthers’ organization from 2001-2008, prior to accepting a role in the Miami Dolphins’ front office and ultimately landing as the Buffalo Bills’ assistant general manager, and right-hand man to Brandon Beane in 2017.

“He’s a good guy and really qualified,” former NFL Executive of The Year Randy Mueller tells FanSided. “He’s been able to learn from successful people, and should fit really well with what the Giants have going internally.”

Since Schoen’s arrival, Buffalo has become a model for sustained success, playing for the right Sunday to advance to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game, while having just under $11 million in cap space this offseason to continue building.

“He has a great confidence and humility to him,” former Buffalo Bills defensive end Lorenzo Alexander tells FanSided. “It’s allowed him to develop great relationships throughout the league with players and with agents.

“In the right situation, with a head coach who has similar principles, he’s going to flourish and be able to develop a winning culture.”

Alignment between the general manager and the head coach is something owner John Mara and the New York Giants have preached was a top bullet item as the organization began its search this offseason.

Executives inside the league believe that Schoen’s experience with the Bills is going to serve him — and the New York Giants well.

“He has an extensive background both in college and pro scouting,” an AFC personnel executive tells FanSided, on the condition of anonymity to speak freely because he isn’t authorized to discuss other teams. “He’s always been steady, unassuming, and has a real feel for scouting and the game. I think they made a really good hire.”

It is impossible to know just how responsible Schoen — or any one member of a front office — is for the players a team drafts, but during his time in Miami and Buffalo, the Dolphins and Bills added the likes of All-Pro Xavien Howard, Pro Bowl tackle Laremy Tunsil, quarterback Josh Allen, and mid-round successes like Dawson Knox and Devin Singletary.

Finding value in the mid-rounds is something the New York Giants have struggled mightily with during the NFL Draft.

It’s also a skill that can be hard to find among scouts and front office personnel, requiring an ability to connect with college coaches and separate fact from fiction each spring as the NFL Draft approaches, something Schoen has shown an ability to do.

“Joe obviously knows players,” Nagy says. “His people-skills, work ethic, ability to connect, I’ve seen how he approaches his job every day going into schools on the college side, and he’s had that opportunity in Miami and Buffalo, he’s been up every stage of the ladder now. The next one was general manager. I can’t imagine anyone’s more ready for it than Joe.”

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