As Player Complaints Mount, NY Giants’ Rookie Coach Faces Toughest Test Yet
Let's all be honest with one another: no one believed the New York Giants would be in the playoff hunt by the time December rolled around.
Yes, most fans were motivated by the hiring of Joe Schoen, and the subsequent hiring of Brian Daboll, to lead the G-Men in 2022. That said, most fans were also certain that this rebuild would take time, and a return to relevancy wouldn't come until 2023, at the earliest. While the team is certainly still building, they've also vaulted themselves into the playoff picture, and for Daboll and the coaching staff, it's been smooth sailing most of the way.
As of this week, however, there's trouble in paradise, and how this situation is handled will say a lot about Brian Daboll's tenure in New York, and the future of the Giants this season.
NY Giants' Coach Daboll Set to Deal with Players Disgruntled Over Playing Time
A story from CBS Sports surfaced on Tuesday afternoon, detailing the complaints of a few members of the New York Giants, who have become disgruntled over their playing time. The players, linebacker Tae Crowder and cornerback Rodarius Williams, both took to Twitter to air their frustrations after the Giants tied the Washington Commanders on Sunday.
Here's what Crowder posted:
Williams was a bit more subtle in his complaints, saying first that I'ma just sleep this off (because) this can't be real before following up with this:
In response to these public pleas for playing time, Brian Daboll told The New York Post that he was pledging to have private conversations with these players. That's the right way to handle this situation, as continuing the conversation in the media would only make things worse.
I'm going to put this as plainly and simply as I can: Crowder and Williams are both well within their right to be unhappy about playing time, but should be ashamed for airing their complaints on social media versus behind closed doors.
The Giants parted ways with a number of "veteran players" this offseason, namely defensive back Logan Ryan, in an effort to clear salary cap while also changing the culture of the team in the locker room. Ryan was a defensive captain last season, but also had a close relationship with former head coach, Joe Judge, because of their time spent together with the New England Patriots.
If Ryan carried any resentment toward the team for firing Judge, those feelings could've negatively impacted this year's Giants' group, so the team chose to cut him instead.
This is a round-about way of saying that New York has a new philosophy this season: just because you're a veteran, doesn't mean you're entitled to a starting position, or a lot of playing time. You have to earn your spot in the lineup, something waiver claim-turned-starting cornerback Nick McCloud has proven this season.
It is critical that Daboll sets the record straight with these players, as well as any other veterans who may have complaints about playing time. If the Giants want to continue to compete for a playoff spot, something that is within reach this season, the team can't be bogged down with internal conflict.
I'm intrigued to see how this story plays out, because if Brian Daboll is able to successfully navigate this issue, it will say a lot about the culture that has been established in the locker room for his Giants' squad, and what fans can expect in the years to follow.