John Fennelly, Lead WriterThe Giants opened the initial phase of their offseason workout program yesterday to an unusual ritual – introductions. With lots of new faces, including 15 veteran free agents signed over the past month, the club has a completely new look to it.
“It’s unprecedented, the percentage of change in this locker room,” said ninth-year DE Mathias Kiwanuka, as per the Giants’ website. “Those of us who are still here are excited for the start of a new season, but obviously it’s changed a lot. A lot of changes needed to be made, but whenever you’re a member of a team, it’s tough to see people go.”
OL Chris Snee and QB Eli Manning, both entering their 11 seasons for the Giants, are the longest-tenured players in the locker room. Snee suggested name tags be put on their t-shirts to help everyone get acquainted.
“This is the most change I’ve been part of, for sure,” Snee said. “It’s going to take me a few weeks to learn all these guys’ names.”
Manning is not expected to do a whole lot here after undergoing arthroscopic surgery last week on his ankle, said he’s going to spend the next few weeks getting familiar with his new teammates. He’s taking all the changes in stride, as expected.
“That’s just kind of become football,” said Eli. “Sometimes you need change. We have a new offense, a new quarterback coach, a new offensive coordinator. It’s a learning experience for me, getting adjusted to that, having a lot of new teammates and new faces. There’s a lot of work to be done here, not only learning an offense but getting familiar with your teammates, building relationships there. It also is exciting. I think sometimes you’ve got to mix things up and change things up a little bit in your career. It will be a great challenge, but I’m looking forward to that.”
After an injury-riddled 7-9 campaign last year, the club decided an overhaul of sorts was needed. They’re still in the process of bringing in new faces. You can expect about ten more before camp. The Giants have seven picks in the upcoming draft, plus any UDFAs they may latch on to. Get those name tags ready.