Coming off of a Super Bowl victory is the most mammoth high there is for an NFL organization. Having experienced it twice in a five-year span from 2008-2012, the New York Football Giants could tell you firsthand how incredible it is to be there when most teams barely come close.
Part of the issue during the 2012 season was that as much as the Giants wanted to believe they were playing each game one at a time (for all intents and purposes, they were), they had the glimmer and gold from the XLVI World Champions ring still in their line of vision. Awareness was there, but not even close to the level that it needed to be. Deny no more.
Before the official kickoff to the 2012 NFL Season, “Build the Bridge” was the new mantra chosen by head coach Tom Coughlin – who wanted to continue the run that his Giants began in week 16 of the 2011 NFL Season against the other team from New York. While seemingly harmless, it wasn’t the way to begin a brand new season. They needed to let go of a 9-7 season that could have ended that same week and forge a less tiring way of doing things.
The 2013 season will be just that. Being forced to come back down to reality and get back to basics is just where the team is right now: baseline. No one is above team. Remember: “Team First. Team Last. Team Always.” This is the only intonation that should be behind every practice, play call, snap, and execution. Put everything on the field for your teammates and leave it there. Use the “underdogs” label that fuels the in-season fire as it burns within each player. Find Giants Pride again – the old school Big Blue pride that Wellington Mara instilled long ago. It’s time to make 2013 all about football – pure NFL-level football.
The fact that there will be not overblown media hype about a particular Wednesday night opening night versus a division rival should be a perfect place to start. There aren’t any “stars” here. A few of the players need to realize that before they, too, go by the wayside and become formers that wish they hadn’t wanted to “test” any market. As a particular team just down the turnpike can attest, money will not buy a Lombardi. Well, a real on that’s awarded on a Sunday night in February…
The front is fairly silent now, except for the obligatory, “We keep our options open” or “We will look into that” or “we will fully investigate our options” blanket answers from general manager Jerry Reese. The only thing that tells us is what we already know: anything is possible as every option is explored thoroughly to improve the Giants while also maintaining cap-friendly integrity for the franchise. Fair enough.
As the formal start to the 2013 NFL season is on the horizon, look for the New York Giants to be as quiet and serious as their general manager and as focused and motivated as their head coach. Expect more elementary, uncomplicated football – with less bold extrapolations on what the future will hold for blue. This time, they will play each game as it comes…one game at a time.
Also…Football, Jerry Reese, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin, Wellington Mara