The pair of New York Giants offensive players spoke with the media following Big Blue’s Thursday OTA.
One of the bigger tasks — arguably the most important task — for the New York Giants this offseason was to add playmakers to the offensive unit.
A group of weapons that included Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Evan Engram, and the recently cut Golden Tate wasn’t enough.
The Giants needed talented bodies to not only improve the offensive unit (31st in total yards and points last year) but to additionally assist in the development of quarterback Daniel Jones.
Thus, the organization went out and acquired tight end Kyle Rudolph and receiver John Ross, inked receiver Kenny Golladay to a lucrative four-year deal, and drafted dynamic Florida wideout Kadarius Toney in the first round.
Each of the above names should immensely bolster Jason Garrett’s unit, and following Thursday’s OTA, Shepard — the longest-tenured current Giant — provided his thoughts on this major offseason development.
“I’m super excited about [the offensive additions],” the sixth-year receiver said. “We added playmakers to this offense and that’s something we needed — we needed guys you can get the ball to and they can make something special happen after the catch. So, I’m really happy about the additions.”
Golladay and Shepard will work alongside one another in what should be a highly improved receiving corps in comparison to 2020’s group. Both complement each other well — Golladay sports a large frame and could possess a knack for the end zone while Shepard carries the ability to succeed as more of a slot receiver.
“I can’t wait to see [the new] guys get out there,” Shepard later added. “I got to run around with [Kenny Golladay] a little bit and the way he plucks the ball is something special. Can’t wait to get out there on Sundays with him.”
But if there’s one person that was likely in the back of the minds of both Joe Judge and Dave Gettleman when acquiring these offensive playmakers, it was the team’s starting quarterback.
Daniel Jones needs weapons to develop in what could be a make-or-break 2021 season.
There may be a decent amount of pressure on him to prove he’s the long-term answer at the game’s most crucial position, but overall, he’s confident in the players he has around him and is intrigued by the opportunity to improve.
“It’s exciting for all of us to have an opportunity to bring in a couple new guys and build on what we already had,” Jones said. “We’ve got a lot of good playmakers in the building and you add a few pieces and it’s exciting to look forward to getting out on the field.
“But this spring, when all [the offseason acquisitions were] happening, I think the focus for each of us was on ourselves, on improving our technique and fundamentals and doing what we can so that when we did get the opportunity to get together now and later on in camp, we’re ready to hit the ground running.”
The third-year signal-caller later added, “I think any time we’re bringing guys in, however we do it, I think it’s about the team, it’s about building something as a group…I certainly felt that way as we went about the offseason.”
DJ has an improved group of targets around him while Barkley is set to return and take pressure off of him in the run game. Not to mention, the organization is banking on the improvement of the offensive line, which reportedly had a great turnout at Thursday’s OTA.
Projected starting OL was participating at today's Giants OTA:
Nate Solder, Jonotthan Harrison, Zach Fulton, Kyle Murphy all in attendance as well. #NYG
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) May 27, 2021
The Giants are seemingly headed in the right direction — time for Jones to take advantage of this superb opportunity.