Every NFL franchise is looking forward to the start of the season – none more so, perhaps, than the New York Giants.
The Giants got off to a nightmarish 0-6 start last year, with three of those losses coming by 15+ points. New York rebounded by winning seven of its final 10 games to finish 7-9, but many doubt whether Eli Manning can bounce back from 2013’s 18-touchdown, 27-interception disaster.
Steve Weatherford is not one of those doubters.
“I think we made all the right moves we needed to make this year,” the Giants punter said on The Morning Show. “That started with (extending) Coach Coughlin. I think a lot of holes were filled – not only in the draft, but even prior to the draft we had 27 new faces in our locker room. So a lot of our offseason has been spent just really creating chemistry within the team and within the locker room as well. That’s quite a big change from what we had last year.”
That change will be most noticeable along the offensive line, as David Diehl and Chris Snee retired, Kevin Boothe signed with Oakland and David Baas became a free agent.
“We’ve got an entirely different offensive line, but they’re not young kids,” Weatherford said. “We do have a young kid in (Colorado State product) Weston Richburg, our second-round daft pick at center, but for the most part, they’re veteran guys. If we can just get those guys to get comfortable with Eli, (we’ll be fine).”
The Giants also welcome new offensive coordinator Bob McAdoo, who spent the previous eight seasons in Green Bay as a quarterbacks and tight ends coach.
“We’ve got a new offensive playbook, and I think that’s going to be good for Eli,” Weatherford said. “It’s up-tempo. We’re going to keep defenses on their heels, and it’s going to be a dynamic attack.”
If all goes according to plan, the Giants could make the playoffs, where, lately, they’ve been virtually unbeatable. The Giants have won the Super Bowl twice in the last seven years and were a Wild Card team both times.
Wild Card winner or NFC East champion, Coughlin expects a much different result after last season.
“He said it again in the offseason: the faces change, but the expectations don’t,” Weatherford said. “He’s expecting to win a Super Bowl. I think we all are. I think the fans are expecting that. He’s kind of a victim of his own success. And what I mean when I say that is he’s won two Super Bowls for this franchise – and he’s done it in about (seven years). It’s about time for another one. That was an unbelievable opportunity for me to be a part of that team to win a Super Bowl in 2011-12 and to be able to share that with the fans. Getting on that float, the Canyon of Heroes and the Parade of Champions going through New York City, the streets flooded with fans – it was an unbelievable opportunity. I’d love to do it again. We’ve worked our butt off this season. We’re hungry. We’re focused. All we got to do right now is stay hungry and execute.”