One thing Adoree’ Jackson won’t need when he shows up to play for the Giants is an introduction.
The cornerback who signed with the team as a free agent on Monday seems to know just about everyone in the secondary he is joining, and many at other positions as well. He has long-standing relationships with Logan Ryan and Darnay Holmes, goes back a ways with Jabrill Peppers, and has been a fan of Xavier McKinney and James Bradberry. He was college teammates with defensive lineman Leonard Williams. He said new Giants wide receiver John Ross is "my guy" and while he’s never played against Kenny Golladay in the NFL he has played as the wide receiver in Madden.
"He did me justice," Jackson said with a grin.
All of that familiarity should allow Jackson to skip over the getting-to-know-you part that often comes with joining a new team and dive right into the football aspect of his relationships with his new teammates. There won’t be any name tags required.
This being a young and promising secondary, however, there is still the matter of what they will be called as a collective. Just about every team with a standout unit has a nickname for themselves, whether it be the Legion of Boom or the No Fly Zone or, as the Giants referred to themselves in their 2016 playoff push that seems like a lifetime ago, the New York Pass Defense . . . or NYPD for short.
"I’ve seen a lot on Twitter calling us NYPD, I’ve seen everybody say that," Jackson said.
That seems recycled. Other early suggestions kicking around include Jersey Boys (Ryan and Peppers are Garden Staters), Blue Man Group, and, if their coverages are as diverse as they were last season, the Transformers (more than meets the eye!).
It’s a work in progress. Just as the Giants themselves are. That postseason appearance five seasons ago notwithstanding, they’re an organization that has had a pretty miserable decade since their 2011 Super Bowl run. They’re coming off a six-win season that was hailed as improvement. They’re a young team that has spent the past week of free agency improving but still has quite a way to go.
That might be the most intriguing part about the Giants, not only to fans and analysts but to players who are suddenly intrigued enough to join the process.
"I want to win," Jackson said. "You bring in guys who compete and guys who are ballplayers like the Giants have, you want to be a part of that. You want to play with guys like that and be a part of that team."
Jackson received plenty of assurances regarding that culture. Ryan, the Giants' safety who was a mentor to Jackson when they were teammates on the Titans, was one of the first to reach out to Jackson when he was released earlier this month. At first it was just to check up on him as a person. It quickly turned to recruiting.
"He’s a straight shooter," Jackson said of Ryan. "He wants the best for me."
Still, he needed to see it for himself. He wanted to meet with the coaches and the front office. That was one of the reasons he scheduled a visit with the Giants last weekend.
"It felt like family," he said. "It felt like home. It felt good. I always talk about trying to be comfortable and being at peace and that’s what I felt when I was on the visit."
So he signed and joined a team where everybody knows his name . . . even if they are still kicking around ideas on what to call themselves.
Giants add OLB Anderson. The big-money deals may be done, but the Giants are still shopping. On Tuesday they agreed to terms on a one-year deal with outside linebacker Ryan Anderson, a second-round pick for Washington in 2017. Anderson played at Alabama so he has been on coach Joe Judge’s radar, and he played there under new Giants defensive assistant Jeremy Pruitt (Pruitt even named his son Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, the middle name in honor of Anderson and former Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster). The 26-year-old has appeared in 52 NFL games with 86 total tackles, 15 quarterback hits and six sacks, four of them in 2019.