Normally at this point in a woeful season, it would be natural for Giants coaches and players to start thinking about next year. This team should be no exception. Yet for almost all of them, it makes so little sense to look beyond these final two games because all they can see right now is cloudiness. The dystopian flavor is leaving just about every player from the franchise quarterback to last year’s first-round pick uneasy about what lies ahead.
“No one knows what’s going to happen next year,” Eli Manning said Monday in his weekly appearance on WFAN. “Obviously, we’re going to get a new head coach, a new GM, and they’ll have to make some decisions on what the future’s going to look like and what’s going to happen. We’ll cross those bridges when they come up.”
They’re not just little bridges across creeks, either. These are full suspension bridges that the Giants need to traverse over wide waterways. And right now, even the people who are temporarily in charge have no say in what will happen.
Interim general manager Kevin Abrams declined last week to speak about anything related to 2018. He said it was because he did not want to appear to be interviewing for the job through the media. It was also because he has no authority to speculate on the direction of the organization.
Interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo has buried his own head in the 2017 season, refusing to make any decision based on what may or may not happen once the calendar turns over in a few weeks.
“I put myself in that box because I just think that’s how we have to function right now,” Spagnuolo said. “We ask the players to function that way: week to week. Let’s only focus on the game coming up. So we have to do the same thing as a coaching staff.”
There are maybe five to 10 current Giants players who can be confident they’ll have a role on the 2018 team. Another five to 10 can be fairly certain. Beyond that, there isn’t much security. The general manager who brought most of those players in is gone. The coach who put them on the field is gone. And the co-owner, John Mara, said it is time for “wholesale changes.”
So the Giants remain mired in the mud of this season while the only thing their fans want to think and talk about is the future. The draft picks. Free agency. The potential GM-coaching combinations.
“I get the angst of it, I’ve talked about it,” Spagnuolo said of conversations with his staff. “There’s families involved and whatnot. But I won’t let myself go past the Arizona Cardinals right now. When I say that, I mean that.”
It might actually be easier than it seems. There’s no point in fretting about the future of the Giants when the chances are slim that you’ll be a part of it.
Notes & quotes: The Giants activated DE Romeo Okwara from injured reserve, making him eligible to play in the final two games. Okwara was placed on IR Oct. 18 after spraining his knee in practice the week prior. He played in the first five games and had three tackles. LB Jeremy Cash was waived to make room for Okwara on the 53-man roster.