Giants defensive coordinator Shane Bowen speaks during minicamp at the team's practice...

Giants defensive coordinator Shane Bowen speaks during minicamp at the team's practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J., on Wednesday. Credit: Ed Murray

The Giants defense underwent a metamorphosis in the offseason.

Gone was Wink Martindale. Enter defensive coordinator Shane Bowen, most recently of the Titans’ staff.

On Wednesday, Bowen outlined what he has expected from the players this spring.

“I think there is a fine line between being schematically aggressive and being play style aggressive,” he said. “Like the play style ain’t going to change. We’re going to be physical. We’re going to be tough. We’ve got a high standard for that.”

The acclimation to the new scheme has taken most of the spring and, Bowen said, remains a work in progress.

“We were a new defense nine weeks ago,” he said. “We’re the Giants defense now, right?”

Bowen said he repeated that message to his players.

“I told the guys [Wednesday] morning, I don’t want to hear ‘new’ anymore. It’s not new anymore. We are still figuring it out and we’re learning every single day and it’s been great work this spring seeing things, but the Giants’ defense is going to continue to evolve based on our personnel and what our guys do best.”

Last season, Bowen’s Titans defense ranked first in red-zone scoring (allowed touchdowns on 37.7% of drives inside the 20), goal-to-go scoring (42.9% resulting in touchdowns), and third-down conversation rate in the red zone (23.4%).

From 2021 to 2023, the Titans surrendered the fewest rushing yards in the NFL (89.7 yards per game) and a league-low 3.70 rushing yards per carry. They allowed 33 rushing touchdowns in that span. Only the Ravens and Patriots gave up fewer with 30 apiece. Overall, the Titans allowed 106 touchdowns from scrimmage in Bowen’s three seasons as defensive coordinator, the seventh-fewest in the NFL.

Brian Daboll has more recently said of Bowen, “I think he’s got a great way about him. He’s an excellent teammate.”

Those words from the head coach likely were purposeful.

During the spring, players have occasionally noted the difference in the defensive scheme.

Cornerback Deonte Banks called Bowen’s scheme “less aggressive” than Martindale’s.

He added, “It’s still aggressive, but just not as aggressive.”

Bowen didn’t argue with that.

For inside linebacker Bobby Okereke, playing in Bowen’s scheme will afford him more opportunities in coverage, which he enjoys.

“The way [Bowen] calls it, we’re going to be multiple,” Okereke said. “We’ll be able to combat the offensive strengths, so we’ll have a good mix of everything.”

Told of Banks’ comparison to Martindale’s defense, Okereke nodded.

“Coming from Wink’s system where we’re blitzing 40 to 50% of the time and playing zero coverage, it’s a little less aggressive from that standpoint. From a run point we’ll be aggressive, and obviously based on the down-and-distance situation, we’ll play aggressive, too.”

With the addition of outside linebacker Brian Burns in the offseason, Okereke sees another advantage.

“Makes my job a lot easier,” Okereke said. “The quarterback has to get the ball out quicker.”

The Giants had an abbreviated on-field workout that lasted about an hour Wednesday morning, as they ended their spring schedule.

Players will not be back on the field until training camp commences in late July. The only activity left for the players this spring is Thursday’s team barbecue.

Notes & quotes: Daniel Jones did not take part in team drills during the spring; he was a regular in 7-on-7s. Jones said he will host offensive players near his home in the Charlotte area to get in some extra work and as a team-building exercise. Whenever he has been asked, Jones continues to say he will be ready to go when training camp opens. Whether he wears a sleeve on his surgically repaired knee remains to be seen . . . Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka said Drew Lock had a productive spring. “You can see him getting a little bit more comfortable each and every day with just the verbiage, the command, out there processing, executing. You’re seeing each day he’s getting a little bit better. It’s been nice to see because he’s a veteran guy. He’s been in a couple different systems. He’s taking that next step.” . . . Tommy DeVito had a quiet spring, and Kafka said it was a productive one. “[Tommy] is more comfortable, he’s able to really describe all those little details that we talk about all spring. Last year, he kind of got thrown into the fire a little bit in the season, and he did really well last year in those games. And you’re seeing him take that next step now.”

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