New York Giants center Jon Feliciano could be headed for free agency in two weeks but, unlike last season at this time when the veteran was doubting his career path, the former Buffalo Bill anchor knows where he wants to be.
Tyler Dunne of GoLongTD explains:
He rediscovered his joy with Brian Daboll, Bobby Johnson and the New York Giants.
The 6-foot-4, 325-pounder known as “Mongo” did not only save his career — he learned to love football again. On the cusp of free agency, he’d love to stay with the Giants. He sees the makings of something special with Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen. As the team’s starting center, he was (literally) the man in the middle of this rebirth. A collection of misfits and draft picks left for dead managed to go 9-7-1 and win a playoff game. NFL teams rarely ever transform from hellscape to contender on a coaching change alone. It’s not like the Giants handed out blank checks to free agents last spring.
Feliciano could be brought back on another one-year deal, and at 31, still has some football left in him.
“One hundred percent,” Feliciano says. “I would love to be back. They’re my guys. It’s easy being with them. Just the joy I get playing football and I want to succeed for them, too.”
Feliciano enjoys being around Daboll, the reigning NFL Coach of the Year (and deservedly so). He explained how Daboll, who offers mostly encouragement, can also act as a disciplinarian.
When Feliciano drew a foolish taunting penalty this season, he saw that side of Daboll.
“He knows when to bring you up and when to tear you down. He’s great at that balance. . . He gave me good ripping and you look back on it, I love when he gets fired up,” Feliciano says. “Obviously didn’t want the penalty, but when he rips people — and it’s not you — it’s pretty fun to watch. He’s just a little, small meatball getting angry. He gets all red in the face and then two seconds later he’ll be like, ‘That was a good one, right?’”
It’s just not Daboll that Feliciano wants to win for, it’s the assistants, such as offensive line coach Bobby Johnson as well.
“He’s a fiery guy,” Feliciano says of Johnson, “and I like to say I am too.”
There’s a lot more to this man they call ‘Mongo.’ He was the heart of a rejuvenated Giants offensive line last year — a player who helped show the Giants what it takes to win again. Many would love to see him back in Blue this year.