New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen did not come from just anywhere when the team hired him last year. He had a significant track record as a scout, talent evaluator, and front-office executive with organizations such as Miami, Carolina, and Buffalo.
In his travels, he learned from some of the best in the business. One name, in particular, keeps coming up when Schoen talks about philosophy and team building: former Giants Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells, who Schoen worked under in Miami.
When talking about building a team around a scheme — such as the defense that is run by coordinator Wink Martindale — Schoen recalled the advice Parcells gave him years back.
Martindale was a hot name on the head coaching carousel this offseason and could eventually be hired away if the Giants’ defense continues to thrive.
“It’s actually something that Coach Parcells told me a long time ago,” Schoen told reporters on Thursday during his pre-draft press conference. “He told me, ‘Coaches come and go. You need to draft good football players.’
“Yeah, you don’t want to get too pigeonholed into scheme-specific, because then, you’re right, if Wink gets a head job a year from now and you bring somebody else in that runs a totally different defense, you have a scheme-specific player. Part of our job is to balance that. Like is this guy, again, adding value? Like, he’s only going to fit this one scheme. And yeah, Wink’s got a really good chance to get a head coaching job. If he moves on and we change things up, then yeah, you definitely have to balance that and be aware of that.”
That is why Schoen and his team are careful not to draft players who might be scheme-specific. That would also apply to the offense, where coordinator Mike Kafka was also courted by several teams only to wind up back with the Giants.