The New York Giants launched training camp on Thursday intent on fusing brave words with bold action.
They definitively have the words honed.
It started with new head coach Ben McAdoo, who required only a few seconds to starkly talk about “a fifth Super Bowl trophy in the case” for the Giants being the goal this season.
Bold words. Brave action.
No one knows if he can win big. No one knows if he can win at all. No one knows how he will handle the fire and intensity of NFL in-game critical moments. No one knows if this Giants’ revamped attitude and roster can emerge and stop the franchise’s slide into mediocrity.
But McAdoo has a crystal-clear approach and plan he believes and sells. The Giants players are clearly on board with it. They look awake. They sound determined.
Besides the talent upgrade, which is distinctive, there are two elements I believe give McAdoo a running start and a clear chance to make the Giants matter this season. First, his belief in playing physical football and, next, his plan for dealing with adversity.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Johnson’s numbers in Houston is that he largely put them up with lousy quarterbacks. During his 12-year stint in the Lone Star State, Johnson played with 10 different starting QBs, including David Carr, Matt Schaub, Sage Rosenfels, T.J. Yates and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Johnson’s run of playing with subpar pass throwers continued last year in Indianapolis with Andrew Luck missing the majority of the season due to injury. Forty-year-old Matt Hasselbeck started eight games, failing to complete more than 57 percent of his passes in his final three contests.
Though Johnson’s career accolades speak for themselves, he probably feels as if he has something to prove after his lackluster year in Indianapolis. But after more than a decade in the league, it’s uncertain if he’s physically up to the task.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey was optimistic about how much Johnson could contribute, on the field and in the locker room:
Mularkey on Andre Johnson: “He’s an extreme competitor.” He’ll give young WRs competition and leadership.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) July 29, 2016
The Titans have a promising young quarterback in Marcus Mariota, but the No. 2 overall pick didn’t have much help as a rookie. During the offseason, Tennessee bulked up the offensive line and running back corps, but didn’t add much to the receiving group except former Miami Dolphins wide out Rishard Matthews. Johnson should have a strong chance at being a contributor with the organization.