In Bobby Johnson, the New York Giants are currently on their sixth offensive line coach since 2018.
Johnson is somewhat aware of some of the more recent issues with the offensive line and the attempts by his predecessors to fix it. So is he feeling the pressure yet?
"To be honest with you, no," Johnson said Thursday.
Johnson, who helped mold the Bills offensive line into a functioning unit, said he views his current job as a privilege, and with that comes the responsibility to do whatever it takes to maintain that privilege.
One of the ways Johnson plans to ensure he lives up to the responsibility he's taken on is to manage the pressure on his players, specifically youngsters like Evan Neal, one of two Giants first-round draft picks who projects as the team's starting right tackle.
"That's a delicate balance," Johnson said of managing the pressure for Neal. "Those kids already have enough pressure on them. He was drafted in the top 10. He came to New York City. That alone is enough pressure to crush a player.
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"My job is to develop him. My job is to help him exceed his expectations and everybody else's. So I will stunt his development If I try to exert any more pressure that's already there.
"With Evan, he puts a lot of pressure on himself--I've learned that in a short period. One of my keys with him is, 'Hey, my job is to coach you. If you need any pressure applied, let me do it. Don't do it to yourself because you're too young. You won't know when to turn it off. I know when to turn it on, turn it off.'"
That thinking aligns with the responsibility Johnson says exists in his new position.
"Do I feel a responsibility? Yes, I do," he said. "The unit hasn't performed to the expectations. My responsibility is to get them to do that. There's no pressure in that. It's just what comes with the job. If you feel pressure to get a guy to perform, you shouldn't take the paycheck every other Friday.
"That's what's been my approach. I've had the benefit of having some really good jobs, and this is another really good job. So I don't feel the pressure; I just feel responsible for getting 'em to perform to expectation."
Here are some more takeaways from the Giants' third OTA.
OTA No. 3 Takeaways
Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay, and Sterling Shepard Among Those Wearing Red
Receivers Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay, and Sterling Shepard, who had injury-filled seasons last year, were just three of several players sporting red jerseys at Thursday's OTA practice.
Shepard suffered a torn Achilles toward the end of last season and is recovering from that surgery. It's unclear if Toney and/or Golladay, both of whom missed games last year due to injuries, had any kind of off-season procedures, but it's at least good to see that Daboll isn't going to "baby" players who are coming off injuries and aren't quite 100 percent.
In the past, there might have been an inclination to hold players out of the off-season practices to allow them to fully recover for training camp. This doesn't appear to be the approach this regime is taking.
Although the red jersey might suggest that the player isn't yet ready for contact (assuming it was allowed, which again, in the off-season program, it isn't), it's good to see that the Giants are letting as many rehabbing players as possible do what they can now so they are ready for training camp.
Giants Hoping to Be Full Strength for Start of Training Camp
Daboll was asked if there was anyone he didn't think might be ready physically for the start of training camp. "I think everybody is moving in the right direction," he said. "We'll end up talking about that before we leave, but I'm not ready to give you an answer on that one yet."
The Giants have several players who are coming off significant injuries, among them receiver Sterling Shepard (Achilles), offensive lineman Nick Gates (broken leg), and offensive tackle Matt Peart (ACL). Shepard and Peart were late-season injuries, but both have been active in drills as they work on their respective comebacks.
Daboll admitted that Gates and Peart are probably "still a little bit" away. "They're rehabbing every day, getting better each day, so we'll see where they're."
Giants Auditioning Returners
It seems the Giants are in search of a new option to return kickoffs and punts every off-season, and this off-season is no different.
So far this spring, the Giants have tried roughly seven different players in the returner role, two of which are receivers Wan'Dale Robinson (who was not present for OTA No. 3) and Kadarius Toney.
"Yeah, Wan'Dale is an option," said special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey. "We've got like six or seven guys that can return kicks and punts, which is good--creates competition."
Toney is also an option, per McGaughey.
"Yeah, again, obviously, that's one of the reasons why he's here," he said. "KT is a super talented guy. With the ball in his hands, he's dynamic. Again, it'll be fun just to see those guys compete for a spot."
The Giants, who ranked 22nd in kickoff returns and 23rd in punt returns last year, also have receiver Richie James and C.J. Board as options.
About those Other Receivers
The Giants expect to have competition across the board, but one position unit battle shaping up to be an exciting competition is at wide receiver.
With Sterling Shepard, Kadarius Toney, and Kenny Golladay all assigned red jersey (which limits their participation in team drills) and with Wan'Dale Robinson absent so he could attend a rookie symposium, a couple of other receivers stepped up to have big days.
The first was Robert Foster, a 6-foot-2, 196 pounder who has familiarity with Brian Daboll's offense from his time at Alabama and Buffalo. Foster is intriguing because he could potentially be the type of receiver the Giants were hoping to get out of John Ross last year: a guy with deep speed and good hands.
Foster put those traits on display when he caught a deep pass from Tyrod Taylor. If Foster keeps this showing up, he could threaten to grab Darius Slayton's roster spot.
The other receiver who helped himself was C.J. Board, who caught a touchdown reception and had another deep catch on a ball from Davis Webb. Board, who offers special teams value as a gunner, helped himself with his showing on offense, which, if he continues, will bode well for his chances to hang around the roster.
Post Script to the James Bradberry Fall-out
It's bad enough that the Giants, despite adding two cornerbacks yesterday that despite being familiar with defensive coordinator Wink Martindale's system, have been injury-prone, still don't come close to solving the questions about the depth at cornerback following the release of James Bradberry.
But that's nothing if you consider the cap ramifications.
Bradberry's Eagles deal, as noted by Warren Sharp of Sharp Football, will cost them up to $10 million--that's $1.7 million less than the dead money charge that hit the Giants' 2022 cap.
And if that's not bad enough, if Bradberry doesn't re-sign with the Eagles, they will likely get a comp pick as a result, depending on what kind of future deal Bradberry is able to get.
*Second-round draft pick Wan'Dale Robinson was not at Thursday's OTA because he had to attend a mandatory NFL Rookie symposium, according to Daboll.
*Daboll said they're currently exploring the possibility of holding a joint training camp practice with another team. " I'd say that the training camp schedule, whether or not we practice with another team, we're still working through that," Daboll said. "Probably have an answer for you by next week."
*Giants first-round pick Kayvon Thibodeaux pulled himself out of the team part of practice late in the session to have his quad/groin/hip checked by trainers. Thibodeaux remained on the sideline as a spectator. Whatever caused him to pull out of the practice is not thought to be serious.
*The Giants signed third-round pick Cor'Dale Flott Thursday. The Giants now have most of their draft picks under contract, including first-rounders Evan Neal and Kayvon Thibodeaux; fifth-rounders D.J. Davidson, Micah McFadden, and Marcus McKethan; and sixth-rounder Darrian Beavers.
*The Giants will next be on the field Monday for OTA No. 4.