Former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree knows a thing or two about winning teamwork.
Tyree, famously known for his helmet catch in the Giants 17-14 upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, spent the 2003-08 seasons with the Giants before ending his NFL career in 2009 with the Ravens.
Since 2014, he’s been the Giants Director of Player Engagement. Recently, Tyree moved on to opened a Clean Juice Bar franchise in the heart of Morristown, New Jersey where he's looking to apply many of the same teamwork concepts he learned as a member of the Giants franchise both as a player and as a member of the front office.
"I've never really considered franchising," Tyree said by phone, taking a break in preparing for the business' grand opening which was held over the weekend.
"Obviously we talked about these things with players--career transition, these opportunities, how to vet out different opportunities. I wasn't necessarily thinking about that myself as I was thinking about investment, but I did the research (on the Clean Juice franchise) and I appreciated their boldness and quality of excellence that they were bringing to their guests."
Although Tyree is in a new arena, his thoughts are still with the Giants franchise, which he believes is headed in the right direction under new head coach Joe Judge.
“I think Coach Judge is a very smart sound and a strategic thinker and coach,” Tyree said. “I just hope that what we see and what they do translates to the field.”
Tyree, a special teams dynamo who earned a spot on the NFL All-Rookie team in 2003, and first-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowl berth on special teams in 2005, not only caught a touchdown pass in the Giants stunning upset over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, he is also one-half of one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history.
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The 32-yard play, which helped keep the Giants’ game-winning drive, saw Manning somehow escaped the New England pass rush before heaving the ball blindly down the middle of the field where Tyree pinned it against his helmet despite having safety Rodney Harrison all over him.
With Manning having retired after the 2019 season, Tyree said his former quarterback isn’t the type of player that can be easily replaced.
However, Tyree added that he is impressed with what he’s seen and learned about Daniel Jones, who succeeded Manning as the franchise’s starter, in the short time the quarterback has been with the franchise.
“I think Daniel Jones has a lot of similar attributes,” Tyree said. “Obviously, he’s a little more athletic, but from the standpoint of preparation and grit, there is a lot of promising things.
“But just like when Eli was coming in, it’s going to take time. I feel like he's on a good track. And I think the franchise from a foundational standpoint has a lot of good pieces to build with.”
Does that include receiver, an area that Tyree’s one-time teammate Amani Toomer recently opined was lacking?
“I think when you have a young quarterback talent, you want to have a linchpin to go along with a young quarterback,” Tyree said, noting that it took Manning about three to four seasons before he finally came into his own as an NFL signal-caller.
“When you have an Amani Toomer, when you have a Plaxico Burress—guys who are proven playmakers who have done it on a big scale and have size, strength, and ability, I think there's something to that, especially more so with a young, unproven quarterback. It gives them confidence (and) a bigger target.”
According to Tyree, the Giants don’t have that linchpin, though he does believe they have enough talent in the passing game to find success.
“I don't think there's any lack of the ability and playmaking with the receiver corps, especially with Golden (Tate) and Sterling Shepard, and (tight end) Evan (Engram). So I think you have a great set of playmakers there, but from the outside, yeah, I think there's still something that could be wanted there.”