Giants Coordinator Corner: It’s the ‘Welcome Wagon’ in New York

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The New York Giants are gearing up for their 2021 season opener this Sunday at MetLife Stadium against the Denver Broncos.

There actually are more questions right now surrounding this team than there were when training camp began six weeks ago.

On Thursday, the team’s three coordinators tried to iron out some of the fears and concerns this unbalanced summer has brought on — thanks in large part to returning players.

Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey

Kevin R. Wexler/Nort

Special team coordinator Thomas McGaughey is feeling a bit more confident now that he knows Nate Ebner, one of his captains from last season, is back in the fold. He just might need a few reps to get his sea legs back. "He practiced yesterday. He’s ready to go," said McGaughey. "It's like anything else, he's got to get in football shape and get used to the volume. As far as the scheme and everything else, he's good." McGaughey also has a deep stable of punt and kick returners in safety Jabrill Peppers, cornerback Adoree' Jackson and rookie wideout Kadarius Toney. Peppers is likely to begin the season as the primary returner but the team is hoping their explosive rookie can assume the role. "Kadarius is earning everyone's trust," said McGaughey. "He's getting out here and he's working. He's a rookie, he's trying to find his way and lead. He's going to try and find his niche and he's doing a good job, he is. He's different, he' a special athlete."

Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett

AP Photo/Corey Sipkin

Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is relieved to finally have most of his weapons at the ready. None is more important than running back Saquon Barkley, who tore his ACL in Week 2 last season and was lost for the year. Garrett knows Barkley, when right, is his best player and can raise the offense to another level. "Oh, trust me, I was on the other side with this guy and he's one of those dynamic players, both in the running game and in the passing game," he said. "He's one of those players who can make a three-yard run and a four-yard run and a two-yard and a one-yard run, and then he catches a screen and goes for 65 yards. "We've lived that trying to stop him, so it's great to have him on our side and, again, we'll try to give him opportunities. He's worked really, really hard to get back, to come back from a serious injury. He's done a great job and demonstrated great leadership about how you respond to adversity."

Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham

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Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has a lot of weapons at disposal as well. One of them, second-year safety Xavier McKinney, has been flying under-the-radar a bit. Graham was asked why he expects from McKinney come Sunday versus Denver. "Keep it simple just in terms of team first, good football position and just valuing the process as he builds towards his game," he said. "It's all the stuff we talk about. In terms of his play, defend the deep part of the field -- he’s a defensive back -- make sure we tackle, and I want him to have fun out there, have fun with his teammates. That's the main stuff right there. "I'm not going to get into anything specific because I don't know what he's going to have to do. He might have to cover man-to-man, he might have to play the deep part of the field, he might have to tackle somebody on a long gain. I just want him to go out there and do his job to the best of his ability. We're looking forward to seeing him play."

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