Coach Pat Shurmur and the Giants see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. A turbulent offseason, the underwhelming blockbuster trade of Odell Beckham Jr., the ill-fated decision to let Landon Collins walk, the drafting of Daniel Jones with the sixth pick … and at the end of minicamp, at the beginning of June, “Ya gotta Bluelieve” lives on 1925 Giants Drive.
“I like the way our team’s coming together,” Shurmur said. “We’re putting together a team that’s working hard and competing, and our goal is to put a winning team on the field.
“And I believe we can do it.”
Expectations haven’t been this low for the Giants in a long time. General manager Dave Gettleman won’t use the “R” word, but c’mon, he has been rebuilding on the fly.
“I don’t really pay much attention to that. We have high expectations for ourselves and that’s what matters,” Shurmur said.
Why does he believe this team can surprise people?
“Well, I’m not looking to surprise people, I’m looking for this team to go out and play winning football,” Shurmur said.
He enjoys coaching under the New York microscope.
“First, I believe in the organization,” Shurmur said. “From the top down, we got outstanding people that really care. I believe in my coaching staff, I believe in my players, I believe in all the people that work with the players.
“And I really believe that we can get back to playing winning football.”
“I do. I do.”
He likes the camaraderie. He likes the leadership, in which Jones learns under Eli Manning and Jabrill Peppers learns under Antoine Bethea.
“Every year you re-establish your culture,” Shurmur said. “You don’t always play the next year with all the same guys from the previous year. I think more was made of it this year probably because we made so many changes.”
Shurmur will have to make the gut-wrenching changing of the guard from Manning to Jones. As fond as he is of Manning, he knows he can not afford to let sentiment for a two-time Super Bowl MVP get in the way.
“I think what’s important is the head coach makes decisions based on what’s best for the football team, and you treat the players as men and as professionals,” Shurmur told The Post. “And we have to do what’s best. We gotta put a team on the field that gives us the best chance to win games. And beyond that, all the other issues of the day, then you just take care of ’em with that in mind.”
If Manning doesn’t win early behind his best offensive line in years, the handoff could come sooner rather than later.
“Eli can play for another five, six, seven years from a physical standpoint if he wants to do it.” receiver Russell Shepard said.
But Manning is 38 and hasn’t won in too long, and Shepard also says: “I love Daniel, man. It makes complete sense to me why they took him where they took him. As a team, we are very confident in his ability. What we love about DJ is his demeanor. We see Eli. We see the quarterback that’s brought two Super Bowls to this organization. We see a guy [Jones] that has a unique skill set as far as passing and running. We see a guy that’s gonna do some great things here.”
And Shurmur adds: “His head is swimming much less than most rookies. He doesn’t make the same mistake twice.”
In the meantime, Shurmur is winning the popular vote:
Long snapper Zak DeOssie: “I think he’s a great combination of old-school and new school. He’s concerned about football 24/7. He wants us to play our best and be in our best mindset at the same time.”
Safety Michael Thomas: “The part that I like most about him is he loves to empower the players to lead each other.”
Shepard: “He is the ultimate player’s coach. A lot of times when you have coaches, it’s hard for them to relate to the mindset of the player, the feeling of the player from a physical standpoint, a mental standpoint. That’s what he embodies.”
Ya gotta Bluelieve.
“Every single player in this organization, every single person in this organization knows where this team is, especially compared to this time last year,” Thomas said.
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