The New York Giants turned the page on the Thomas McGaughey era when they replaced him with a former Bill Walsh Diversity Fellow, 36-year-old Michael Ghobrial, who was an assistant with the Jets for the past three seasons.

On Monday, Ghobrial met with the Giants’ media as the team opened their voluntary offseason workouts. The main topic, of course, was the major change in the kickoff rule which takes effect this season.

Ghobrial was very forthcoming in his take on the change.

“This game is ever-evolving, and as a coordinator, there’s an instance where you have to try and stay ahead of all the rule changes and find out what are all the intricacies of what those provide, and this obviously is going to be some foreign territory, but for everybody across the league,” he said.

“And I think the NFL has done a hell of a job in terms of taking out the speed and space of this play in terms of kickoff to keep guys healthier, which is a big deal, but ultimately bringing a play that was almost dissolving with all the touchbacks and the fair catches that you were seeing.

“So it’s exciting to see. It’s exciting to game plan. It’s exciting to kind of find the little nuances when it comes to that specific rule change. But when it comes down to it, I’ve always felt that every special teams play requires a certain level of effort, a certain level of technique and a certain level of violence. So those will be the foundational pieces of that rule change. And then obviously figuring out what is our best foot forward in terms of attacking that. We’ll do that this spring.”

Ghobrial is more in line with what head coach Brian Daboll was looking for in an assistant. McGaughey was a veteran coach set in his ways, much like defensive coordinator Wink Martindale was. Both were replaced by Daboll this season by younger men whom Daboll can mold into coaches who can execute his vision for this team.

Ghobrial said he is excited to be part of the New York ‘Football’ Giants and plans on bringing his style to the special teams with an approach that deploys the “best 11 players on the roster on  special teams”

He explained what he’s looking for in his players and what he sees in the roster thus far.

“Some of the things that I look for, you know, when I look at special teams players are instincts, toughness and football IQ,” he said. “Those are three things that you kind of evaluate, whether it’s different schemes or anything, you’re trying to figure out, again, it goes back to putting your personnel in the best situation for them to have success.

“So those are three things that I kind of look at and you start to categorize guys, players, into two special teams categories. That, to me, is interior core players and outer core players, if you just look at like interior punt, your guard tackle slots and PP, and then your outer core players are your gunners, your speed guys.

“When I evaluated this roster, it was kind of like deciphering where guys fit in that mold, and then you start to look at what are guys’ strengths, what are guys’ challenges, how do we improve that, and also figure out what were the technique differences to where we can get guys acclimated to a new scheme, new technique and then ultimately be able to play at a high level.”

It’s a new day for the Giants and their special teams. On Tuesday, Ghobrial will meet with the entire team, an idea that Daboll is behind 100 percent.

“Ghobs will meet with the guys,” Daboll said on Monday. “The whole team, he wanted to meet with the whole team to talk about special teams so that will be tomorrow for him.”

And we’re off…


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