The New York Giants Visited Albany Last Weekend, and This is Why
The New York Giants are no strangers at the University at Albany.
The franchise set up their preseason training camp at UAlbany in 16 of 17 years during the late 1990's and early 2000's, and became fixtures in the Capital Region during that time. Though they would eventually move to their own personal facility in the mid-2010's, there has always been a relationship between the G-Men and Great Danes.
That relationship was further strengthened last weekend, when representatives from the Big Blue ascended the Northway for UAlbany football's Pro Day.
New York Giants Present for UAlbany Football Pro Day
As reported by The Times Union, and later chronicled by Giants' specific website GiantsWire, New York was one of a few teams that attended the University at Albany football program's Pro Day last Friday.
The Giants were joined by the in-state rival New York Jets, as well as a representative from the West Coast, the San Francisco 49ers. As asserted by GiantsWire, the team was present to scout eight players in total, and seven from Greg Gattuso's program:
"Representatives from the New York Giants, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers were there to look at eight players, including seven from UAlbany: Mofor, defensive tackle Ibn Foster, wide receiver Donovan McDonald, tight end LJ Wesneski, offensive lineman Critt Johnson, long snapper Tristan Sokach-Minnick and kicker Dylvan Burns. The other player was RPI wide receiver Vinnie McDonald." - GiantsWire
Recent iterations of the New York Giants have had a number of connections to football in Albany. Former Great Danes' defensive player Jarren Williams just re-signed with the franchise, and Albany native Dion Lewis played in games for the G-Men earlier this decade.
In my mind, as a Giants' fan, their attendance at Pro Day is a no-brainer. The team set out to cut $40 million in salary cap this offseason, and are a portion of the way to hitting their goal. In the process, however, they've cut bait with a number of impact players on their roster, and seem poised to continue trimming the fat.
In order to put a competitive roster on the field in 2022, you need to work on finding the "diamond in the rough" players that other teams won't take the time to scout. The Giants (and Jets, who also deserve this credit) have access to a number of competitive programs in the Central and Upstate New York areas, areas that are largely untapped in terms of professional football potential.
Their attendance at Pro Day shows a commitment from their new leadership, including GM Joe Schoen, to develop young players into the kind of professionals that can have an impact on the Giants. Even something as seemingly insignificant as that, is a huge step in the correct direction.