New York Post

Schoen admits Big Blue must close talent gap with Eagles


Sometimes the truth hurts. Even when it needs to be said.

No one who saw the Giants get eliminated from the playoffs with a noncompeti­tive 38-7 loss to the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday could state the two teams are close in the NFL pecking order. Anyone who recalls the Eagles having their way with the Giants back in Week 14 in a 48-22 rout at MetLife Stadium was clued in about the disparity with these two teams.

In order for the Giants to continue the progress they made this season, they are going to have to solve the riddle that is the Eagles and find a way to win some games in the NFC East. Joe Schoen after his first year as the general manager recognizes this. At this point, the Giants are no match for the Eagles.

“I would say yes,’’ Schoen said Monday. “There’s a talent gap there we need to close.’’

The Eagles became the first team to ever beat the Giants three times in one season — they also won 22-16 in Philadelph­ia in the regular-season finale, with the Giants resting their starting players. The playoff loss made the Giants 1-5-1 against their own division. They were 9-3 against the rest of the league.

➤ This is now officially the offseason. The spring workout program begins April 17. Coach Brian Daboll alerted the players to this during his final team meeting, knowing full well this date did not pertain to several individual­s in the room.

“Like I told the guys when they left how much I appreciate­d their work and their commitment to the team, but unfortunat­ely, you’re all not going to be here,’’ Daboll said. “You wish you could just bottle it up and then bring it back April 17, and the people in the seats are there and everybody has kind of worked together, been through some tough times.

But that’s not the case. So, however many new people are here, you’ve got to put them into your system. You’ve got to bring them along. You’ve got to build team chemistry. And every team that I’ve been part of has been different. Not one team is the same.’’

➤ One area in which the Giants did not show enough improvemen­t this season: Keeping their team healthy. This was especially true of the rookie draft class, as five of the 11 rookies in the class suffered season-ending injuries.

“We’re working through that, specifical­ly the rookie class,’’ Schoen said. “Is it the young players coming in, the onboarding process? Are we doing that right? We’re going to turn over every leaf to figure that out because healthy players give us the best chance to win. We had some ACLs this year. We had some MCLs, stingers. So, we’ll do a deep dive in the offseason and do whatever we can to try to improve that, that way we can be the healthiest we can.’’

➤ Remember that meeting the Giants had with free agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. back in early December? Here are the details, as revealed by Schoen: “Dinner was good.’’ As for possibly bringing the oft-injured Beckham back to the Giants — he was their 2014 first-round pick — Schoen was beyond noncommitt­al. “We’re going to consider, when we have this offseason meeting, every position, who’s available,’’ Schoen said. “Who are the players who are potential — that we could sign? Again, we’ll devise the plan from there. That’s kind of where we are right now.’’

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