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, N.J. (AP) — While the win total has increased slightly after a fiasco of a 2017 season, Pat Shurmur sees good things on the horizon for the New York Giants.That’s provided the Giants (5-10) learn how to finish games.It’s been one of their major weaknesses this season and they head into the final week of a fruitless season coming off another late-game collapse in a 28-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.It was the third time this season Shurmur has seen the Giants lose a road game when the opposition scored the deciding points in the final minute. Seven of their losses have been by seven points or less.“We’ve won some games, but we haven’t won enough, and so that’s the growth that has to take place, and for those of us that aren’t very patient, it’s a painful process until we get to that point where we’re winning all of these games at the end – not just a few of them, but all of them,” Shurmur said Monday, a day after the Giants squandered an early 14-0 lead.“We all know that it comes down to a drive or two at the end or the critical plays at the end of a game,” he added. “There’s things that we’re doing that are good enough, but right is right. We’ve got to do it throughout the game and we’ve got to win them.”Looking back, this has been a turnaround year. The roster has fewer than 15 players left over from last year’s 3-13 season. While Eli Manning has remained the quarterback, the offense has changed and has added dynamic rookie halfback Saquon Barkley to a group of playmakers that include wideouts Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard and the suddenly revitalized and healthy Evan Engram at tight end.The defense has shown flashes. The takeaways have picked up, but the run defense and finding ways to close out games have faltered too much.“You’ve got to go out and take these wins, nobody gives you anything,” Shurmur said. “So when you get to the position like we were at the end of this game, it’s safe to say we’ve been in a handful of these this season where we’ve won a couple and then we’ve let a couple get away from us. But nothing’s given to you in this league, you’ve got to go take it.”Shurmur refused to say his team needed better players, insisting he liked the group he has now.However, a few more players will help.The Giants, who have made the playoffs once since 2011, are close to be a contender, Shurmur said.“I think as we start building and as the players get better, as we improve, as we understand situations and how to play each situation better, then eventually this thing pushes over the top Deandre Baker Jersey Boys
,” Shurmur said of his first season in charge. “So I would agree with their assessment.”NOTES: Shurmur said some of his injured players are close to returning for the Dallas game on Sunday. He did not mention Beckham, who has missed the last three games with a quadriceps injury. … The players had a short day Monday and will be off Tuesday for Christmas. The coaches will have Tuesday morning off but will be back in the afternoon to work on the Cowboys. … Manning will start Sunday at MetLife Stadium. … The game has little meaning since the Cowboys won the NFC East and will have a wild-card game at home. It’s Saturday, New York Giants fans, so let’s open up the Big Blue View mailbag and see what falls out.Ed says: No one is happy with five wins. There are, however, things that make me optimistic. The locker room dissension and distractions are gone. The Giants drafted well in 2018, getting good players beyond Saquon Barkley in the middle parts of the draft. GM Dave Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur seem to agree on how they want to construct a roster, and I am in favor of their “from the inside out” philosophy. All of that said, in the end it will come down to whether or not they get the quarterback transition right.Ed says: I haven’t studied every player or figured out the financial ramifications. I would, though, have to consider the EDGE guys. Dee Ford, Trey Flowers, Za’Darius Smith, Dante Fowler, whoever else the Giants think could give them dynamic play off the edge. I’d consider the safety class, too. Tyrann Mathieu is an obvious name to consider because of his connections to defensive coordinator James Bettcher. Deone Buccanon, too.Ed says: Assistant DBs coach Deshea Townsend was announced as DBs coach for the Chicago Bears on Friday evening. Other than that, I’m curious to see where Dave DuGuglielmo, the offensive line coach let go by the Indianapolis Colts, winds up. I would think, though, that if the Giants wanted to replace offensive line coach Hal Hunter — or anyone else on the staff — they would have fired that coach by now.Ed says: What I believe really isn’t important. Since you asked, though, I think the problem you have a GM is you haven’t seen anyone of that size (he might not even be 5-foot-9) succeed in the modern NFL. You’re asking a coach and GM to stake their jobs, and maybe their careers, on a massive roll of the dice. If I’m the GM Infant Deandre Baker Jersey
, I can’t do it.Ed says: The relationship between Collins and the Giants seems curious. I’ve said before that I think Collins will be back, I just don’t think it will be with a long-term deal. The guess here is that Collins ends up playing 2019 on the franchise tag, and both sides figure out the long term later on.Ed says: No. The three picks is nice volume, and the Giants should be able to get good players. I’m just not comfortable dropping that far, especially when the Giants will probably already have 11 picks entering the draft.Ed says: Honestly, I don’t know. Gettleman doesn’t like to put a time table on anything, and I don’t blame him. If things fall into place, the Giants could make the playoffs in 2019. I’m sure that’s what they would like to do. Gettleman talks about building a team set up for sustained success. That’s what you want to happen, or hope will happen. To do that you need to draft well over a period of years. You can have a year like the Giants did in 2016, but they weren’t set up to maintain that. It takes good decisions year after year to accomplish that goal.Ed says: Honestly, I think we saw a lot more of that in the second half of last season. Barkley caught fewer passes as the season went on (58 in the first eight games, 33 in the last eight) and I thought in general the Giants did a better job getting Barkley “planned” receptions and using him as a weapon in the pass game. I think they will continue to get better at that, and will have more opportunities to do so if they can continue to improve the offensive line.Ed says: I think the Giants did very well in the draft. The Barkley vs. Sam Darnold argument will rage for the next 20 years, probably. There is, however, no denying how good Barkley is. Will Hernandez, B.J. Hill, Lorenzo Carter are all quality players. I would say the Giants went 4-for-4 at the top of the draft. If they can continue to do that, sustained success won’t be far behind.Ed says: Maybe, but who is he going to replace? Alec Ogletree? B.J. Goodson? Sean Lee is a nice name, but I think about Jon Beason when I think about the Giants acquiring Lee. I would rather see the Giants add guys with futures rather than spend money on guys trying to hang on to their pasts.Ed says: Who isn’t talking about that? The Giants did draft Lorenzo Carter last spring, and he has shown signs of developing into a good player. They know they need more talent at all levels of their defense. I expect much of the offseason to be devoted to finding it.Ed says: Russell Shepard is already a free agent. As are Bennie Fowler, Corey Coleman and Cody Latimer. Also, Russell Shepard had 10 catches last year. Whatever the Giants do with Sterling Shepard will have nothing to do with any of their other veteran receivers.I don’t know if the Giants will want, or be able, to sign Sterling Shepard long-term. I wouldn’t be in a hurry to get rid of him now Deandre Baker Jersey Draft
, though. The Giants need to add at least one wide receiver, not subtract a good one and create another hole.Ed says: From No. 6? No. There might be a team or teams willing to jump in front of the Giants to get Haskins. I get that. If it happens, it happens. If I’m the Giants GM, I’m not doing it. First, I’m not 100 percent sold on any of the quarterbacks. I like Haskins and Jones, but I’m not falling all over myself and feeling like one is a “must-have.” Plus, I just don’t think the Giants are really in a position to move up.When the New York Jets moved from No. 6 to No. 3 they have up three second-round picks, two in 2018 and one in 2019. If you go by the trade value chart, they traded up into a spot worth 2,200 points and gave up 3,100 points in value to do it. The Giants don’t have extra second-round picks. They also don’t have a third-round pick this year after taking Sam Beal in the Supplemental Draft. Suppose they make that trade, draft Haskins and keep Eli Manning. You get a rookie QB who isn’t going to play right away and don’t have another draft pick until Round 4 in the 2019 draft. How do you get better that way? How do you maximize the primes of Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr.? In my view, you don’t.David Gray asks: With Kyler Murray officially declaring for the draft, the Giants now have two more options at quarterback: Murray and possibly Josh Rosen. At quarterback the Giants have four options for next year: stick with Manning (and postpone finding his successor), try to sign Foles, draft Haskins or Murray, or trade for Josh Rosen (if he becomes available). You’re GM of the Giants, what would you do about the quarterback situation? Ed says: I’m not drafting Murray, I’ve already established that in a previous answer. I’m not thinking about trading for Rosen because that doesn’t seem realistic. I’m not getting into a bidding war for Foles. Yes, he has a Super Bowl but he has never been a 16-game starter and he has never succeeded outside of Philly. I’ve seen too many backups get starter money, only for the team that gave them all that money to find out they really were backups to begin with. I’m considering Haskins if I don’t have to trade up for him. Failing that, I’d consider moving back into the middle or late part of the first round for Daniel Jones. That’s a less costly move than going up from No. 6, and that way you end up with a top 10 talent AND a potential quarterback of the future out of Round 1.