Maybe I'm reading too much into things, grasping for any optimistic straw I can find, but it seems to me that the atmosphere in East Rutherford has undergone a huge, long overdue change. It's almost as if the skies have cleared over MetLife, and the dark cloud that's been hovering over the Giants for ten-plus years has finally been waved away.
That's not to say that everything is sunshine and roses. Clearly, the team still has a lot of work to do before they can be considered upper echelon. But I can't recall a time - at least not in recent years - when the front office and the coaching staff have been so obviously on the same page, marching in lockstep, speaking with one voice. That really resonates with me. It inspires confidence.
Of course the real test will be how the organization handles adversity. But by their words and actions, it appears that Schoen and Daboll are trying to foster a spirit of unity, of "team before self," if you will, where players can depend on each other when times get tough. In that respect, "smart, tough, and dependable" applies to the entire team, not just any individual player.
For me, it's a real welcomed change. It's a mark of professionalism from the powers-that-be without any of the bluster and bravado that characterized previous regimes. It's a sane, rational approach to building a team, not an approach marred by systemic dysfunction. It's a sign of competence, and I believe it will eventually lead to a return to glory for Big Blue.