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#pounditSaturday, July 20, 2024

Viral video provides glimpse into how NFL teams prep for press conferences

Joe Schoen talks with a Giants communications staffer

NFL coaches, players and executives often seem like they are giving rehearsed responses to questions they are asked during press conferences, and that is because they usually are. We were given a much closer glimpse into the process that goes into that during the latest episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”

One very unique scene from Tuesday night’s episode of “Hard Knocks: Offseason with the New York Giants” has gone viral. In the clip, Giants general manager Joe Schoen is shown discussing a game plan with senior director of football communications Dion Dargin just before Schoen’s media availability at the NFL Scouting Combine.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter had just reported that the Giants did not plan to use the franchise tag on Barkley. When Dargin asked Schoen how the GM might respond to a question about that report, Schoen joked that he was going to tell reporters the Giants “wanted to give (Barkley) a lot of money a year ago and he didn’t want that.” That was obviously how Schoen really felt, though he would never say that in a press conference.

Instead, Schoen and Dargin strategized that the GM should tell reporters “all options are on the table,” which is exactly what Schoen said. You can watch the full exchange:

The behind-the-scenes look was confirmation of what is hardly a secret — members of NFL organizations think one thing and say another publicly. That is all part of the job. Still, it is rare to be able to see that laid out so plainly.

Barkley signed a three-year, $37.75 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles that includes $26 million guaranteed. There were reports that the Giants had offered roughly the same amount annually, though they were not willing to guarantee as much.

In a separate “Hard Knocks” scene, Schoen offered some strong comments about why the team chose to let Barkley walk.

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