Tag Archives: Offense

McAdoo Signing Signals New Era for Giants Offense

McAdoo 1

by Jim Bearor

     Eli Manning and the Giants offense were very, very bad last season.  The Giants just signed Ben McAdoo to a two-year contract to become the team’s offensive coordinator.  Ben McAdoo has been the Quarterbacks Coach of the Green Bay Packers for the past two years, and has been working under Mike McCarthy for the past seven years.  Despite injuries at the position, the quarterback play for the Packers this season was very good.  Aaron Rodgers is a very, very good quarterback.

     These are all facts.  But anything that is said or heard about the move before McAdoo and the Giants take the field is merely projection or speculation.

     That being said, I have a very good feeling about this.  Like, a REALLY good feeling about this.

     Those who know me know how much I despised the play calling of Kevin Gilbride.  Since 2004 – so, since Eli Manning has been in the NFL – Kevin Killdrive has been pulling the strings on an offense that was conservative, predictable, and most irritating of all, underperforming.  No other playcaller that I know of would consistently call a run on first down, second and long, and then call a draw on third and long.  As a Giants fan, Gilbride’s offense was the most frustrating thing I’ve ever had the displeasure of watching – and that includes the Tiki Barber fumbling years, the tipped ball interceptions, and Bill Sheridan’s defense (if you can even call it that).

     But finally, the pain is gone.  Even if the Giants don’t come close to resembling the offensive juggernaut that Green Bay has been in these past few years, us fans can rest easy knowing that we won’t always know what play is coming – and hopefully opposing defenses won’t either – before the huddle even breaks.

     McAdoo has already said that he wants to completely change how the offense operates.

     “We’re going to be an up-tempo, attacking-style offense,” he said. “We’re going to play with good energy. And we’re going to rely on fundamentals.”

     Everything in that statement is reason for excitement among New Yorkers, even though no tangible results have been produced yet. For years and years, I know many of us have been waiting to see what Eli can do in a more aggressive offense.  Excluding this atrocity of a season, the offense looks like a completely different animal when Manning is working the 2-minute offense and calling the plays at the line. And of course, relying on fundamentals – like the quarterback and wideouts being on the same page about how a route is supposed to be run – is an obvious need for this team.

     I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Eli needs “fixing”, but he sure as hell needs something.  I can’t put this disappointing season solely on his shoulders, because his line was practically non-existent, and the lack of chemistry with his receivers is a shared problem.  That being said, something didn’t seem right with Eli this year, he didn’t look like the same player he has been throughout his career, whether it is a mechanical issue or a problem with reading defenses.

     Whatever it is, I have to believe that Coach McAdoo will bring something to the table to help.  After all, he is a quarterbacks coach, right?  I’m not going to be naïve and assume that this change will answer all the problems for the New York Giants, but it’s nice to know that whatever we see on the field in 2014-15, it isn’t going to be the same stale, ineffective product as years past.




Thoughts on Kevin Gilbride

I’m trying to move past the phase of calling for Kevin Gilbride’s head every time I think he’s being too conservative.  He’s been a part of two Super Bowl winning teams and that says a lot, but far too often I find myself with my head in my hands watching Gilbride’s offense fail to put in the dagger at the end of games.  Monday night is a microcosm of what I have come to expect with Gilbride: the offense is clicking early, Eli is hitting his receivers, and points start to pile up, the Giants seemingly control the pace of the game through the end of the third quarter.


Then, sometimes things go bad.


The offensive game plan becomes this weak attempt to control the ball and the momentum shifts.  Even though Bradshaw may be struggling through three quarters, he will continue to get the ball on a consistent basis.  Gilbride’s play calling completely takes Eli Manning out of the game and relies heavily on obvious runs up the middle with Bradshaw (and formerly Jacobs).  This is frustrating to no end, and a few fellow Giants fans would probably agree with me when I say that his schemes and coaching are holding back the passing game.


Not since 2007 has the running game been effective. It may be because the offensive line has gotten older, or simply that too much is expected from these running backs.  Either way, the ground game is the weaker aspect of this New York Giants attack, yet in key plays late in games, we continue to see Gilbride go back to the run like he trusts it more than his passing game.  I understand that in today’s NFL there must be some sort of balance between run and pass to keep defenders honest, but when your team is built around a quarterback of Manning’s caliber, wouldn’t you think that almost every do-or-die situation should be placed squarely on his shoulders?


I have no problems with running the ball 25 times a game even though it rarely works (I may have a problem with the running back that is getting those carries, but that’s a different story).  But when the team needs a scoring drive to cement the victory, the offense takes its foot off the pedal. These are the worst games to watch because you know exactly how it’s going to end.  I’ve seen it too many times to count, but the two instances that are freshest in my mind are the game from Monday, and the game a few years back when Mathias Kiwanuka failed to bring down Vince Young on a late third down that ended up winning the game.  I feel like he is so committed to his flawed schemes that he sometimes doesn’t adapt to the game.  The faster two-minute offense that we see before halftime and at the end of close games just looks like it fits better than the current system.


I’m sure he has his reasons for calling the games the way he does, but whatever way you cut it, Gilbride isn’t taking full advantage of his personnel.  Am I wrong on this?  Sure, the receiving core could be healthier, but isn’t throwing often to Victor Cruz and a banged-up Hakeem Nicks more effective than Ahmad Bradshaw’s fragile feet rushing it on predictable first and second downs all day?  It’s frustrating to know that nothing is going to change anytime in the foreseeable future, and I needed to vent.


The Renaissance of Reggie Bush

by Jim Bearor

Reggie Bush stirred the pot recently when he said that his goal for this season was to win the rushing title.  Of course this sent everyone at ESPN into a frenzy, as the vast majority of analysts gave him props for showing such confidence, but dismissed his goal for the simple fact that it came from the mouth of Reggie Bush.  This is the same Reggie Bush that was selected with the 3rd overall pick in 2006 by New Orleans, and was more of a novelty pass-catcher than a running back.

When he came into the league, the expectations were high that he would be frequently starring on highlight shows due to his explosive running style.  He didn’t live up to the hype, although he did provide the occasional spark off of a punt return or pass from the great Drew Brees.  It surprised me how fast his fan base seemed to turn on him.  I know that he wasn’t putting up adequate rushing numbers to warrant such a high draft pick, but he was also not in a situation where it was possible for him to rush for over 100 yards a game.  The Saints offense is built around Brees, and everyone else is interchangeable.  They spread out receivers, and use their running backs as receivers coming out of the backfield almost as much as they use them to rush the ball.  This is why Darren Sproles couldn’t have found a better fit of a team.

Bush did struggle running between the tackles during his time there, but he has adapted to the north-south running style that NFL rushers must have and his numbers have improved because of it.  His 1,086 rushing yards off of only 216 carries last year in Miami really impressed me, but the stat that really stuck out was that he averaged 5.6 yards-per-carry between the tackles.  The change of scenery provided him with a fresh start and the opportunity to redefine his career.  A stacked offensive line and Tony Sparano’s offense had a lot to do with this renaissance as well.

Sparano is gone, but Bush has made it known that he is no slouch and is fully capable of being a feature back in a run-heavy offense.  How the offense changes this year is yet to be seen, seeing as Joe Philbin, the former Green Bay offensive coordinator is calling the plays now.  Although the Packers were a pass-heavy team under Philbin, they had Aaron Rodgers throwing the ball and Ryan Tannehill is not a worthy substitute – at least not at this point in time.

So even though Bush’s goals may be a bit lofty, I expect him to surprise a lot of people this year.  In an offense that lost its biggest receiving threat (Brandon Marshall), and has a rookie quarterback to groom, Reggie is the most reliable tool they have.  If he doesn’t compete for the rushing title – which wouldn’t shock me, honestly – he can still burn you in the passing and return games.  Without a doubt, he’ll be one of the guys I rely on in my fantasy league and I’ll be very confident doing so.  Bush is being productive, outspoken, and self-confident.  Maybe he still can be the superstar we all thought he would be when he came into the league.

Follow Jim on Twitter: @JimBearor