Sometimes when I watch this Giants offense in action, I’m reminded of a scene from the animated television series Family Guy (yes I am a fan, and I’m not ashamed to admit it).
The scene I’m thinking of happens when Peter Griffin takes over as the director of the local community production of The King and I.
In the scene, Griffin, who keeps changing things around on every take to where the production no longer comes close to resembling the original script, begins to frustrate his actors, to whom he tells, “We open in an hour people and I don’t think we’re ready!”
(What no clip? Sorry, but I couldn’t find one which is a shame because it’s a funny scene.)
Anyway, I have to wonder if that’s how head coach Tom Coughlin and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo must feel right about now given how things have evolved regarding the offense.
Granted, the Giants don’t open the season for two weeks. However, they look no closer to resembling a polished product on offense now than they did back when this whole process started.
What’s been the problem? Take your pick.
The quarterback and receivers haven’t been on the same page, as the routes being run seem to be a bit more dependent on timing.
“Some of the routes are different depths than we used to do things. Some of the footwork is a little bit different and the drop out of the gun is a little bit different with some of the steps, so it all times up with the depths of the routes based off where my feet are and what my progression is,” Manning explained.
The offensive line, which had many personnel changes last year due to injury, seems to have upped the ante this summer thanks to the coaches changing personnel around on almost every other snap.
As a result, there’s been no continuity, no time to gel, and if new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo is looking for an identity from this group, he might just have a better chance of finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow at this point.
The tight ends are no closer to establishing a pecking order on the depth chart, with head coach Coughlin admitting that it’s going to be a “by committee approach” moving forward.
While a “by committee” approach might work with running backs, what happens with tight ends is that opposing defensive coordinators will quickly figure out what each tight end can do and what he can’t. And the personnel that McAdoo puts on the field will be a dead giveaway about what might be coming.
Despite all the warning signs, if there’s panic among the players and coaches, they’re doing an Oscar-worthy job of hiding it, though today Manning looked as though he was standing behind a revolving door offensive line when answering questions about this offense.
“I think everyone knows what to do; it’s just the pace of which it needs to be done,” Manning said, choosing his words carefully. “You want everything done precisely, so every day we’re trying to get better at that. We need to be corrected on some things and do things more efficiently, so we’re getting there.”
Okay, so Rome wasn’t built in the day, so just how close is this offense to finally getting there to where Coughlin and McAdoo might be able to sleep better at night?
“We’re making small steps but we’re probably not all the way where we need to be,” Manning admitted. “I think there will always be things that we need to improve on. That’s not something you’re going to master in four weeks. I think as the season goes on, we’ll know what we do well, we’ll progress, we’ll put different plays in to attack certain defenses.”
With the starters expected to play about 15-18 snaps in Thursday’s preseason finale, the offense’s best hope will be that the coaches have some game planning specific ideas up their sleeves to wipe the drool that must be coming from their first four opponents.
If not, it’s going to be a long, long year.
Several players were visiting doctors today. Those included Geoff Schwartz, who was due to meet with Dr. James Anderson in Charlotte regarding the next step about his toe; and offensive linemen James Brewer and Brandon Mosley, both of whom presumably went to the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan to see the doctor about their respective backs.
It looks as though John Jerry will carry the load at right guard this week. The starting offensive line will probably work most of the half as it will need a lot of snaps beyond the 15-18 that quarterback Manning is going to get.
Also not practicing were receivers Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and Odell Beckham (hamstring), offensive tackle Charles Brown (shoulder), cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin) and linebackers Justin Anderson (unknown) and Spencer Adkins.
Receiver Marcus Harris (shoulder) was seen jogging around, a positive sign considering that the arms have to move in order to jog.
Defensive end Damontre Moore blew a gasket over something—and no I don’t think it was the offense’s consistency issues. Moore actually had to be given a timeout by head coach Tom Coughlin for a few plays until he calmed down.
“A little tired, a little irritated. Not much to it,” Coughlin said when asked about the incident.
Linebacker Jon Beason (foot/PUP) was right back out there running a second day, which I think might have bene the first time he’s done that, at least in front of the media that I can remember.
Yesterday I thought Beason looked like he started to get fatigued toward the end of his workout, but today he looked like he finished as strongly as he started, though I’ll admit that I didn’t watch him exclusively.
The big thing for him is to build up that stamina and he seems well on his way toward accomplishing that. That he doesn’t appear to have any discomfort that necessitates him working every other day is definitely a positive sign.
I’m still tinkering with my projections at receiver—I think they’ll keep six. However, Jerrel Jernigan really makes it hard sometimes for me to justify adding him to my initial 53. He dropped a perfectly placed ball that was thrown to his back shoulder on a play in which he beat the defender. However, the ball hit him in the hands and fell to the ground.
Later in the practice, he caught a couple of passes but the bottom line is he’s just too inconsistent. I sometimes wonder if the Giants are going to part ways with Jernigan and instead keep Harris on the roster. Harris, remember, was initially given a 3-4 week diagnosis. This week will be the first week and then he’ll have another full week of rest. So don’t scratch him off your roster projections just yet.
Moving over to the defense, I was watching Stevie Brown for a few plays and while he’s been moving around nicely, he’s just not getting to the ball as quickly as he did prior to his ACL injury.
As a result, those interceptions that he seemed to make with ease two years ago are just slipping through his fingers. I’m not sure if it’s the cutting that is the problem or what, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
With that said, it’s very encouraging to see Brown flying around out there. You hold your breath that players who undergo ACL surgeries can make it through that first year—just look at the rams and how they lost quarterback Sam Bradford to the same injury for a second year in a row. These things take time so we can only hope that the more reps Brown gets, that the picks start to come in bunches.
Cornerback Zack Bowman is one tough hombre. After suffering an upper arm injury against the Jets, he hasn’t missed a beat, and in fact has done a nice job extending his arms to make picks, his latest coming against Curtis Painter today.
THE FINAL WORD
It’s too late for the Giants but if the NFL makes one change in the next CBA, I’d like to see teams that get a new coordinator and not just a new head coach get an extra minicamp to get a head start on installing the system.