Although football is football, sometimes when a new coaching staff comes to town with a new system, it can slow things down.
That hasn’t been the case though with the New York Giants offense, who are looking to grasp the basic concepts of the system being put in place by head coach Pat Shurmur and offensive coordinator Mike Shula so that come next week when the team takes the field for a three-day mandatory minicamp, they’ll be flying around playing as close as possible to game speed as can be.
So far so good for the Giants offense, which while not completely error free in its performances through seven OTAs, don’t look anything like a team that is struggling to grasp the concepts, which can slow a team down.
“Some coaches are really good at teaching the system,” said tight end Rhett Ellison, who was with Shurmur in Minnesota two years ago and who has been down this road before with the new Giants head coach.
“He keeps it simple. He kind of has a good way of explaining it and he has coaches that all know the system very well. Like bringing in [Offensive Coordinator Mike] Shula, who’s been in this system and stuff like that. So, there’s just a lot of years, a lot of experience teaching this system.”
The biggest challenge for some members of the Giants offense has been in grasping the concepts, which vary from what they might have run before.
“It’s more number-based, but also concept-based,” Ellison explained. “A lot of the systems are word-based and some systems are numbers, so it’s just a combination of that.”
Although Ellison is familiar with the system Shurmur uses, he said he could see where it might be a bit of a culture shock for someone who came from a different background, such as what he and this then Vikings teammates went through when the team moved on from offensive coordinator Norv Turner to Shurmur.
“I remember that it was very different than what I was used to. Because with Norv, it was like, strictly number-based,” Ellison said.
“Like I said, Shurmur has found a balance of numbers and words. So yeah, for me, it was very difficult at first because I had come from college systems where it’s just word concepts, and then this idea of routes equal numbers and stuff like that and protections. So, it took me a bit to develop in it, and it took our team, the Minnesota Vikings, it took us awhile to really get comfortable in it.”
Because Ellison is familiar with the system. he can serve as a reference point on the field during these practices and in the meeting rooms, but he reiterated his praise of the coaching staff and the job they have done in getting everyone on the same page.
“The coaches that (Shurmur) brought in are doing an outstanding job of teaching the system., Ellison said. “So yeah, it helps that I know the system, but I’m not per se teaching; that’s what the coaches are for.”