The New York Giants made a big splash hiring their first offensive coordinator not named Kevin Gilbride since 2007. This week’s mailbag takes two questions with intrigue about the hire and what it could mean for the Giants’ offense.
What are your thoughts on the hiring of Ben McAdoo? Are you surprised by who the Giants chose to hire?
– Adam (Levittown, PA)
McAdoo is a good football mind that has been learning for a long time under Mike McCarthy and Joe Philbin up in Green Bay. I don’t know if you’ve seen that offense play, but it’s pretty darn good.
I am, however, somewhat surprised by the hiring, not because of who they chose but what it means for the offense. The Giants always seem like a franchise keen on continuity, so I—as did many—thought they would try to keep the offense as close to the same as it has been for the last 10 seasons as possible.
But McAdoo’s hiring indicates change—and much-needed change—to the offense, with a shift to the West Coast Offense likely. That’s not a bad thing by any means. With the Giants’ current personnel on offense and the ever-changing state of the NFL, the West Coast Offense might be overdue in New York.
I’m curious to see how Eli Manning is able to adapt in the offense and what kind of freedom McAdoo will give the Giants gunslinger to control the offense and work his magic. Can he help Eli get back to playing at the level he did in 2011? Or will the scheme change have the opposite effect?
The Giants had just 99 yards on screens this past season; the Packers had the fourth-most in the league with 528. I saw you reply to Pete Damilatis’ tweet, so could you expand on what you said to him?
– Johnny (Bradenton, FL)
For those interested…
@PFF_Pete Could be huge if David Wilson is able to play.
— Lou Musto (@LouisMusto) January 15, 2014
Giants fans clamored all season for some screens and other quick pass plays, but Gilbride’s offense apparently wasn’t constructed to compete with the type of dismal offensive line play Eli Manning was forced to deal with on nearly every down. When they made changes and shifted to more quick slants, five-yard outs and more quick passing plays midway through the season, the offense clearly had more success.
With McAdoo calling the shots on offense now, you can bet to see much more of that. Quick, short passing plays to set up the big plays downfield that Eli and Victor Cruz love to connect on.
The screen play should be a key play in the playbook though, and that could mean danger for opposing teams if David Wilson is in the lineup. We’ve all seen what he’s capable of with the football in his hands. But in an open-field situation on a screen play, Wilson’s electric speed and play-making ability could turn a simple screen play out of the backfield into a highlight-reel touchdown more often than not.
This could all been speculation on the offense’s potential—especially with Wilson’s health in question—but it’s something Giants fans should be very interested in seeing in 2014.