A new era begins on Sunday night, as new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and the New York Giants unveil a brand new offensive gameplan and swagger.
The Giants spent the last seven years with Kevin Gilbride at the helm, but the long-time offensive coordinator retired after a tumultuous 2013 campaign. Gilbride technically left on his own terms but it was clear New York’s front office was ready to move on and a fresh face was likely to emerge either way.
While the offseason is still very much in its adolescence, New York’s offense is understandably a work-in-progress. McAdoo, who was with Green Bay since 2006 before moving on this offseason, has brought about a complete overhaul in the team’s offensive philosophy.
In the past, the Giants ran a downfield passing attack, littered with constant adjustments and critical reads from the quarterback and wide receiver positions. New York’s system was nothing short of a roller coaster ride with the highest highs and the lowest lows. Gilbride helped bring two Super Bowls to New York, but also had extended periods where the offense looked like a hot mess (much of the 2013 season).
At the other end of the spectrum, McAdoo comes in wielding an offense that will rely much less on options and reads from Eli Manning and this young group of wide receivers. It is a west-coast style offense that will feature more short passes, in order to help get some of New York’s playmakers out into space.
The Giants also want to play a more up-tempo style. New York wants to consistently move the football with runs and short passes and hopefully get into a no-huddle offense. Manning has a history of milking the play clock down to the last second and there should be much less of that this year.
The facelift comes in the wake of one of the more disappointing seasons in recent Giants history. Establishing an offensive rhythm last year became an impossible task. Manning and his receivers struggled to get on the same page, as their reads differed and the wide-outs (with the exception of Victor Cruz) struggled to achieve any kind of consistency. These problems were compounded by an offensive line that constantly forced Manning out of the pocket and out of his comfort zone.
The sample size will be small tonight, when New York takes on the Buffalo Bills in the Hall of Fame Game. The starters may play only one drive, but look for Manning to throw some short passes and try to get the ball out quickly to Cruz and Rueben Randle. It will be the smallest of sneak peaks but a look nonetheless.