Changes are coming for the New York Giants.
They have to be, right? After all, this team is off to its worst start since 1996, and clearly what they have been doing so far has not worked.
This week’s changes are mostly driven by injuries to the offensive line, who will be missing starters David Baas (neck) at center and Chris Snee (hip) at right guard.
Those two players’ absences will mean that the Giants will field their sixth different offensive line configuration since the preseason and their third one in four regular season games.
That’s not good news for an offensive line that, according to NFL.com statistics for Week 4, is ranked 27th overall, or a line who is part of the league’s worst rushing attack (133 rushing yards, or 44.3 per game).
Hoping to stop the bleeding, the Giants coaches have been spending a lot of extra time on the field and in the classroom to bring up the comfort levels of the young guys who will be called upon to help this weekend.
“You’re just trying to advance them along as rapidly as you can and that you hopefully expedited the process that will advance at a point where we go out and play well,” said offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.
“We have confidence in their athleticism. It’s just a matter of how fast you can get them acclimated to the speed with which they’re going to be facing the opposition on Sunday, which is significant.”
What will also be interesting to see is if Gilbride adjusts the game plan to accommodate for this latest shakeup.
One such possibility could be trying more quick stuff in the passing game so that the offensive linemen don’t have to hold blocks for more than three seconds.
By expediting the plays, the thinking is that the offensive line might be able to build some collective confidence and cohesion early on to carry them through the game.
The Giants are in desperate need of getting into a rhythm, as through three games, they are averaging a paltry 4.45 average numbers of plays per drive.
“We’ll try to do whatever we can to galvanize this group and give them a chance,” Gilbride said.
The offensive line won’t have the only players under the spotlight this weekend. Here’s a look at this week’s five players to watch.