It wasn't until I sat down and watched the replay of last year's Eagles vs. Giants divisional playoff game on NFL Network a short time ago, that I realized the true source of the Giants' recent offensive discrepancies.
Everyone seems quick to point fingers at the quarterback, or the receivers, which to some extent may be warranted. However, these same people are overlooking the real root of the problem.
The reason for much of the Giants inefficiency on offense last year, particularly after Plaxico Burress went down, was poor play calling. And that responsibility would fall squarely on the shoulders of Kevin Gilbride, the offensive coordinator.
In all fairness, he has done a decent job over the past couple seasons calling the plays and genuinely focusing on keeping the offense balanced. You could argue though that Gilbride has a propensity to struggle with third down play calls, especially third-and-long situations.
Trouble arose when star wide receiver Plaxico Burress was out of the lineup late last season. It was mainly associated with the fact that the playbook and play calling remained the same.
In Gilbride's defense, Plaxico was lost for the season in November, with only a handful of regular season games remaining. I can understand how it would be difficult to completely revamp the schemes to suit a Plax-less offense, but I still feel that more could have been done.
While the possibility of the Giants ever implementing a West Coast-style offensive look may be slim to none, I think that with Eli Manning now entering his sixth season in the league, it's time to hand him the keys to the car.
What I mean by this is that Eli would probably be more effective calling his own plays, much like his brother does in Indianapolis. Also, the effectiveness the team has had running the hurry-up cannot be denied and should be considered as well.
One way or another, with some of the play-makers New York has lost as of late, it's time to not only get creative on offense, but install a scheme that will cater to the unique abilities that the new players bring to the table.
I'm not suggesting that the Giants should turn into the Cardinals this season nor the Dolphins running the Wildcat, but a no huddle offense that relies heavily on both running the ball and short passes would clearly have distinct benefits.
For starters, running the hurry-up would nullify opposing defenses making easy substitutions with any recurrence, thus wearing down the defense even more. Add on top of that, Brandon Jacobs pounding the ball up the middle and rookie H-back Travis Beckum lining up all over the field, and suddenly this idea might look promising.
With the young receivers Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks running slant and flag routes over the middle, the offense would be balanced and proficient. I believe that Eli is ready to take control over the play calling duties and gain a little more responsibility in the process.
If Manning is about to be paid in excess of $120 million dollars, that must mean the organization trusts him as their franchise's field general.
I'm sure that the points I've made are at least being talked about and considered by the coaching staff, and I hope to see some of the results of this on the field in preseason.
Disagree with me? Tell me why.
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