The New York Giants are well on their way to success in the coming months, given their draft picks and offseason acquisitions pay dividends. Trading for a premier linebacker and addressing the offense with Saquon Barkley and Will Hernandez elevates the team’s potential significantly.
Former offensive lineman David Diehl spoke to NJ.com about his aspirations for the team, and why the Giants will be as competitive as ever.
â€œYouâ€™re going to be looking at a completely different offense. Now you haveÂ Saquon Barkley, to Will Hernandez, to Nate Solder, and now coming back with a healthy Odell Beckham Jr., youâ€™re looking at a dangerous offense that can do a lot of things. AÂ lot of people have been talking aboutÂ Pat Shurmur coming in, and we know the success that he was able to have in Minnesota, but people arenâ€™t talking enough about Mike Shula, who was the offensive coordinator in Carolina who was able to use Christian McCaffrey unbelievably last year.
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Ensuring that the Giants make the most out of Barkley’s abilities will be a priority going into the 2018 campaign, and Big Blue added just the guy to make that happen. Former Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator Mike Shula was brought on to assist HC Pat Shurmur in calling the offensive plays.
Shula played a massive role in utilizing Christian McCaffrey last season, helping him earn 435 rushing yards and 651 receiving yards. The Stanford product also contributed seven total touchdowns. Now, we must realize that McCaffrey holds only a fraction of the ability Barkley brings to the table, as he can block, run with power, and catch the football.
We are truly lucky to have a player like Barkley on the offense. Shula will help find creative ways to get Barkley into open space and exploit holes in the opposing defense.
Diehl further stated:
â€œAdd that Saquon Barkley piece along with an upgraded offensive line and Eli Manning, a veteran quarterback like he is, I know itâ€™s going to be a completely different season and itâ€™s going to be an incredibly competitive football team.â€
Several teams including the Los Angeles Rams and Minnesota Vikings have made the transition from worst-to-first in the last two years, which attests to the Giants potentially doing the same. They addressed the offensive line, linebacker corps, defensive line, and running back position. In fact, signing Barkley helps the running back position, wide receiver corps, AND the offensive line. He’s the definition of killing three birds with one stone.
The Giants ranked near the bottom of the league in every offensive category in 2017 — 31st in points (15.4), 21st in yards (314.2), 19th in pass yards (217.4), and 26th in rushing yards (96.8). Those numbers will undoubtedly see a major increase in 2018, as GM Dave Gettleman ensured that he addressed every statistic with fresh personnel.