New York Giants: Pros and cons to Jason Garrett returning as OC for 2021

New York Giants, Austin Mack, Jason Garrett

The New York Giants finished second to last in points per game this past season, averaging just 17.5 points. Thanks to a significant injury to star running back Saquon Barkley and a lack of playmakers on offense, the Giants did very little to help their stellar defense close out games.

In fact, if the offense was even average, the Giants would be a playoff team and then some. However, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett failed to get anything going, despite closing the year out strong against the Dallas Cowboys.

Some estimated that the Giants might move on from Garrett after his tumultuous season at OC, but ESPN is reporting that Garrett is expected to return for a second year with the Giants. After interviewing with the Los Angeles Chargers to be their next head coach, Garrett did not secure the position, which will send him back to New York, a more rainy destination.



During general manager Dave Gettleman, and owner John Mara’s postseason press conference, the idea of Garrett departing stirred a bit of concern. Gettleman made it clear that losing him would not be a positive step, stating the thought made him “antsy.”

“As far as the potential of Jason leaving, of course it makes you a little antsy,” general manager Dave Gettleman said after the season. “Just imagine, anybody, any of you guys, having your fourth editor in four years. It’s the same thing. It’s no different. We’ll adjust and adapt and do what we have to do, and obviously anything we do moving forward, Daniel is a big part of it. We’re certainly conscious of that piece, to answer your question.”

With the former Dallas Cowboy head coach sticking with Big Blue, let’s review the positives and negatives of his retention.

Pros and cons to the New York Giants retaining Jason Garrett:

Pros:

1.) Daniel Jones doesn’t need to learn a new system

One major argument is that Daniel Jones has had to learn two new systems in two years. Keeping the terminology consistent and helping him progress in the same system could be beneficial, but Garrett’s route concepts were truly inept. They need more creativity and downfield weapons for Jones to utilize, otherwise, Garrett will once again plummet down to the bottom of the league in points per game.

2.) The running game will be adequate

The Giants did a lot with a little in terms of the running game this past season. They averaged 110.5 yards per game on the ground, with Wayne Gallman and Alfred Morris as their primary backs. That is quite impressive, as Garrett’s zone-blocking scheme worked well with athletic guards to pull and trap. That is the one obvious benefit of keeping Jason around — the Giants will have a solid run game, especially if Barkley returns 100% healthy.

3.) Less coaching turnover

The Giants have gone through an enormous amount of coaching turnover the past few years, and they’ve already had to let go of offensive line coach Marc Colombo due to internal differences. Letting their coordinator on offense walk would only continue the trend, and a bit of continuity might go along way with the locker room and player development. This has less to do with Garrett and is simply executing the plan they put in place.

Cons:

1.) Inept passing attack

The Giants had one of the worst passing attacks in the NFL in 2020, averaging 189.1 yards per contest, which was good for fourth-worst. If you watched a majority of games, you would see the Giants running short/intermediate routes, rarely pushing the ball downfield, and utilizing dagger concepts to create separation. Opposing defense were simply playing cover 1 and cover 0, which was enough to hold them down in the passing game, as the receivers simply couldn’t create separation. I would’ve like to see more pre-snap motion, and hopefully, with Garrett gaining Barkley back in 2021 and possibly a wide receiver, things will gradually improve.

2.) Saw Jones regress in 2020

After throwing 24 touchdowns and 2019, Jones finished with just 11 touchdowns in 2020. He took a massive step backward in his ability to throw downfield and get creative. Garrett forced him to focus on his first read and run a robotic offensive scheme. Jones is better when throwing downfield and making plays on the move, and Garrett simply didn’t utilize his strengths properly.

3.) Very few vertical concepts

Again, pushing the field is one of the best ways to open up the run game and strike gold on deep balls. With speedsters like Darius Slayton available, the Giants did very little to maximize his talents. Putting him on an island and asking him to run go-routes on 50% of his snaps was too predictable. Defenses knew exactly what was coming, as Garrett simply ran a predictable offense with little creativity.

The occasional end-around to Evan Engram picked up a few yards, but it didn’t result in points. The Giants need to find ways to throw the ball downfield more often and blow coverages with decoy routes.

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