The New York Giants are revamping their offensive scheme. After two years with head coach Pat Shurmur running the offense, New York is taking a different approach in 2020. The Gmen hired Joe Judge as their next head coach and he assembled a phenomenal coaching staff. Judge made a splash on offense, hiring former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett as the team’s next offensive coordinator.
In a media conference call yesterday, Joe Judge stated that the Giants’ 2020 offense will have “no carryover in any way shape or form.” The offense will be “similarly based” on what Jason Garrett ran in Dallas. So what exactly will that offense look like?
Jason Garrett’s Air Coryell Offense
Jason Garrett will be bringing the Air Coryell offense over to the Giants. Here is how the Air Coryell offense is defined:
“Named after Don Coryell, the head coach of the San Diego Chargers during the 1978-86 seasons, Air Coryell is designed to spread out a defense vertically as opposed to horizontally, like the West Coast Offense.” – via Sports Illustrated.
The Passing Game
With the goal being to stretch the defense vertically, there will be an emphasis placed on speed. Not only physical speed amongst the playmakers, but mental speed for quarterback Daniel Jones. This offensive scheme is based on timing. This offense “relies on building timing patterns into the offense where the quarterback must be able to time his throws to connect with a receiver at a designated spot within the route.”
With that being said, it is crucial that Jones and his receivers are on the same page. Daniel will need to get the ball out of his hands quickly and he will need to find his receivers on time. Anticipation will be vital to Jones’s success in 2020.
“With Garret calling plays, the Cowboys passing offense was never ranked lower than 9th in yards per game or 11th in yards per play, including two top five finishes in both categories. The rushing offense was top ten in yards per play four times.” –via Giants.com
The Giants will line up in 11-personnel a lot less now. Shurmur’s offense stuck to the standard 11-personnel, running that set on 74% of their snaps last season. Garrett’s Cowboys lined up with one running back and one tight end on 67% of their offensive plays. Garrett’s offense places an emphasis on the utilization of the tight end, so expect to see more 12-personnel in 2020. Giants fans are well aware of how much Garrett loved to use Jason Witten in Dallas. Witten, as the long-time tight end of the Cowboys, received 80 or more targets every year he played under Garrett, including multiple 120+ target seasons. Evan Engram will inevitably see his role expand with Garrett in town.
Of course, much of Dallas’s offensive success can be attributed to their proficient offensive line. The Giants upgraded their front line in the 2020 NFL Draft and should see the unit improve drastically in 2020 under Marc Colombo. Daniel Jones will have more time in the pocket and better protection, allowing him to anticipate his throws and deliver them on time.
The Running Game
Since 2014, Dallas offenses have used a variety of run schemes, with outside and inside zone the most frequent most seasons. They also mix in man and power schemes (according to Pro Football Focus, via Giants.com). But the Cowboys were not stuck in their ways running the football. The scheme was flexible, depending on who the running back was. For example, when Demarco Murray was the team’s rusher, the scheme emphasized outside zone to take advantage of Murray’s shiftiness and tackle-breaking ability. With Ezekiel Elliot, however, the offense has featured more inside zone, adapting to Elliot’s downhill playstyle.
Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys ran for 2,153 yards last season on 4.8 yards per attempt with 18 rushing touchdowns. The team has rushed for over 1,900 yards in every season since 2016. In 2015 they were 10 yards short of that mark but were coming off of an explosive 2,354 rushings yards in 2014.
So, to summarize, Jason Garrett loves to run the football. Saquon Barkley should see his production increase after an injury-plagued 2019 season. A healthy Saquon Barkley behind an improved offensive line in Jason Garrett’s offense is a recipe for great success in 2020.
The Dallas Cowboys’ offense led the NFL in yards per game in 2019. He might have had his flaws as a head coach, but Jason Garrett is an excellent offensive coordinator. He will significantly upgrade the Giants’ offense and incorporate a scheme in which Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones can thrive.