Who Utilized Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. Better: Ben McAdoo Or Pat Shurmur?

Sep 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) yells at the fans prior to the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants’ offense has taken steps forward since the 2017 season. Ironically enough it would be even better if Pat Shurmur and Mike Shula would continue to use Odell Beckham Jr. similar to the way Ben McAdoo used him.

Odell Beckham Jr.’s numbers under Ben McAdoo:

There wasn’t a whole lot Ben McAdoo did right, but he knew how to get the ball to his most dangerous weapon. McAdoo coached Odell for 4 seasons. In the first 2 seasons, he caught a total of 25 touchdown passes. During his third season, he caught 10 touchdown passes. In his fourth season, Odell only played in 4 games and still had 3 touchdown receptions. One of Odell’s elite traits was scoring in nearly every game he played in, at one point he had an impressive 38 touchdowns in 45 games played.

In seasons with at least 12 games played he’s always had at least 90 receptions with over 1,200 yards. He is on pace to reach both of those numbers again in 2018 but with just a few impactful differences.

Odell Beckham Jr.’s numbers under Pat Shurmur and Mike Shula:

The Giants are still getting plenty of receptions and yards from their star receiver. The star receiver is  already over 1,000 yards and has 77 receptions through 12 games. He’s catching 62.1 % of his targets which is his best catch-rate since his rookie season. He’s even averaging more yards per game in 2018 than he did in the 2016 season when the Giants team went to the playoffs. Pat Shurmur and Mike Shula have come up with some good ways to use Odell Beckham Jr. and they’ve even gotten a couple of touchdown passes out of him, but he needs to get back to scoring as a receiver. Odell was averaging nearly a touchdown per game for 4 seasons before the new regime took over, his 6 touchdowns in 12 games aren’t nearly the same rate he had for 4 seasons under Ben McAdoo.

What did Ben McAdoo do differently?

Some might say Odell isn’t scoring due to a new system, but he caught a touchdown in his very first NFL game. He followed up with 11 more touchdowns in the last 11 games of his rookie season. The main reason is quite simple, he’s not being targeted enough in the red zone. This is actually the first year in Odell’s career that he hasn’t been the most targeted Giant in the red zone through 12 games. That exciting signature play of taking a slant to the house has completely disappeared under the new regime. In 4 seasons Ben McAdoo was able to generate 7 touchdowns from slant routes alone. In 2018 Odell hasn’t scored a single touchdown on a slant route. While it sounds nit-picky to ask for a couple more touchdowns this team has lost 6 games by one possession.

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Sometimes a new coaching staff needs to keep certain things in place that consistently worked for a team. Odell’s high touchdown totals have only helped lead to the playoffs once before, but in a year of 6 losses by one possession a couple more touchdowns could’ve drastically changed the season.