Why the New York Giants’ offensive scheme could either be a home run or a bust

New York Giants, Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants will turn over their entire offensive scheme this off-season, forcing players like Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley to learn yet another operation. Barkley stated he feels like a rookie again, having to adapt once more.

However, this might be a good thing, considering how poorly Pat Shurmur’s offense performed in 2019. Former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is bringing his experience and knowledge to the Giants as their offensive coordinator, despite giving up playcalling duties in 2013. Garrett originally began calling plays in 2007, but his offense never ranked lower than 13th in total yards.

Jerry Jones moved Garrett to a more walk-around head coach, allowing him to manage the entire team instead of taking his focus away toward the offensive unit. Jones had previously stated that Garrett giving up playcalling had been in the works since 2010. With that being said, the Giants are gaining an experienced coach who can bring 10 years of wisdom to New York.



The hope is that Garrett learned a thing or two from Kellen Moore and his system in 2019. Moore helped build and realize the number one passing attack in all the football, something the Giants could desperately use moving forward.

Here is how Joe Judge described the implementation of Garrett’s offense on Thursday’s Zoom call :

“I think schematically, the easiest way to describe it to the outside world right now is it’s going to be similarly based off what Jason’s done in Dallas over the last 10 or so years,” Judge said. “There are going to be some similarities carried over from that, but it has to cater to our players we have on our roster currently.”

Of course, the players already on the roster will have to learn another offense, and Jones is getting the Eli Manning treatment to start his career. Having a poor offensive line in his rookie season and then having to learn a new offense certainly isn’t the ideal way to start your career.

Now, the New York Giants have allocated resources toward his protection scheme and bolstering the unit to give Jones more time in the pocket.

Saquon Barkley, on the other hand, will have to adapt his running style and begin to learn the new tendencies of the offensive lineman. The belief is that the Giants will utilize 12 personnel often and pulling lineman across the formation in the run game.

Barkley plans to get in touch with Ezekiel Elliott to discuss how Jason Garrett’s offense might work:

“I actually haven’t contacted Zeke yet. That’s something that I do plan on doing,” Barkley said. “I kind of want to dissect it and get the system down myself and then get to Zeke and see what he was doing here, what he was doing there, because it’s kind of like with anything. Obviously there [is] some basic stuff that you learn and the big stuff that you’ve got to be able to do, but at the end of the day, there’s some stuff that you’ve got to do as a football player and become great and use your creativity. I’ll definitely use him and try to learn from him to see what he was able to do.”

The concept here is to create diversity and unpredictability. Barkley, following a lead blocking guard like Kevin Zeitler or Will Hernandez, seems like a very good idea. There will be many intricacies to Garrett’s offense, but we should expect a heavy dosage of running the football.

Ultimately, the entire scheme has the potential to be fantastic or a complete bust under Garrett — it all relies on what he favors and if he learned from the Cowboys’ successes last season. The offense will be extremely diverse and ever-changing based on the matchup. Here’s a fascinating breakdown of how Moore’s offense was used in the first 3 weeks of the 2019 season, per SI.

Through three weeks, Moore looks like a great teacher. In Week 1 the Cowboys lit up the Giants with a barrage of pre-snap motions, intersecting routes and post-snap jet-and-orbit motion. In Week 2 at Washington, the Cowboys scaled back a step or two, using more of the spread 2×2 concepts they’d run under Linehan, perhaps in an effort to exploit the Redskins’ zone coverages. (Spread your offense and you widen a defense’s zone voids.) In Week 3 against Miami, Dallas showed more pre-snap movement and a host of multi-level crossing routes inside, high-lowing Dolphins underneath defenders across the middle of the field. Their execution was good, not great, which for that game was more than enough. Overall, given the volume of new things the players are being asked to do, Dallas’s offense looks very buttoned up.