New York Giants: Freddie Kitchens’s promotion could lead to a more vertical offense

New York Giants, Freddie Kitchens, Cleveland Browns

The 2020 New York Giants offense was pitiful. They averaged a putrid 17.5 points per game, ranked 31st in the NFL. But things might change drastically for the stale dink-and-dunk Giants passing attack in 2021. Joe Judge and the Giants made crucial changes to their coaching staff this offseason to fix their offense, including a key promotion of Freddie Kitchens.

Last offseason, the New York Giants hired Joe Judge as their next head coach. Coach Judge built an impressive staff that included numerous former-head coaches as assistants. In 2019, Freddie Kitchens was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns before being fired and ultimately hired the same offseason by the Giants as a tight ends coach.

Freddie Kitchens’s role has changed this offseason. Kitchens received a promotion from tight ends coach to “senior offensive assistant.” This promotion will give Freddie Kitchens more responsibility with the offensive line’s connection to the scheme and could also give him a greater influence on the offense’s passing attack.

How Freddie Kitchens can influence the Giants’ offense

Working with the offensive line

Head coach Joe Judge said that Freddie Kitchens’s “primary responsibility is going to be working with the front” in his new senior offensive assistant position. Judge explained, “tying into having two young offensive line coaches with Rob and Ben, I think Freddie is going to be an asset up front working directly with them and helping bring together the game planning, like all of our coaches will, but working directly with (offensive coordinator) Jason (Garrett) with some of the things that are going to happen upfront.”

This move could lead to less miscommunication along the offensive line. Kitchens will work to streamline the communication between the offensive line and the offensive coordinator. Freddie Kitchens will work to help the Giants’ young offensive line develop this year, but his influence in the team’s offensive scheme might be even more exciting.

Creating a more vertical passing attack

It is no question that the Giants want to get more vertical on offense in 2021. They added one of the best vertical weapons in the entire NFL this offseason with they signed star wide receiver Kenny Golladay. The Giants also added speedy wide receiver Kadarius Toney in the draft. These two could create an elite vertical receiving duo.

The Giants’ new wide receivers will go as far as the scheme lets them. The biggest criticism of Jason Garrett’s offensive scheme in 2020 was the lack of vertical passing concepts. That is bound to change in 2021 with the new weapons acquired and the promotion of Freddie Kitchens.

Freddie Kitchens’s influence

Quarterbacks in Freddie Kitchens’s offense tend to have a high average depth of target. Under Todd Haley in 2018, Baker Mayfield’s ADOT was just 6.8 but shot up to 9.1 once Freddie Kitchens took over. According to PFF, Mayfield’s ADOT under Kitchens in 2018 was 9.6 yards, a very deep average. Kitchens again had him over 9 yards in 2019, averaging 9.2 yards ADOT.

Compare this to Daniel Jones’s first two seasons in the NFL. Under Shurmur in 2018, Jones’s ADOT was 8.4 yards. Garrett’s notoriously non-vertical offense in 2018 brought Daniel Jones’s ADOT down to 8.0 yards. Now, as a senior offensive assistant, one must assume that Freddie Kitchens will help Jason Garrett implement more vertical passing concepts and try to raise Daniel Jones’s ADOT in 2021.

Baker Mayfield threw 72 total 20+ yard passes in 2018 and 76 attempts in 2019. Kitchens had him airing the ball deep frequently. Daniel Jones threw 54 deep passes under Shurmur in 2018, playing in only 12 games. In 14 games under Garrett in 2020, Jones threw far fewer deep balls, only 43 total. This is obviously a problem, especially when considering Daniel Jones had a 132.5 passer rating on 20+ yard throws last season, the highest in the NFL.

What this means for Daniel Jones and the Giants’ offense

It’s time to see more Danny Dimes. Daniel Jones was, statistically, one of the best deep passers in the NFL last season. NFL’s Next Gen Stats listed Jones as the top-ranked deep passer in 2020. Next Gen Stats notes that Daniel’s CPOE (completion percentage over expected) on deep passes was +14.8%, the highest percentage in the league.

According to Pro Football Focus, Daniel Jones was the third-highest graded quarterback in the NFL on deep passes in 2020. Jones’s 95.6 deep-passing grade ranked behind only Russell Wilson and Derek Carr last season.

As the Giants’ offense moves toward a more vertical passing attack in 2021, this could be huge for Daniel Jones in his make-or-break third season. Daniel Jones is an efficient deep-passing quarterback. He has not thrown the deep ball very often in his first two NFL seasons. But when he has, he has proven to have elite downfield accuracy. Freddie Kitchens will work to increase the volume of deep passes that Daniel Jones throws this season, leading to a more explosive New York Giants offense.

What Freddie Kitchens’s promotion means for the New York Giants’ offense in 2021

New York Giants, Freddie Kitchens, Cleveland Browns

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge made some key changes to his coaching staff this offseason. When Judge was hired in the 2020 offseason, he built a strong coaching staff that featured many former head coaches in assistant coaching roles. One of those former head coaches was Freddie Kitchens, Judge hired him as the tight ends coach.

Freddie Kitchens served as head coach of the Cleveland Browns in the 2019 season. Kitchens took over as the offensive coordinator for Cleveland in the 2018 season after the team fired Todd Haley. Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield saw his game elevate to another level once Kitchens was put in charge. Unfortunately, things did not end well for Kitchens in Cleveland, as the Browns disappointed in 2019 and fired their head coach after one season.

Joe Judge then brought Freddie Kitchens onto his staff as a tight ends coach. But, after just one season, Kitchens’s role with the Giants is changing. Coach Judge gave Kitchens a promotion this offseason to “senior offensive assistant.” This new role will change Freddie Kitchens’s responsibilities with the team completely while also having a significant impact on the Giants’ offense.

How Freddie Kitchens will make the offense more vertical

At the beginning of Freddie Kitchens’s career, he worked under Bruce Arians with the Arizona Cardinals. Kitchens learned a lot from Arians and developed his playbook based on the former Cardinals head coach’s offensive scheme. Like Arians, Kitchens loves to utilize 11 personnel and his offense places a heavy emphasis on vertical passing concepts.

Quarterbacks in Kitchens’s offense tend to have a high average depth of target. Under Todd Haley, Baker Mayfield’s ADOT was just 6.8 but shot up to 9.1 once Freddie Kitchens took over. According to PFF, Mayfield’s ADOT under Kitchens in 2018 was 9.6 yards, a very deep average. Kitchens again had him over 9 yards in 2019, averaging 9.2 yards ADOT.

Compare this to Daniel Jones’s first two seasons in the NFL. Under Shurmur in 2018, Jones’s ADOT was 8.4 yards. Garrett’s notoriously non-vertical offense in 2018 brought Daniel Jones’s ADOT down to 8.0 yards. Now, as a senior offensive assistant, one must assume that Freddie Kitchens will help Jason Garrett implement more vertical passing concepts and try to raise Daniel Jones’s ADOT in 2021.

Baker Mayfield threw 72 total 20+ yard passes in 2018 and 76 attempts in 2019. Kitchens had him airing the ball deep frequently. Daniel Jones threw 54 deep passes under Shurmur in 2018, playing in only 12 games. In 14 games under Garrett in 2020, Jones threw far fewer deep balls, only 43 total. This is obviously a problem, especially when considering Daniel Jones had a 132.5 passer rating on 20+ yard throws last season, the highest in the NFL.

Daniel Jones is an efficient deep-ball passer. Unfortunately, he rarely pushes the ball downfield due to a lack of vertical passing concepts in Jason Garrett’s offensive scheme. Freddie Kitchens should alleviate this issue and help Garrett get the ball downfield more frequently.

How Freddie Kitchens will help the offensive line develop

Head coach Joe Judge said that Kitchens’s “primary responsibility is going to be working with the front” in his new senior offensive assistant position. Judge explained, “tying into having two young offensive line coaches with Rob and Ben, I think Freddie is going to be an asset up front working directly with them and helping bring together the game planning, like all of our coaches will, but working directly with (offensive coordinator) Jason (Garrett) with some of the things that are going to happen upfront.”

New York Giants lack of pass-rush doomed defense against Cleveland Browns in Week 15

The New York Giants lost a crucial Week 15 matchup with the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield put together a dominant performance that saw him complete 27 of his 32 passing attempts for 297 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 turnovers.

For the near entirety of the game, Mayfield stood upright in a clean pocket with all day to throw. The Giants just failed to generate pressure against the Cleveland Browns’ offensive line that was dealing with the absence of stud offensive guard Wyatt Teller. New York was doomed from the start due to their lack of a pass-rush in Week 15.

Baker rarely pressured in Week 15

Baker Mayfield was able to have an elite Week 15 performance against the New York Giants. Baker won Pro Football Focus’s Week 15 Offensive Player of the Week award after earning an overall grade of 92.2 against the Giants. This was his third 90+ overall PFF-graded performance of the season.

Baker was deadly off of play-action against the Giants, as he has been all season. The Browns have run play action on 34.1% of their passing plays this season (sixth-most in the NFL). On play-action passes, Baker has had a 121.3 passer rating (PFF).

The Giants pressured Baker Mayfield only three times on Sunday night, per Next Gen Stats. Baker was kept clean and able to complete 84% of his passes against the Giants.

The Browns were able to call plenty of deep passing plays for Baker in this game because he had so much time in the pocket. Mayfield took advantage of this opportunity. On throws that traveled 10+ yards in Week 15, Baker Mayfield had a perfect 158.3 passer rating. According to Pro Football Focus, Mayfield completed 12-of-14 10-plus-yard attempts for 189 yards and two scores, with four big-time throws and zero turnover-worthy plays.

The New York Giants have another tough AFC North matchup on the schedule this week. In Week 16, the Giants will travel to play the Baltimore Ravens. If New York wants to win this game, they will need to apply pressure to reigning MVP Lamar Jackson. The Giants cannot win games with no pass-rush.

New York Jets: Monday Night Predictions VS Cleveland Browns

New York Jets, LeVeon Bell

The New York Jets play the Cleveland Browns on primetime television Monday night. It’ll be the second time in two seasons the Jets face off against the former No. 1 overall pick, Baker Mayfield. The Jets are off to a rough start this season as they are dealing with injuries to key players.

The Browns are off to slow start as well after losing 43-13 against the Titans. This matchup will end with one of these teams getting their first win of the season.

Cleveland Browns:

On paper the Cleveland Browns have one of the best rosters in the league, boasting talent like Baker Mayfield, OBJ, Jarvis Landry and more. The Cleveland Browns are entering this game with a chip on their shoulder after getting embarrassed at home last week. If the Browns plan on winning against the New York Jets, they better be prepared to air it out against a weak Jets secondary.

New York Jets:

The Jets have been dealt a rough hand this season suffering injuries to key players like Sam Darnold and C.J Mosely. The Jets will have to trot out Trevor Siemian against Cleveland which might not be such a bad thing. The last time Trevor Siemian started a game was back in 2017 when he was still on the Broncos. The Jets can use the lack of new tape on Siemian to their advantage. If the Jets want to win, they must be aggressive and play to win. If the Jets come out airing out the football, it might catch Cleveland by surprise.

Prediction

This game shouldn’t be close I believe the Cleveland Browns will come away with a comfortable win if they’re prepared for anything to happen. Unfortunately for Jets fans winning this game became a fantasy after losing Darnold earlier in the week to Mono. This game will end in a Browns win 33-10.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones Has What it Takes to Succeed In New York

New York Giants rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones.

When the New York Giants selected Daniel Jones with the 6th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft they weren’t just selecting a QB, but the face of a franchise. Jones hasn’t surprised anyone within the Giants facility with his impressive preseason play but it’s the thick skin of the rookie that’s unteachable. 

It is more than just looking at a guy’s physical talent. It is about his makeup – Dave Gettleman Pre-Draft. 

Dave Gettleman knew that whoever he chose to replace the greatest quarterback in franchise history would forever be linked to his fate. Draft analysts are quick to value arm talent, statistics, big-time schools, competition…etc. 

But what about the DNA of a potential franchise quarterback? 

Jones has possessed a rare trait to brush off criticism focusing on his play and the players/coaches within the facility. Sound familiar? This is something that two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning has preached throughout his 16-year career.

At the beginning of the 2007 NFL season, Eli Manning was about to get run out of town by New York tabloids with even Tiki Barber (all-time franchise leader in rushing yards) questioning Eli’s leadership skills. 

We all know how that turned out with Eli Manning. The franchise legend tuned out the critics and went on to win two Super Bowls. 

Today, Jones faces a similar feat and has handled it exactly as Gettleman and Mara expected him to. 

In an interview with GQ back in April that was recently released, Baker Mayfield said he “cannot believe” the Giants took Jones and that it “blew my mind.” 

In response, Jones shrugged off the comments and reiterated his focus on the New York Giants: 

“I try not to listen to much that’s said,” said Jones. “I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that. I heard that before, I kind of have the same mindset, I certainly have a lot to focus on here, I have a lot to worry about here and I’m focused on that. It’s been good but just focused on what I’m doing here” (CBS Sports).

When the interview broke Baker clarified on the comments and how they were completely taken out of context. He later on texted Jones to clarify the air to which Jones responded, “no worries.”

Regardless of the context, the Giants front office must be sleeping nicely knowing their franchise QB resembles a culture that owner John Mara has coined: The Giants Way.

New York Giants News, 8/21 – The truth about Baker Mayfield’s comments

New York Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones called a "loser" by Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns.

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

Believe it or not, the Giants are more popular in Ohio than the Cleveland Browns. Probably because there’s not enough good food and Baker Mayfield/Odell Beckham Jr. seem to be more concerned with a random team like the Giants than their own.

The football gods blessed us by not putting them on “Hard Knocks…” just imagine the drama that would have ensued. However, in an interview with GQ magazine:

Near our booth, a SportsCenter segment about the New York Giants catches Mayfield’s eye. “I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones,” Mayfield says, about New York’s much-maligned draft-day decision to spend the sixth pick on the quarterback from Duke (whose college record was a measly 17–19). “Blows my mind.”

Sometimes, keeping your mouth shut is the best way to stay out of trouble. Evading police and going to jail should have taught him a little more self-control. However, his response seemed to shed a different light on the situation.

A nice thing to say after the fact, but who knows what really happened and if Baker truly feels that way. He should have peaked at Jones’ receiver’s numbers before making any comments — 33 dropped passes last season and yet Duke still managed to win a Bowl Game. They can thank Jones the “loser” for that.

Nonetheless, his comments made waves on Tuesday, even sparking further negative attention from Beckham Jr., who made sure to stab his old team once more. He stated that the Giants trading him wasn’t a business move and that they essentially tried to kill his career by sending him to Cleveland. Can somebody please explain to me how having Mayfield, Myles Garrett, David Njoku and plenty of other talented players puts him in a worse position than on the Giants.

I’m convinced OBJ is simply either unintelligent or on psychedelics.

Anyway–

Your top Giants news of the day!

John Fennelly (Giants Wire) – Giants’ Dexter Lawrence bothered by relentless Daniel Jones criticism

Kevin Patra (NFL.com) – Odell Beckham: Giants traded me to Cleveland ‘to die’

Zach Braziller (NY POST) – Alec Ogletree’s transformation could make him Giants threat

Chris Pflum (Big Blue View) – Evan Engram: “It’s crazy how much better I’ve gotten at blocking”

Alexander Wilson (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants: How veteran defender Markus Golden can leave his mark

New York Giants Fans Actually Care, Show Up, And Pack The Stadium At One Of The Highest Rates

The New York Giants‘ fan base has received a shot from one of the NFL’s brightest young stars. 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year runner-up Baker Mayfield decided to criticize Giants Nation on Wednesday while discussing his new receiver, Odell Beckham Jr.

Baker Mayfield had this to say about the New York Giants fan base:

“He’s here to play in front of fans who actually care, who will actually show up to every game and pack the stadium and love him for who he is.” – Baker Mayfield

Mayfield seemed to heavily imply that Giants fans do not care, do not show up to every game, and do not pack the stadium. This is not true at all. In fact, the exact opposite is true.

New York Giants Fans Near The Top Of The Attendance Rankings

It is a well-documented fact that the Giants consistently rank near the top of the league in attendance every year. Even over the past two seasons, Giants fans have made their way out to the games, despite their team being well below-average.

In 2017 the Giants went 3-13 and saw multiple star players miss the majority of the season with an injury. Despite this, the Giants still had the third-highest attendance total in 2017. 2018 features more of the same.

The Giants finished the 2018 season a measly 5-11. Still, Giants Nation was strong. New York had the second-highest attendance total in 2018. Through the toughest of times, the Giants play in full stadiums.

Outside of total attendance, the Giants still ranked high in average attendance. 2017 Giants games averaged 77,179 fans per game (4th in the NFL) and 2018 Giants games averaged 76,940 fans per game (4th in the NFL again).

Giants fans show up to every game AND every practice. Weekend practice training camp tickets sold out in less than 3 hours upon release and every ticket was sold out in only three days. This is in 2019, while football fans around the country are trying to claim that the Giants are losing fans and have no future.

There will be plenty of Giants fans excitedly attending training camp next week, showing up, caring, and packing the practice fields. Just like Giants Nations will show up, care, and pack MetLife Stadium this season. Just like they did last season, the season before that, and every season before that.

The Giants are not a premier football team right now. But this does not matter to Giants Nation. Through thick and thin, our Giants Pride stands strong and losing one player will not change that. Giants fans record high attendance rates every season, and that will not change in 2019.

New York Giants News, 7/18 – Baker Mayfield has no idea

Baker Mayfield goes after New York Giants fans.

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

Before we get started, let’s get one thing clear, Baker Mayfield has less of a clue about Giants fans that Browns fans do about winning.

If you haven’t seen what Baker said about us, check it out. Fans who actually care…yes, New Yorkers expect production and a winning team, but when you’re in the biggest sports market in the world and have more people per capita than a small farming ranch in Ohio, it starts to make sense.

What Mayfield would have done to enjoy the spotlight of New York — but that’s not what I want to talk about, I want to talk about what we’ve been through with Odell Beckham Jr., and still stood by him. While some voiced their concern, many, including myself, rooted for Beckham despite his madness.

The kicking net, the peeing like a dog celebration, the drugs and girls in Paris, the fighting with Josh Norman, the temper tantrums, the mid-game IVs…we can go on all day. There hasn’t been a lick of drama with the Giants in weeks, I wonder why?

The latest development, Kam Moore, a safety for Big Blue, was reportedly involved in a physical altercation with a woman. He was immediately suspended by the team and will likely be released upon confirmation of the incident. It was one-day news, nothing more. What GM Dave Gettleman has done to turn the organization from a laughing stock to a respectable franchise has been nothing short of impressive.

Again, Giants fans are some of the most loyal fans in the world. Even if we all hate each other for no reason, we all just want our team to be successful at the end of the day. That’s a simple reality, and Mayfield will never be able to experience the love we have to offer. Fortunately for us, Saquon Barkley will.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day!

Steve Servy (New York Post) – Welcome to Eli Manning’s last stand

Mike Moraitis (Giants Wire) – 2019 Giants training camp preview: Safeties

Matt Cohen (Giants.com) – Secondary coming together under veteran Bethea

Patricia Traina (Big Blue View) – Value of tight ends keeps increasing for Giants

Alexander Wilson (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants linebacker could steal playing time from BJ Goodson

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Check out yesterday’s news!

New York Giants News, 7/17 – Where’s the Giants’ primary weakness?

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley Wins Offensive Rookie Of The Year

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

After winning the 2018 Pepsi Rookie of the Year on Thursday, Saquon Barkley was awarded twice more on Saturday. Early Saturday afternoon, it was announced that Barkley won the 2018 FedEx Ground Player of the Year award. Saturday evening, the 2019 NFL Honors took place, and Saquon took home an award there, too.

The AP Offensive Rookie of the Year is Saquon Barkley. It was a battle between the number one and number two overall picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. Saquon beat out Baker Mayfield to take home the prestigious Offensive Rookie of the Year award. To win the FedEx award, Barkley beat out fellow running backs Ezekiel Elliot and Todd Gurley.

Baker Mayfield created good competition in the voting for Barkley. But in the end, Saquon won the voting with 26.5 votes, compared to Baker’s 21.5, and Quenton Nelson‘s 2.

Saquon Barkley’s Statistics

Saquon got it done on the ground this year with 1,307 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. This included an average of 5.0 yards per carry on 261 rushing attempts.

Not only did Saquon get it done on the ground, but he got it done through the air, too. Barkley totaled 2,028 scrimmage yards. His 91 receptions were a rookie running back record, and they amounted to 721 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns.

A Piece Of New York Giants History

Saquon is the second New York Giant to win this award in the last five years. He is the third Giants player to be awarded with a rookie of the year award. Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. won the award in 2014. Odell and Saquon are the only two players in New York Giants franchise history to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Lawrence Taylor won defensive rookie of the year for the Giants in 1981.

Highlights From The NFL Honors

The NFL Honors even had Beckham Jr. present Barkley the award (along with the beautiful actress Vanessa Hudgens):

Saquon’s rookie year was full of highlights. To commemorate his historic rookie season, the NFL broke down his top 10 plays of the season:

 

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley Wins 2018 Pepsi Rookie Of The Year

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

After already winning the PFWA Offensive Rookie of the Year award, New York Giants’ running back Saquon Barkley has added another trophy to his collection. Fans across the country voted for the Pepsi Rookie Of The Year, and the Giants’ rookie won the voting. Saquon beat out other great talents, such as Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Darius Leonard, and Phillip Lindsay.

It should come as no surprise the Saquon won this award. Barkley was the third running back in NFL history to total 2,000 scrimmage yards as a rookie. With this feat, the rookie from Penn State joined the elite company of Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James.

Barkley proved to be well worth the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Along with his league leading 2,028 yards from scrimmage, Saquon scored 15 total touchdowns. He totaled 15 with 11 rushing and 4 receiving. His 91 receptions were also a rookie running back record. Saquon was a true force in both the rushing and receiving game.

Barkley was also voted to the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl. Saquon is greatly respected by his peers and coaches. Of course, the Pro Bowl is an event for the fans, so this is another testament to how much the fans love Barkley.

Saquon was excited to receive the award, and eager to bring it back to the Big Apple:

Giants fans should take a moment to reflect and appreciate Saquon Barkley’s incredible rookie season. Not only was Saquon a stat-sheet stuffer, he was also a human-highlight reel. Barkley proved he could take any play and turn it into a highlight.

A simple screen pass:

A speedy handoff from 78 yards out:

An everyday 9 yard gain:

And of course, an ordinary handoff from the 1 yard line: