New York Giants need to see offensive line improve after bye week

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants made a shocking move today, firing offensive line coach Marc Colombo after only ten weeks with the team. According to reports, head coach Joe Judge made the decision to fire Colombo after a verbal altercation that saw Colombo insubordinate the team’s head coach. Now, Dave DeGuglielmo will serve as the team’s offensive line coach.

The Giants’ offensive line has struggled immensely in 2020. But, over the past few weeks, there has been some improvement. According to reports, this is correlated to the fact that Joe Judge has spent more time coaching the offensive line himself.

New York’s offensive line is a point of weakness. Judge and DeGuglielmo now have a whole bye week to work together and try to fix the offensive line’s issues. As the Giants make a late-season playoff push, it is crucial that the offensive line improves after the bye week to keep the Giants in the hunt.

New York Giants Offensive Line Stats

Despite investing a hefty amount of assets into the offensive line this offseason, the Giants’ front unit has not looked improved this year. Granted, there have been slight week-to-week improvements from individual linemen, but overall it has been a struggle for this positional group.

According to Pro Football Focus, through ten games, the Giants are last in pass-block grade (47.2) and 29th in run-block grade (56.9). PFF also states that quarterback Daniel Jones has been pressured on 42.9% of dropbacks this season (second among qualifying quarterbacks). Over the last four games, Jones has been pressured on 41.1% of his dropbacks (tied-fourth most).

New York’s second-year quarterback has been under constant duress this season. When kept clean, Jones has been surgical. In Sunday’s victory over Philadelphia, Jones was 18-18 from a clean pocket for 188 yards and a PFF passing grade of 93.1.

But keeping Jones’s pocket clean has been a struggle for the Giants. Rookie first-round draft pick Andrew Thomas leads all offensive tackles in the NFL in pressures allowed. He has struggled to find his footing in the NFL and has even been outplayed by third-round rookie Matt Peart in his smaller sample size.

The New York Giants found their formula for winning against Washington and Philadelphia the past two weeks. Essentially, the offensive line has to give Daniel Jones time to make plays. When Jones has a clean pocket he can make plays and keep the ball out of harm’s way. This is why fixing the offensive line should be the top priority for the Giants to close out the final seven weeks of the 2020 NFL season, as they push to make their first playoff appearance since 2016.

Should The New York Giants Make A Change At Offensive Line Coach?

On January 15, the Indianapolis Colts made a position coach change. The Colts fired their offensive line coach, Dave DeGugliemo. This move by the Colts prompted plenty of Giants fans to wonder if their team will make a change on their own coaching staff and pursue DeGugliemo.

Dave DeGugliemo’s Resumé And Connections With The New York Giants:

Dave DeGugliemo actually used to be part of the New York Giants’ coaching staff. He was a part of the 2008 Super Bowl victory in which the Giants had one of the league’s best offensive lines. DeGugliemo served as the Giants’ assistant offensive line & quality control coach from 2004 to 2008.

In 2018, the Indianapolis Colts had arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. They showed massive improvement from 2017 to 2018. In 2017, the Colts had the 25th ranked offensive line according to Pro Football Focus. DeGugliemo helped turn that around in 2018, as they were the 6th ranked offensive line per PFF.

Part of this change came from having DeGugliemo as the offensive line coach. He was brought to Indianapolis in 2018 by head coach candidate Josh McDaniels, who was later replaced by Frank Reich. Dave was the only assistant coach that Reich did not hire himself, so after one season he has decided that he wants to make his own hire.

Dave DeGugliemo has been part of some of the best offensive lines in the NFL over the past 15 years. Aside from working with the Giants, DeGugliemo also worked as an offensive line coach for the Dolphins in 2009-2011. The Dolphins 2009 offensive line unit was ranked second in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. They also ranked 8th in 2010.

The Dolphins’ offensive line struggled in 2011, and DeGugliemo moved on to become the offensive line coach of the Jets in 2012. The Jets’ offensive line ranked 3rd in the NFL in 2012. He only spent one season with the Jets and did not coach in 2013. In 2014, Dave went to the New England Patriots and coached the Giants’ current starting left tackle, Nate Solder.

Dave DeGugliemo has an extremely impressive track record. The New York Giants offensive line has been struggling for years and did not show much improvement when new offensive line coach Hal Hunter took over in 2018. The Giants could look to bring DeGugliemo back to New York in order to fix their offensive line issues in 2019.