New York Giants: Jason Garrett not favored as Chargers HC, likely to return

New York Giants, Austin Mack, Jason Garrett

Some New York Giants fans might have been hoping the Chargers would take Jason Garrett off the hands of the team, but it doesn’t look so likely that a deal will happen. While Garrett did interview to become the head coach of the Chargers, reports are coming out that indicate the team is interested in another candidate.

That candidate is Bills OC Brian Daboll, whose team is still alive in the AFC playoffs following a win against Baltimore.

Jordan Raanan has reported that the feeling around the league is that Daboll is the favorite for the Chargers. If that does happen, it looks like Garrett will come back for another year with the Giants.

The Giants haven’t shown any signs they want to move on from Garrett, and statements from John Mara seem to indicate the opposite. And so far, it looks like the Chargers job is the only other job that Garrett has interviewed for.

Garrett had a tough outing in his first year, of course. He had to alter his plans due to Saquon Barkley going down early in the season, but few would say the Giants offense adapted well to the change.

While the Giants were able to show flashes of potential in some of their wins, Garrett was criticized for a lackluster passing game and not calling creative routes that would allow receivers to get separation.

But with his first year disrupted by limited offseason training due to COVID-19 as well as the injury to Barkley, it seems the Giants organization is willing to give Garrett another go next season. After all, if the team didn’t want Garrett back, we would have heard about it by now.

Should the New York Giants look to add Anthony Lynn to their coaching staff?

The New York Giants are entering a crucial offseason. The Giants made serious progress this season, winning two more games than they did last season despite transitioning to a new, rookie head coach in a pandemic-filled season. New York saw numerous key, young players develop into building blocks. But there was one serious flaw with the New York Giants in 2020: their inept offense.

The Giants’ offense, more often than not, was terrible in 2020. They finished the season averaging just 17.5 points per game, the second-worst in the NFL. New York’s defense kept them in games and even won the team some games. But the offense often held the team back and consistently failed to propel the team to victory.

Many critics have placed the blame on the Giants’ offensive coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has received a plethora of criticism. However, it seems like his job is safe unless he leaves for a head coaching job elsewhere. Interestingly enough, the Los Angeles Chargers did interview Jason Garrett for their vacant head coach position.

The Chargers parted ways with head coach Anthony Lynn this offseason after four seasons in the position. Lynn has now generated excitement from fans who are suggesting him for the Giants’ offensive coordinator position if Jason Garrett were to leave and fill Lynn’s former position. However, I suggest another role for Anthony Lynn on the Giants’ coaching staff. One that could elevate the Giants’ offense to new heights.

Proposing Anthony Lynn as passing game coordinator

It seems unlikely that Jason Garrett will leave the New York Giants’ coaching staff this offseason. There are numerous head coaching candidates out there that will be more appealing to teams that have vacancies. Additionally, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said that the idea of Garrett leaving makes him “antsy,” so it seems like the team has no plans to fire Jason Garrett.

Many fans suggested Anthony Lynn would be a nice fit with the Giants as the team’s offensive coordinator if the position were to free up with Garrett’s eventual departure. But, with Garrett seemingly here to stay, Anthony Lynn cannot fulfill that offensive coordinator position. However, I think he could fill another role on Joe Judge’s coaching staff.

The New York Giants do not have a passing game or running game coordinator. These are somewhat new coaching positions that are not implemented in every coaching staff in the league, but they are present on many of the NFL’s top offenses. The Giants could add a passing game coordinator to aid Jason Garrett with that facet of the offense. New York seemed to run the ball just fine but struggled mightily in the passing game. A passing game coordinator could help fix that.

Anthony Lynn would make a lot of sense as the Giants’ passing game coordinator. He might not have been the best decision-maker as head coach of the Chargers, but his passing concepts were undeniably impressive and helped Los Angeles achieve plenty of success through the air under Lynn’s tutelage.

Could Anthony Lynn take this offense to the next level?

The Giants need more playmakers on offense. It is an obvious weakness right now and the fans, coaches, and front office alike are all aware of this. Getting an elite wide receiver for Daniel Jones will help this offense tremendously. But, furthermore, having an offensive coach that specializes in creating and implementing a creative passing attack would help Daniel Jones even more.

The Los Angeles Chargers saw their offense reach new heights in 2020. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert stepped onto the scene and instantly looked like a star, shattering rookie passing records. Anthony Lynn’s poor special teams, defense, and game-management led to his demise in Los Angeles. But his offensive scheme was not even close to problematic.

Justin Herbert and the Chargers’ offense averaged 270.6 passing yards per game in 2020. Herbert racked up a rookie-record 31 passing touchdowns to go along with 4336 and only 10 interceptions. Herbert often found himself throwing to open receivers downfield, schemed open by Lynn’s offensive scheme.

Anthony Lynn’s vertical passing concepts create an aggressive, downfield approach in his offensive attack. Mixing that in with Jason Garrett’s downhill rushing scheme and short passing concepts could give the Giants the best of both worlds.

Granted, a job as a passing game coordinator might be a bit beneath Anthony Lynn. Lynn is a highly-respected NFL coach that led the Los Angeles Chargers to a 12-4 record in 2018. But, if he is willing to take a less significant role on the Giants’ coaching staff, he could create significant improvements within the Giants’ offense.

New York Giants: Jason Garrett named 2020’s biggest disappointment

It’s unclear whether Jason Garrett will stay with the New York Giants for next season, but there’s some fans that would rather see him gone than staying. That’s because under Garrett, the offense seemed to consistently under-utilize its talent, and the Giants were one of the worst offensive teams in the league statistically. According to Bleacher Report’s list of every team’s biggest disappointment, Garrett was the largest one for the Giants last year.

New York finished ranked 31st in both yards and points scored. Perhaps more importantly, second-year quarterback Daniel Jones failed to build on what was mostly a promising rookie campaign.

While the loss of star running back Saquon Barkley didn’t help, Garrett was the one responsible for putting together a functional offense. Considering New York failed to top 21 points 11 times in 2020, it’s fair to say Garrett failed in that task.

Obviously, some of this was because of bad luck. The Giants lost Saquon Barkley a couple games into the season. Daniel Jones was injured in the later part of the year, forcing the Giants to play without their full passing offense. Even when Jones returned, his decreased mobility greatly hurt the offense.

However, a lot of the blame has to go on Garrett too for his calls, especially in the passing game. While the team ownership doesn’t seem to be eager to move on from Garrett after the underperformance in year one, that is what a lot of fans are hoping for.

Garrett is interviewing for the Chargers head coaching position, but with no news having come out about this for a couple of days, it’s unclear whether or not they’ll offer the job and take Garrett off the hands of the Giants.

New York Giants: A 5-step plan to solve the offense

New York Giants, Joe Judge

New York Giants co-owner John Mara stated that resources would be allocated toward the offense this off-season during his postseason press conference.

The Giants didn’t expect their offense to be so lackluster in 2020, as Saquon Barkley suffered a torn ACL in week two against the Chicago Bears, and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was left trying to piece things together ever since. The Giants finished with the 31st ranked offense in points per game, averaging just 17.5. Over the final four games of the season, they scored single digits in two of them.

The offense desperately needs assistance, and if the Giants are committed to Daniel Jones as their quarterback, leaving him with patchwork weapons simply won’t get it done. They need to take advantage of his rookie contract, and as he heads into his third year, this is a make or break season for the former Duke star.

Let’s take a look at how the Giants can allocate resources this off-season to help bolster their weakest link.

Five-step plan to solve the New York Giants’ offense:

1.) Replace Jason Garrett

It is hard to fathom that the Giants actually got worse on offense when compared to 2019. Former head coach Pat Shurmur was also calling plays, and as we know, it was very predictable and lacked spark.

Garrett managed to underwhelm even further, as the passing game was one of the worst in the NFL and Jones threw just 11 touchdowns after recording 24 in his rookie season. Some could make the argument that Jones actually took a step backward in his development, aside from his pocket awareness and ability to protect the football.

Garrett’s offense lacked creativity regarding route concepts and beating man coverage. The second half of the season saw opposing defenses play plenty of cover 1 and cover 0, manning up across the board against the Giants’ receivers. They simply didn’t respect them enough to be them deep or create enough separation to make a difference.

I would like the Giants to find an OC that focuses on verticals and pushing receivers downfield. In addition, I would like to see Saquon Barkley utilized more as a receiver, like Alvin Kamara or Austin Ekeler. One option that comes to mind is former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn. Lynn is a former running back himself and used Ekeler to perfection. Ultimately, if the Giants can maximize Barkley’s footprint on the field, their offense will be significantly better. Also, with the expectation they will inject more help at wide receiver this off-season, they could take a major step forward with a downfield play-caller that stretches the field.

Some have made the argument that for Jones to learn his third offense in three seasons is negative. However, when you look at how inefficient the unit was this past season, it can’t get much worse. Again, the Giants barely manage more points than the New York Jets, a historically bad team.

2.) Draft Devonta Smith/Jaylen Waddle

If the Giants want to take a more conservative approach to fill the receiver spot with more talent, they could look to the draft as a potential supplement. Keeping the cap hit down on a star pass-catcher is ideal, especially since they need to find room for Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson. Draft prospects Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle both represent stellar players who can help the Giants in 2021. Smith is a nimble yet elusive receiver who can win in man-coverage and push the ball downfield. Waddle is a more refined slot receiver with elite speed and elusive route running.

Depending on step three of the plan, the Giants should have a better idea of what they are looking for on offense. However, it is possible that Smith doesn’t fall to the 11th pick, but this upcoming draft is flush with receivers, and as we saw last year, teams might wait a little bit longer so they can land a high upside player later in the first round.

3.) Sign a big-body WR like Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin

Even if the Giants do select a wide receiver in the draft, I believe signing a free agent is also necessary. Given the rate of injuries in the NFL and Daniel Jones quickly approaching the second half of his rookie deal, the Giants need to do everything they can to give him ample weapons on Sundays. Receivers like Kenny Golladay or Chris Godwin represents stellar options, as they both have big bodies they can make catches in traffic.

Golladay had a tumultuous 2020 season, playing in just five games, hauling in 20 catches for 338 and two scores. In 2019, however, he earned a Pro Bowl appearance, recording 1,190 yards, and 11 touchdowns. He is a tall, 6-foot-4 receiver who is nicknamed “Babytron,” after future Hall of Fame receiver Calvin Johnson.

Given his down year, Kenny might be willing to sign a one-year, prove-it deal with the Giants, which could lead to a massive payday after the cap increases in 2022.

Godwin is another fantastic receiver who primarily works out of the slot. If the Giants are looking for a boundary option, Golladay is likely the better choice, but Godwin offers above-average route running and consistent hands.

This past year, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Godwin hauled in 65 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s only 24 years old, so Godwin is still in the middle of his prime and still has room for growth. At 6-foot-1, he’s not as tall as Golladay and might even be a bit more expensive based on his healthy this past season.

4.) Utilizing Saquon Barkley differently

As we know, Saquon Barkley is capable of breaking a play open at any given moment. It will take him a few weeks to get acclimated to the NFL and the physicality coming off of a torn ACL. Trusting his repaired ligaments will take time and reps, but if he manages to return to full strength, we know what he’s capable of.

During his rookie season, the Giants had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, but Barkley still managed 2028 yards from scrimmage. He’s extremely reliable with a ball in his hands, rarely ever fumbling, and is a touchdown machine when given decent running lines. Ideally, the Giants can find a coordinator, if not Garrett, who will utilize him as a receiver more frequently and bounce him outside of the tackles to get him into space.

Barkley is a vastly different runner than Wayne Gallman, who prefers a north-south style. Garret’s outside-zone running scheme actually fits well for Barkley, and as long as he incorporates him as a receiver on unique routes and pushes the ball downfield to create space underneath, he should have a nice rebound season in 2021.

5.) Keep the offensive line similar

The Giants are going to have to create cap space to re-sign some of their better talents, but disrupting the continuity in the trenches must be maintained.

Some have suggested that cutting Kevin Zeitler and saving about $12 million would be beneficial, but he is their best lineman and the only player the Giants can truly trust. It is expected they will cut Nate Solder post-June 1, which will save them $10 million, but everything else should stay relatively the same.

Utilizing Will Hernandez and Shane Lemieux at left guard is fine as the former Oregon product continues to develop. Having Cam Fleming and Matt Peart at right tackle isn’t necessarily bad, as Peart is hopefully the future. Fleming is a cheap stop-gap who can get the job done for now.

Ultimately, the line saw massive improvement this season, thanks to gradual developments from left tackle Andrew Thomas. Also, center Nick Gates was phenomenal, taking to his new position with ease. I believe keeping things the same and cutting Solder would be the ideal game plan.

What are the chances the New York Giants move on from Jason Garrett this offseason?

New York Giants, Austin Mack, Jason Garrett

Anemic would be a good way to describe the New York Giants’ offense in 2020. Averaging under 18 points per game, coordinator Jason Garrett displayed an inability to spur creativity and points production. Ultimately, second-year quarterback Daniel Jones took a step backward in multiple categories, but he did see his ball security improve gradually. After starting the season with his familiar fumbling problems, he cut down tremendously on the issue.

However, over a very similar sample size to his rookie season, Jones threw just 11 touchdown passes compared to 24 in 2019. Under Pat Shurmur, he was a far more productive quarterback through the air, averaging an additional 22 yards per contest as well as being sacked seven fewer times. Garrett’s system primarily focused on running the football, and the moment Saquon Barkley tore his ACL against the Chicago Bears in week two, the offense was castrated.

Nonetheless, the unit still managed to produce an average of 110.5 yards per game, as reserve backs Wayne Gallman and Alfred Morris lead the rushing attack. Surprisingly, they both performed adequately in Barkley’s absence, but there was a lot left on the table given his explosive playmaking absence.

While the running game was improved, the passing game was lackluster and desperately needs upgrading this off-season. That poses the question, should the giants consider moving on from Jason Garrett and his offensive system?

The New York Giants could see their OC walk all on his own:

Reports have indicated that Garrett is being considered for the Los Angeles Chargers vacant head coaching position, and if he goes, it might actually be a blessing in disguise for the Giants. His route concepts and lack of ability attacking man coverage have become apparent. His receivers can’t get open in cover 1 and the running game can only take him so far.

During Wednesday’s press conference with general manager Dave Gettleman, he stated that the idea of Garrett leaving makes him “antsy.” It would mean that Jones has to learn another offensive system, his third in three years given the scenario. Keeping things the way they are and providing some sort of continuity would be beneficial for the young quarterback, but as long as this passing attack remains anemic, it is impossible to feel confident moving forward.

Based on the way Gettleman responded to the question of Garrett potentially leaving whether it be in a head-coaching position or a firing, it indicates that they want to keep things the same in 2021. Obviously, the offense was the weakest link on the Giants this season, and if they were just average the Giants would currently be in the postseason preparing to face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ranking second to last in the NFL in points per game says a lot about Jason and his inability to play to his player’s strengths. If it were my decision, I would move on in the blink of an eye, but it seems as if the Giants don’t feel the same way.

New York Giants: Will Jason Garrett be back in Big Blue after his first season?

New York Giants, Austin Mack, Jason Garrett

Will Jason Garrett be back for the New York Giants next season only after one season in New York?

The New York Giants finished 31st in the league in yards, points, and passing offense in the 2020 season. The G-Men also tired the New England Patriots for a league-low in touchdowns passes with only 12 on the season. With these low stats, why is it even a question for the Giants not to get rid of Garrett?

Second-year quarterback Daniel Jones was asked about Garrett’s future in New York, “I’m not sure I’m in a position to comment on that,” Jones said on Monday. “But I’ve certainly enjoyed learning from Coach Garrett. I’ve learned a ton of football, I’ve learned a ton of philosophy on offense, how he sees the game, what he’s learned in his time in the NFL as a player and a coach. I’ve really enjoyed working with him. I look forward to continuing that. I really enjoyed it.”

Jones did not have the success this season as he did in his rookie season under Pat Shurmur calling plays. Does Jones really want Garrett back in New York?

Jones was doing his part in saying he really enjoyed working with Garrett but never says I wish we could build from the season and get better next season. Jones was very short but respectful about Garrett’s time in New York.

If Jones wants to move on from Garrett’s play-calling, the Giants could turn towards the tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens to call plays. Kitchens called plays for the Cleveland Browns before getting the head coaching job in 2019. Also, the Giants could see what coaches get canned today that were former offensive coordinators or former head coaches.

I am surprised the Giants have not announced Garrett and New York parting ways yet. The New York Giants’ offense was just awful to watch all season long, and most of the issue was the play calling. Garrett’s system is old and needs to be revamped. The Giants need to get an offensive coordinator who can help develop Jones and not hurt him as Garrett has done.

New York Giants’ offense needs to step up against Dallas Cowboys

New York Giants, Austin Mack, Jason Garrett

The New York Giants are entering a must-win, Week 17 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. With a loss, the Giants will be eliminated from the playoffs. With a win, New York will need some help from Philadelphia, but they could earn their first playoff birth since 2016.

First and foremost, the Giants have to beat the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17 to make the playoffs. Despite Dallas’ 6-9 record, this will be no easy task for the Giants. The Giants narrowly lost their last matchup with the Cowboys by a score of 37-34 in Week 5. This game is significant for the Giants because it is the only game this season in which New York was able to top 30 points.

The Giants’ offense has been terrible this season. The Giants are averaging only 17.1 points per game this season, the second-worst average in the NFL behind only the New York Jets. A functioning offense has been rare in New York this season.

The Dallas Cowboys, on the other hand, have a pretty high octane offense. The Cowboys are only 6-9, but their record is not a reflection of poor offensive play. Dallas is averaging 25.1 points per game this season. Andy Dalton and the Cowboys’ offense has been on a hot streak over the last three weeks, though. Over this three-game winning streak, Dallas is averaging 36 points per game.

The Dallas Cowboys are bound to put up a high volume of yardage and points in Week 17. The New York Giants have an excellent defense, but there is only so much they will be able to do against Dalton and Dallas. The Cowboys are bound to put points on the board and the Giants’ offense is going to need to match and surpass that total.

If Jason Garrett and the Giants’ offense cannot keep up with Mike McCarthy and the Cowboys’ offense, then the Giants will not be playing football in the second week of January.

Should the New York Giants fire Jason Garrett after week 17?

New York Giants, Austin Mack, Jason Garrett

If you are a New York Giants fan, you are likely feeling a sense of pain after the week 16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Falling 27-13, the Giants were outmatched at every corner, similar to the last two games against the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns.

While the defense has had their fair share of struggles, specifically with injuries and miscommunications, the offense has been equally terrible, if not much worse.

Against Baltimore, the Giants rushed for just 54 yards, with Wayne Gallman touching the ball six times, his lowest since taking over duties earlier this season. Interestingly, the Giants converted 24 first downs while the Ravens converted 25, but the time of possession was vastly different. The Giants earned just 24.5 minutes while the Ravens had 35 minutes.

The offense simply looked dull and routinely made mistakes, including dropped passes and penalties. At this point in the season, we can confidently say that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett should be fired after the 2020 campaign concludes.

Over the past three weeks, the Giants have scored a combined 26 points and recorded single digits in two of the contests. The Ravens scored 27 in the loss, which should be eye-opening.

Garrett’s scheme lacks diversity with his route concepts, pushing receivers downfield and stretching the defense. It was odd that it took this long for Dante Pettis to receive an opportunity, as he recorded two receptions and 33 yards over a very minimal sample size of snaps.

In addition, the lack of control and running the football was clear, as the Giants reached the red-zone twice, and Garrett called a disgraceful wide receiver screen that lost yardage.

It is almost inconceivable that a coach that has been in the league for such a long time to draw a play so inadequate and embarrassing.

The Giants do have talent, and while they aren’t considered above average by any means, we’ve seen teams do more with less. Just consider defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who has managed to put together an adequate season with plenty of depth and reserve options. Good coaching makes all the difference — the defense was simply gassed heading into this game after losing time of possession the past three.

Ultimately, since Garrett was an ownership hire to help the transition of Joe Judge as head coach, he should be the first to be let go, considering Judge is the future of this team. Giving the former Patriots’ assistant autonomy to make his coaching selections should be a priority, given the lack of modern play-calling and ineptitude on offense.

New York Giants: Is Jason Garrett running out of time as offensive coordinator?

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants have one of the worst offenses in the NFL through 15 weeks, as they average a measly 17.4 points per game, less than the Cincinnati Bengals, who are without their star quarterback and just above the New York Jets, who have a historically bad offense.

While teams across the league are setting unprecedented numbers in points and yards per game, the Giants are falling behind in a league that is focusing on downfield throwing and stretching the field. The Giants do have some positives on offense, notably their running game and the development of their offensive line, two factors that have fallen behind in recent years.

However, their passing attack is abysmal, averaging 185.7 yards per game and have scored single digits in the last two performances against the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns, two teams who have average defenses at best.

Nonetheless, a lot of the blame falls on offensive coordinator and play-caller Jason Garrett. After spending over a decade with the Dallas Cowboys as an OC and head coach, he was fired last season and brought his talents over to Big Blue. So far, the results have been underwhelming, and the Giants might even consider moving on from him after this season due to an inefficiency in most categories.

The New York Giants are still rolling with Garrett this week:

Garrett contracted Covid last week and missed the contest against Cleveland, and while he’s not expected to be in attendance against the Baltimore Ravens in week 16, there’s a solid chance he calls place regardless. Last week, tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens took over as play-caller, pushing the ball down-field and successfully driving on the Browns on multiple occasions. Garrett’s playcalling is a lot different, focusing on short-yardage routes and dink and dunk play style.

After reviewing plenty of film on Garrett, it is clear that his scheme and route concepts are simply lackluster. Receivers are unable to gain separation on the short routes, and the blends he’s using simply don’t make sense. Take a look at the clip below, showing a side-by-side view of Garrett’s short-yardage playcalling and Cleveland Browns’ Kevin Stefanski’s.

The one thing Garrett has going for him is the running game, as the Giants have earned seven games this season with 100+ rushing yards and four with 140+ yards on the ground. They average 113.5 yards per game in the category, indicating that Garrett has managed to develop a solid running game with two reserve backs in Wayne Gallman and Alfred Morris. If they can resolve this passing issue, the offense can take a massive step forward, so the Giants might even consider bringing in a passing game coordinator rather than allowing Jason to continue forward as the primary play-caller.

Either way, Garrett hasn’t proven to me he is capable of running this offense at a high-level, and the Giants have plenty of talent to work with, they simply aren’t utilized properly. If it were me, I would let Jason go and find a more downfield style coach who will utilize a nice blend of running but also pushing boundary receivers downfield to stretch the defense. I believe he’s running out of time to prove his worth, and his next two games will tell us everything we need to know if we haven’t seen it already through 15 weeks.

New York Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett tests positive for COVID-19

New York Giants, Austin Mack, Jason Garrett

The New York Giants haven’t had too much serious trouble with COVID-19 this season, but that’s changing as offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has tested positive. This news comes a bit too close to the game with the Cleveland Browns for comfort, and Garrett won’t be out of isolation by the time the game happens.

The team isn’t going to leave anyone wondering about what the outcome of this will be, however. The Giants have already announced that tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens will take the spot of Garrett as the play caller for the Cleveland game.

Garrett will continue to work remotely but the temporary promotion of Kitchens will raise some eyebrows for multiple reasons. For one, the game against Cleveland is a revenge game for Kitchens as he was previously the head coach of the team. He was named the head coach in January 2019 but ended up fired only hours after the season finale that year. Kitchens also has offensive coordinator experience, as he served in the role for Cleveland before taking over as their coach.

Kitchens, who joined the Giants staff this year, is believed by some to be in the running for the Giants offensive coordinator spot if Jason Garrett leaves for a head coaching job or is fired this offseason. That situation makes it all the more interesting to see him call plays for the Giants offense on Sunday, in a possible preview of what the team could be getting.

“We are currently working with the league’s chief medical officer regarding close contacts…” the team said in a statement about Garrett. “Out of an abundance of caution, the Giants will meet remotely and will not practice today.”