New York Giants: Jason Garrett A Major Upgrade At Offensive Coordinator In 2020

New York Giants, Jason Garrett

The New York Giants are entering the 2020 NFL season with a new coaching staff. Pat Shurmur was fired from the position after two disappointing seasons with Big Blue. His replacement, Joe Judge, has quickly won over the fanbase with a commanding introductory press conference and the hiring of an excellent and experienced coaching staff.

Joe Judge hired multiple former head coaches as assistants on his coaching staff. The biggest name of all was Jason Garrett, former the Dallas Cowboys head coach from 2010-2019. Garrett was hired to serve as the Giants’ new offensive coordinator, replacing Mike Shula who held the position since 2018.

Mike Shula was always an interesting hiring for the New York Giants. He was not the team’s first choice at offensive coordinator- that was Kevin Stefanski, who is now the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. However, once the Vikings denied permission for the Giants to interview Stefanski, the team shifted focus and went with Shula instead.

Shula had some familiarity with Dave Gettleman from Carolina. He was a member of the Panthers’ coaching staff from 2011 to 2017. Shula’s offensive scheme helped quarterback Cam Newton reach MVP status en route to a Super Bowl appearance in 2015. In New York, though, Shula was not running his own scheme, rather, he was helping Pat Shurmur run his scheme.

A Different Coaching Philosophy

One of the biggest differences for the Giants in 2020 will be the fundamental change in coaching philosophy. Under the last two head coaches, McAdoo and Shurmur, the Giants’ offensive coordinators were far less involved on Sundays. Both Shurmur and McAdoo called plays for the Giants, quite unsuccessfully. Both offensive schemes were criticized for being predictable and inefficient.

Perhaps the most detrimental aspect of having the head coaches call plays was their lack of situational awareness. Quite often, both coaches would forget to call timeouts or call them at unfavorable moments. McAdoo and Shurmur had poor clock management skills that many attribute to the two coaches being too wrapped up in playcalling.

The Giants will not have that issue anymore as they welcome in a new philosophy. Now, the offensive coordinator will run the offense and call plays while the head coach oversees the entirety of the team. Luckily for New York, they secured one of the NFL’s brightest offensive minds in the league with Jason Garrett.

Jason Garrett As An Offensive Coordinator

During his long tenure with the Dallas Cowboys, Jason Garrett always had one of the league’s top offenses:

“With Garret calling plays, the Cowboys passing offense was never ranked lower than 9th in yards per game or 11th in yards per play, including two top five finishes in both categories. The rushing offense was top ten in yards per play four times.” –via Giants.com

Now with an offensive coordinator dedicating his attention strictly towards the offense, the Giants could see more consistency out of its scoring unit.

New York Giants: Mike Shula Interviews To Keep Offensive Coordinator Position

The New York Giants are currently in the process of rebuilding their coaching staff. They fired head coach Pat Shurmur at season’s end and replaced him with Joe Judge. Joe Judge explained during his introductory what he is looking for in his coaching staff: teachers.

So far, the Giants have made multiple key hirings, including Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator. Judge also made sure to secure Jerry Schuplinski as quarterbacks coach, the man responsible for developing Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett into starters.

It was interesting to see the Giants hire their quarterbacks coach without having an offensive coordinator already in place. The offensive coordinator is a critical coaching position on any team. They typically call the plays on offense and oversee the development of numerous key players on the offensive side of the ball.

As of today, the Giants have begun their search for the team’s next offensive coordinator. Maybe the Giants will not even make a change at this position. Joe Judge interviewed current offensive coordinator Mike Shula today, giving Shula the possibility of retaining his job (Jordan Raanan of ESPN).

Mike Shula as Offensive Coordinator

Mike Shula has been with the New York Giants for two years now. He was hired in 2018 to serve as the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under head coach Pat Shurmur. With Shurmur gone, some believed the Giants would go in a different direction, and they still might, but Judge is covering all the bases and giving Shula a chance to keep his job.

Shula would not be the only member of Shurmur’s staff to be retained. Joe Judge is also keeping special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert. Mike Shula is not exactly a fan favorite like Tolbert and McGaughey, but fans should keep an open mind.

Mike Shula is a veteran offensive coordinator with head coaching experience at Alabama. He served as an offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers and helped Cam Newton reach MVP status in 2015 before coming to New York.

Another vital factor to note in potentially retaining Mike Shula is Daniel Jones’s development. Shula was the quarterbacks coach in 2019 and helped Daniel Jones develop quickly into a starting quarterback. Hiring Mike Shula in 2020 allows the Giants to keep some continuity for Daniel Jones on the coaching staff.

Pat Shurmur called plays for the Giants in 2018 and 2019. Mike Shula did not get an opportunity to demonstrate his play-calling ability to Giants fans. Shula’s role was as a play-designer and collaborative game-planner. Shula coached some inconsistent offenses in Carolina and struggled at times with “rhythm and timing,” which could negatively affect his efficiency as a play-caller (nj.com). But for the sake of keeping continuity for Daniel Jones, it is worth it to at least interview Mike Shula and consider him as a candidate for the offensive coordinator position.

New York Giants: Changes That Need To Be Made

The New York Giants are 2-7 to start the 2019 NFL season and the knives are out for heads and changes. Many believe a head coaching change is in order, and if Pat Shurmur surveys this mess of a season, his offensive and defensive coordinators may not.

In fact, they should not.

In my weekly podcast with blogger Craig Santucci of NYGiantsRush.com, we discuss not only our disappointment and surprise at the team’s performance (much of it scheme-related) but what we’d like to see management do to correct the issues.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN 

 

New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins Performs During On-Field Workouts At The Combine

On Saturday, the quarterbacks, tight ends, and wide receivers participated in the NFL Combine. Many players helped improve their draft stock by impressing in the on-field workouts.

The quarterbacks got to show off their accuracy and arm strength during the on-field workouts. While the prospects were throwing at the Combine, all eyes were on one quarterback in particular: Dwayne Haskins Jr. from Ohio State University.

Dwayne Haskins Combine Highlights

One thing that scouts and analysts immediately noted for Dwayne Haskins was how quickly the ball zipped out of his hand. He has great arm strength. On top of that, Haskins can make every throw. And he can do it better than every other prospect who threw on Saturday.

To start the on-field throwing drills, the quarterbacks threw slant routes. On these slant routes, Haskins showed off his arm strength. As Daniel Jeremiah noted, you can see the ball jump out of his hand. He completed every pass and put the ball in stride and on the money on every throw during the slants.

During the curl-routes and out-routes drills, Haskins impressed. Dwayne showed great timing anticipation during these drills. His accuracy in the intermediate range was a strength in college, and that seemed no different at the combine.

Dwayne Haskins showed off his deep accuracy on the corner routes. The prospects were struggling with this throw before Haskins took a crack at it. Kurt Warner even said the prospects were completing about 10% of the throws. But once Dwayne Haskins stepped up to throw, that changed. He put every throw right on the money. He had great height on his passes and tremendous accuracy, touch, to go along with perfect timing.

Giants fans everywhere will agree with Daniel Jeremiah: Giants’ super star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. could have corralled the second pass by Haskins. Engram, too. Dwayne Haskins could be the future of the Giants’ franchise come April. The Giants seem to like him.

New York Giants’ offensive coordinator Mike Shula payed extra attention to Dwayne Haskins on Saturday. The team met with Dwayne on Friday night, then continued to scout him on Saturday. According to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, Shula spent a lot of time chatting with Haskins on the sideline.

…Giants OC Mike Shula did stand and chat with Dwayne Haskins on the sideline during the early portion of today’s throwing session for about 8-10 minutes. Didn’t see that with anyone else. Shula also put Haskins through his initial throws before the WR portion. – Pat Leonard

Haskins was officially weighed and measured on Friday. He stood tall at 6 foot 3 and three eighths and weighed 231 pounds. It is safe to say Haskins is a big guy. Unfortunately for Dwayne Haskins, he is not a fast big guy. He ran a 5.04 40 yard dash at the Combine. He was the slowest quarterback in his group.

A good thing for Dwayne Haskins is that he is more of a thrower than a runner. His slow 40 time will not affect his draft stock at all because it is not important. Haskins will never be asked to run 40 yards straight down the field. He is a strong-armed accurate passer. He plays his best when he has time in the pocket and can scan the field. Dwayne Haskins is an accurate, pro-style quarterback.

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

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.

Success On The Horizon As Giants’ OC Mike Shula Details Offensive Capabilities

The New York Giants have a new offensive coordinator in town and his name is Ben McA’joking.’ Fresh off of the Carolina coaching staff, OC Mike Shula brings a familiarity of Dave Gettleman and his methods

Shula was asked various questions about the state of the offense, primarily on Odell Beckham Jr and Eli Manning. His answers are encouraging and surely give us the hope that the Giants’ offense will return to glory once again.

According to Giants.com:

“You know, God, he’s such an explosive player,” said Shula, who joined his fellow assistants from Pat Shurmur’s staff in speaking to the media for the first time. “We’ve watched what everyone else has seen what he can do on the field, and I’m really looking forward to being able to work with a guy like that. What you see on the field and talking to the guys that have had to defend him at Carolina, and just how explosive he is and how he can get the ball in the end zone. We’re going to try to continue to build on that.”

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Can we say Beckham Jr. isn’t going anywhere yet? I think it’s fair to say the Giants aren’t parting ways with their greatest asset, especially with a coaching tandem that will be able to utilize his strengths week-in and week-out.

“I think that he’s obviously a vital part of our offense, and when you have guys that can make plays and put points on the board, you want to try to feature them as much as you can.”

Head coach Pat Shurmur is remembered for his days in Minnesota as the guy who brought the best of out quarterback Case Keenum. Few recall how well Adam Thielen played alongside the undrafted quarterback.

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Thielen jumped from 967 yards in 2016 to 1276-yards in 17′, a significant jump considering fellow receiver Stefon Diggs had returned from injury and was also a major target.

Shula and Eli Manning:

For Shula, coaching a quarterback like Eli Manning hasn’t exactly been presented as an opportunity for him in recent years. But, his excitement in the fact that he will be working with a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback was unprecedented.

“It’s a different dynamic,” Shula said. “I’m getting ready to coach a guy that has great experience, that physically is in great shape, that has won two Super Bowls, won a bunch of playoff games. I’ve watched him stand at this podium here and answer questions and be able to handle all of those things.

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This might be Manning’s last year in Blue, but Shula is going to make the most out of their time together.

What is the most exciting part of the new offense?

The most exciting aspect of Shula’s press conference came from one statement:

“My vision is coach Shurmur’s vision. We want to use multiple personnel, be unpredictable and different looks.”

Finally! An offense that a new-born child can’t predict. The days of crossing routes and running plays on every single first-down are over, and the age of unpredictability has just begun.