What’s 2-0 Worth?
Whether it’s August or September, 2-0 makes for an attractive record in any calendar NFL month. However… no self-respecting Giants fan is fooled by the W’s. The passing offense is a major point of contention and justifiably so. In a small sampling of first team reps, the results within Ben McAdoo’s West Coast system have not been encouraging: Eli Manning is averaging 4.8 yards per pass attempt, the offensive line is leaking, and Victor Cruz has zero targets. We’re not just talking game performance either… the lack of rhythm is readily apparent in practice as well.
Gotta Have Faith
McAdoo insists that hurry-up success will not be realized until the players break out of their comfort zone. Habits from the days of Kevin Gilbride need to be squashed, and quick:
“We need to take that leap of faith,’’ said new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. “We need to play fast, we need to trust our instincts. It’s a game of anticipation and [you have to] believe in your teammates. If you don’t do that, we’re not going to grow. You can’t be afraid to make mistakes.’’
The response to every changing defensive look is exaggerated right now, mainly because the quarterbacks don’t trust the timing with their receivers. It’s also likely that Manning and Co. doesn’t genuinely trust the offensive line to hold up for upwards of 2.5 seconds. Whatever the reason, McAdoo is well aware of the extreme level of work ahead that still remains:
“We talked about seeing some things for the first time and how we need to get on the same page moving forward,’’ McAdoo said. “I love the dramatic miscommunication articles out there, but it’s more timing issues. We’re on the same page on what we were going to do and when it was going to happen. … When you see certain looks for the first time, it’s going to be a challenge.’’
Did you expect growing pains, Ben?
“If it was easy and smooth, everybody would be doing it.’’
Indeed, the West Coast Offense implementation has been anything but easy to this point. The return of Odell Beckham Jr. not only adds an exceedingly talented receiver into the fold, but it should open new doors in the vertical attack, in addition to the WR screen game that McAdoo endorses. The Giants are operating in super tight quarters right now with all targets running underneath routes. This simply can’t continue, as there is no upside… We’re approaching preseason week 3 — it’s time to open up the windows.