Short Yardage, Short Memory


Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride gets a lot of flack with his play calls — and last week there were a few instances where I thought a more agressive approach should have been used.

But when it comes to problems executing the on again off again NY Giants short yardage run game Gilbride absolutely nailed it.

He said this to the media when questioned why Bradshaw got both short yardage carries, and failed to reach a first down, against Washington last week:

"“Unfortunately you’ve seen it not work (with Jacobs), haven’t you? That’s your answer. It’s a lot of things. It’s the scheme. If it would make sense to simplify it, (then) if they’d put eight guys within your tackles, if you run straight ahead what are the odds of you making it? You all saw last week with New Orleans. They had goal line and they tried to make one yard and they ran straight ahead. How did that work out?”"

I totally agree, and this is something I’ve harped on for YEARS with the Giants play calling. It HAS gotten better ever since Jacobs and Bradshaw have split short yardage carries, especially when Bradshaw took over on short yardage red zone opportunities. Gilbride is right here – and when the Giants block correctly Bradshaw is the quickest guy to the hole, he can make himself small to fit between the creases, and I’ve been really happy with the mix and match strategy the Giants have established over the past 2 years.

Even though 2008 is long gone, a short memory may cause you to forget why this change came about. The days of Brandon Jacobs getting 15 TD’s and the Giants offensive line man handling anything and everything that came their way is over. So in 2009 when the Giants sputtered in short yardage all year with Jacobs as the starter, the offensive line having deteriorated a bit with age and injuries, something had to be done. Late that season, Ahmad Bradshaw became the short yardage back and the Giants red zone scoring numbers improved immediately. In 2010, Bradshaw continued that trend and the Giants continued to improve their overall conversions on short yardage dramatically.

So listen to Gilbride here, he’s got a point. Don’t jump on his back and continue to point at the decisions they’ve made here because it has benefitted the team. He’s using some deceptive tactics by not just throwing Jacobs in there at every short yardage play and it’s worked better for them going on a couple seasons now. I’ll take a play with a bit of deception and poor execution over a straight ahead inside handoff the defense had pegged with 100% certainty any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

[quote via the NY Daily News]