2020 is a new year and a fresh start for this young and hungry NY Giants team. With the new coaching staff finally taking shape, they all preach a common message; versatility and fundamentals.
For years now, the kryptonite of the NY Giants has been poor tackling, predictable playcalling and the inability to have consistent, quality play from the defense. The defense is supposed to be a staple of this Big Blue franchise and as of late, it’s been a dumpster fire.
This Giants team has bounced around the last few seasons from either rolling with the 4-3 defensive scheme or 3-4 defensive scheme and never leaving any room for flexibility or versatility.
In comes Patrick Graham, one of the latest additions to new head coach Joe Judge’s staff. Graham will be taking over the duties of defensive coordinator. When asked about which scheme Graham would be using, he simply replied “yes”, which was obviously a cute response to signify there would be no set scheme. Graham believes in using multiple schemes, which is something that will snowball into this ideology of versatility, which makes a lot of sense.
Ideally, you want to scheme according to the team that you’re playing that week. It makes little sense to come out in a 3-4 or 5-2 defensive scheme when you’re going up against a pass-heavy team; you need to be able to adjust week to week and place your players in the best position to win. Something that sounds so obvious has been lacking desperately within this team in recent years.
A major problem with Pat Shurmur and James Bettcher was their predictability and blatant disregard for adjusting the gameplan. You always knew the team was going to blitz and more often than not, the team was going to be incapable of getting to the quarterback or covering long enough for the blitz to take full effect and work.
With this fresh mentality that the team is taking in this offseason, I see a great shift in culture on the horizon.
When you look at free agency and the draft coming up in the next few months, versatility is the thing that’s going to allow the coaching staff and front office to have more free-range on who they’re going to pursue. Yannick Ngakoue is a name that’s had many Giants fans clamoring for his signature in free agency. Ngakoue is a defensive end and someone who is quite versatile, at 6’2, 245lbs, he has the ability to play fast and hard; as well as set the edge and stop the outside runs.
The player that’s being slated as the most versatile player in the 2020 NFL draft is Isaiah Simmons, a linebacker out of Clemson. Simmons has been the recent name that Giants fans have been calling for the team to draft with its fourth-overall pick. Simmons has lined up at safety, linebacker, nickel, and he has 4.3-4.4 speed and stands at 6’4 – the kid is an absolute specimen.
Expect the NY Giants to think a little more outside the box this offseason than you’ve been used to over the years. I think this is a team that’s beginning to get it and realize that if you don’t get with the times and adapt, the times will leave you behind.