Since the moment the retirement of former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride was made official, Big Blue faithful have been overwhelmed with excitement and wonder, as the old regime seemed to have gone stale with not only the fans, but the players, and opposing defenses as well.
Newly signed coordinator Ben McAdoo has vowed to give the people what they want as he aims to implement an “up-tempo” West Coast-style offense to a team that was not only unable to run the ball but could not manage anything through the air either as offensive chemistry was never established due to erratic offensive line play. A change of scheme may help, but the Giants still have work to do in free agency and the draft if they want to contend in the NFC.
Nonetheless, the scheme alone can often make a tremendous difference as well. The 2013 Kansas City Chiefs are a great example of how a change in play calling can transform not only the offense, but bring the best out of certain players that respond well to the coaching change. Though of course the opposite can also occasionally be true.
The Giants however, seem to be embracing McAdoo with open arms and there has been nothing to suggest that McAdoo will have any issues with any players, especially considering everyone will have to ultimately answer to a well established Tom Coughlin anyway. Surely the Giants could use the added enthusiasm that is required to learn and master a new playbook while earning playtime on a unit where everyone has a “clean slate,” thus each player has an opportunity to make an impression.
Naturally with change comes anticipation, and during these humdrum days of the offseason it’s not just the fans that are eager to see how the new offense plays out, but the players as well. Earlier in the week, wide receiver Victor Cruz joked and pondered about potentially seeing some snaps at running back for the Giants. With Cruz’s speed, strength, and shiftiness, he couldn’t help but compare himself to one of McAdoo’s weapons in Green Bay, Randall Cobb.
“I do see myself as a Randall Cobb," Cruz said at a Fuel Up to Play 60 event at PS 75 Emily Dickinson in Manhattan. “Hopefully I can sneak in that backfield for a couple plays. I don’t know how effective that will be. But we’ll definitely see where it takes us. But we’ll see. I’m excited to be all over the field this year.”
Whether or not the Giants would risk the health of one of their best offensive weapons remains to be seen, though chances are it is highly unlikely unless it is a play designed to get Cruz moving in space. If any player on the Giants were to take on such a role it could Jerrel Jernigan who emerged as a playmaker towards the end of the Giants 2013 season. Jernigan has shown the speed and ability to make defenders miss; skills that could make him a valuable part of the Giants offense under McAdoo. Jernigan flashed some of that ability on a 49-yard touchdown run against the Redskins last season.
Look for some more of that play making ability in 2014 as McAdoo has drawn tremendous praise for his intelligence and his creativity, tools that could maximize the productivity of the Giants offense.
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