Happy Tuesday, New York Giants fans! As football vacation continues, we present you the following headlines to read over your morning coffee. So take a deep breath, know that training camps are coming and enjoy!
Eli Manning was befuddled. It was the kind of question he should know the answer to, he seemed to know that much. But for some reason nothing was coming to mind and the frustration on his face was telling.
Had it been a question about Ben McAdoo's new offense, he probably could have answered in the time it takes to hike a football. A question about McAdoo's routes or protection schemes or even the new language of McAdoo's playbook would have been easier. He'd spent the last two months studying those, getting intimate with every X and O that flashed on his iPad.
But this wasn't a query about McAdoo's offense. It was a question about McAdoo. About what he's like as a person. And Manning was drawing a blank.
The Offense is Simplified
It was the single biggest change for the Giants this offseason. They hired Ben McAdoo as their offensive coordinator and installed an entirely new system. This spring provided a sneak peek, and what was blatantly obvious is that the offensive will have a totally new look. Call it whatever you want (West Coast offense seems to be the most common term), but the Giants have installed a quick-hitting passing attack that is predicated on timing. Despite the new terminology, the biggest benefit may be its ability to simplify things — for the receivers, the quarterback and the offensive linemen, who will not be asked to hold their blocks as long. It's hard to envision this not being good for everyone involved.
Nobody appears to be benefiting more from the installation of the new offense more than starting quarterback Eli Manning. Being tasked with learning a new system seems to have rejuvenated a somewhat stagnant Manning, who happens to be coming off a 27-interception season. He admitted spending more time studying and focusing on the intricacies of the offense. He admitted being more mentally stimulated this offseason than in previous year. It can only help in his — and the Giants' — quest for a bounce-back season.
Craig Johnson spent 12 practices with his current lot of running backs, but already has a good idea of what he can expect from Rashad Jennings and Peyton Hillis. He can supplement his limited time with the pair with film study.
But two players that Johnson will be paying special attention to during training camp are perceived to be at the back-end of the Giants depth chart: Michael Cox, last year's seventh-round draft pick and Kendall Gaskins, an undrafted free agent who spent last season on the Bills and Titans' practice squads.
"Two guys you probably haven't heard much about, Michael Cox, a second-year back that was a late draft choice last year, big, strong, physical, can make plays," he said. "I'm looking forward to seeing him and Kendall Gaskins, both of them, in pads.
"They're young guys, they want to prove it. They're hungry and they want to go after it. All the backs are pretty good size and pretty physical so I'm excited about the position."
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