Five weeks of the preseason are now officially in the books and the New York Giants appear no closer (okay, maybe a little bit closer) to mastering Ben McAdoo's new West Coast-style offense than they did when it was first implemented. And, unfortunately, quarterback Eli Manning believes it's going to take quite some time before they get things where they need them to be — quite possibly even an entire season.
"I think it’s still trying to get it exactly the way we want it. It’s a work in progress. It’s not the final product right now. It’s going to be, the more games, the more plays we get, the more practice," Manning said. "There’s definitely room for improvement and that will be a season-long situation, which is, I think, normal. That’s not a bad thing. I think we have to know what we do well and where we need to make our improvements and be dedicated to being harsh on ourselves to make those improvements."
While Manning admits the potential for a "season-long" work-in-progress, he wasn't at all critical of the offensive performance in the preseason. Rather, he praised his teammates for coming together in practice and working hard, pointing out they had made some good strides over the last few weeks. But his idea of season-long adjustments is not exactly something fans want to hear, and may not be something the higher-ups want to see.
If the preseason is any indication of what the regular season holds, the Giants must focus heavily on the running game. If not, it could spell disaster for the first several weeks of the season.
Luckily, head coach Tom Coughlin remains committed to the run and insists the Giants will use it in heavy doses — something that would appear to be the right move given how effective Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams & Co. were throughout the preseason.
“I am very confident we are going to get the passing game straightened around,” Coughlin told Giants.com. “Have we sat back and flat-out thrown the ball in one game? No, we haven’t, because we are not going to get away from the run. Because last year we were so poor in the run game that it ruined our balance and in result, we turned the ball over at ridiculous rates. So that is not going to happen and we wanted to make sure of that throughout the course of the preseason."
It will be interesting to see how the Giants balance trying to adjust to their new offense with trying to win football games.
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