Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Giants: Offensive outlook

After I made a fuss in this blog about the unusual decision by the Giants to go into the season with only 2 TEs, Boss and Beckum, the other legacy media outlets picked it up and are making an issue of it as well. Obviously, they copied my ideas and observations. :) There is an insight and some clues we might be able to infer from the roster composition about a subtle change in the way the Giants offense will play this year. Specifically, I've always felt that there needs to be a blend and a match between the style of the lead RB and the style of the OL in front of him. When your RB is a big old bruiser and you employ the power running game, you want your OL to be big also, to get a little push on the defense, get them moving backwards and let the power RB take care of the rest, blasting through a defense that is leaning back. However, if you have a quick RB, you want to rely on a quick, nimble OL that can quickly and ably move out into space, and make seams for the RB to run off.

I'll use a few Giants RB/OL combinations of the past to prove my point. The Giants first Superbowl team had little Joe Morris, a quick, darting back as its lead runner. The OL was smallish, but quick and nifty, they were called the Suburbanites (don't ask me why) and were very effective pulling for outside runs and shifting for traps and draw plays. A few years later, when a bulked up OJ Anderson was the featured back, the Giants shifted to the huge elephants on the OL including Jumbo Elliot, Doug Riesenberg, Roberts and Moore. They were effective at pounding the opposition, giving OJ some interior lanes where he could get going and use his power to finish the runs.

More recently, we can look at the Tiki Barber era, where Jim Finn was the FB and the Giants favorite play was to get some OL-men out on the edge and get Finn leading the play. Finn would not blast anybody, but would kind of engage the defender, let Tiki get in behind him and set up his block. Finn would just nudge the defender and Tiki would cut off him for yardage. When Jacobs became the lead runner, the Giants brought in a second TE in Matthews and employed a power FB in Hedgecock because it matches the style of the runner. Perhaps with the Giants going with only two TEs, neither one a power blocker, and using Bradshaw as the lead RB, it signals that they are going to be more of a perimeter running team, more finesse and less power.

The good thing about the current Giants OL is that they are kind of a blend between power and quickness. You can't call them a huge powerful group, I would say that they are more athletic than they are big. But they are not diminuitive either and can stand up to big DLs. They are quick, but they play bigger than they really are. Adding a TE or FB can change the character and the style that they play.

1 comment:

Yankel the Nachash said...

Oy vay--I hope Bossman is ok. That was a cheap, unneccesary hit and I hope the mamzar that hit him gets fined. I'm all for letting guys follow through on hits, but this guy first went into his motion after the ball was deflected and the ball was clearly behind Boss. Meanwhile, if you breathe on a qb it's a 15 yarder.