New offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s West Coast scheme is not exactly coming along quickly went it comes to the Giants’ offensive players. The defense has dominated early practices as the offense struggles to acquaint itself with the timing and intricacies of McAdoo’s playbook.
“I think guys are just starting to understand the tempo of the offense, the timing of the routes, all of the adjustments, all of the plays we get into,” said quarterback Eli Manning. “It’s coming faster for the quarterbacks also so I think everything came around pretty well yesterday in just the understanding of what we’re trying to do.”
Manning spent the first ten seasons of his career working under Kevin Gilbride. With the former offensive coordinator having retired at the end of the 2013 season, Manning has a lot to learn with McAdoo in town. Some of the differences between the old system and the new one come right after Manning has snapped the ball.
“I think it’s more kind of the footwork-based on the route, whether you’re under center or in shotgun, just how it changes,” said Manning. “Some of that is a little different. There’s more shotgun footwork and mechanics, kind of listening to your feet. We talk a lot about that and say, ‘Hey, you’re going to take this type of drop out of the gun and if it’s not open on that first step you’ve got to listen to your feet, get through your progression so when you have to scramble…’ some of those things are different, just taught differently than what we’ve done in the past.”
With quicker drops and less time in between plays, McAdoo runs an offense that puts more stress on the defense than what the Giants have run in the past. Perhaps the increase in tempo can help the New York offense perform more efficiently.
“We’re either going to snap the ball fast or get into more cadence and use double counts and try to see what the defense is doing,” said Manning. “Just trying to speed up the mechanics of the huddle of getting to the line of scrimmage.”
Under the new scheme, quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf thinks that Manning can boost his completion percentage in a big way.
“We’d love to be there at 70 percent, it hasn’t been done very often,” said Langsdorf, “That’s the ultimate goal. But we want to raise his completion percentage for sure. I don’t know about the history, maybe because they took more shots downfield, but we’d love to shoot for 70.”
Only four quarterbacks in history have completed greater than 70 percent of their passes in a season (Drew Brees did it twice). That’s quite a goal to set for Manning, who hasn’t completed even 60 percent of his passes since 2011.
For now, Manning is just going to plug away at learning the new offense and worry about stats later. “We have to keep working,” said Manning, “I think we’re getting more of the install in but there’s still more plays, more concepts that have to be put in so as we learn those we have to do that and also can’t forget what we’ve learned already.”