Buckle your seat belts, the preseason is officially winding down and the NFL's regular season is just one week away. Before the the festivities begin the New York Giants have one final game to play as they aim to finalize their 53-man opening day roster.
Eli Manning has looked shaky to say the least in a new-look West Coast offense and Big Blue will need to work out the kinks and build some positive momentum heading into a Week 1 Monday Night Football matchup with the Detroit Lions.
Do I think that the West Coast system will ultimately be successful to start the year?
There will be growing pains along the way and the Giants could be looking at yet another disastrous start to the year. Last year they started 0-6. This year, they could be staring a 2-4 or 1-5 record straight in the face.
Why you ask?
Manning has played in and learned essentially one system during his ten year playing career. Former offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride taught an 'option' system where the quarterback and receiver would need to be on the same page and have the same read on a given coverage. However, far too often Manning's miscommunication with his receivers led to a league high 27 interceptions a season ago.
With Ben McAdoo making the move from Green Bay to New York, his lack of play calling experience could be yet another factor working against the Giants. Since last year Big Blue saw Hakeem Nicks leave during free agency, drafted Odell Beckham Jr., who has been hamstrung during the preseason, and signed Mario Manningham who is still not fully recovered from offseason ACL surgery.
The one major positive for the Giants has been the boost they've got from their two-headed monster at running back with Rashad Jennings coming over from Oakland via free agency and rookie Andre Williams making waves in the ground game.
If McAdoo is able to push the right buttons and find a way to ride the coattails of a powerful running game, New York could eventually see the true power of their West Coast system at work.
This is going to take time and time is something the Giants don't have. Opening week is nearly upon us and there are more questions than answers as to how this revamped scheme is going to come together.
Tom Coughlin's days in New York could be numbered and with so much uncertainty, another playoff-less season could spell the end for the future Hall of Fame coach.
Ultimately the switch to a West Coast system could be the right move for the long haul, but in the early stages of 2014, it's going to be tough sledding for Manning and company.