Co-owner of the New York Giants John Mara said at the end of December that the offense of his team was “broken.” Mara and his front office have, in the past 24 hours, taken several steps to repair it.
It was announced on Tuesday evening that the Giants had signed Green Bay Packers assistant Ben McAdoo to replace the retired Kevin Gilbride as New York offensive coordinator. McAdoo, who served as Green Bay quarterbacks coach over the past two seasons, had become a flavor of the month among potential coordinator and coaching candidates starting last holiday season. He had been linked with the Miami Dolphins, and he had also interviewed with the Cleveland Browns regarding that team's opening at head coach.
McAdoo honed his craft under Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy, and the expectation is that the new Giants offensive coordinator will bring the West Coast offense with him. A new look certainly wouldn't hurt the G-Men. Quarterback Eli Manning had the worst season of his NFL career in 2013, and the Giants, as a team, averaged under 84 rushing yards per game.
New York has, on paper, the horses to run what will likely be McAdoo's first-choice offense. Wide receivers Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan could all prosper in a system that would, in theory, feature Manning releasing the football quicker than he did in 2013. A West Coast offense could also benefit an offensive line that was absolutely dreadful for at least half of the campaign.
Less than a day after McAdoo was hired to be offensive coordinator, the Giants made other coaching changes. Michael Pope, tight ends coach at the club since 2000, and running backs coach (since 2004) Jerald Ingram made their departures from the team.
Neither should come as a surprise. The futility of the team's rushing attack was pointed out earlier in this piece. Tight end Brandon Myers, brought in through free agency last year, was somewhat of a flop in his first season with the Giants. He reeled in only 47 of 73 targets. Myers also had four receiving touchdowns.
The previously mentioned Gilbride mentioned the team's need to upgrade the TE position while speaking with Dave Hutchinson of NJ.com last week, saying that Myers “would be a good No. 2 tight end” and that New York needed a “bigger, faster” player at the position.
Both Mara and general manager Jerry Reese have, in radio interviews, stated that they believe the Giants can, if they have a successful offseason, compete for a playoff spot in 2014. The team's latest coaching changes point to that notion. McAdoo has received high praise from quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and some have likened the new New York coordinator to Andy Reid.
The Giants moving to restructure the offense suggests that the front office believes they could be just a few additions away from turning things around. What McAdoo does not bring with him, however, is a new offensive line. New York will need to bolster that unit this offseason, potentially via both free agency and the draft.
Several to-be rookie offensive linemen have been linked with the franchise in recent mock drafts.
One thing that seems clear is that the team is not thinking long-term as it pertains to the coaching staff. In other words, those believing that New York would be looking for a coordinator who could replace head coach Tom Coughlin as quickly as next January should think again. The plan is to win now and win later, not just win later.
What was true at the end of December remains true two weeks later: Coughlin isn't going anywhere, and the smart bet is that he has more than one year as a head coach left in him.