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What’s good, Johnny? I would say maybe it’s a combination of the offensive coordinator and the quarterback based on what the defense gave them. But that said, Golladay had two very catchable passes that he didn’t haul in, one of which was a ball in which the defender was pulling at his left arm (yet wasn’t called). 

There were a couple of other 50-50 balls that Golladay did not haul in, which was disappointing as he’s bigger and stronger than any DB he goes up against.

And from what I could tell using the TV film, Golladay was open on a couple of deep crossing patterns, but Daniel Jones didn’t look his way. To me, asking Golladay to come back for the ball or go for a low slant isn’t optimizing what he does well, but what do I know?

Hi Elizabeth. I thought Daniel Jones made some nice throws, and he hung in the pocket well, and he ran some very efficient drives that should have produced more points were it not for the miscues of others. I think you can also applaud him for no interceptions and no fumbles this week. Jones wasn’t perfect, but this was about as good as he’s looked in some time.

What’s good, Adam? I honestly don’t know the answer. Is it because they want to continue bringing him back slowly with what they ask him to do? Is it because they disagree with how the Saints use Alvin Kamara? I

 know, and anytime you ask the coaches about player deployment, you get the same “we have to do a better job” line. (Duh!) That said, I do agree with you about running Saquon up the middle, and I cringe every time I see him being deployed that way.

What’s concerning to me about Barkley is how slow he is to the line of scrimmage, which is costing him opportunities. I mean, just hit the hole and let whatever happens happen. (This is why I was such a fan of Wayne Gallman’s running style—there was no hesitation in his game.) 

That said, Barkley is still coming off major knee surgery, so I’m not ready to give up on him yet, but I sure wish the coaches would deploy more misdirection plays with him or get him out in space more.

Hi James. I put this question to David Turner, who has been kind enough to join me on the LockedOn Giants podcast after games to break things down. You can see the entire podcast below if you wish, but the crux of what David said is it’s the play calling. 

Patrick Graham has been having the defensive backs play off-ball coverage more than press-man, and it’s a headscratcher. I’m with David when he says take the shrink wrap off the defensive backs and let them knock those receivers around rather than give them free releases most of the time.

Thanks for the question, Joey. My guess is if the Giants go 0-5 to start, there could be a change made internally where perhaps Freddie Kitchens gets more involved with play-calling (which, by the way, I’m not so sure I want to see). 

Remember, Judge hinted that these first few games might be like exhibition affairs (have they ever!). So if there isn’t improvement made with each week, I could see a change being made.

Twice, Tom. If a player is called up from the practice squad a third time, he is subject to waivers if they want to return him to the practice squad.

Those are used to distinguish the different teams when a football team runs special teams drills. You have both colored jerseys taking part on special teams, so you need a way for players to tell the other side apart. Those stretchy things they put on the helmets are how they accomplish that.

What’s up, Javier? I’m not particularly eager to use age as an excuse. That said, I think what sometimes happens is personnel folks sometimes fall in love with a player for whatever the reason, so much so that they don’t see the player’s faults or that the player might not be the best fit for what the coaches want to do.

Other times coaches will go back to the well and what they know because it’s a convenient shortcut. And quite frankly, I’ve always thought that to be a lazy way to build the personnel. I get it that there’s not a big window to win games, but if you’re limiting yourself to what you know, how do you know that what you don’t know won’t be any better?

Hi Michael. I asked David Turner about this if Garrett’s system isn’t a fit for the Giants personnel (check out the video below—trust me when I say this was one of David’s best thus far). 

The conclusion we reached is Garrett has what he needs to run his philosophy; he just needs to develop maybe more of a comfort level and trust with asking those players to do what he’s looking to accomplish.

Alan, I try to be fair in my assessment of everyone. So let me ask you something. Given the offensive line issues, the quarterback's up-and-down play, and the lack of playmakers last year, how was Garrett supposed to run an effective system? 

Again, I’m not saying I’m in love with what I’ve seen so far this year, and I thought the system would be a lot more creative than it’s been. But I think if you’re grading, you have to at least consider that.

From Kevin C - I've got to think that your rating the Giants' rushing offense an "A-" is a typo. Did you mean "a-ppalling" or maybe "a disaster?" Barkley had one decent run, and only quarterback misdirection runs saved them from total humiliation. 

This line is not opening holes. They have absolutely no sustained running game and little indication that it's coming back to life. As soon as an opponent realizes that Jones is a running threat and shuts it down, all we'll see is Barkley dancing in the backfield until linemen swarm him. The stats make you think it was better than it was, but it was no grade-A- performance.

Hi Kevin. I looked at the other runners—Jones, Barkley, and Booker. I thought there were holes to exploit. That said. Maybe in retrospect, an A- was a bit generous, but considering I wrote the report card at 1:45 in the morning after the game and based on my initial glance before seeing the film, well, you know where I’m going with this.


New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) rushes against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half of a game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020.

New York Giants Not Planning to Cut Back on Daniel Jones's Running

The Giants love Daniel Jones's athleticism and the dimension it brings to the offense. But would they cut back on the number of designed runs called to protect their quarterback?

Leonard Williams and Sean Spencer

Breaking Down the New York Giants Run Defense Struggles

Coach Gene Clemons tries to pinpoint what's happened to the Giants run defense and what they can do to stop the bleeding.

The signage of the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

New York Giants Mailbag: The "What If" Edition

Time to take the latest temperature of the Giants fans and see what's on their minds.

From Ron L. - The only part of the Giants that I felt good about going into the first game was the secondary. That had to be the worst performance I have seen in many years, and the grade of F is too high. What happened? How could the receivers be so wide open, especially on third and fourth downs? I thought the pass rush was decent, and even when pressured, Bridgewater looks like an all-pro. I have never seen such open receivers. Is it time to worry?

What's up, Ron? I put that question to David Turner on my Friday podcast (video above), and he gave a fantastic explanation. Simply put, the problem lies in the scheme and what Patrick Graham has been asking the players to do, which is play more off-man. (If I had All-22 I would take a deeper dive into this and be able to illustrate, but without having the benefit of seeing the entire field, I can only tell so much.

From Kris M. - Is the G. M. the person that makes the final decisions in bringing players to an organization? I know the owners are involved, but what is the job of the G. M. in selecting players, and the offensive coordinator, etc.

Hi Kris. The general manager oversees the personnel process in conjunction with the head coach. When it comes to blockbuster trades or contracts, he will seek sign-off from the team owners. The head coach is responsible for handpicking his staff members. And the owners are the ones who sign off on the head coach with input from the general manager.

From Todd M. - As a Long Time Giants Fan, I have seen the good, bad, and ugly, but this loss is a head-scratcher. Joe Judge's message is not resonating with these players. The penalties were inexcusable. The good news, Saquon looked better, and D.J. Played a sound and good football game.

Todd, I disagree with your statement that Judge's message isn't resonating with the players. It is. The problem is the schemes on both sides of the ball. I keep saying this in every answer, but I recommend checking out the video David Turner, a one-time NFL scout who worked with the Giants, Raiders, 49ers, and more, did with me that I linked to on this page, as I thought it was very informative in terms of the breakdown of the strategy.

I am working on a snap count analysis--I realize I'm a day late with that, but now you see why I hate night games. I found some very interesting things in the snap counts, and between that and what I was able to gather from the film work, I'll have an analysis out later today. 

From Billy P. - For the most part, why is Joe Judge getting a pass up to now? He has agreed with DG on all his terrible personnel decisions. His tough-guy blue-collar image, running high school laps and wearing thick hooded sweatshirts when it's 100 degrees out, doesn't lead me into thinking that he's the next great modern innovative and creative NFL coach.

I might be wrong, but I think this is another mistake by Mara/DG in over-reaching for a person who is not qualified to be an HC. Sooner or later, Mara has to realize that you just can't keep blowing it up that he has to change his ways and change the way he does business.

Billy, there's a lot going on in your letter where things blend together, so let's take a step back here and detangle.

Judge got a pass in part due to the unusual circumstances brought on by the pandemic. Even this year, he got a pass, I think because you could argue that the Giants didn't have all their playmakers on the field for the summer.

Now that said, where the act is starting to wear a bit thin is in his constant proclamation about improvement being made. At some point, that improvement has to translate into the field; otherwise, it's fair to wonder if it's happening or if the coach is viewing things through rose-colored glasses.

Quite frankly, I don't think many people care if that improvement shows up on the practice tape. That said, I haven't reached the point of giving up on Judge. This isn't nearly as bad as the same point in time in the McAdoo and Shurmur eras.

You mention that John Mara can't keep blowing things up, yet you're pretty much suggesting that's what they do. Which is it? Do you still with Judge and let him navigate this team out of its mire, or do you start over? I believe the Giants are going to go with the former.

From Pat R. - Some questions...

1/ Has Judge started to turn the Giants into New England 2.0? You know how much fun that could be. Some of the things he's doing with the players and coaches seem bush league. Players and coaches are running laps for making mistakes. He should run a few for the red flag. At some point, that wears thin.

2/ Judge values toughness. That said, it's like Daniel Jones has to prove to Judge that he's tough enough to play for him. Judge could put an end to Jones running into linebackers very easily--all he has to do is tell Jones not to do it. But Judge seems to value toughness over players.

3/ After seeing how he coached the team last year, this preseason, and 1st game of the season, I am starting to think they were right. He's no Bill Belichick. He had zero H/C experience when he was hired. Parcells once said you are what your record says you are. His record is 6-11. What I can't understand is why John Mara hired him.

Pat, since when is holding someone accountable for screwing up a crime? Seriously, Judge makes a player or coach who commits a mental error run a lap (and it's not even a full run--it's more of a slow job that even I could pull off with my two bad knees). Boo, freaking hoo!

The only reason why people are complaining about Judge is that the results aren't there yet. If he were winning, would we even be having this discussion?  

This reminds me of Coughlin when people complained about his rules. No one complained when they started winning, did they? 

Point 2: Don't you think Judge and Jason Garrett and Jerry Schuplinski have spoken to Jones about protecting himself? It's like when the doctor tells a person to lose weight--the person knows they should, but hey, that piece of cake looks too tempting to pass up. Jones knows he should be more careful, but we don't always do what we should in the heat of the moment.

Point 3: Please go look at Belichick's coaching history. In his first head coaching job with the Browns--when he had no prior head coaching history--he was 45-45 in five seasons, and it took him until his fourth season before he had a winning record.

He was 5-11 in his first season with the Patriots. Coaches have to grow into their roles, so can we give this guy a chance before we reach a final verdict on whether he has what it takes? Maybe he does, and maybe he doesn't--who knows? If this season goes south, then he needs to look at this process he seems to trust so much.

But let's let things play out--I mean, the 2007 team went 0-2 and looked like garbage before turning things around. (And before anyone "ats" me, I'm not saying the 2021 team is on par with the 2007 team--I just remember everyone screaming about the 0-2 only to eventually calm down as things fell into place.)

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