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What Giants Might Expect from a Brian Daboll Offense

Coach Gene Clemons goes to the whiteboard to illustrate some various concepts we could be seeing in the Giants new offense.

Now that Brian Daboll has been introduced as the new head football coach of the Giants, the immediate question is can he help quarterback Daniel Jones realize his full potential?

The front office has said that they believe in Jones and are committed to doing what they can to help him become the player they think he can be. And for that to happen, it's going to take a mix of creative play calling and play design, something the Giants didn't have under former offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and which went nonexistent when Freddie Kitchens took over.

So what can we expect from the Giants offense, which, although not yet set up with an offensive coordinator as of this writing, is likely to consist of some core philosophies Daboll ran in Buffalo?

One of the things Daboll does a good job of is simplifying things for his quarterback. Doing things like pre-snap motions allows him to understand whether it is man or zone. Mesh concepts and crossing routes create defensive confusion and enable receivers to run wide open. Play action creates multiple things for a defender to read and usually results in more time to throw and more prominent passing lanes.

All of these things helped Bills quarterback Josh Allen reach his full potential after he started his first season and a half with questionable returns. Allen was a quarterback who made questionable decisions under duress and had a tendency to give the ball away to the opposition.

Sound familiar? That's because it's fair to say that has been a knock on Jones. We know that Jones can run, and when runs are designed for him, he has success with them. The questions are in the passing game, and that is what Daboll will be charged with revitalizing.

As far as talent is concerned, the cupboard isn’t bare for Daboll and his staff (other than the offensive line, and that's expected to be addressed this off-season). When healthy, the Giants have more than enough weapons at receiver and running back and will almost certainly revamp the tight end position if Evan Engram leaves via free agency and Kyle Rudolph is a cap casualty.

While the Giants don't have a receiver the caliber of Stefon Diggs, the Bills don't have a running back of Saquon Barkley’s caliber or a tight end as dynamic as Evan Engram (assuming the Giants decide to bring Engram back, which is a big "if" as of this writing).

The Giants have various types of dynamic receivers in their own right, and they have Kadarius Toney, who is nothing like any of the receivers on the Bills roster. They are missing someone who consistently gets them the ball in position to make plays. That’s what they have to hope Jones can be.

So let's look at three concepts that articulate the type of passing offense Giants fans can probably expect from a Brian Daboll-led team and how that should help Daniel Jones unlock his full potential.

Concept No. 1: The Empty Formation

With an athletic quarterback, the empty formation can be an intimidating formation for a defense. The defense has no choice but to spread out and over all the weapons. If they blitz, they open themselves up to hit routes, and if they are man-up everywhere and the blitz doesn’t get home, then the quarterback is left to run free downfield, picking up large chunks of yards.

This first video takes a look at an empty concept that was simple, gave the quarterback a lot of pre-snap information, and allowed him to get the ball out quickly and confidently.

Concept No. 2: Play Action

The second video diagrams how Daboll uses play action to help his quarterback. He uses a two-back run formation and a quick outside screen to distract or occupy the eyes of the defense. 

He also provides maximum protection for his quarterback and only a couple of routes to read. This allows him to lock in on a target and locate him in the openings available.

Concept 3: Mesh Route Combination

The final video is a diagram of one of Daboll's best play designs in Buffalo. He utilizes pre-snap motion again. Then he uses the outside zone or stretch action to suck the defense in. 

The mesh route combination allows the receivers to run defenders through traffic and causes confusion that could have received running wide open.

Final Thoughts

Plays like these make it possible to see the road to improvement for Daniel Jones and the other offensive weapons on this team. It is clearly a make-or-break season in 2022 for Jones, and if he can't make it under this coach, then the Giants have their answer regarding the future at quarterback.

It's hard to imagine Daboll spending multiple years of his first head coaching opportunity trying to rehabilitate a quarterback that thus far hasn't lived up to his draft position after two NFL head coaches and two offensive systems.  

The 2023 draft projects to be froth with talent at the quarterback position that will undoubtedly fit what Daboll is trying to accomplish. But the hope, again, is that Jones makes this a non-issue by finally thriving and fulfilling the expectations the front office and Daboll appear to have in him.

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