Joe Judge Offers Insight into How Giants’ Offense and Defense Will Look
The absence of the spring minicamps and OTAs has forced NFL teams around the league to conduct instruction with their players virtually.
While the Giants coaching staff has been making progress in teaching the players the new schemes, what hasn’t been known until now is what those schemes might look like.
Giants head coach Joe Judge, however, offered some more clues as to what we might expect to see from offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham when the Giants take the field.
“I think schematically the easiest way to describe (the offense) to the outside world right now is you know it's going to be similarly based on what Jason's done in Dallas,” Judge said via a Zoom teleconference with reporters.
“There's going to be some similarities, but it's got to cater to the players we have on our roster.”
There are several different concepts Garrett has run, starting with multiple tight end sets. Some others include the use of the slant pattern and the deep in-cut off play-action to open up space in the middle of the field. Garrett’s offense has also tried to create one-on-one matchups, particularly down the middle of the field.
Judge noted that Garrett’s system isn’t a true West Coast offense, and indeed the film from his time in Dallas has shown that he prefers to run more of a vertical offense.
But lest anyone believe that the Giants offense will be a replica of what the Cowboys ran, Judge stressed that the offense would not only be tailored to the Giants’ personnel, the game plan will be altered each week to take advantage of different matchups posed by the opponents.
“It's a collection of what Jason's put together throughout his career,” Judge said.
That system is also going to allow for some of what the Giants ran last year in helping quarterback Daniel Jones acclimate to the NFL.
“There's going to be similarities in some regards to Daniel. I can't tell you concrete wise what that's going to be. But there's a lot of ‘cousin concepts’ in every offense,” he added, also noting that a lot of the verbiage is similar to the offense that current Alabama head coach Nick Saban, for whom Garrett worked as the offensive coordinator when the two were in Miami, used.
“Once you work under somebody, you develop your style, but you borrow a lot from that person that you just left,” Judge said. “Whether it's as simple as verbiage, terminology, you know, philosophies on route running, past protections, all those things there. I would say, there's gonna be some similarities with Daniel, but I would not say there’s a carryover in any way, shape, or form from his rookie year.”
From a defensive perspective, Judge said Graham’s system would be multiple and be comprised of different systems Graham has been a part of, including Miami, New England, Houston, and Tennessee.
“Truly, we'll be a team that's gonna be multiple by game plan--how at the matchup can attack the opponent,” Judge said.
Among some of the staples used in those past systems of which Graham was a part include a heavy dose of blitzing, particularly on third downs and blitzes that deploy both linebackers, and defensive backs sent on various timings.
Graham also has used an amoeba concept in which players mill around to disguise who’s coming and who’s dropping into coverage.
Speaking of coverage, Graham ran a lot of man coverage in Miami, a concept that is likely to follow him here in New York and one that might be a better fit for the collection of young defensive backs the team has.
At the end of the day, Judge envisions schemes that allow for optimal flexibility, and that will continue to evolve.
“It's going to take shape throughout the season as well. You know we're going to be a team that focuses a lot on game plans and whatever we have to do game by game,” Judge said.
“That may be running the ball every play or throwing the ball every play based on the opponent. But we're going to make sure that we're not too rigid in what we're doing that we can't adapt by game plan.”