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Giants still working on new offense

Eli Manning looks on as he walks back

Eli Manning looks on as he walks back to the bench after throwing his fourth interception against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Dec. 15, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

ORLANDO -- It’s not just the roster that is being renovated this offseason. The Giants are also creating a new offense, and with about a month until players arrive for the start of the nine-week offseason program, the system has yet to be completed.

"We’re moving,” Tom Coughlin said of the playbook that he, new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and the rest of the staff are working on. “I’d say we’re better than halfway through the completion of where we want to be. There’s a few more weeks of putting it together and we’ll be prepared to install in the spring as soon as the players get here.”

Coughlin said he has been “stimulated” by the learning and expects the players to be too once they get to see what the new system looks like. That’s not to say that the Giants are completely eliminating everything they have done for the past 10 years. They’re simply adding to it and diversifying it.

“Everyone wants to know, what’s the difference going to be?” Coughlin said. “We’re going to look at our personnel and whatever we do is designed around our personnel. We have the Encyclopedia Britannica. Between the systems that you are familiar with and the system that you are soon going to be familiar with, you can put your finger on anything you want. You want more wide receiver screens? OK, we can do that. You want more one-back run? OK, you get one more one-back run. You want to throw it down the field more? OK, we’ll go ahead and do that. Whatever it is that our people allow us to do, we’re going to do.”

The player facing the biggest adjustment will undoubtedly be Eli Manning, who spent the first 10 years of his career (and won two Super Bowls with) the same offense.

"He’ll have to really apply himself to every little detail,” Coughlin said. “In the beginning, there’s a lot to learn, a lot to be able to comprehend … You’ve got to get to where you can communicate with each other so in order to do that he’s really going to have to focus. With his intelligence, it’s not going to be real difficult.”

Coughlin said that Manning will retain the ability to change things at the line of scrimmage as he has done for the majority of his career.

The bigger change for Manning needs to come in terms of his production. He’s coming off a season in which he threw a career-high 27 interceptions and the offense was ranked 28th in the NFL. All eyes will be on the quarterback to see if those numbers are an aberration or the start of a downward slope.

“I think last year was a combination of things,” Coughlin said, citing the losses on the offensive line, the lack of production from Hakeem Nicks, and the play of the tight ends in the passing game. “Everybody wants to blame him, you can’t just blame him. You have to look around him … I think it’s a combination of things. No one person, no one thing.”

Coughlin said he doesn’t think there will be extra pressure on Manning to prove himself – or re-prove as the case may be – in 2014.

“I don’t think any more than normal,” he said. “In our profession, the pressure comes from you. He’s always done that. There are things we have to do to help him in his job, to take some of that pressure off.”

One of those is to re-establish the running game.

“It’s very important that we return to the idea of balance,” Coughlin said. “Balance has always put Eli at his very best. So what do we need to do? Get the balance going again.”
 

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