After watching the New York Giants’ first-team offense play poorly for a second straight week in Saturday’s 21-20 preseason victory over the New York Jets, coach Ben McAdoo said the blocking issues that have short-circuited efforts to move the ball the past two games.
“I think that everything with the offensive line is correctable. We need to have better effort to finish. Our detail and our fundamentals need to improve and we need to stay out of long yardage situations,” McAdoo said. “I think everybody's included in the blocking part of things. Our tight ends are also a part of that as well.”
From our “Instant analysis” of Saturday’s game:
The Giants had the ball eight times with Eli Manning and the starting offensive line in the game. They amassed 61 yards in 29 plays, got just three first downs and never crossed midfield. With the starting offensive line in the game, albeit with Bobby Hart subbing forJustin Pugh at left guard, the Giants starters gained only 6 yards on 13 rushing attempts.
“I think we can tighten up our assignments, but it is really the details and the fundamentals,” McAdoo said. “We need to be detailed in what we are doing fundamentally, and then we have to work like heck to finish hard and finish with effort.
“I feel very confident that we are going to get the offensive line going in the right direction.”
The Giants certainly need to. At this point, the struggles in blocking have overshadowed many of the other areas in which the Giants seem to have improved from a year ago.
“No one is happy with the way the first offense operated yesterday. We need to improve, we need to make sure we are going forward, so we give guys opportunities to showcase their abilities, but frustration doesn't solve anything,” McAdoo said. “At the same point in time, we need to improve, we need to execute better and we need to play forward. We can't be going backwards.”
Here are more takeaways from McAdoo’s Sunday conference call with reporters.
Updating the tight end situation
Matt LaCosse is headed for knee surgery. Will Johnson suffered a burner in the first preseason game, hasn’t practiced since and McAdoo said Sunday there is “nothing really new to report” on the versatile H-Back.
That leaves Will Tye, Larry Donnell, Jerell Adams and Ryan Malleck fighting for snaps. It also leaves the Giants waiting for one of them to show he can be a consistent blocker on the edge.
“We have a lot of competition at the position. It's really open at this point in time. We're giving guys an opportunity to go out there and compete for the positions,” McAdoo said. “Larry has done a nice job for us, he made a nice play for us yesterday. We need to find some guys who can block better for us.”
The play of Eli Apple
First-round pick Eli Apple excelled against the Jets.
“He competed, he was physical at the line of scrimmage. He competed down the field, they went after him a little bit on the press man coverage and he didn't back down, he stepped up. He did a nice job,” McAdoo said.
Playing time Thursday undecided
McAdoo wasn’t ready to discuss plans for playing time in Thursday’s preseason finale against the New England Patriots.
“First thing is first. We need to jump back out there on the practice field tomorrow and we need to get better right from jump street. We will approach the game and we will talk about the play time for the game as we get closer to the game,” he said. “That is not something that I am comfortable speaking about right now.”