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Mike Sullivan calls the plays, passes the praise

Offensive coordinator doesn’t want any credit for Sunday’s victory

NFL: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Sullivan was the offensive play-caller for the New York Giants Sunday for the first time in his two seasons with the title of offensive coordinator. The Giants, as you know, won for the first time this season. On Thursday, though, Sullivan wasn’t interested in taking any credit.

He was, instead, passing it around.

“It was a great night for the organization. So proud of the players and appreciative of their efforts and buying into the plan,” Sullivan said. “The assistant coaches did a great job and after all we’ve been through, for us to be able to go out there in that environment against that defense and to come out on top was something very gratifying and very happy for those guys.”

Here are a few other takeaways from Sullivan’s chat with the media on Thursday.

On Sunday’s run-heavy game plan ...

“Every game is different, I know you’ve heard that a thousand times, but I think we always have to look at who we’re playing, the level of talent that we’re going up against, the scheme, and then where we are, from both of those perspectives. And I think given the circumstances of last week, where we were with all the injures, with so many new guys – and quite frankly, try to do something that sometimes you want to stay away from a team’s strengths, other times maybe you can catch them off guard by attacking their strengths. And I think the guys, as I said early on, credit to those players for, despite all of the adversity and all of the disappointment, frustration and buying in and knowing early on, hey, we’re going to grind this thing out, and it’s not going to be pretty. It’s going to be second-and-nine, it’s going to be second-and-10. We joked a little bit about, on one hand, of having that game being on the road actually may have been a good thing, so that you’re not showered down with the boos after a second-and-10, or a second-and-11 because we were going to be patient. And that was just a mindset of just trying to grind them down and do something that they weren’t necessarily expecting, hadn’t necessarily prepared for. And again, just couldn’t be more proud of all of the players, for going out there and being persistent for four quarters.”

On what offensive lineman D.J. Fluker has added to the offense ...

“I think D.J. is a guy that the physicality that we had seen in previous games was definitely on display that night. I mean, he’s a guy that just brings a lot of energy. He’s a fun guy to be around and he loves football and his strengths are going to be his strength and his size and the more we can try to do the things that are going to accentuate that – I think that’s going to put him in a good position. But, like so many of the players, the thing you like about D.J. is that when it does not initially go right, when things – maybe he misses a block or maybe he doesn’t redirect well enough on a pass protection or whatever the case may be. Or maybe we as an offense don’t do well. He’s one of the guys that you always see there on the sideline that’s constantly trying to lift everybody’s spirits and be encouraging and be positive and so his energy, as I mentioned, as well as his size and strength are things that make us better.”

On the 47-yard run by Orleans Darkwa ...

“Well, it was very good execution up front. It was actually a play that we have in various personnel groupings, and they gave us a look that was advantageous and just the techniques, the aim points. [Offensive linemen] Ereck Flowers, D.J. Fluker, Brett Jones, JJ [John Jerry], Justin [Pugh], the whole crew. Rhett [Ellison] was the tight end, I believe. And then Orleans hit it with great discipline. Sometimes there are things that – aiming points are where we want the back to hit, and it might not look great and some guys, they start looking up ahead and they get impatient, or they get skittish. He hit it hard. Eli did a good job, as he always does, in terms of directing things and the operation and putting us in the best play and directing the play to the best look and I think it all came together in that particular play and we’re very fortunate in that regard.”

On the play of reserve offensive lineman Brett Jones ...

“Brett Jones is someone that we’re very, very pleased with that is on our team. He’s a hard worker. I always love getting a Brett Jones question because the guy, just all he does is work his butt off and he’s very smart. He’s a team-first guy and his teammates respect him immensely. He’s another guy that doesn’t have necessarily a lot of the eye-opening blocks that people will see up on TV when they watch it on TV or up in the stands. But, he has an ability just to be very persistent, stay on guys and particularly when he’s blocking back. He’s done a good job with that because he’s got good technique and he’s strong and he’s tough, so that helps.”