When Odell Beckham Jr. said on Wednesday that Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves told him the Bucs knew what routes were coming there was an expected avalanche of “the offense is too predictable” criticism.
Coach Ben McAdoo, the play-caller and architect of the offense, did not take umbrage to Beckham’s remark.
“Your interpretation of what Odell said and mine are entirely different. Teams do a good job scouting the opponent. That’s a part of gamesmanship. We have things to counteract it, and it paid off for us in the game. Every defensive back thinks they know what you're running until they don't,” McAdoo said.
“There is no defense for the perfect throw and the good route. I think if we do what we’re supposed to do from an execution standpoint and the throw is on time and where it’s supposed to be, we should be able to complete the ball. And we are one broken tackle away from taking one to the house, especially when Odell is the receiver.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan took a jab at Hargreaves.
“I heard about that. I don’t know what was said, I wasn’t there for the conversation, I don’t know how it was said between those guys. I know that we were able to get almost 400 yards of offense in the game, and no turnovers and a couple touchdown passes, one that put us ahead near the end of the game,” Sullivan said. “And also, the player that [Beckham] was talking to was actually the same player that Odell beat on a 42-yard double move. So, I don’t know how much stock I would take in those type of accusations, if you will, as far as what opponents would say.”
Second-year wide receiver Sterling Shepard also didn’t seem to think Beckham’s remarks were out of the ordinary.
“That’s what the defense gets paid to do. Every week I feel like defenses know what offenses are doing. They get paid to sit in there and watch film all day,” Shepard said. “They’re going to know what you’re going to do, you’ve just gotta be sound in it and add your own little twists sometimes.”
Rookie tight end Evan Engram also didn’t think the Bucs had the Giants figured out.
“We played a good game offensively. We moved the ball, we were able to score points. I think they had trouble dealing with things we had,” he said. “There’s a lot of tendencies and tells that good defenders can pick up on watching film, so maybe that’s what he meant. I don’t think it was that easy for them. They had their struggles with us.”
In my view, there is a little bit of truth in everybody’s viewpoint here. At times the offense has been too predictable. At other times, though, things don’t work simply because they don’t get executed properly.
Teams put ridiculous numbers of hours into studying each other, and in every game probably have a pretty good idea what is coming on the majority of snaps. That’s why teams add wrinkles each week. That’s why they run play-action. It’s why they disguise. It’s why precisely running pass routes is critical. There is little to no margin for error.
Perhaps the biggest issue for the Giants has been an inability to completely open up the playbook and make more intermediate to deep throws because of concerns with the pass protection.