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Giants’ OC Mike Sullivan: Players “Frustrated,” But Determined

Sullivan echoes McAdoo, says it’s about the rhythm

NFL: Detroit Lions at New York Giants
Mike Sullivan and Eli Manning on Monday night.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Two games into a new season of high expectations, the New York Giants are 0-2 and the offense — in a continuation of last season’s theme — has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster with just 13 points thus far.

Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said Thursday there has been no complaining. Rather, there is just a desire to get the offense right.

“There hasn’t been any type of finger-pointing at each other or at us coaches. We spend a lot of time, some of these players I’ve been with for three years,” Sullivan said.

“You get a sense of what’s in here (pointing to his heart), what their character is like There isn’t a group of guys that are looking to quit or looking to point fingers or looking to make excuses. It’s a prideful group, a competitive group, it’s a group that is frustrated, but I think in a positive way. There is more of a determination and more of a resolve to this thing headed in the right direction and play the type of football we know we’re capable of rather than look to make excuses and bicker and complain.”

Offense By The Numbers

NYG Offense Value (rank)
NYG Offense Value (rank)
Points/Game 6.5 (#30)
Yards/Game 251.5 (#28)
Points/Play 0.120 (#30)
Yards/Play 4.7 (#24)
3D Conversion % 33.33% (#24)
4D Conversion % 33.33% (#12)
RZ Scoring % (TD) 33.33% (#23)
TDs/Game 0.5 (#29)
Rush Play % 27.78% (#32)
Yards/Rush 3.2 (#26)
Rushes/Game 15.0 (#32)
Rush Yards/Game 48.5 (#32)
Rush TDs/Game -- (#22)
Pass Play % 72.22% (#1)
Completion % 72.86% (#4)
Yards/Pass 5.8 (#24)
Passes/Game 35.0 (#11)
Pass Yards/Game 203.0 (#18)
Int Thrown % 2.86% (#23)
QB Sacked % 10.26% (#28)

How Do They Fix It?

The word “rhythm” keeps coming up when players and coaches talk about the offense — as in the idea that right now the offense has none. Sullivan pointed to penalties, sacks and negative-yardage plays as rhythm killers.

“I think it’s been hard for us to get any level of consistency and there are a number of reasons why that’s the case, but when you look at the fact that we’ve turned the ball over in both games, we’e struggled on third down in both games, struggled to get any type of consistency,” Sullivan said.

“Far too many three-and-outs and really not able to get into the type of rhythm that we’d like to get into where we have the balance that we want to have as far as run and pass, we’re able to get some of those play-action shots down the field.”

Are The Giants Too Predictable?

That may have been the case last season when the Giants were in 11 personnel more than 90 percent of the time. Sullivan does not think it’s the case this time.

“I think it goes a lot deeper than that. We’ve certainly looked at the tape and haven’t had a sense that “oh, man they certainly had our play book right here,’ “ Sullivan said.

“I don’t know how predictable we’ve been. We haven’t been out there long enough to be predictable.”

About The Play-Calling

Sullivan, of course, wasn’t going to reveal whether or not coach Ben McAdoo would turn over the play-calling responsibilities to him Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“Regardless of the team, regardless of the offense that’s run, regardless of any of those variables it still comes down to players making plays. It’s about the players and it’s about them being able to go out there and perform, and then obviously, ‘no kidding coach,’ it’s our job to put them in the right spots and try to feature what their strengths are and try to minimize or mask or reduce what the weaknesses are,” Sullivan said.

“The most important thing for us right now is making sure we start playing better football, more consistent football. That seems like an oversimplification but a lot of that comes down to us having more opportunities.”