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Shurmur: Running the ball well makes offense easier

Coach says playing good offense is “all connected”

New York Giants v Washington Redskins Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Does the New York Giants offense now go through rookie running back Saquon Barkley, as quarterback Eli Manning suggested Sunday after the Giants walloped the Washington Redskins 40-16?

Coach Pat Shurmur, the guy who calls the plays, didn’t really want to say that on Monday. But, he kinda said it, anyway.

“I think it’s all connected. I’m an old offensive lineman, and I understand the importance of blocking. It starts up front, and I think our guys are doing a better job blocking, which helps the run game,” Shurmur said. “It’s much easier as a play caller also to call runs when you’re gaining yards, and when you hand the ball to a runner that can score touchdowns.

“I thought his touchdown run, I’ve never seen him run that fast, even in college. I think there’s data to tell us that was pretty fast. And everything plays off itself – it helps the play action, it helps the quarterback, his feet are clean because they think it’s a run, so it all plays off itself. If we’re playing right, then we need to be able to run the ball.”

Here are a couple of other takeaways from Shurmur’s Monday media availability.

Odell Beckham feeling better

Shurmur said that Odell Beckham Jr., who missed the game with a quad injury, “felt a lot better than he did Friday and Saturday. He received some treatments over the weekend, so he feels better and we’ll just see where that takes us. It’s too early to tell.”

Shurmur added that tight end Rhett Ellison has an ankle sprain and “we’ll just see how the week progresses for him.”

Safety Curtis Riley has a wrist sprain.

Bucking a trend?

In a high-scoring, pass-first league, Shurmur was asked if the Giants are bucking a trend by increasingly simply handing the ball to Barkley.

“I really don’t care about trends in the league. I think we as coaches have to do what’s best for our team based on the players that we have, but from the beginning of time, a team that can run the football has a better chance to play good team offense. I really believe this, and we just played two really outstanding defenses,” he said.

‘We saw what the Bears did last night against the Rams (a 15-6 victory) certainly, and we were able to score against them, and I really thought the Redskins defense is a top-tier defense in the league. But defenses are too good if you just start the game dropping back and throwing them. I think you’ve got to be able to run the ball throughout, and it helps not just for your offense but for your whole team. I don’t know if that’s bucking a trend, but I think that we as coaches all know that.”