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Freddie Kitchens: Collaborative approach to game plan is nothing new

Giants’ play caller says that is standard procedure around the league

New York Giants v Cleveland Browns
Freddie Kitchens
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

A week ago, when New York Giants head coach Joe Judge was trying to hide the poorly-kept secret that Freddie Kitchens would take over as offensive play-caller after Jason Garrett had been fired, Judge kept saying that the coaching staff would collaboratively put together a game plan for the game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

On Thursday, Kitchens said that is standard operating procedure for any coaching staff.

“Every staff that I’ve always been on it has always been a collaborative effort, and if it’s not, something’s wrong in that area,” Kitchens said. “We need input from (quarterbacks coach) Jerry (Schuplinski). We need input from (wide receivers coach) Tyke (Tolbert). We need input from (offensive line coach) Rob (Sale). We need input from (running backs coach) Burton (Burns). We need input from (offensive quality control coach) Russ Callaway, (offensive quality control coach) Nick Williams, (offensive assistant) Jody Wright. We need input from everybody.

“I think we do a good job of communicating, working through things. What do we want to do here? Who are we trying to attack? What personnel do we want to use? Everybody has different suggestions and that’s how we roll, but that’s not unique to any other situation I think you find across the league. Of course, I think you have some staffs that are better at it than others, but I don’t think that’s anything unique.”

Much was made recently of the idea that the Giants sought player input into the game plan for Philly. Again, Kitchens said that is not out of the ordinary.

“I think as coaches we always try to do that,” Kitchens said. “You need to get a sense and feel for what they’re comfortable with. To me, why would you call something, and this is the way our staff believes, why would you call something if a player’s not comfortable running it? It’s your job to get them comfortable running it. If you think it’s a good scheme or a good play or whatever the case may be, it’s your job to get them comfortable doing it. But if you can’t get them to that point, it’s kind of diminishing returns.”

The Giants scored only 13 points vs. the Eagles as Kitchens called plays for the first time. He was asked how much the offense could be revamped during the season.

“I’m not really sure how to answer that. I’m not going to get myself in trouble by saying something about that,” Kitchens said. “The game plan is going to be the game plan.

“The terminology stayed the same. Everything, our approach, from the standpoint of how we call things, stayed the same. It’s all about familiarity with the players and what they’re used to at this point. So the ultimate goal is to play fast when the ball is snapped. As much of that consternation that you can eliminate early before the ball is snapped, of course that benefits you to enable you to put your mind and focus on the task at hand, which is that individual play, whatever that play may be.”

Kitchens was asked why he implemented the use of a wristband for quarterback Daniel Jones.

“Everywhere I’ve always been, I think they do it around the league a lot, you see quarterbacks with wristbands. It helps the communication process,” Kitchens said. “The goal of a play caller and as a staff and all that is to get the play to the quarterback as quick as possible. Not necessarily for him to dissect the play in his head, but for him to – you want to break the huddle as fast as possible to get to the line of scrimmage and have more time to see and react.”