When the New York Giants hired Jason Garrett to fill the void at the offensive coordinator position, they had two things in mind: Head coaching experience to help Joe Judge and a focus on the running back position.
Having utilized Ezekiel Elliott well in recent years, Garrett understands how to maximize the value of running backs in both the run and pass game. Dallas, his former team, featured one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, and the Giants will attempt to replicate their success with draft and salary allocations.
I anticipate GM Dave Gettleman spending money on a right tackle. One option is Jack Conklin, formerly of the Tennessee Titans. While his price-tag will be significant, he will present a big upgrade over Mike Remmers in 2020. However, the Giants still have Nate Solder at left tackle, who will count $19.5 million against the cap. A resolve in his personal life and the addition of Joe Judge should help him return to form, so we hope.
How will New York Giants running back Saqoon Barkley benefit?
Having a great offensive line is directly correlated to running back success. Even without one, Barkley has managed two consecutive seasons with over 1,000 yards rushing. I expect Garrett to tailor his offense around the Giants’ best playmaker, incorporating him into the passing game more frequently and using a power/gap style to make the most out of left guard, Will Hernandez. Barkley struggled running between the tackles in 2019, as his ability to run east-west is more indicative of his style of play. Using him to his strengths is something Pat Shurmur was unable to do in year two with Big Blue, then again, it could have been a mix of play calling and lack of recognition from Daniel Jones in his rookie campaign.
Barkley did have three of his four 100-yard rushing games with Eli Manning under center, and while two of them came before his high ankle sprain, there’s no question that the veteran passer had more command at the line of scrimmage. I believe that Jones and Barkley will see an improvement in 2020 with experience under their belt.
One final thought, the Giants have finally established a chain of command in the play calling, allowing the coordinators to take full responsibility instead of giving the head coach too much control. This should open up a more fluid line of communication that would enable each coach to focus on their duties.
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