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I think I've seen the future and it ain't us

Montreal Man : 9/10/2013 1:52 pm
Full disclosure -- I'm not an x's and O's guy. All I got going for me is I'm old enough to have seen a lot of Giant games.

Sunday night, I saw something very different. Very, very different. Chip Kelly's offense seems, to these untutored eyes, to be a nightmare.

Yes, we can find flaws, glitches, offensive stamina problems, but Kelly is throwing something that's consistently different -- from the no huddle, to putting two tackles wide left. What the eff is that?

Okay, I love Coughlin, I adore Eli and the wideouts, and the still (unfufilled promise of Wilson, Hynoski, etc.) I'm on the fence about Fewell and don't know what to make of Gilbride.

However,our offensive plays look boring, pedestrian and predictable, even if executed properly, i.e., what the hell is the problem in the Red Zone? What? It's been that way for years. The players are good, and in some cases exceptional, so Gilbride means to tell us that they're not executing? They're not executing the same ol' shit, that the defense can sniff out.

We have good backs, but I don't see the holes I see almost regularly from other teams. I watched wide open spaces at the LOS and wondered how they did it? Are their players THAT superior. I see Witten and other TIght Ends patrolling the middle as if they're on an island. Can that be a result of superior players or play design? I think play design -- Anish and other football smart guys might answer this, if they care to.

And San Franciso does it as well. How soon will other teams adopt this kind of offense? We can't stay still, but with this generally conservative bunch at the top, I'm afraid we will.

Personally, to my eyes, this "new" approach is going to kill us. Do we think Fewell is up to defending it? Do we think he can put in the proper players to handle the no-huddle? Do we think Gilbride will shed some of his play design and create some new ones? I dunno. Doesn't look like it.

End of rant, thanks for listening.

Very, very frustrated in Durham AND Montreal.
San Francisco's Offense - ( New Window )
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Jerry in DC : 9/10/2013 2:33 pm : link
Agreed with your concepts although I wouldn't go quite as far as not giving them a 2nd contract in all case. But I probably wouldn't be willing to go to the "franchise QB" $20 million/year deal. Plus some of these guys haven't shown any signs of injury just yet.

I think we're going to see some QB contract deflation soon anyway, regardless of pocket or mobile QB. The Bradys and Rodgers of the world will still get their $20 million, but teams have been giving out too many big deals to good, but not great QBs. Right now Kapernick and Wilson are as good as anybody in the 2nd tier of QBs and SF and Seattle have an extra $15 million or so to build their team.

I definitely agree on emphasizing the backup QB position and the QB pipeline for these teams. And it's possible to do because the NCAA is producing a lot of guys who can run and throw and have experience in the read option system. It's not that different to how teams treat every other position.
Montreal wrote what many on here would be afraid to say.  
Blue21 : 9/10/2013 2:34 pm : link
But you are very accurate. Any honest person has to see these same things.
Is it even possible  
Dan in BTV : 9/10/2013 2:37 pm : link
to find all these college athletes that can run the read option and make accurate passes in the faster NFL? How do the "backups" get enough reps to be in synch with their receivers and learn how to read defenses? How do you build a wining team over a few years if you need to replace your QB every other year? There are a limited number of quality drop back passers and the ones that can handle the NFL are pretty hard to come by. I assume it will be a similar problem finding high quality read option QBs. I'm not sure how "disposable" you can afford to make them.
As other have said...  
giantsfaninphilly : 9/10/2013 2:38 pm : link
You deal with the spread by kicking the crap out of the other guys QB. If he runs you make him pay.
And my comment above has more to do with the lack  
Blue21 : 9/10/2013 2:39 pm : link
of a running game and what seems to be wide open receivers we can't seem to defend.I was wondering however if the Eagles can keep up that pace a whole game let alone a whole season.Vick never lasts a season and will this offense change if he goes down? I do wish at times the giants weren't so predictable.And let's face it Eli is embarrasing to watch run.But he is what he is and has two rings.
I don't buy the idea that the spread is successful because it's new  
Go Terps : 9/10/2013 2:40 pm : link
I think there are three factors at play:

1) As the athletes get faster at every position (including QB) it makes sense to try to isolate them with the ball in space
2) The rules changes favoring offense make such a change make sense...particularly the enforcement of the 5 yard contact rule
3) There's a big trickle up effect from college football. If the players in college excel at it, it stands to reason you'd do in the pros what the players do best.

I think the offense is here to stay. I like it, as I see it as the way to bring power running back into the game.
I'm sort of on the side that thinks  
mfsd : 9/10/2013 2:41 pm : link
our red zone problems are directly related to our offensive line breaking down starting last year (specifically Snee, Diehl, and Baas)

And last year's problems were also related to Nicks getting hurt and Randle not yet developed into our 3rd weapon to replace Manningham.

Look what our passing game can do with a healthy Nicks, Cruz, and Randle now.

But our running game has been mostly DOA since early last year, which has killed us in the red zone. I don't care who the OC is - if we can't consistently run the ball and score from the 1 or convert 3rd and 2, we're fooked
Eagles looked good early  
Phil from WNY : 9/10/2013 2:41 pm : link
but it looked like the Skins figured it out by the second half. I think I'll stick with Eli and Company.
Dan in BTV  
LG in NYC : 9/10/2013 2:42 pm : link

You said even better what I was trying to say. I don't agree that the QB position can be become 'disposable' in the way that you change them every few years. IIf you are going to run that type of offense, IMO, it is only truly viable with a quality QB running it (Kaepernick,. RGIII, Wilson).

That said, the idea running this Offense and not having a mobile QB as a back up is dumb (see Philly).
x meadowlander : 9/10/2013 2:43 pm : link
There is a very good reason not a single deep ball was completed, nor was there a single big play busted against the Giants.

That was a conservative defense.

If you want Kelly's crappy 15 point offense, that's your business.

I agree I'd like to see the Giants use more 3wr - spread the field more, caters to the Giants current skill players.

Also agree with Eric - red zone issues are because they KNOW we don't run well.
and I'm of the opinion that the hurry up type offense  
mfsd : 9/10/2013 2:43 pm : link
will wear out your defense. Of course, I like many of us grew up on the Parcell's Giants, and still believe in running game and ball control to keep opposing offenses off the field

Exhibit A will always be Super Bowl XXV. Jim Kelly and the Bills' were one of the precursors to these new offenses, and we beat them bc we held the ball for 39 minutes that night
In reading the replys  
Montreal Man : 9/10/2013 2:45 pm : link
I'm getting a good feel of what a lot of people think. It's encouraging and helpful. Thanks.

A lot of you have pointed out our offensive totals. I guess my post made it seem like I'm criticizing the offense in general. I'd like to clarify. Except for the red zone and the running game, I'm thrilled with Eli and our offense. We WILL put up points.

Reading all this over, I think I'm worried more about our defense facing such schemes, primarily in the ability of Fewell to defend against them.

I also realize that we'll have game film to work with, whereas it seems the Skins got blindsided. They'll make adjustments, of course. I just don't want us to look helpless out there.

there's a reason why traditional  
santacruzom : 9/10/2013 2:45 pm : link
pocket passers keep winning Super Bowls -- mainly, it's because historically they outnumber QB's who aren't as restricted to the pocket by what must be 200-1.

I mean, you can just as easily say a lot more pocket passers retire without a single playoff win in their resume than running QB's do.
I've repeatedly said this is the most important factor, for QBs  
Kyle : 9/10/2013 2:46 pm : link
3) There's a big trickle up effect from college football. If the players in college excel at it, it stands to reason you'd do in the pros what the players do best.

It goes back to HS, too. You have some high schools running shotgun spread read-option offenses, whereas in the past it was unthinkable to have a 16 year old QB shouldering that responsibility. Rookie QBs are getting to the pros with an incredible number of reps and pass attempts compared to years past, so they're going to be better off the bat because they're veterans compared to years past.

But that experience is also taking place, predominantly, in a certain offensive style. If that's what is getting sent to the pros, the pros will have to make due with what they get. It also likely makes the Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Lucks of the world even more valuable, if they're to become a rarer commodity.
I don't find anything  
pjcas18 : 9/10/2013 2:49 pm : link
boring about the Giants offense.

In fact quite the opposite.

predictable, yes, in spots - red zone, short yardage, 2nd down after a 1st down incomplete pass, but I don't find anything boring about Eli, the receivers, the excitement of Wilson before he fumbled the 2nd time.

I also agree though some innovation from a fresh mind isn't necessarily a bad thing either.

the Eagles defense impressed me more than their offense though. Until they got a big lead and sat on it.
Get one or two RB's who . . . .  
TC : 9/10/2013 2:49 pm : link
can run rough between the tackles, and you'll see a whole new offense.
The QB's running  
Dan in BTV : 9/10/2013 2:54 pm : link
this system today in the NFL are exceptional athletes, and that is what you will need to make this system work at the NFL level. But you will need exceptional athletes that can also throw the football at the NFL level. Are these guys going to be any easier to find than the traditional drop back guys? Add on the fact that they will be much more prone to injury with all the additional hits they will need to take. Will it be worth the extra risk to the few teams that can find these top read option QB's?
stretch234 : 9/10/2013 2:57 pm : link
Wilson in Seattle does not really run the ball. Kaepernick does most of his running on pure bootlegs or because he is avoiding the rush. He is also 6-4 and 230lbs. Watch those 2 teams and their QB gets hit less.

Vick took a beating in that game yesterday and it is week 1. His OL can't sustain it. These players are much bigger than spread college OL. Jason Peters is 330 after losing weight. Herramens is 325.

RG3 is not healthy from the beating he took in his 1st year in the league.

Traditional drop back offense suits coaches like Coughlin and Belichik  
BigBlueBuff : 9/10/2013 2:59 pm : link
in the NFL and Saban in college football. Sometimes we mistake something new and shiny for something that is actually effective.
The 49ers were a play away from a title last year...  
Go Terps : 9/10/2013 3:03 pm : link
...with what was essentially a rookie QB. The Seahawks and Redskins both went to the playoffs with rookie QBs.

Writing this off as a flavor of the month is not accurate.
The common thread with the succesful read option teams  
Giants Fan in Steelers Land : 9/10/2013 3:09 pm : link
isn't just young athletic qbs.

Its a stout defense.
Those teams also  
Dan in BTV : 9/10/2013 3:11 pm : link
had the advantage over the defensive coordinators in the league, as these were basically new to the NFL offenses. Now that they have had more time to adjust, we'll see if these teams have the same success on a consistent basis. And once any of those QB's get's injured these teams are no better off than the others with injured traditional QB's. In fact they may be worse off depending on their backup situation.
It is incredible  
JoefromPa : 9/10/2013 3:22 pm : link
in this day and age, how quickly we jump on and off any bandwagon.

How anyone can conclude after one good half of offensive football by the Eagles that he has seen the future, is puzzling to me.

By the way, the Giants in their boring, traditional offense, put up 31 points, while committing 6 turn overs. With all the flash and speed, where is the evidence that Kelly's offense is more effective than the traditional good offenses in the NFL?
dorgan : 9/10/2013 3:31 pm : link
makes a great point about the talent pipeline. There are far more college teams running spread option systems than there are sophisticated pro-style passing offenses.

Coaching HS ball for years, I've seen the trend up close.
In the 80s, we threw the ball more than any team in our league and we averaged 10 passes a game. The last year I coached there were HS teams throwing 35 passes a game and mainly out of the spread.

The passing skills have improved but the QBs haven't learned how to take a snap under center, nor the footwork involved in passing from under center.

For a pro team to take chance on a rookie and have to spend a few years teaching him the basic footwork from under center doesn't make sense financially.

The kid's ready to play a year earlier if you leave him in the gun and let him play a variation of the spread.

I think we'll see the NFL go with more spread in the future, but the schemes will be far more sophisticated in the passing game than what the colleges are running.

The systems will be blended.

Eli Manning  
George : 9/10/2013 3:39 pm : link
probably runs one of the best No Huddle offenses in football.
I think Gilbride and TC also for that matter, have to quit emphasizing  
Bob in Newburgh : 9/10/2013 3:59 pm : link
toughness in the red zone and focus on scoring.

We all know that the Giants, when they get down there, are going to waste x number of downs trying to stuff the ball in. This would be defensible if it ever happened but it doesn't with enough frequency to provide reinforcement.

Take a shot with a play that statistically has a chance of working with each down. You do not see high-powered teams wasting downs in the red zone. They go for the 7.
Everything looks great when nobody has tape on it  
geemanfan : 9/10/2013 4:06 pm : link
What did it take until half time before the Skins figured out how to counter it and almost came back? Vick almost already went down. They try to change the rules to protect the QB and the option throws them all out the window because the QB becomes fair game. It's more of a fad and not the future.
I agree with the stretch that the label doesn't fit the 49ers  
cosmicj : 9/10/2013 4:38 pm : link
Kaepernick is exceptionally mobile but it's clear Harbaugh is training him as a pocket passer with exceptional mobility to be used in special circumstances only.
90s Buffalo Bills...  
rnargi : 9/10/2013 5:07 pm : link
Early 80s Cincinnati Bengals....

Early 90s Houston Oilers

Vick with Atlanta...

All fads, no championships, all gone. This too, shall pass.
again though  
santacruzom : 9/10/2013 5:15 pm : link
there were more teams with traditional offenses in the early 90's that didn't win the Super Bowl than with untraditional ones. So the Oilers and Bills couldn't clear the hump? Neither could all the other teams who weren't the 9'ers, Redskins or Cowboys.
the read option is great  
RasputinPrime : 9/10/2013 5:15 pm : link
when you are sure you are going to have an unlimited stable of 18-21 year olds made out of rubber to run it for you.

In the NFL they are not going to survive. Used strategically I think it makes alot of sense but as a scheme I think it is going to get several QBs absolutely destroyed. On the basis I am quite happy they are running it in PHI.

I am content with our O. If we have a weakness it appears to be up front and we haven't had a good run blocking Oline for years. I am much more worried about our D because I think they are less talented than they were a year ago and that was before losing Brown. We are going to have to win alot of games in a shootout. If nothing else it should be fun watching Eli put up 6000 yards this season.
And it's not like the 90's Bills  
Jerry in DC : 9/10/2013 5:22 pm : link
were a bad team. They were wildly successful. Far more successful, as santacruz is noting, than many teams running "traditional" offenses.

There was a time when people said that it would be impossible for a team that couldn't run the ball to be successful. People don't say that too much anymore (or if they do, they don't know what they're talking about). Things change. Not every new thing works, but some do.
Terps - it's possible  
jcn56 : 9/10/2013 5:34 pm : link
Go Terps : 2:22 pm
A big reason they have strong defenses is that they aren't allocating huge cap space to a QB.

It will be interesting to see how the Niners approach Kaepernick's next contract. Will he get a hefty contract extension? Will he end up with something more reasonable, or would they even consider moving to a rookie they draft hoping they get similar performance at a low cost?

I think your other point is the closest - the jump from college to the pro's being easier, combined with the fact that with limited OTAs teams have even less time to prepare than before. This is a natural advantage that can't be underscored.

I don't think the offense will be dismissed as a fad, but I don't put it in the unstoppable category either. Just like the offense players have played in it and have an advantage, so have the defensive players. Defenses will adapt and evolve to meet the threat. The rules do benefit this style of offense, so it's possible that scoring goes up a bit but probably not out of control.
oldutican : 9/10/2013 5:40 pm : link
The spread and/or read option and no huddle offenses are now the norm in college football. Scoring in college football has I think greatly increased with the advent of these offenses. The same will happen in the NFL as more QBs grow up running these offenses. Philly will give the Giants slow LBs fits.

I think there is  
Dan in BTV : 9/10/2013 5:54 pm : link
no question that the spread/up tempo/no huddle offense is coming (or is already here) to the NFL. But the read-option, where the QB will be running on a regular basis like RGIII and Vick are doing will have trouble lasting in the NFL.
My 2 cents  
Jerry from Maine : 9/10/2013 5:54 pm : link
The big difference is in the 80's and 90's Defenses were allowed to hit people. Today if you even look to hard it's 15 yards. Receivers run free, QB's can't be touched. To me this has been the biggest game changer. This is why the college game has a chance to succeed.
with the new look offenses  
xtian : 9/10/2013 6:14 pm : link
i'm worried about our defense stopping it, but i'm not worried about our offense being able to put up points using the traditional approach. i would like to see some more hurry-up from us though.
stretch234 : 9/10/2013 6:17 pm : link
Unless you can find guys built like Kaepernick to run an option offense, long term, your QB investment will not last.

There is a reason Vick & RG# get hurt - they are not big. The NFL QB is protected in the pocket - he is not outside of it.

The majority of these guys in college are smaller guys.

It's the future until they get game film  
Headhunter : 9/10/2013 6:20 pm : link
then they devise a scheme and then it goes back to the better team winning
Tom rock had a great tweet today  
mattlawson : 9/10/2013 6:46 pm : link
Giants led the league in yards per play with 8.3or something. Eagles were nowhere near the top with 5.3

We have the ability in our offense to turn games around quickly. Big plays. Gashes. It is not dink am dunk. Sometimes a checkdown is necessary. But it ain't out offense and Eli clearly prefers to hit our WRs and loomed good doing it after shaking the rust off.

I'm not convinced these offenses are truly goi g to be sustainable. Ours is. It's proven.

It's true we can only go as far as the defense takes us -- and they have to face the eagles, red skins, and so forth. Well see how they respond
What had me salivating  
santacruzom : 9/10/2013 7:40 pm : link
was how Eli was actually throwing relatively short passes late in the game and our receivers were turning them into big plays. It was a combination of Eli hitting them in stride and them using their own abilities after the catch.

It definitely bodes well.
I mean  
santacruzom : 9/10/2013 7:42 pm : link
A lot of those throws were made very quickly after the snap, due in large part to pressure. I've felt like that's been an underutilized or inconsistent ingredient in our offense, but Sunday's game tape hopefully can't be ignored.
I'm sorry...  
BSIMatt : 9/10/2013 11:55 pm : link
but if there was something the Niners ran that more exciting than Nicks streaking past Claiborne for 55 yards, or Eli sidestepping the rush and firing a laser guided missle to Cruz for a 70 yard touchdown I guess I missed it...the Giants averaged over 8 yards a (expletive) play(Philly 5.8, San Fran 6.6)..over 8 yards a play with Wilson contributing nothing.

They matched 1/4th of the Niners entire offensive output on 2 predictable, boring plays(125 yards on the two Nicks/Cruz plays).

But Niners fans were afforded those scintillating 2 yard touchdown passes to Vernon Davis, and 1 yard Gore touchdown runs. I think Harbaugh is a fantastic coach and put a tremendous week 1 game plan together...I think the Giants will have piled more points on the scoreboard than both those teams by years end.
It's one game, lets not put him in the HOF just yet  
steve in ky : 9/11/2013 12:27 am : link
Montreal Man : 9/11/2013 8:51 am : link
I get your point about Eli and our boys.

But a touchdown is a touchdown no matter how the team gets there. I wish we had some of those non-scintillating one yard runs and two yard passes for a score. Christ, we've been down there enough times and came away with three almost each time.

Scintillating is good, scoring from the red zone, especially the damn one yard line, is better.
JOrthman : 9/11/2013 9:20 am : link
You address the cap, but they have the bennefit of having a young QB on his first contract. What is going to happen when he gets his next one. It will be interesting how the 49ers deal with contracts in the coming years as a lot of thier younger players are going to want new deals now.
There are a lot of ways to score  
KWALL : 9/11/2013 12:59 pm : link
Giants offense is not my concern.

Watching PHI and SF this week, the biggest concern right now is about the Giants D matching up. Our LBs and safeties in space with these teams? How in the world are the Giants going to slow them down?
Montreal Man : 9/11/2013 2:18 pm : link
That's been exactly my point. Sure, I complain about the red zone, but my biggest concern is whether we will or can handle those offensive schemes. I don't want us to look clueless out there, the way the Skins did.
AnishPatel : 9/11/2013 2:33 pm : link
Overall I am happy with Gilbride. I think I am one of the few who respects the job he has done here. I think he, Coach Palmer, and Coach Sully saved Eli's career. I cringe when I think how Eli would have turned out if Coach Huffy was still our OC. I hated the guy.

Now while I respect Gilbride, there are some things I dislike about this system. One if the red zone. For example, we were passing the ball perfectly up and down the field. Once we get in the red zone, we decided to run the ball, and turned the ball over. I would have liked to see the ball in Eli's hand. He was in the groove moving the ball. Let him throw it in.

Someone earlier said Eli could be an MVP guy or be close. That can never happy in our system. In the goal line, I know we will try running the ball. I'd rather have Eli throw it and be aggressive like we were against the Eagles last game of the season last year. Granted the Eagles stunk, but I LOVED the aggressive nature in which we played. We piled on points and threw once we got close. If we played like that, Eli would dominate more, and I believe we'd cash in on more red zone chances.

Another aspect I dislike probably more than anything is the amount of choice and option routes. Every fucking year, without fail the ball goes one way and the WR goes another. Eli throws what looks to be a go route, and the WR on the left side is running a post, which results in an Int. You see MM, it's bad enough there was a miscommunication, but in our system those nearly always end in an Int.

So while I respect the overall thing Gilbride has built and he has done a hell of a job, there are certain elements I dislike, specifically redzone play calling, and the WR rules, specifically in the amount of choice/option routes, which result in turnovers or what we used to call sudden change.

Thanks, Anish  
Montreal Man : 9/12/2013 8:29 am : link
I agree. As I wrote, my big beef with Gilbride is the play calling in the red zone. Other than that, he's done a great job --hey, two super bowls ain't nuttin' to sniff at. But those lost red zone chances .... arrrgggggg.

I understand in theory what you're saying about the WR/Eli miscommunication, but I don't have the football eyes to actually appraise it. But, obviously, the out-of-sync moments often translate into picks rather than just incomplete passes.

I was thrilled with Eli and the guys Sunday night. There's no reason we can't do that all the time. It's the defense against that kind of system that concerns me. Does Fewell have the defensive imagination to counter their offensive imagination?

Again ... thanks.
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