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Is Smashmouth Football Back in New York?

Klaatu : 6/17/2017 11:52 am
While we're all excited about the Giants offense being more explosive with the acquisitions of Evan Engram and Brandon Marshall, plus the continued development of Paul Perkins, Sterling Shepard, and Jerrell Adams, among others, it's worth noting that this Spring the Giants practiced their short-yardage/goal line offense using a Fullback at times, in addition to multiple Tight Ends. They made no secret about it, either.

I like the thought of more creativity, more innovation on offense, regardless of who's actually calling the plays. Keeping opposing defenses guessing is a good thing, and the Giants have the skill players to do just that. However, there's something to be said for telegraphing your offensive intentions, knowing that there's not a damned thing a defense can do to stop you. What can be more demoralizing than that?

I'm not alone in thinking that the lack of true Fullback really hampered the Giants offense last year. It wasn't the only reason the offense suffered, but it was certainly a factor. This year, the Giants signed TE/FB Rhett Ellison, a very sound blocker, prior to the draft, and signed UDFA FB Shane Smith, also a very sound blocker, after the draft. In addition, they have Jacob Huesman competing at FB.

I don't expect the 2017 Giants to resemble the 1990 Giants in any way, shape, or form, however, I can envision a return to the power running game at least on a limited basis...and I think that's a good thing, too.

How about a push from the O line  
Glover : 6/17/2017 12:00 pm : link
in short yardage and goal line? Keep the O wide open, no FB. Perk can get a yard as long as the play's not blown up in the backfield.
Sorry  
Larry in Pencilvania : 6/17/2017 12:03 pm : link
Thought this was about the jets
RE: How about a push from the O line  
Klaatu : 6/17/2017 12:15 pm : link
In comment 13502738 Glover said:
Quote:
in short yardage and goal line? Keep the O wide open, no FB. Perk can get a yard as long as the play's not blown up in the backfield.


The best Giants O-Line in recent memory...the one that helped two RBs reach the 1,000 yard mark...was aided and abetted by a 6-3, 266 pound FB who was a second-team All-Pro that year.
To what extent?  
Ten Ton Hammer : 6/17/2017 12:20 pm : link
It's always going to be about Quarterbacks and passing. That's what the league wants.
RE: To what extent?  
Klaatu : 6/17/2017 12:24 pm : link
In comment 13502753 Ten Ton Hammer said:
Quote:
It's always going to be about Quarterbacks and passing. That's what the league wants.


It seems to me that the worm is turning back just a bit, although it's still going to be a "passing league" for the most part.
Dancing Elephants  
MarvelousMike : 6/17/2017 12:43 pm : link
The OL is very left handed in running right now behind Flowers and Pugh. Hopefully, this season will see some changes on the right side so they can have some success there running the ball. One of the reasons I hope Jerry is not their starting RG come Dallas.
The improvements  
area junc : 6/17/2017 12:44 pm : link
to the supplemental blocking are huge should be huge even if McAdoo doesn't have a more expansive playbook. We could do the same stubborn things we did last year and produce better results. I'd like a FB too and it's obvious how Kuhn and Ripkowski are key players for McCarthy. In fact a FB is typically an important position in a WCO.

That said - I'm watching Ben. I want to see a complete NFL offense. He's had a legit personnel excuse - no more. Never heard a team staying in the same group 95%. He's now got the players to run a myriad of different sets and packages, give the D a lot to prepare for and keep them on their toes.
RE: Dancing Elephants  
area junc : 6/17/2017 12:47 pm : link
In comment 13502770 MarvelousMike said:
Quote:
The OL is very left handed in running right now behind Flowers and Pugh. Hopefully, this season will see some changes on the right side so they can have some success there running the ball. One of the reasons I hope Jerry is not their starting RG come Dallas.


At least, late in the year, McAdoo started lining up Eli under center and running behind Flowers. And it worked. The all-shotgun approach hinders the run game.
An O with John Jerry  
Beer Man : 6/17/2017 1:56 pm : link
starting on the line, will never be confused for smashmouth
I don't think true smashmouth is coming back.  
81_Great_Dane : 6/17/2017 2:10 pm : link
I heard Trent Dilfer explain on the radio once why the '80s approach doesn't work anymore. Basically, he said, in those days you could win just by executing better. Even if the other team knew what you were going to do, you could out-execute them.

Nowadays, he says, the talent level is too even, and you can't just overpower guys if they know what you're doing. You have to do something to create a moment of hesitation/decision in the other team. That moment can be a fraction of a second, but you use that fraction of a second to get an advantage.

So the Parcells era smashmouth, the who-cares-if-you-know-what-we-are-doing-we-are-just-going-to-beat-you-anyway thing is probably gone for good.

One advantage the Cowboys had was that they were built to be a power running team, and most defenses aren't built to stop that anymore. Defenses don't have the personnel for that; they have fast, light linebackers and pass rushers instead of run stoppers. The Giants, however, are built to stop a power running game -- among other things.
Nothing like going against the grain of your own personnel  
Bob in Newburgh : 6/17/2017 2:16 pm : link
Assuming no changes due to positional battles won and lost on the o-line, the up the gut group is Richburg, Pugh, and Jerry. This is not a positional grouping that will benefit much from a lead FB. Also, I suspect Perkins will be most effective off tackle or bounce outside.

Much rather have Engram playing H-back on run downs, and either way downs, and TE on passing downs. I believe with our personnel we should be looking to spread the defense out, not pack the defense in.

Also, I don't like the cut we will have to make in order to keep a very limited true FB.

And yet...  
Klaatu : 6/17/2017 5:19 pm : link
Utilizing a Fullback is one of the things the Giants worked on during the Spring. Why bother if you have no intention of doing it later on? Why sign Smith and have Huesman make the change, for the hell of it? Practices are so limited now, why spend valuable time on personnel groupings/plays you don't plan on using? To me, all signs point to the Giants keeping a Fullback on the roster this year, and using him in certain situations.

As I said in my OP, I don't expect the 2017 Giants to resemble the 1990 Giants, but it's not that long ago that the Giants had great success with Madison Hedgecock, and then with Henry Hynoski. And just last year they planned on using Will Johnson and/or Nikita Whitlock. I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that they'll keep Smith or Huesman this year.

As for the impact on the roster as a whole, it's really negligible. If they plan on using a Fullback, they'll find a spot for him, even if it means going with one less offensive skill player.
A fullback  
WillVAB : 6/17/2017 7:41 pm : link
Isn't going to create smash mouth football next season. A good OL who plays well as a unit will.

Your comment about 2 1k rushers with an all pro FB is disingenuous. Everyone knows the OL unit was the best in the league that year.
Nope  
Giantology : 6/17/2017 7:48 pm : link
It's in Houston

No..  
blueblood : 6/17/2017 8:54 pm : link
being able to effectively run the football and having a fullback on the roster doesnt mean its smashmouth football. The Giants arent built for that. What they need is the ability to run the ball effectively out of multiple formations. That is what I expect to see.
Actutally.  
PEEJ : 6/17/2017 9:06 pm : link
I think there will be much more variety in the running game. With Perkins in the backfield and Ellison and Marshall blocking, I think the Giants will be able to attack the edge of the defense for the first time in ....well, forever.
RE: No..  
Klaatu : 6/18/2017 7:55 am : link
In comment 13502991 blueblood said:
Quote:
being able to effectively run the football and having a fullback on the roster doesnt mean its smashmouth football. The Giants arent built for that. What they need is the ability to run the ball effectively out of multiple formations. That is what I expect to see.


Et tu, blueblood?
Don't think so. Really no one on the O-line  
Jimmy Googs : 6/18/2017 8:21 am : link
can overpower their guy too often. I actually think Flowers might be the best to to do it which is saying something...
RE: A fullback  
Klaatu : 6/18/2017 8:38 am : link
In comment 13502973 WillVAB said:
Quote:
Isn't going to create smash mouth football next season. A good OL who plays well as a unit will.

Your comment about 2 1k rushers with an all pro FB is disingenuous. Everyone knows the OL unit was the best in the league that year.


Disingenuous? Hardly. Just pointing out that even a team with a great O-Line made use of a Fullback, so why shouldn't a team with a not-so-great O-Line make use of one, too?

And no one has addressed one of my main points - that the Giants have been practicing with a Fullback. Why bother if they don't intend to use one? Why even have any on the roster (even the 90 man roster)?
If the Giants keep a true FB  
aquidneck : 6/18/2017 8:58 am : link
He will have to excel on ST. Even if they have a FB on the roster, he's not likely to play more than 25% or so of offensive snaps, so will have to find additional ways to contribute. Remember Whitlock playing DT?

At one point last season, they were using the center Jones as a blocking FB, but then Pugh got hurt as did Jones himself when trying to replace him.

There will be a role for the FB in the 2017 Giants offense, but, as was the case last year, it's going to be difficult for a true FB to make the team. As you noted yourself, Ellison has contributed in this role in the past and there likely are other players on the roster that could fill a specific roll for a few plays. And there's only so many times the team will line up with a FB in formation as well.

Just my opinion, if course, but there you go.

I think it's more Hope  
Doomster : 6/18/2017 9:24 am : link
than Smashmouth....

I think the running game will be improved, but until they establish a consistent running game, where they are a constant threat to make it, especially short yardage, the running game will be suspect....

The OL is what it is....with the level of talent we have, we can only hope for incremental improvement......the majority of improvement is going to come from the pieces we have added to the offense, in the form of Engram, Ellison, Marshall, and a potential FB, whoever that may be.....these added pieces should prevent the running play from being blown up before it gets started....

The OL doesn't have to be smashmouth, just more consistent....and if it is, it creates more options for the offense, to keep the defense guessing......Mac was hampered in his play calling by the offensive personnel he had....that is not the case this season....if we can stay away from major injuries, this offense is going to put points on the board, again.....I think Eli may have his best season yet.....
Have followed Giants  
oldog : 6/18/2017 9:27 am : link
these many years, and some players just take time to fully develop, especially if they enter at a younger age. Have also endured sarcastic and uninformed opinion from those who expect immediate stardom, think of Tiki Barber, for instance. This year, the arch, sarcastic, negative, comment on our developing O-Line, which is the conventional wisdom is being echoed everywhere, (see, e.g. Athlon's football annual, which predicts Dallas over Giants, because of alleged O-Line weakness), but is simply a straight line projection from last year. The Giant's management and coaching staff evidently do not agree with this assessment. They have used high draft picks, and have simply refused to panic while waiting for the O-Line to mature together. While it is understandable that those who do not wish the Giants well and do not closely follow our team continue to dish out the negativity, we have watched our management fully repair the defense, draft real impact superstars, carefully husband resources, address the need to diversify the offense, and rebuild toward real competitiveness. They have shown patience in giving the O-Line room to get better. Those of us who know the team better, see the O-Line whining and carping as out of date and out of touch. Yes, there will be smash mouth by the Giants this year on the field, those who now echo the tired, no real O-Line foolishness will also be chagrined.
Can't have a "smashmouth" football (which btw is a thing of the past  
micky : 6/18/2017 9:30 am : link
nowadays..extinct) with an OL and TE's that can't block for the life of them. stop
Even if the O-Line is not  
oldog : 6/18/2017 9:38 am : link
yet totally smashmouth, which it will be, the D-Line, and the rest of the D, including Collins, will continue to apply the hammer.
add me to those  
fkap : 6/18/2017 9:41 am : link
who think 'smashmouth' is a poor choice of words, no matter how much the OP tries to clarify.

will the Giants have a running threat? is a better way to put it. they should have a much better running game, including short yardage when a run is expected, but I doubt they can jam it down anyone's throat whenever they want, or as often as they want, which is what I think 'smashmouth' implies.
It's like some of you didn't bother to read the entire OP...  
Klaatu : 6/18/2017 9:41 am : link
And are just hung up on the term "smashmouth."

Let's review:

Quote:
I don't expect the 2017 Giants to resemble the 1990 Giants in any way, shape, or form, however, I can envision a return to the power running game at least on a limited basis...and I think that's a good thing, too.


Note the part where I say that "I don't expect the 2017 Giants to resemble the 1990 Giants in any way, shape or form," and also note the use of the phrase, "at least on a limited basis" when referring to the power running game. Since that's the way the Giants have been practicing in the Spring, why is it so unreasonable to suggest that we'll see it in the regular season?
Rugged, aggressive football,  
oldog : 6/18/2017 9:57 am : link
will be back in NY. And Flowers, will be the poster boy. Both Flowers and OBJ, like Shockey before them, have been aggressive, no nonsense, unafraid, and rugged. Some do not like this, but it is football, after all.
RE: RE: A fullback  
WillVAB : 6/18/2017 10:55 am : link
In comment 13503101 Klaatu said:
Quote:
In comment 13502973 WillVAB said:


Quote:


Isn't going to create smash mouth football next season. A good OL who plays well as a unit will.

Your comment about 2 1k rushers with an all pro FB is disingenuous. Everyone knows the OL unit was the best in the league that year.



Disingenuous? Hardly. Just pointing out that even a team with a great O-Line made use of a Fullback, so why shouldn't a team with a not-so-great O-Line make use of one, too?

And no one has addressed one of my main points - that the Giants have been practicing with a Fullback. Why bother if they don't intend to use one? Why even have any on the roster (even the 90 man roster)?


Ok, so the Giants may use a FB some this year. BFD? How is that conclusive of a return to "smash mouth" football?
Klaatu,  
Doomster : 6/18/2017 11:37 am : link
they are raking you over the coals for using the term smashmouth......but I understand what you are saying....
RE: Klaatu,  
Klaatu : 6/18/2017 4:49 pm : link
In comment 13503203 Doomster said:
Quote:
they are raking you over the coals for using the term smashmouth......but I understand what you are saying....


You're a wise man, my friend.
RE: Can't have a  
David in LA : 6/18/2017 5:03 pm : link
In comment 13503120 micky said:
Quote:
nowadays..extinct) with an OL and TE's that can't block for the life of them. stop


Ellison is highly regarded in the blocking department. We have yet to see Engram with live bullets, but the reports say he is willing. Adams showed promise as a blocking TE. Can we not use recycled phrases from last year? You can certainly bitch about the OL (which I don't think is as bad as advertised), but the TE bitching is a bit outdated.
anyone else notice..  
jnoble : 6/18/2017 6:09 pm : link
..that Larry "Somersault" Donnell is still unsigned? Not surprised unless there is a team that somehow depends on turnovers in their game plan
RE: I don't think true smashmouth is coming back.  
NINEster : 6/20/2017 2:57 am : link
In comment 13502824 81_Great_Dane said:
Quote:
I heard Trent Dilfer explain on the radio once why the '80s approach doesn't work anymore. Basically, he said, in those days you could win just by executing better. Even if the other team knew what you were going to do, you could out-execute them.

Nowadays, he says, the talent level is too even, and you can't just overpower guys if they know what you're doing. You have to do something to create a moment of hesitation/decision in the other team. That moment can be a fraction of a second, but you use that fraction of a second to get an advantage.

So the Parcells era smashmouth, the who-cares-if-you-know-what-we-are-doing-we-are-just-going-to-beat-you-anyway thing is probably gone for good.

One advantage the Cowboys had was that they were built to be a power running team, and most defenses aren't built to stop that anymore. Defenses don't have the personnel for that; they have fast, light linebackers and pass rushers instead of run stoppers. The Giants, however, are built to stop a power running game -- among other things.


The Niners and Seahawks have had a 3 year heard start on the Cowboys with the smashmouth power running game dating back to around 2011.

And both those defenses were built to stop that very same run game. The Seahawks style 4-3 under gets a lot of rep as a pass defense, but stopping the run well has been very paramount to their success.

As opposed to Denver who schemes mostly with great pass rush and CBs, which works against many teams but not those that can run the ball.
RE: Can't have a  
area junc : 6/21/2017 12:00 pm : link
In comment 13503120 micky said:
Quote:
nowadays..extinct) with an OL and TE's that can't block for the life of them. stop


extinct? The Cowboys are a smashmouth team and have been since Parcells was there.
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