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Should the Giants be Concerned about the Run Game

christian : 6/9/2019 10:50 pm
Despite a dynamite season from Barkley -- where the rookie was 2nd in the league in rush yards, 2nd in the league in rushes, and averaged 5 yards a carry -- the Giants were a bad running team.

They were 24th in yards, 28th in attempts, and 31st in first downs. They failed to hit 100 yards 8 times and were 1-7 in those games, including twice in December losses that effectively ended their playoff hopes.

The Giants did fair much better after Jamon Brown and Spencer Pulley locked down the center and right guard positions. In the 8 games to end the year the Giants easily eclipsed 100 yards in 5 of those games.

So with that considered, how will the Giants hit on the first of Gettleman's tenants; run the ball.

Zietler is a great pass protector, but is he a markedly better run blocker than Brown? Hernandez and Solder in year two an emerging wall? Remmers and Halapio better run blockers?

Will the Giants stretch field more and alleviate defenders in the box?

Is there an emerging blocking tight end or running back?
If you look at the offense Pat Shurmur ran successfully  
BlueLou'sBack : 6/9/2019 10:59 pm : link
in Minnesota with the might Case Keenum at QB, you see it was primarily a running offense by play frequency. The team signed Rod Smith, and kept Paul Perkins around in the hopes that they can duplicate that rushing success in NY with Saquon Barkley plus.

The team obviously thinks Zeitler and Remmers at RG and RT are upgrades from the right side of their OL last year. Obviously that remains to be proven.
Concerned?  
BillT : 6/9/2019 11:07 pm : link
It's our opponents that should be concerned. Behind this OL Barkley is likely to become the most dominant RB in the league if not the most dominant offensive player in the league. I'm concerned the defensive coordinators we face will be missing their nappies.
RE: Concerned?  
christian : 6/9/2019 11:15 pm : link
In comment 14467790 BillT said:
Quote:
It's our opponents that should be concerned. Behind this OL Barkley is likely to become the most dominant RB in the league if not the most dominant offensive player in the league. I'm concerned the defensive coordinators we face will be missing their nappies.


How much more dominant do you expect him to be? How many more carries, yards and TDs do you project?
I think Barkley yards per carry will increase from 5.0 to 5.4  
BlueLou'sBack : 6/9/2019 11:36 pm : link
giving him about 1,600 yards, and I think his yards per reception will increase even more, from 7.9 to 9 something.
I think with Barkley  
fanatic II : 6/10/2019 12:03 am : link
being the focus of the defense, Barkley will have a statistically worse year. You can game plan to stop a player, it's been done with many great players before.

The success of the NY offense will depend on Manning and the passing game. What they could do to relieve some of the pressures in the running game.

The most important player to NY's success this year is Manning, not Barkley.
Every giants season.......  
thrunthrublue : 6/10/2019 12:44 am : link
That I have followed since 1961 has boiled down to two distinct major factors/questions in each June. 1.) can we protect our qb, allowing receivers to be open, (which opens up the ground game.) 2.) can we slow/stop/discourage their offense?

For bulk of these seasons it has been “no......”....“especially no”. But, when coaches parcells - belichick - coughlin were at the helm, those were some glorious, memorable seasons.....this June’s prognosis is hopefully guarded.
8 or 9 man fronts will not stop this running game.  
No Where Man : 6/10/2019 12:45 am : link
.
I care about winning games  
robbieballs2003 : 6/10/2019 3:00 am : link
and one thing that really bothered me about Shurmur was his stubborness with running the ball or lack of it. Early in the season we'd abandoned the run way too early. When asked about it he said something to the effect of if we aren't having success in the run game then I'm not sticking with it. Anybody with 2 eyes saw early last year and well bef9rr that in previous seasons that when we barely ran the ball and started chucking it all over the field our entire team broke down rapidly. Defenses teed off on our OL and Eli in the passing game leading to many game altering plays. 9ur defense was on the field way too much because of those pkays and/or we couldn't sustain drives offensively.

Shurmur seemed to have learned from this in the second half in the year but was it that he learned or that we just had more success that he stayed with the run? I think that is a key thing to look at next year. And dumping the ball off to Barkley is not the same as running it. DL only have to play the pass amd you make the OL's job that much harder.

Not every team needs to stick with the run. NE for years would have some games where they barely ran the ball but we aren't NE and every team is different. We were a team that could not afford to abandon the run. As I stated above, the whole team fell apart when we did. Going into this upcoming season I still feel we are a team that'll have to run the ball to help out other areas of our team to be successful. We cannot just abandon it because we aren't having success early on. That plays into the defenses hands. Almost every defense wants to stop the run first so that it opens up their playbook amd makes us one dimensional. We cannot make it easier on defenses.
The great luxury that a true break away back like Barkley gives  
BlueLou'sBack : 6/10/2019 3:13 am : link
a team, is that he can have 10,11,12 carries doing very little, averaging only 2 yards per pop, and then carry #13 is a 60 yard TD scamper, and his stat line jumps to 13 runs for 85 yards and his average yds per carry > 5.

If the OL is improved over what it was the 2nd half last year, and if we have a little injury luck on the OL, Barkley is going to have a lot of runs of over 20 and even over 40 yards.
Probably  
Beer Man : 6/10/2019 3:31 am : link
not as much as the Giants opponent on any given Sunday
Statistics lie  
George from PA : 6/10/2019 3:51 am : link
.
Statistics lie  
George from PA : 6/10/2019 3:52 am : link
.
When you consistently  
joeinpa : 6/10/2019 6:19 am : link
Convert on 3 rd or 4th and short, or run the ball effectively in the 4 min offense, then you have a running game that leads to wins.

Giants running game last season overall was not that effective
Tenets, christian, not tenants.  
Klaatu : 6/10/2019 6:48 am : link
Anyway...I'm concerned about every aspect of the Giant offense, which is why I wanted to see more emphasis put on strengthening their offensive line. Still, the additions of Zeitler and Remmers should help, and once Remmers and Solder are healthy and practicing with whomever wins the battle for Center, they can begin to build the cohesion that defines a good offensive line. That can't happen soon enough to suit me.
RE: RE: Concerned?  
BillT : 6/10/2019 7:03 am : link
In comment 14467794 christian said:
Quote:
In comment 14467790 BillT said:


Quote:


It's our opponents that should be concerned. Behind this OL Barkley is likely to become the most dominant RB in the league if not the most dominant offensive player in the league. I'm concerned the defensive coordinators we face will be missing their nappies.



How much more dominant do you expect him to be? How many more carries, yards and TDs do you project?

BlueLou’s reply is a reasonable take I think. Last year was just a sample of what Barkley can do. Think of Zeke with a home rum threat added. Think of a running game that, like the Cowboys, makes defenses over commit to stop it and thus makes the passing game better. Think of a running game, again like the Cowboys, that wins TOP and makes the defense’s job easier. Barkley and this OL can be that dominant.
More concerned about the run defense than the Run O.  
90.Cal : 6/10/2019 7:06 am : link
Alot of good run defenders on the interior D-line.. but behind them.. not much.

Saquon will be fine.

I expect him to have 400+ touches almost every year for the next 5-10 years.
One factor, when we look at total rushing yards is that we were  
Ira : 6/10/2019 7:19 am : link
often behind in the first half of the season, so we had to pass a lot. Another factor is that our defense didn't stop other teams very well, so I suspect our time of possession was low. If, instead, we look at yards per rushing attempt, we were 10th - not great, but considering that our o-line was a work in progress last season, actually pretty good.
Fairly concerned as the Giant run game was not good  
Jimmy Googs : 6/10/2019 7:20 am : link
playing the playoff caliber teams at the end of the year when OBJ was gone. Indy and Titans shut them down and even Dallas fared well despite one big run in last game (spare me the nonsense as I realize that run counts).

The passing offense is going to need to figure out ways to keep some defenders on their heels and away from the LOS, as all eyes will be on Saquon.

I think Saquon is a better runner now but assume he will need to be patient. The home run carries will still happen but my guess it’s because he breaks a few tackles to make it happen...
RE: Tenets, christian, not tenants.  
Ivan15 : 6/10/2019 7:35 am : link
In comment 14467842 Klaatu said:
Quote:
Anyway...I'm concerned about every aspect of the Giant offense, which is why I wanted to see more emphasis put on strengthening their offensive line. Still, the additions of Zeitler and Remmers should help, and once Remmers and Solder are healthy and practicing with whomever wins the battle for Center, they can begin to build the cohesion that defines a good offensive line. That can't happen soon enough to suit me.


And I don’t think ALLEVIATING defenders will help much.
RE: Statistics lie  
Optimus-NY : 6/10/2019 10:26 am : link
In comment 14467834 George from PA said:
Quote:
.


So do tenants and those damned Zeitlers!
All kidding aside, the run game is still indeed of concern  
Optimus-NY : 6/10/2019 10:33 am : link
I'm worried about the Center and RT positions the most. We've got some very good blocking WRs in Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate. Conrad is a decent blocker to go along with Ellison on the edges. Penny is an alright blocker at FB, but let's see. Zeitler is a great pick up. If Remmers can just hold the fort at RT, the Giants won't be an embarrassment there any more, but they won't exactly be a plus either.

Pulley and Halapio do worry me a lot. Pulley can make calls, but is limited physically, whereas Halapio is limited upstairs, but is physically overpowering. I'd rather have the mental strength at Center though. Missed calls by the pivot can ruin plays before they even get started. Where's Bart Oates when you need him?
I think his rush yards and YPC go up, how could they not?  
Zeke's Alibi : 6/10/2019 12:01 pm : link
The giants were last in the league at point of first contact, that won't be the case this year. Defenses are going to be a little more compact, but with Barkley that is a double edge sword because if he gets through its TD city. I think his YPC might go down without Odell.
Confident  
Coach Red Beaulieu : 6/10/2019 12:09 pm : link
Our oline did not improve because we replaced our bums with other street bums with magical gel, it improved because teams played a more passive two gap against SB later on in the year, a D designed by Parcells and Little Bill to slow down fast powerful rushers like OJ and Dickerson that were common in the era.

Likely less long TD runs but also less of the constant jailbreaks into the backfield next year.
RE: One factor, when we look at total rushing yards is that we were  
Coach Red Beaulieu : 6/10/2019 12:16 pm : link
In comment 14467852 Ira said:
Quote:
often behind in the first half of the season, so we had to pass a lot. Another factor is that our defense didn't stop other teams very well, so I suspect our time of possession was low. If, instead, we look at yards per rushing attempt, we were 10th - not great, but considering that our o-line was a work in progress last season, actually pretty good.

Also teams with mobile QBs "artificially" pad running yard and YPC totals.
RE: I think his rush yards and YPC go up, how could they not?  
BlueLou'sBack : 6/10/2019 12:20 pm : link
In comment 14468119 Zeke's Alibi said:
Quote:
The giants were last in the league at point of first contact, that won't be the case this year. Defenses are going to be a little more compact, but with Barkley that is a double edge sword because if he gets through its TD city. I think his YPC might go down without Odell.


That's better than I put it, even if you predict his YPC will decrease. Don't know where you got the data, but it was obvious SB was hit earlier and closer to the LOS - even behind the LOS obviously - far moreso than most RBs and really, an unconscionable frequency of times. IF (and I think they will) this line opens just cracks in the opposition, but most of all keeps SB hit free up to the POA, how can he not perform better?

Actually saying he'll have more 20/40 yard runs isn't the point, I think he'll have many more 10-20 yard runs this year. If the opposition crowds the LOS too much, those 10-20 runs become scampers to the EZ.
yes and no  
GiantsFan84 : 6/10/2019 12:21 pm : link
This team has the talent to be an excellent running game. Yes they could use a better 2 way TE and can still upgrade at OC and RT as well as a better #2 back

But the worry is the passing game will be so bad, that the running game won't have a chance to succeed. They also really need Engram and Slayton or Coleman to play and play well as Tate and Shep are not deep threats.

If the running game fails it won't be due to a bad running game it will be due to a horrible passing game. If that makes sense.
Shurmur LOVES the screen game, and we are going to see a  
BlueLou'sBack : 6/10/2019 12:24 pm : link
ton of screens too. He seems to coach it up extremely well if you recall what he did with McKinnon and Cook in Minny. I would bet (don't know) that is a big part of Remmers' plus side, and for sure Zeitler's and Hernandez's and Solder's.

PS loves OL who can block in space.
'84 for sure that is a concern.  
BlueLou'sBack : 6/10/2019 12:28 pm : link
If OBJ was right saying Eli can't go over the top so defenses don't respect that it will hurt.

But I always thought that was more because the OL couldn't pass protect, and Eli had developed a tendency to go too too quickly rather than stand tall and take a hit to deliver the bombs.
Too go DOWN too quickly.  
BlueLou'sBack : 6/10/2019 12:28 pm : link
.
...  
christian : 6/10/2019 12:30 pm : link
To be clear I'm not concerned about Barkley, he was and will be highly productive.

What's of note is the Giants were a bad running team with a great back. Let's say Barkley progresses and is the best back in the league. He matches Elliot's 96 yards a game, which would be nearly 14 more yards a game.

That's 224 more yards for the year, which would put the Giants at 15th in rush yards in the league.

The Giants need not just more productivity out of Barkley, they need more productivity overall, and better blocking overall.

Where are the areas the Giants are substantially better this year? I don't see an improvement at TE or FB.

Is Zeitler a better run blocker than Brown? Is Remmers better than Wheeler? Is year two of Hernandez And Solder a big improvement?

Is the Giants line best case this year close to the weakened line the Cowboys put on the field last year?
Seems like maybe  
idiotsavant : 6/10/2019 12:55 pm : link
Zone run blocking gets you more reliable short yardage whereas man run schemes can break you the dramtic long runs ...but not as often? Or is this incorrect.

Which is better for play-action? Is it the quick hits that force quick reactions from lb,dl (I might say yes) or is it the fear of the runner breaking out for long runs but from slower to develop pulls and stuff?

I long felt that east west quick hits led to good play action. And that means outside zone, and that all that might be a but more user friendly roster wise or doable if you look at all 11.

That said, old school ( power or man is it called?, Pulling trapping etc When those runs break long it does seem hard to stop and is also a thing of beauty. Maybe the numbers reflect this dilemma.
i think Zeitler is underrated as a run blocker  
Platos : 6/10/2019 12:58 pm : link
go look at him play he generates holes. also consider the bengals nor browns have had a serious run game in his time in the league.

RE: ...  
BillT : 6/10/2019 1:06 pm : link
In comment 14468153 christian said:
Quote:


Is Zeitler a better run blocker than Brown? Is Remmers better than Wheeler? Is year two of Hernandez And Solder a big improvement?


How is this a serious question. Jamon Brown is a JAG. He's a bottom third of the league starter. Zeigler at worst is top third of the league if he isn't closer to top 10. Wheeler isn't a legitimate starter and maybe not even a legitimate backup in the league. Remmers earned a long term $40m FA contract for how well he played RT. Solder is what we saw in the 2nd half last year. A guy the Pats offered nearly the same $62m contract the Giants did. Hernandez was an all rookie team 2nd round choice. Don't know what more you could want in an excellent two year OL rebuild.
RE: Seems like maybe  
Coach Red Beaulieu : 6/10/2019 1:57 pm : link
In comment 14468198 idiotsavant said:
Quote:
Zone run blocking gets you more reliable short yardage whereas man run schemes can break you the dramtic long runs ...but not as often? Or is this incorrect.

Which is better for play-action? Is it the quick hits that force quick reactions from lb,dl (I might say yes) or is it the fear of the runner breaking out for long runs but from slower to develop pulls and stuff?

I long felt that east west quick hits led to good play action. And that means outside zone, and that all that might be a but more user friendly roster wise or doable if you look at all 11.

That said, old school ( power or man is it called?, Pulling trapping etc When those runs break long it does seem hard to stop and is also a thing of beauty. Maybe the numbers reflect this dilemma.

Hernandez is a good athlete and moves very well in space and with Barkleys vision they are natural fits for a power run game. Richburg and Pugh and a one cut style back fit more for a zone run. Having said that not sure what Shurmur is into.
Odd OP question...  
x meadowlander : 6/10/2019 2:09 pm : link
...not just the run game, the O-Line is suspect til' proven otherwise.

Every modern-era 'good or better' Giant O-Line historically has had at good Center.

I'm not very optimistic on this unit because I don't see a good Center yet.

FWIW - I thought Sean O'Hara was not going to work out.

There is certainly enough talent on this line to get things done, just a matter of cohesion.

So - YES - concerned about the Run Game. My expectations are for streaky, good play as the unit gel's, higher than average penalties, but improvement in sacks, YPC, first downs. And MORE Barkley highlight runs. The way he explodes to the corner - I think cornerbacks are likely to bite on Play Action as much as the LB's this year!
RE: RE: ...  
christian : 6/10/2019 2:11 pm : link
In comment 14468216 BillT said:
Quote:
In comment 14468153 christian said:


Quote:




Is Zeitler a better run blocker than Brown? Is Remmers better than Wheeler? Is year two of Hernandez And Solder a big improvement?




How is this a serious question. Jamon Brown is a JAG. He's a bottom third of the league starter. Zeigler at worst is top third of the league if he isn't closer to top 10. Wheeler isn't a legitimate starter and maybe not even a legitimate backup in the league. Remmers earned a long term $40m FA contract for how well he played RT. Solder is what we saw in the 2nd half last year. A guy the Pats offered nearly the same $62m contract the Giants did. Hernandez was an all rookie team 2nd round choice. Don't know what more you could want in an excellent two year OL rebuild.


Not to confuse cause and correlation, but the Giants with and without Brown averaged 128.3 vs 77.8 YPG on the ground. He was a nice shot in the arm, and landed a representative deal as a starting guard. Again, Zeitler is a very good pass protector, how much better is he as a run blocker than Brown?

This version of Remmers isn't the guy who landed the big deal, he's the guy coming off surgery who only got 1M guaranteed.

Are these the types of improvements you expect will propel a very bad run game to a good run game?

I think the Giants need better blocking at TE, need better blocking at center, right tackle, and at least maintain the level of contribution at the other 3 line positions. I'm not convinced that's occurred.

I expect the Giants will again have a top 1 or 2 back, but fall below 15th in YPG.

Where do you think they'll land?
RE: RE: I think his rush yards and YPC go up, how could they not?  
Zeke's Alibi : 6/10/2019 2:13 pm : link
In comment 14468142 BlueLou'sBack said:
Quote:
In comment 14468119 Zeke's Alibi said:


Quote:


The giants were last in the league at point of first contact, that won't be the case this year. Defenses are going to be a little more compact, but with Barkley that is a double edge sword because if he gets through its TD city. I think his YPC might go down without Odell.



That's better than I put it, even if you predict his YPC will decrease. Don't know where you got the data, but it was obvious SB was hit earlier and closer to the LOS - even behind the LOS obviously - far moreso than most RBs and really, an unconscionable frequency of times. IF (and I think they will) this line opens just cracks in the opposition, but most of all keeps SB hit free up to the POA, how can he not perform better?

Actually saying he'll have more 20/40 yard runs isn't the point, I think he'll have many more 10-20 yard runs this year. If the opposition crowds the LOS too much, those 10-20 runs become scampers to the EZ.


I remember reading it at some point last year. What I said was confusing I think his rush yards and yards per carry go up, but his yards per catch go down. We will be better and teams won't play nearly as soft without a big lead and no Odell.
RE: RE: RE: ...  
BillT : 6/10/2019 2:39 pm : link
In comment 14468288 christian said:
Quote:
In comment 14468216 BillT said:


Quote:


In comment 14468153 christian said:


Quote:




Are these the types of improvements you expect will propel a very bad run game to a good run game?


I expect the Giants will again have a top 1 or 2 back, but fall below 15th in YPG.

Where do you think they'll land?

Projecting stats isn't my forte. I'll leave that to you. However, the difference in the talent on this OL is literally night and day from last year. Last year we had Omaneh, Flowers, Brown and Wheeler on our line. For 3 of those 4 it's a legitimate question whether they belong in the league at all. If we had paid Brown what he got in FA this place would have had a meltdown and rightfully so. Shows how thin things are for OL talent. That said, he and Zeitler don't belong in the same sentence talent wise. Remmers was misused and moved to guard where his talent was wasted it's not like he failed at RT.

Solder was nicked in the first half of the year and Hernandez is just a flat out stud who should make a big jump in his 2nd year just like we've seen with many other guys in this league. Center is the only question mark and at least we have a decent competition there.

Folks are sleeping and doubting on a lot about this team. Maybe they're right. Maybe they aren't. We'll see.
I'd like to think Hernandez will turn into a stud  
ron mexico : 6/10/2019 2:52 pm : link
but we thought the same thing about Richburg so I'm not jumping to any conclusions.

RE: I'd like to think Hernandez will turn into a stud  
BlueLou'sBack : 6/10/2019 5:12 pm : link
In comment 14468334 ron mexico said:
Quote:
but we thought the same thing about Richburg so I'm not jumping to any conclusions.


Not to put too much stock in pre-draft evaluations, but Richburg was widely assessed as a 3rd round value that we jumped to get in the 2nd, and Hernandez a late first round value that slipped to us in the early 2nd.

Different expectations for the two from the get go.
For me,  
NoPeanutz : 6/11/2019 10:11 am : link
this team has won 8 games in the last two years, and therefore should be concerned about everything.
I don't feel good about anything on this team (except the backup QB, who will not start the year).
Am I optimistic? Sure, as a fan I have to be. But do I feel good? How can I? They've been terrible everywhere for most of the decade, despite my optimism.
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