Articles

Pilgrim’s Point: Jason Garrett’s Return

By Jeff Pilgrim @PilgrimsPoint

The Giants offense ranked 31st in the league and yet they seem to be content bringing back offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett.

“It’s a bold strategy, Cotton.  Let’s see if it pays off for them”

It’s a head-scratching decision.  The more I think about it, the more I try to make sense of it.  Here’s what I’ve come up with.

The Reason:

If you’ve been defending Daniel Jones this should apply to Jason Garrett.

It’s incredibly easy to sit back and criticize Jason Garrett for the disappointing season (and I have as well), but for just one minute, let’s think about what HE had to work with.

–        Very abbreviated / virtual off-season program
–        No pre-season games to figure out who’s good at what
–        A rookie head coach handling a global pandemic
–        A turnover prone, 2nd year QB learning a new system.
–        Rookie starting at Left Tackle. 
–        A converted Guard starting at Center for the first time.
–        A “Tight End” who dropped 11 passes
–        Slayton who would be a nice WR3, trotting out there as your WR1
–        Golden Tate who is washed up and clearly checked out
–        Super Star RB Saquon Barkley lost for the season.
–        Finally, an absolutely daunting schedule of defenses to battle with

Do you have a plan for putting up 30+ points per week after all that?

If you’re thinking “yeah but his scheme was terrible”, I get it.  It was ultra-conservative and left a whole lot to be desired.  There were stretches where we saw no creativity.  It seemed like the 5-yard curl route was the only play we ran.

It’s entirely possible that this was intentional in order to protect Daniel Jones.  As you saw in recent press conferences, the entire organization has signed up for Daniel Jones being our guy.  That said, would stacking interceptions really be what’s best for this young QB?  Jones knows he has a turnover issue.  He still fumbled a lot, although it was an improvement from his rookie year.  There were no elite route runners to win 1 on 1 battles consistently.  Jones would have nowhere to go at times.  Short, high percentage passes were intended for him to gain confidence and protect the ball.  The problem is that these WRs weren’t open a whole lot.   

There were so many factors as to why this offense wasn’t humming in 2020.  Pinning it solely on Jason Garrett is a bit unfair.  If you’re willing to defend Daniel Jones b/c it was a new system and he has no weapons, then you should realize the OC has the same ingredients to cook with.

LOOKING AHEAD

The season is over, let’s think about next 2021.

The defense is solid.  The work to do there is retaining some of the important pieces and filling in the gaps.  DC Patrick Graham is returning which is huge for this team.

The offense will clearly be a major focus in free agency and the draft.  We can expect two new wide receivers to be starting for the Giants in 2021 and possibly a new Tight End.  Barkley will be back.  The O-line will have experience together as they continue to grow.  DJ is basically a veteran now.

It’s possible that a new Offensive Coordinator could come in here and draw up better plays and schemes to help this offense score points.  With that, of course, is asking Daniel Jones to learn his 3rd system in 3 years.  This will come with growing pains.  If it meant struggling for a couple weeks but then the offense is dynamic and dangerous, of course I’d sign up for that.

GET TO THE POINT, PILGRIM

If the Chargers don’t offer Jason Garrett a head coaching job, he will be our OC once again in 2021.  Since it’s out of our control, let’s try to embrace it.  He will have a full offseason, preseason games, new weapons, time to think about what will work with this improved group, and most importantly, Saquon Barkley.

There are reasons to believe this offense can be much better next season, even with Jason Garrett.  

And that’s the point.

@PilgrimsPoint