Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Solution

While we reporters were all occupied with Eli Manning's accuracy problems and the low dose of Brandon Jacobs in the offense, another factor seemed to have been overlooked.

Where's the no-huddle?

Outside of the two-minute periods, we haven't seen much of that this year. And yet, it worked so well the last couple of years for Manning.

I have a couple of theories on why the Giants haven't used it, and a definite feeling that they need to reinstate it ASAP, preferably against the Falcons this week.

My first theory is that, until now, they haven't had the personnel. It takes players experienced in the offense to run that. They have to be savvy enough to pick up the calls at the line, and then make their adjustments on the fly. Plaxico Burress could do that. So could Amani Toomer. But with a young receiving corps that now includes a rookie playmaker in Hakeem Nicks, the Giants were probably better off going into the huddle, where calls are made in calmer, more controlled circumstances.

My second theory is that the no-huddle went out the window when Manning hurt his heel. For a time, he simply needed the extra time to re-gather himself. Those few seconds in the huddle gave the heel enough rest so he could execute the next play.

None of that would have adversely affected the Giants' offense under normal circumstances. But throw in Manning's constant tinkering at the line and the ensuing delay of game calls that interrupted offensive rhythm, and you've got a problem. The no-huddle would have allowed Manning to scan the defense and make his audibles with time to spare.

Well, there are no rookies at this point in the season. Nicks is familiar enough with the playbook that he can, or should, be trusted to do the right thing when he reads on the fly. And Manning said the other day that the heel is no longer an issue. So it would seem that this week, with a pivotal game coming up against the Falcons, would be an ideal time to re-introduce the no-huddle to an offense that hasn't scored more than 20 points in three games.

It might even make things a little easier to operate, since the threat of a premature snap keeps defenses honest and in place, prohibiting the influx of new personnel and limiting its adjustments. It was a wonderful tool in the past, used in key spots to speed up the tempo. And more often than not, it either produced points or, at least, changed field position.

It's certainly a tactic worth revisiting. Now that the younger players are experienced enough to use it, we should see more no-huddle outside of the two-minute periods.

I want to know what you guys think? Could the no-huddle be the answer to all the offense's problems?



  1. The no huddle always seemed to work and it tired the defense. If it was stopped because of the young players they could have scripted a group of plays just to use it to confuse the defense. I think it would help and would like to see it used in the Red Zone so the defense can not jump the snap count which is always down to 1 or 2 on the clock.

  2. NO WAY ERN! Back to basics, Run, Run, Run. I want clock management, time of possession and the Giants making the right decisions which include putting the ball in the RB's hands and out of Eli's. Once Eli and the defense in particular look solid again I would endorse your plan Ern. But for now... BACK TO BASICS!

  3. I would like to see no huddle..But not always out of the shotgun..WE have to establish the Run..WE HAVE TO get back to PLAY ACTION Passing..

  4. I think the injuries to the defense could also factor into why they haven't gone no huddle. If they ran the hurry up they would have been giving our banged up defense little rest. With players coming back from injury on the D, we should have more options.

  5. Ernie you are focusing on the wrong wideout, it would seem that any lack of the playbook and the like would fall to Manningham who has a history of taking time to get adjusted. The other issue is that no huddle worked best with Derrick Ward, who would frequently release from the backfield.
    Ask yourself, everytime you see Rocky Bernard on the field, if you would rather have Ward or Bernard, this is where they decided to spend the money.

  6. The no huddle would be a welcome change, but so would any new wrinkles on offense. 4WR, faking the end around to freeze the LB, all of these standard plays are not part of the Giants arsenal.

    I agree with the post above about Manningham, he's the one who appears to be the rookie compared to Nicks.

    I read some of Reese's comments about Barden and the question of whether we will see him on the field in the second half of the season. I have to say I was not convinced by the GM that we will see him this season.

  7. Ernie...i don't think its related to Eli's foot at all. It seems more reasonable to attribute it to the lack of seasoned WRs.
    I'll offer a third reason. The Giants are constantly losing the field position battle and it's hard to call for no huddle when you start at your own 20. Much easier to do no huddle from a midfield position. If it sputters you're not penalized as much.

  8. Actually Ernie I'm more concerned with using more play action which they seemed to have moved away from. But overall a more diverse way of running the offense. Also what happened to our tight ends? I mean Boss is such a good route runner and receiver why don't we use him more? I see other teams implement their tight ends...well what about The Giants??

  9. Carolina used the hurry up VERY effectively against Atlanta. I don't know if it's a "miracle cure", but I certainly hope they use it against Atlanta. Go after a team's weakness until they prove they can stop it. As for the posts above re: Manningham, last season profootballtalk.com reported the reason Manningham was hardly ever seen was his inability to learn the playbook. The guy did horrible on the Wonderlic test. I wonder if NY needs a playbook "tutor" to spend more time with the guy. He's explosive, but he often seems to be out of position.

  10. Thank you, EP! I commented about this a week or two back. That first drive of the season openner last year, Manning used the no huddle to perfection and caught the Skins completely off guard. I agree that it should not be used on every drive, but use it maybe on the first drive and then again a couple drives later. A team can run a no huddle and not be in the shotgun; furthermore, they can run the ball out of no huddle. In fact, I could imagine the confusion that could be set with a no huddle in combination with several consecutive run plays. Sub players on the fly, giving the defense little time to adjust.

    Let's see some imagination with regards to the offense. The Gmen have the offensive weapons to be a very dangerous squad.

    Defensively, I just really hope I never see another zone blitz. Pressure with our outstanding DEs, not covering TEs and RBs that they have no business matching up with. Let's put the best defensive team out there, which would mean benching a certain safety.

    Go Big Blue!

  11. Ernie

    Great points I did not consider that makes perfect sense. I guess they could implement it by simplyfying the route running to an A or B option for the rook wr.

    Big blue 09