Team Giants


Special Report

Sent: 06-14-17

Dave Klein was the Giants' beat writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books and he is one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.


By Dave Klein
Most coaches in the NFL, and that includes coordinators and assistants, have a particular fantasy that continues to recur, although most of them never expect it to bear fruition.

What is it? Well, if you're an offensive coordinator you want a proven, professional, two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback. You want a tall, fast wide receiver. You want an incredibly fast wide receiver who, despite a few lapses in judgment, can burn any defense in the league. You want a slot receiver with moves, strength and football savvy.

Oh, yeah, you also want a young tight end who was the third-fastest rookie at the combine, who can block and catch and run and who might be the answer to the shortest way to the end zone, according to head coach Ben McAdoo, which is down the middle of the field.

Well, Mike Sullivan, the Giants' offensive coordinator, is the lucky recipient of all those gifts, and he is the first to admit it. He admits the offense has the feel of a heavier, bulkier playbook, a more complete menu and more options because of the available talent.

He can choose between Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, rookie tight end Evan Engram, a group of mediocre but professional running backs and Eli Manning to manage it all.

"It is exciting to think of all the different personnel groups we can use, some of the play-action passes, some of the downfield shots. I am really, really looking forward to training camp," he said Wednesday at minicamp. "I think that right now we are at a point where we have more multiplicity, with more different groupings giving defenses more to prepare for and giving us more of a chance to do the things we need to give us that balance between run and pass."

What he doesn't know for sure is how his offensive line will hold up. I understand there have been questions, and that we are going to have to rely on many of the same players, but I am confident in them."

Going into the season - injuries willing - Sullivan's offensive line will feature tackles Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart, center Weston Richburg and guards Justin Pugh and D.J. Fluker. "The first thing that jumps out about Ereck is how much leaner he is. He and Hart have been committed to the work they put in through the winter, before we even started the off-season program, and the time they spent preparing themselves physically. You can see that Ereck looks leaner. There is initial quickness that wasn't there before.

"I know we're just in shorts and t-shirts, that we aren't even close to see what we have in terms of protection and run-blocking. But I think Ereck and Bobby have both been showing the results of their work."

You might surmise that Mike Sullivan is a happy coach. You would be right.

Check out Dave's website at E-GIANTS where you can subscribe to his newsletters which run much more frequently than what is available here.
- Team Giants

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