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.
SULLIVAN A HAPPY COORDINATOR
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.
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.
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."
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.
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