Rarely does an NFL head coach fire a member from their staff in consecutive seasons. But New York Giants head coach Joe Judge terminated offensive coordinator Jason Garrett a little over a year to the day of firing Marc Colombo as the team’s offensive line coach. And to no surprise, Judge named Freddie Kitchens as the Giants new offensive play-caller. This move has more to do with the lack of production from the unit than Xs and Os. Kitchens should make an immediate impact on the offense’s productivity for the remainder of the season.
Freddie Kitchens’ Offensive Philosophy Quite Different From Garrett’s
It will be abundantly clear that Kitchens’ interpretation of a fast-moving offense is quite different from Garrett’s beliefs. The frustration level was high with Garrett’s inability to stretch the field with the passing game.
Newcomer Kenny Golladay vented his displeasure with the lack of touches in a sideline rant during a Week 2 loss to the Washington Football Team. Kadarius Toney went on social media to voice his displeasure with his role in the passing game. The Giants cannot tolerate any more distractions. Kitchens must make this crystal clear by reinforcing that everyone has a role in the offense. But on-field production will be key in gaining more touches and snaps.
Despite the much-maligned unit scoring only 13 points against the Philadelphia Eagles in a home victory, the offense did show some level of improvement. However, Kitchens has a difficult task at hand as he must repair Daniel Jones’ confidence level by creating a more dynamic passing attack.
The young quarterback getting the football out to his playmakers quickly is pivotal. Kitchens will have to be a more hands-on coach. He must make tweaks to Jones’ ability to be efficient and productive in the pocket. Expect to see more split tight end formations that give Jones a wider field to throw the football. Kitchens needs to design simple pass routes that force a defense into single coverage. Hopefully, the completion turns into a big yardage gain downfield.
Red Zone Efficiency Must Get Better
The Giants hope to reap some rewards with Freddie Kitchens in charge. To accomplish this goal, the offense must do a better job of scoring points in the red zone to deem this change a success.
The biggest area of improvement needs to take place in red zone scoring opportunities. Garrett’s play-calling in the red zone became too predictable and stale during his tenure with the Giants. He rarely offered the element of surprise with an innovative offensive set. Instead, Garrett was stubborn and repeatedly used the same formations.
Kitchens immediate impact could be felt in the area of using multiple sets near the end zone. The Giants might line up in empty sets that disguise an inside screen, wheel or fad pass routes. Such formations could force the defense into coverage errors. No question, Jones has the arm and athleticism to convert any play called into six points.
Firing a coordinator is seen as a last resort to salvage a disappointing season. Judge was hired by the Giants based on his vision and plan to make the franchise competitive once again. He fired Garrett because the rebuild was not going according to plan.
Granted, everyone might have to temper their expectations moving forward. But the Giants entire offensive coaching staff has been put on high alert.
The offense is now Kitchens’ unit, his game plan, and his responsibility to get better results each Sunday. If not, then John Mara and Steve Tisch might be forced to retool their organization once again.
For everyone’s sake, the offense must prosper.