Coaching Carousel 2016: New York Giants

A detailed look at the impact of Tom Coughlin's departure and the promotions of Ben McAdoo to head coach and Mike Sullivan to offensive coordinator.

Watch Your Back

Tom Coughlin survived a lot of coaching rumors over the years. It seems no matter how much success he and the Giants enjoyed, there was always a constituency that advocated for his firing. Finally, after 12 seasons and two Super Bowl championships, Coughlin was let go (or 'retired' to hear others tell it) and replaced with his own assistant coach -- Ben McAdoo.  We have no knowledge of any strife between Coughlin and McAdoo, but it's notable that the 38-year old rose to the throne just two seasons after taking over the Giants offense. Regardless of what kind of back office politics did (or did not) played a role in the change, the reality is that Coughlin is out and McAdoo is the new face of the franchise.

Ben McAdoo Coaching Tenure

2001 24 College Michigan State Special Teams/Offensive Asst.
2002 25 College Fairfield OL/TE Coach
2003 26 College Pittsburgh Offensive Asst.
2004 27 NFL New Orleans Saints Offensive Asst./Quality Control
2005 28 NFL San Francisco 49ers Asst. OL Coach/Quality Control
2006 29 NFL Green Bay Packers TE Coach
2007 30 NFL Green Bay Packers TE Coach
2008 31 NFL Green Bay Packers TE Coach
2009 32 NFL Green Bay Packers TE Coach
2010 33 NFL Green Bay Packers TE Coach
2011 34 NFL Green Bay Packers TE Coach
2012 35 NFL Green Bay Packers QB Coach
2013 36 NFL Green Bay Packers QB Coach
2014 37 NFL New York Giants Offensive Coordinator
2015 38 NFL New York Giants Offensive Coordinator
  • McAdoo is a Mike McCarthy protégé -- McAdoo began coaching with the Chiefs as the tight ends coach and stayed in that position for six seasons; he then became the quarterbacks coach when Tom Clements was promoted to offensive coordinator
  • McAdoo was hired in New York to modernize the offense

The Early Results Are Promising

2015 420 5956 Coughlin McAdoo 6 8 7 1 18 29
2014 380 5875 Coughlin McAdoo 13 10 7 9 23 12
2013 294 4920 Coughlin Gilbride 28 28 19 27 27 29
  • The Giants offense rose fro 28th to 6th in points (294 to 420) in McAdoo's two seasons
  • The yardage improvement was similar, from 28th to 8th (4,920 to 5,956)
  • Most of the improvement has come from the passing game, with Manning playing at a career-best level

Eli Manning Splits (Pre- and Post-McAdoo)

04-13 306 524 58.5% 3,696 23.9 4.6% 17.9 3.4% 7.1
14-15 383 610 62.8% 4,423 32.5 5.3% 14.0 2.3% 7.3
  • Manning has gone from a solid NFL starter to an elite passer in the last two seasons
  • Manning's completions, attempts, completion rate, yardage, TD rate, INT rate and yards-per-attempt have ALL improved

West Coast Offense, Aggro Version

McAdoo is deeply rooted in the West Coast offense, passed down from Bill Walsh to Mike Holmgren to Mike McCarthy to McAdoo. Like many teams, with roots in the West Coast, McAdoo has modernized the attack to better suit his personnel as well as the league's penchant for passing in nearly every down and distance. McAdoo is a far more aggressive play-caller than his predecessor (Kevin Gilbride) and will continue to push the envelope. But don't confuse aggressive with careless. He put a major emphasis on protecting the football as exhibited by Eli Manning having as many interceptions in the last two years combined as he did in Gilbride's final season.

The biggest different between traditional West Coast attacks and McAdoo's 2016 version will be the use of 3- and 4-WR sets; particularly if Victor Cruz is healthy. This is a team built on the back of Eli Manning's arm and Odell Beckham's hands, and all of the offseason moves have been in support of passing game. Will the team strive for more balance on offense? Probably not. There's no question McAdoo and OC Mike Sullivan want more productivity from the rushing game, but they want it to come from better PER TOUCH production versus drmatically increasing the team's rushing attempts.

Let's Not Forget Mike Sullivan

McAdoo will continue to call the plays, so this remains squarely HIS offense. But one of the things McAdoo is known for is consensus-building; he's not an autocrat. As a result, expect Mike Sullivan -- last year's quarterbacks coach -- to have a big role in the weekly preparation and game planning.

Mike Sullivan Coaching Tenure

1993 26  College Humboldt State Graduate Asst.
1995 27  College Army Linebackers
1996 28  College Army Linebackers
1997 29  College Youngstown State Defensive Backs
1998 30  College Youngstown State Defensive Backs
1999 31  College Army Defensive Backs
2000 32  College Army Defensive Backs
2001 33  College Ohio Defensive Backs
2002 34  NFL Jacksonville Jaguars Defensive Quality Control
2003 35  NFL Jacksonville Jaguars Offensive Asst.
2004 36  NFL New York Giants Wide Receivers
2005 37  NFL New York Giants Wide Receivers
2006 38  NFL New York Giants Wide Receivers
2007 39  NFL New York Giants Wide Receivers
2008 40  NFL New York Giants Wide Receivers
2009 41  NFL New York Giants Wide Receivers
2010 42  NFL New York Giants Quarterbacks
2011 43  NFL New York Giants Quarterbacks
2012 44  NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator
2013 45  NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator
2015 47  NFL New York Giants Quarterbacks
  • Sullivan was a long-time assistant under Coughlin, with offense roots more in the Erhardt/Perkins offense versus the West Coast
  • Sullivan spent two seasons as the play-caller in Tampa Bay before returning to the Giants staff
  • In his first season in Tampa Bay, Josh Freeman threw for 4000+ yards and 27 touchdowns while Doug Martin had a massive 1,926-yard rookie season
  • In his second season in Tampa, the offense fell apart, Mike Glennon started most of the season at quarterback and Martin and Bobby Rainey both meandered to 500+ yards from scimmage

Who Will Call the Plays?

McAdoo has been coy about whether he or Sullivan will call plays, although logic dictates McAdoo will run the offense himself given how fluid and productive it's been in the last two years. Sullivan's roots and his play-calling resume aren't as compelling when there's a proven alternative (McAdoo himself) on staff.

Expect 2015 Redux...With Even More Aggression

In life there are few universal truths -- but the adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" holds true here. The Giants have room for improvement, particularly in the ground game, but overall the offense has been stellar under McAdoo's watch and appears to have hit their stride exiting 2015. As long as all the key players remain healthy, there's no reason to think the team won't press their advantages. Expect pass heavy attacks as long as the game script allows, with aggressive downfield throwing mixed into the more traditional West Coast possession routes that have been a hallmark of this system for 30 years. Fantasy owners should be excited for what lies ahead for Manning, Beckham, Cruz (if healthy), rookie Sterling Shepard, Will Tye and the cadre of committee running backs.

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