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Mailbag: Vertical passing game; O-line possibilities


Eddie in California: The Giants have acquired many new weapons to go along with Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. What concept changes will Jason Garrett make to the offense? And will the O-line allow for more of a vertical passing game?

John Schmeelk: Garrett has plenty of vertical concepts in his playbook. He utilized Dez Bryant, who has similar skills to Kenny Golladay, in Dallas to great effect. He will figure out a way to get the ball to Kadarius Toney in space. Kyle Rudolph's red zone skills will come in handy the same way Jason Witten's did in Dallas.

There are ways to move the ball downfield while getting it out quick or helping the offensive line with max protection and play-action passes, but it can't be done as efficiently or as often if the offensive line cannot consistently protect with five men against a four- or five-man rush. A quarterback must be given the chance to look for receivers running deep routes that take time to develop.

Erick in Florida: Is there is a possibility the coaching staff would consider moving a tackle, such as Nate Solder or Matt Peart, inside to guard?

John Schmeelk: Solder and Peart have longer and slimmer body types that fit better outside and are rarely seen inside at guard, where leverage is more important.

Glenn in Maryland: I had read somewhere that with his length, quickness and hands, the Giants were entertaining the notion of converting Elerson Smith to tight end, where he might have an immediate impact on the offense. Could this be true, given the competition at edge rusher and the Giants not drafting a tight end (although they did get Rudolph in free agency)?

John Schmeelk: No, that statement is not true.

Randy in Maryland: How will the upgraded talent across the board (at least on paper) lead to better position battles/competition (i.e. WR vs. CB or even OL vs. DL) during training camp and at daily practice?

John Schmeelk: This could be the case at two different spots - wide receiver and the interior offensive line. The guards and centers being able to compete against Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence on a daily basis will certainly help get them ready for the regular season. The battle between the deeper wide receiver and cornerback rooms – especially with the mix of veteran and young players – will also help those units be ready for the regular season.

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