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Mailbag: Joe Judge's coaching staff, Wayne Gallman's growth


Luke in New York: I love the coaching staff Joe Judge put together. What do you think is the most underrated part of the way this staff is coaching these players?

John Schmeelk: What sticks out the most is the coaching staff's ability to adjust their approach once the season started and they were able to identify the strengths of their players. It became evident early in the schedule that the offensive line was having trouble executing the outside zone scheme, so Jason Garrett and Marc Colombo installed more a of a downhill, power, inside run scheme. And the run game has taken off.

Garrett also adjusted his passing scheme to rely more on play-action, run-pass options, the quick game and mass protection to take some pressure off of a young and developing offensive line. The offense has been able to move the ball without having to ask the offensive line to frequently block on five- and seven-step drops. The group's pass blocking is continuing to improve.

On defense, Patrick Graham's willingness to adjust a zone heavy scheme that fits his players is telling. His history shows that he has been part of programs that play a lot of man-to-man, but he quickly understood his talent dictated a different approach. He embraced a zone heavy defense, and along with his assistants, has taught it extremely well. The defense mixes in "Cover 3" and "Cover 2" schemes and there are rarely blown assignments in those zone coverages. Everyone has embraced the "do your job" mentality.

Rich in California: Why didn't Leonard Williams get credit for his sack of Philadelphia's Carson Wentz on the failed two-point conversion?

John Schmeelk: Stats are not accumulated on two-point conversions. Anything that occurs on those plays do not get added to a player's season-long stats.

Tim in Maryland: I'm happy to see Wayne Gallman is getting a chance to play and be successful. When Saquon Barkley gets back next season, the team will have a two-headed monster in the running game. Loving the process and seeing things coming to together on defense, offense, and special teams. I applaud the coaching staff and am looking forward to the second half of the season!

John Schmeelk: Ok, so this isn't a question, but let's add one small point to his statement. The offense, defense, and special teams have begun to complement themselves very well over the course of the season. The Giants are designed to play low-to-medium scoring games that are often close. Such games are decided by small things like field position, an area that has benefited from strong special teams play. Riley Dixon has had an excellent year, and the punt return game (with Jabrill Peppers) has been effective in sparking the offense. Graham Gano has made 20 straight field goals and doesn't leave points on the board.

Likewise, when playing close games, it is essential the defense does not give up big plays. The Giants' defense has been stingy in limiting big plays over the top that can lead to quick scores. In their past four games, the Giants have limited teams to go 4-of-15 on passes that went at least 20 yards in the air.

Offensively, the Giants have run the football well and limited turnovers, which can give opponents advantageous field position. The Giants have gone two straight games without losing the ball; in fact, their three wins have come when they either won the turnover battle or were even.

In terms of Barkley and Gallman, you can expect Barkley to get the majority of the snaps and touches when he is healthy. Gallman has done much to like, too, but he is still only averaging 3.99 yards per carry. He has been very steady as a one-cut downhill runner and is seen as an important part of a reliable - even if not explosive - run game that has consistently put Daniel Jones in third-and-manageable situations.


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