The spinning NFL coaching carousel doesn’t really involve the N

  •  this year. Pat Shurmur is in place and there have been no indications at this point that there will be staff changes. Still , the carousel is interesting to discuss.With that in mind, we’re trying something a bit different today. We gathered as many of your Big Blue View contributors as we could for a chat about many of the moves that have been made, mostly with yours truly filling what would amount to a moderator role. Here is what we ended up with:Ed Valentine: Let’s kick this off.A generic though to start is that the hirings in Green Bay and Arizona are very surprising to me. They seem like “home run” swings that could either be spectacular successes, or equally spectacular flops.Dan Pizzuta:That’s fair, but at this point, especially with these two teams I think that swing kind of has to be taken. For Green Bay, the goal is to get the most out of whatever Aaron Rodgers has left and in Arizona, it’s about getting the best system around Josh Rosen as soon as possible.Mark Schofield: I’ll confess to being a bit surprised at the LaFleur hiring. I was hoping he’d get more out of Marcus Mariota. But maybe the lack of production from him was due more to injury than anything else.That being said, while LaFleur’s offense had a lot of the Sean McVay elements he was probably hired for, it was also more vertical than I expected it to be, which fits with their current crop of WRs. Plus, I think it is a good idea for Rodgers to be in a more vertical offense, and as Dan said it’s all about getting what you can out of Rodgers, and that should be a start.Joe DeLeone:The risk for both might payoff, but they are desperate attempts to find the next 30-year-old offensive genius. LaFleur has the strongest likelihood of actually paying off because of his NFL experience and being handed one of the best quarterbacks to build around. Kingsbury on the other hand will be a major flop, considering he has absolutely no experience in the NFL and struggled to win games in the Big 12. While I do agree its is about getting Rosen in the best system as soon as possible, this move seems rushed.Ed Valentine:So, I will admit to not even knowing who Matt LaFleur was before he got hired by the Packers. What makes this guy, with less experience as a coordinator than Ben McAdoo had, the right guy to coach Aaron Rodgers? I’d think it would be easier to get buy-in from a strong-willed guy like Rodgers with someone who has more of a track record.Dan Pizzuta: I’ll ashamedly answer that with another question, who is really that guy right now?Offense is the most important thing in the NFL right now and it happens that most of the guys with the most progressive outlooks on that side of the ball are younger. I have no idea how LaFleur will be as a head coach, but if he can communicate and can construct a good offensive system, one that doesn’t count on Rodgers to be magic on his own all the time, he’ll have the quarterback’s respectMark Schofield:Pagano? Koetter?Dan Pizzuta:Would either of those guys excite you if you’re Green Bay? And if it’s Pagano, you’re still looking for someone to run the offense.Kliff KingsburyPhoto by John Weast/Getty ImagesEd Valentine:OK, so let’s talk about Arizona. Kliff Kingsbury? I get the “offense is important” and that developing Josh Rosen is critical , but a head coach can’t be just a glorified quarterbacks coach. There’s a lot more to it than that. How does a guy like this manage to “fail up?” He got fired by his collegiate alma mater, a place where he was a hero as a player.Dan Pizzuta: Here’s where I’ll take the rationale for a Kingsbury hire making sense: There’s a bigger gap in passing efficiency and run efficiency in the NFL than in the NCAA (where Kingsbury excels). There’s also a smaller gap in the range of defensive talent in the NFL than in college (where Kingsbury struggled). I’d argue his skillset is actually better suited for the NFL than it was in the Big 12 where he couldn’t recruit a defense. Last year Texas Tech was 22nd in offensive S&P+ but 87th on defense. He’s not going to have that problem in the NFL...provided he can fill out a good defensive staff, which I don’t think will be as big a problem as some make it. That coach will get full control over the defense and Kingsbury runs an air raid, but it’s not like it’s a Chip Kelly hyperspeed offense that’s going to put stress on the defense from getting more time on the field.Joe DeLeone:Kingsbury’s circumstance is that of the Cardinals trying to recreate what they have in LA. Now that one team has created success with young talented quarterback and a young charismatic coach, it’s clear they think this is the new standard for breeding a good environment. The reality of it is that McVay was the exception and a rare coincidence. Other teams have attempted to bring in younger coaches, like with Josh McDaniels on multiple occasions, but this one is easily the most risky.I do agree he is a good offensive mind, but wouldn’t he be better suited as an offensive coordinator rather than a head coach in foreign territory?Ed Valentine:So, let’s talk about Bruce Arians. Has he lost his mind? He left Arizona claiming health reasons, and now he is going to go coach Jameis Winston? That can’t be good for anyone’s health!Joe DeLeone:Well I think him leaving Arizona was mainly because he hates working with rookie quarterbacks and did not want to build a team from the ground up. Despite him admitting to drinking paint as a kid, I’m sure his health is fine.Mark Schofield:I love that fit.He’s got his staff in place, and Winston is a great fit for his offense. If you truly live the “no risk it no biscuit” lifestyle he’s the right QB for it. Good vertical threat in Evans, decent TEs to work around who can be vertical threats as well, and maybe this offensive system convince DeSean Jackson to stick around, as he’d thrive in it.Dan Pizzuta:I love that hire. On and off the field Arians hasn’t been afraid to take risks. He could potentially be a good mentor for Winston, a player he has consistently praised while he was coaching. Like Mark said, that offense is a perfect match. Per Next Gen Stats, only Josh Allen threw a deeper average pass than Winston this season and Arians loves the vertical game. And if it doesn’t work, there’s only one year left on Winston’s deal and Arians can hand pick his next quarterbackJoe DeLeone:As long as they attack the defensive side of the ball in the off season, they probably have the best chance for a quick turnaround. The major obstacle standing in the way is if Winston doesn’t do something dumb to jeopardize his career. Arians was the best available guy to keep him in check.Mark Schofield: ...from what could be a great QB class.Dan Pizzuta: Good point there, Mark.The defensive side is going to be taken care of with this hire, too. Arians had his full staff in place — pretty much his entire Arizona staff — and Todd Bowles coming in as defensive coordinator is just as big as Arians at the helmJoe DeLeone:Honestly, the most intriguing part of the hire is him bringing Bowles in. He might not be a great head coach, but the performance of Arizona’s defense when he was there is a clear indication of what we can expect.Ed Valentine:Last one. The New York Jets. They haven’t hired him yet, but would Mike McCarthy be the right guy to develop Sam Darnold? If not McCarthy, who?Joe DeLeone:Right now he appears to be the best available for their situation. Before Rodgers starting eating up all of the Packers cap space , McCarthy produced some elite teams that were well balanced on both sides of the ball. Now that he has a quarterback that is far less outspoken in coaching and personnel decisions, he can spend the money he needs to fill the Jets remaining holes.Dan Pizzuta:I really don’t like that fit at all. His offensive scheme has a lot of isolation routes, which put a lot of stress on the receivers to win one-on-one and the Jets right now don’t have the skill players for that to work and when it doesn’t, that puts a lot of stress on the quarterback to make something work out of structure. That wore down Rodgers eventually and I can’t imagine that’s the best setting to put Darnold in during his second year.Mark Schofield:Similar to the Arizona situation, the Jets job is all about developing Darnold and maximizing the window of his rookie deal. When he was coming out I thought a west coast offense might make sense for him, and well....that’s McCarthy.The one hang up I have with this potential pairing is this: McCarthy’s offense got stale and as we know relied too much on Rodgers creating on his own. Almost no pre-snap movement or shifting, minimal creativity near the end, etc.Those are all things you can do as a coach to help your QB, and those are things you can do to help a rookie like Darnold. How set in his ways is McCarthy?Editor’s note: We hope you enjoyed this! We enjoyed putting it together, and intend to do this occasionally going forward.Film room: How the Giants turned Eli Manning loose vs. Jets Since the New York Giants hired Pat Shurmur to be their new head coach and fix their broken offense, fans have waited to see what he could do, whether he could bring the magic he worked on the Minnesota Vikings’ offense to New York. When Shurmur was hired, Odell Beckham Jr. excitedly tweeted that he was “geeked!” by the hire. Giants’ fans finally got to see what the excitement was about when the Giants faced the New York Jets in their annual meeting in the third pre-season game. As the game which coaches use to simulate a regular season game week, we finally got to see more than the outline of the Giants’ new offense. And even with game-breaking playmakers Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. sidelined for the game, Eli Manning was unleashed like we have only rarely seen him these past few years. So, how did Shurmur and Mike Shula simultaneously get Manning’s completion percentage to a mark he has only matched seven times since 2014, while also having the most yards per attempt since Week 3 of 2016?Attacking all levels of the defenseOver the last four years, Giants fans have become accustomed to seeing routes run in isolation. The previous offense consistently sought to put receivers in one-on-one situations for the quarterback to complete high-percentage throws. Usually that meant short passes based off the slant route. That lead to problems when faced with certain coverages or when they couldn’t feed the offense through Odell Beckham or Sterling Shepard.Under Shurmur, the Giants’ offense looks to help receivers by scheming them open, creating conflicts for defenders, and creating simple reads for the quarterbacks. This will clearly be a feature of the offense and was on display from Manning’s first pass of the night. The Giants open with a variaton on the “sail” concept. The sail concept overloads one side of the defense, in this case the defensive right, with receivers at (roughly) 5, 15, and 25 yards. In this case the Giants run the concept with a pair of crossing routes from the bunch formation to the offensive right, with Sterling Shepard running the underneath crosser while Engram runs the intermediate route. Cody Latimer runs the third element of the concept , the vertical route, on the left side of the offensive formation. The Jets seem to be running a Cover 3 defense here, which happens to be particularly vulnerable to the sail concept. The concept puts the free safety Marcus Maye in a difficult conflict. The passing concept forces Maye to choose between staying deep and defending the vertical route or coming down to help pick up the deep crossing route.Just before the snap, Maye retreats to a deep center field position, and at that moment Eli knows that he will have Engram open in the intermediate. Other than the coverage on Latimer, which looks as if it could be press coverage until the corner turns to make a zone drop just before the snap, this looks as though it will be zone coverage. across the board — which it is. The vertical route from Latimer pulls the outside corner and free safety deep, vacating the sideline for Shepard and Engram. Meanwhile, Jonathan Stewart comes up to pass protect before releasing into a short check-down route. That freezes the underneath coverage on his side slightly, and forces a mistake when the inside linebacker doesn’t pick up Engram as he passes through his zone. Instead, he lets Engram go, apparently expecting him to be picked up by a free safety who isn’t there. Either way, it likely wouldn’t have mattered, as Engram’s speed in the open field is too much for most linebackers to match.The end result was an easy read for Manning, who delivers an accurate pass in rhythm to a wide open Engram for a 15-yard reception. Take what the defense gives themShurmur’s offense is flexible and varied, borrowing ideas from every offensive mind he’s worked with. But it’s foundation is still the West Coast Offense, and abides by the Tao of Bill Walsh: You don’t go broke making a profit. The Giants’ new offense features far more aggression and vertical elements than Ben McAdoo’s, but they’ll pick their spots for those plays. Here, we see the Giants taking advantage of the defensive call to find a completion and establish a lead with a field goal. The Jets are showing a Cover 4 defense with four defenders in deep zone coverage (quarters coverage), and just four rushers. The route combination on the bottom of the screen uses two receivers to clear out the three defenders to the offensive right. Eli keeps his eyes to that side of the field, using the vertical route to pull the safety and outside corner into the end zone. He then moves his eyes to the middle of the field, pulling the other safety and the two inside linebackers to TE Scott Simonson, who is running the inner of the two hook routes. Wayne Gallman immediately goes out as though for a swing pass, pulling the outside linebacker toward the sideline. All of this creates a big void for tight end Jerell Adams on the outer of the two hook routes. It’s an easy pitch-and-catch from Manning to Adams, and a very safe play.Considering the circumstances — a pre-season game in which top tight ends Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison have already left the game, and the offense is missing Beckham and Barkley — taking the conservative option is forgivable. The play is unlikely to score or result in a first down Womens Odell Beckham Jr Jersey , and in a regular season game this is likely more of a second-and-9 play than third-and-9. It did, however, give the Giants another chance to see a young kicker in Aldrick Rosas who is trying to prove that he should keep his job.Taking shotsManning has always been at his best when he can attack the defense down the field. That doesn’t mean that he wants to sling the ball down the field on every pass like he did in Kevin Gilbride’s final year. However, Eli seems like a more engaged and energetic quarterback when he knows he has the option to try and throw the occasional haymaker.Once again going back to Bill Walsh and the original WCO, the run-action fake (or play-action) has long been considered to be the safest way to attack deep. Even if a team can’t ‘establish the run game,’ a well-executed play fake forces a defense to freeze, slowing a pass rush and taking defenders out of position in coverage.Here we see the Giants use a simple three-man route based off of play-action to deliver a body blow to the Jets’ defense. The Giants used pre-snap motion — with fullback Shane Smith motioning from a wide receiver position to the backfield — to establish that the Jets are in a zone coverage, in this case Cover 3. The free safety is so deep that he isn’t on the screen. After a good punt return, the Giants decide to take a shot down the field and really challenge the Jets deep for the first time in the game. With eight potential rushers, the Giants keep seven players back for pass protection while the play develops.To this point the Giants have not been able to run the ball effectively at all, with Jonathan Stewart losing yards on average. However, that doesn’t stop the Jets from reacting to the play fake, with all eight box defenders either attacking the run or freezing. Manning takes advantage of the opportunity to target Cody Latimer running the deep post. Latimer’s size and speed downfield get a couple steps of separation on Morris Claiborne while Trumaine Johnson is forced to respect the deep crossing route, keeping him from helping Claiborne in coverage.This play could — and probably should — have been a touchdown for Manning. However, hedoesn’t fully step in to the throw, under-throwing the ball by a yard or two. That could have been influenced by late pressure as rookie defensive lineman Nathan Shepard is never properly picked up and gets in Manning’s face as he throws the ball.Final thoughtsThis is a new and different offense from what we’ve seen from the Giants. It does have elements of previous offenses, such as the basic tenets of the west coast offense and most passing plays feature at least one vertical option, as in Kevin Gilbride’s offense. But unlike either McAdoo’s or Gilbride’s offense, Shurmur and Shula blend concepts and philosophies to create a varied and versatile offense. It is an offense that strives to create conflict on the defense while putting offensive players in position to maximize their skill sets — such as using Latimer deep or Engram in space against a linebacker. All that makes for relatively easy reads for Manning while letting him take care of the ball or indulge in his desire to attack the defense deep when the opportunity presents itself. The end result? 17 for 23 (73.9 percent) and 188 yards — a line that could easily have been better if not for the under-throw and a pair of drops by Hunter Sharp. Manning looked like a rejuvenated quarterback, quickly making his reads and delivering the ball on time and in rhythm. Manning certainly seems to enjoy playing in this offense, and with the team betting on their 37 year old QB having gas left in the tank, it was what they needed to see.