EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants are going to simplify things in an effort to get a win.
While coach Ben McAdoo wouldn’t say precisely how the Giants would change for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers at MetLife Stadium, but it’s obvious that he is trying to take some pressure off his team and to get them to play more instinctively.
If there has been a common thread in the 0-4 start, it’s been that players are hesitating on some plays and pressing on others. There seems to be no comfort level, where players just fly around and make plays.
The Giants returned most of the starters from a defense that was among the best in the league in posting an 11-5 record, and the offense had Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and the entire line back.
“I think (McAdoo) is trying to tell us not to press,” tackle Justin Pugh said. “When you get down into a hole, 0-4, and you get down in game and everyone is trying to make that big play or that big block, just go and do your job. Keep it stupid, simple. That’s the old saying, and that’s what we are going to do.”
Beckham said the communication between teammates has to improve as well as the fundaments, noting it can start with a simple slant pattern. The attitude a player has to take is that he is going to beat his defender.
“It has to be, ‘OK, cool. You know I’m running a slant. I’m going to beat you inside and I’m going to catch this ball and get 7 yards,'” Beckham said.
“Whatever you’re going to get. It just has to be that mentality. You have to have it. Now is the time you have to have it. It’s not that we’re pressing, but now is the time.”
Linebacker Jonathan Casillas didn’t feel the Giants simplified much at practice Wednesday.
“I think everybody has to be more detailed, not limiting our plays to 20 instead of 40,” the defensive captain said. “We have to handle it when they give it to us.”
To a certain extent, Casillas feels the defense is not flying around as much as a year ago.
“I feel like last year, early in the season, we were not that good defensively, and we got better,” he said. “I think we are there now. We just don’t have any wins to stand up to that.
“Last year I feel we were kind of back and forth. We had some signs of being really good, but we weren’t really good yet. We had to get better throughout the season and I think that is in front of us, but 0-4 does not look that good. “
McAdoo wants his team to play simple, fast football, focusing on blocking, tackling, catching, punting, kicking. If he could take thinking out of the equation, he would.
“You don’t want to go back into a training camp mode, but you want to get pretty close,” the second-year head coach said. “Just make it simple. Let players run, hit, tackle, block, catch, do what they do best.”
Cornerback Eli Apple said opposing offenses have used a couple of new schemes that have worked.
“I think we’re kind of thinking too much a little bit out there on the field, instead of just going out and playing like we did last year,” Apple said.
“We’ve just got to try to just get the communication down, that’s the main thing. If we don’t get that down, we’re not able to move fast out there.”
Coincidently, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn also talked to his team about simplifying things Wednesday.
“We are going to cut back a little bit and just try to take our best game plan to New York,” he said. “I want my guys to do the same thing, play fast, be physical and execute better. My way of doing that is cutting back a bit.”
NOTES: CB Janoris Jenkins (ankle), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder/knee), C Weston Richburg (concussion) and DE Olivier Vernon (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. WR Odell Beckham Jr. (finger/ankle), RB Orleans Darkwa (back), WR Brandon Marshall (toe) and RB Paul Perkins (ribs) were limited.