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New York Giants’ Rueben Randle Still Adjusting to Complex Offensive System

November 18th, 2012 at 10:20 AM
By Dan Benton

It's no real secret that offensive rookies frequently struggle to adapt to the New York Giants' offensive system, and that often stems from the simplicity they're used to in college. It has been the case with not only rookie running back David Wilson, but also wide receiver Rueben Randle. And slightly beyond the mid-way point of his first season with Big Blue, Randle admits that he's still learning and adjusting to what is an extremely intricate system.

"Adjustment-wise, [things are very] complex, especially in this offense," Randle told Giants.com. "I was used to a lot of simplified things [in college], just having a little route and maybe convert it to something else. But here you have three or four routes on one play. So I’m just adjusting to that, getting my mind focused on a lot of different things."

As we've seen in the not so distant past, mere talent isn't capable of overcoming the complexity of Kevin Gilbride's offensive system if a player does not truly understand it. It's also a large part of the reason rookies don't see as much actions as the fans would like them to see. After all, this isn't your Grandmother's simple college system.

In order to be successful in the Giants' offense, players must first grasp and understand all the X's and O's. Beyond that, they must have their timing down pat because it also relies heavily on players being exactly where they are supposed to be at all times.

From the outside looking in, it's easy to say "tell him to run a streak and hit him over the top," but it just doesn't work that way for the Giants. And with the recent focus on rookies and their lack of playing time, Randle's insight is telling.

It's not as easy as it looks. Who knew?

Photo Credit: Mike Gannon

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Tags: David Wilson, Football, Kevin Gilbride, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Rueben Randle

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38 Responses to “New York Giants’ Rueben Randle Still Adjusting to Complex Offensive System”

  1.  Dirt says:

    For fun, here’s how I see the season playing out:

    Vs Green Bay
    Lose in a shootout, as the Packers score early, Giants start rusty, running games go out the window (so Wilson doesn’t play) and both quarterbacks tear each other’s defense up. 950 yards of total offense. New York media erupts all week following.
    6-5

    @ Washington
    Comfortable win as the Giants offense picks up where it left off last week against a suspect Washington defense. Giants aren’t fooled again by the Redskins rush game and the return of Phillips begins to tell the story of the Giants pass defense during the middle 3rd of the season. Newspaper quiet down a bit, but they know New Orleans is coming.
    7-5

    Vs New Orleans
    Drew Brees has an average day in the cold and wind in December, and Eli goes to town. Giants win comfortably. After 3 straight 300-yard performances, Eli Manning’s jacked right arm is featured on the Post with a witty headline about “tired arm”. Fans in the know instead cite the improved health of Nicks and Bennett and the recent insertion of Wilson into the lineup (due to Bradshaw’s Adderall suspension) as reasons for the offensive turnaround.
    8-5

    @ Atlanta
    NFC Divisional Round preview lives up to its billing. Two disciplined teams don’t give each other an inch. And like all other tight Giants games, this one features Eli trailing at the end, and putting together a drive to win the game. Eli scores the game winner and makes some awkward gesture in celebration, the Falcons are bitter in the locker room, begging to “see them again.”
    9-5

    @ Baltimore
    Giants go into Baltimore with a 1 game lead knowing with a win and a Dallas loss they clinch the division. So Eli torches an elderly Ravens defense and gets on the plane with a 1.5 game lead. (Dallas would later choke the divison away at home against New Orleans.
    10-5

    Vs Philadelphia
    Locked into the 4 seed, Giants use this game as a bye week, as Andy Reid wins his last game as an Eagle/500th win against the Giants.
    10-6

    •  demo3356 says:

      agree on 10-6 but I see us winning that last game vs the punched out Eagles to get there. Probably a loss to New Orleans or Atlanta along the way

  2.  demo3356 says:

    LOL! Now playing the role of Mario Mannigham, the window licking, drool cup wearing, physically talented but mentally challenged 3rd WR for the NYG is Ruben Randle. Please give Mr Randle a warm NYG welcome!

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      We’ve been trying to tell people for years how insanely complex this offensive system is. Glad to see a player finally come out and make note of the “3-4 routes per play” thing as MANY around here had been telling me I just made that up.

      •  Dirt says:

        I think if anyone was disputing you they’re in their own world. I think the constant comments are rather on the merits of not narrowing that complexity for those who might not be ready mentally but full of game physically.

    •  Dirt says:

      So harsh!

      It’s strange how fans develop favorites and least favorites. Fans love guys like Phillips, hate Rolle. Love Nicks, hate Manningham. Love JPP, hate Osi. Loved Mitchell, hated Pierce. Etc.

      But my man Manningham gets slaughtered round here.

      •  demo3356 says:

        I have always been a MM supporter bro. I have said hundreds of times that while dumb as a bag of rocks, he was the best #3 WR in the NFL and we didn’t need him to cure cancer or split the atom, just run fast and catch the Pigskin. He was a very good player for us but your a clown if you cant admit he was as sharp as a plastic spoon

  3.  demo3356 says:

    Benton, Not only is that common knowledge about our playbook, but there are now several teams running the same read option routes that we are. Tennessee, Tampa Bay and San Diego have all put elements of our playbook into theirs. It is a copy cat league and when something works and teams have success, others copy it. I read a couple of articles earlier in the year about teams adding elements of our offense to theirs and remember Gruden talking about it on a MNF game earlier this year.

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      It should be common knowledge, but these casual fans (not many who comment here – much more well-informed group here) can’t understand it. Do you ever read the comments on Giants 101 Facebook? It’s mind-numbing.

  4.  rlhjr says:

    REPOST from Previous thread:

    Wilson not playing has something to do with his fumble and Coughlin not locked into playing rooks. It has much more to do with what a Giants running back has to do in order to play. And folks, just like the tight end position the Giants demand physical players who can block.

    They (TC) will not settle for anything less. I don’t always like it and have said so many times. But you can not argue with facts. When the cards fall the Giants way and they manage to have the players that adhere to their blueprint, the win.

    If only that policy extended to linebackers and offensive linemen. But I digress.

    In fact when you look at the Giants at their best, historically they have size, speed and physicality. That’s how they draft on both sides of the ball.
    And that did not start yesterday. This method has been around since the 50?s.

    So if you like the Giants and their style of play you have to understand Coughlin unwillingness to play kids unless he absolutely has to. Case in point Randal. No way this kid sees the field with his attitude if Coughlin has other options. “What does that say about Jernigan?” But i digress yet again.

    This article mentions two running backs who are clearly more physical and able to block than Wilson is even close to being right now. No way Coughlin puts the kid out there unable to block. Dirt mentioned Bradshaw’s 07 play.

    Braddy had no problem at all blocking. But it took what 11-12 weeks?
    In fact Bradshaw THINKS he’s 6’3? 240. Wilson on the other hand is able to bounce off would be tacklers and run around them. But has zero chance in a contest against a 250lb backer or a 280lb DE in pass protection. Hell, a safety will rag doll Wilson if his technique does not hold up. In short Wilson would get Eli killed.

    ** Yeah I know, so will David Diehl **

    Bradshaw was/is much more likely to run into a tackler. More now than earlier in his career. I called Bradshaw from the very start “ONE STEP AWAY” runner.
    One step away from being a game breaker. That ain’t all bad people.

    The bottom line with the Giants policy is this:
    Outside of a total emergency, rookies ain’t playing. Now, if a rook is so talented that he just takes a job then so be it and he will play. Eli did not start out of the box. Tiki started life as a third down scat back. JPP waited even though it was clear he was going to be the man. You stand for something or you fall for anything. That’s the Giants and they aint changing. Putting a “GREEN” kid out there is bad for the team, and even more so for the kid.

    One Super Bowl trophy every five years is fine for Mr. Mara and Mr. Tish anyway. They have to spend the money to keep this thing going. And in this day and age the task is not at all easy for Mara/Tish and Reese.

    I am sure there are others I’ve missed, but here is a list of Giants who in my memory were able to play year one:

    Carson, Taylor, Dryer, Elliot, Hampton, Mendenhall, Van Pelt, Bavaro, Haynes, Leonard Marshall, Mowatt. Curtis McGriff and Barber were subject to what down it was. Like I said, there are more, but not a lot more. Most of those mentioned were in the pro bowl. Some were borderline HOF and others were HOF. Common thread you say? Size, speed and physicality none of these guys were weak links.

    •  kujo says:

      TL;DR Version of Every Post rlhjr Makes:

      Blah blah blah

      Draft a middle linebacker

      Blah

      •  rlhjr says:

        Pay attention to the so called bla bla bla Kuj. Lumps of coal turn into diamonds.

        But I will get my shots in because the truth is the truth. Right MR. TE’O?

        LOL

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    Well, at this point I’m an advocate of cutting down the options for Randle to what he can handle because we desperately need a solid #3 wide receiver and he’s our best shot.

    But in defense of the coaches’ reluctance to put him out there I think it might be useful for those who don’t realize this that what Eli is generally doing is first reading the defense as he walks to the line, then reading it as he drops back, then making his target decision and then throwing TO A SPOT ON TIMING. IN other words, the ball goes to a spot at a certain time. The receiver had better be there or it’s trouble. So the receiver has to do the same pre-read, read, and decision and then haul his **** to the spot at the right moment. It’s like syncopated dancing. Tough for rookies.

    But if Jernigan isn’t ready, and Barden’s not capable, and Hixon is hurt, there stands Mr. Randle who can handle a two read-and-react assignment but cannot yet handle up to four options, and is a great athlete who can create separation. Explain to me why they cannot cut down the options on his side of the field? Then build them up slowly so he can handle three by the end of this season. That’s enough to at least get some production and force the defense to stop doubling one of Nicks or Cruz and always rolling to the other. Which is all we need for Eli to start lighting it up again.

    •  rlhjr says:

      Works for me 55. And it worked against Cleveland. I am 100 percent about letting players play. To me Randle is a YAK machine in waiting. I don’t think he needs to go back and get his masters in order to run a screen or a slant.
      And what ever happened to square in and square out and button hook?

      NOTHING. For sure, you can be too smart for your own good in any field of endeavor. Football now has thought process written all over it. But what is being done is training the WR’s to be QBs. Thoughts, progressions and option/audables. Where as young players used to have time to digest these nuances, now they have only a few months. Randle can be useful in the right package design.

      Screens, slants and outs come to mind. But the risk is predictability and those patterns being jumped or otherwise covered.

  6.  fanfor55years says:

    By the way, for all you misguided fans of the Irish, Stanford welcomes your appreciation and wants to remind you that they were totally hosed by the zebras against you or you might well be down in the free-for-all among the SEC teams, Oregon and Kansas State. But hey, ANYTHING is better to me than Oregon in the national championship. I hate their brand of football and hope it doesn’t become the new model everyone is forced toward.

    And by the way, while some of you dream of T’eo (who won’t get within shouting distance of the Giants in April) you should be looking pretty carefully at a dozen of Stanford’s players, especially Zach Erst (who I told you all about a few years ago) and both their offensive linemen and their linebackers. And you know what, THEIR running back is actually the best one around and is a perfect NFL guy with incredibly strong lower body, lots of fight, and plenty of quickness. Would not mind getting Stephan Taylor to add to Brown and Wilson as a dynamic trio(but he may be a second round pick, which would be too high for us).

  7.  HopLax says:

    Kujo – figured I would catch you on here b4 the start of the Sunday games. I sent you an email / G101 FF proposal. Would appreciate a response, 1 way or the other. Thanks.

  8.  rlhjr says:

    The key to Randle being able to produce is to get him isolated. Which if Nicks comes around physically will not be very hard to do.

  9.  Krow says:

    Speaking of Doug Martin … there’s no comparison to the run blocking of the Tampa OL and ours …

    •  kujo says:

      That’s what I was saying earlier–yeah, Bradshaw is a limited back at this point. But our OL has stunk up the joint for several weeks, surrendering sacks and hits and failing to assert itself in the running department.

  10.  GIANTT says:

    So Dallas and Philly are down at the half . WHo d a thunk the Giants might pick up half a game in the standings on TWO of the other NFC east teams ? Perhaps we should just have bye weeks and we will win the division by default .
    Shortening the list of options on passing routes would also take pressure off the O-line too , -Eli would get the ball out faster and not be subject to having to wait for these guys too long

    •  rlhjr says:

      Exactly. Although Dulla$$ pulled within 3, both they and the E-GALS are trying to gift rap the division for the Giants prior to X-mas.

      Question, will the Giants accept the gift? Or will the NFC East Champ (whoever that might be) have an 8-8 record?

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