The New York Giants will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday afternoon in a game that has taken on a whole new purpose and meaning for the Giants. For Tampa and their first year head coach, Bruce Arians, it is just another game versus a team with young stars that pose a threat.
Arians called Saquon Barkley “the best back in the league” on a conference call on Wednesday and that Barkley was on “another planet” when it came to running backs.
The Giants’ switch this week at quarterback from veteran Eli Manning to rookie Daniel Jones has also changed the Bucs’ approach to defending the Giants.
“We look at their offense, they are not going to change what they are doing, it’s Pat’s offense, he’s just going to run it,” Arians said of Jones. “For us, it’s trying to stop Saquon and force him to throw the ball.”
“I think the biggest thing is the mobility of Daniel,” said Arians. “It will be the same offense, we still have to stop Saquon. He’s a more mobile guy so you have to be a little more cautious of rush lanes and things like that. Expect a little bit more movement passes, but he’s still a rookie.”
The Giants now have the quarterback who can pull off the RPO, the “run-pass option” because of Jones’ ability to take off and run, a dimension the Giants did not have with Manning under center.
The Giants have been struggling on defense with a slew of new players attempting to learn defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s scheme. The results have been ugly thus far, but Arians, who was Bettcher’s head coach in Arizona where Bettcher had success as his DC, give Giant fans a reason for hope.
“Very similar, scheme wise,” said Arians of the Giants’ defense. “I think they are still putting pieces to that puzzle together. I know how well coached they are… I think it takes time, especially for rookies. We played a couple of rookies and we had some issues in Arizona. It’s an extremely sound system, but it does take some learning curve.”
The Giants hope that learning curve isn’t too steep and that they can put things together before the season gets away from them.