Are the patriots a run-first or pass-first offense?
Is it a man-to-man or zone cover defense?
Are they built around stars or do they reveal hidden gems?
Yes. To all.
There's no telling what the patriots will look like year after year – sometimes from game to game – but the new coach Joe Judge's vision for the giants is not blind. He wants what Bill Belichick has – and not just the Hall of Fame quarterback.
"What I learned from Coach Belichick was very simple: be flexible in your staff," said Judge. "Don't try to push round pens into square holes. Find out what you have. Let them show their strengths."
Sounds obvious enough. Only that both Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur – former Giants head coaches who called their own offensive games – could be accused of strictly following their game books.
McAdoo was married to “11” employees (one with returns, one with bottlenecks, three with recipients) that were well above the NFL average. Shurmur rarely designed something eccentric as a receiver for Saquon Barkley and didn't get the best out of Odell Beckham Jr.
This is the point at which the judge's background as a special team coordinator can be useful in developing his offensive and defensive identities.
"Belichick has a segment in his squad that specializes in special teams," NFL told The Post. “Brandon Bolden, for example, sometimes carries the ball ten times in one game. Sometimes you never see him in the offensive game plan.
"That's the nice thing about being a special team trainer. You have to have a number of people who are able to play a number of positions simply because when someone gets hurt, you change in the middle of the game. You're dealing with the entire roster, and that's a good thing. "
The judge's general philosophy will be to "put pressure on opponents." Other former Belichick assistants have tried to turn the blueprint into mixed results.
“To do all the things they can do in New England, you have to choose the right players. You have to make sure that you pay people what they are worth and not what they think is worth, ”said Esiason.
“You have to train hard and make sure you have a squad who understands that there is a reason. He tries to bring the patriots to the giants. That sounds good. Now all we have to do is make sure that it can happen. "
An example of the flexibility of the patriots: When Rob Gronkowski retired after the 2018 season, the patriots dropped from 88 percent to 73 percent of the staff for "11" and "21" (two setbacks, a close end, two recipients) , According to Sharp Football Stats, it mixes in many other different formations.
The Giants have large draft and / or contract investments in their offensive staff, including Barkley, recipients Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate, and Evan Engram. At least at the beginning of the judge era, the principle of flexibility therefore applies more to defense, where the giants need a revision anyway.
The patriots switched up to 20 players in defense in some games.
"We will play whatever is best for our staff: 3-4, 4-3, man coverage, zone coverage," said the judge. "We'll find out what suits us best … and what's best for opponents week after week is how we do it."
Giants co-owner John Mara is not expecting a buzz in the free agency, though more than $ 80 million may be available to improve an under-challenged and inexperienced squad for 2019. The judge will not ask for it.
"Don't attend a meeting and tell me what you don't have in a player. Don't tell me you can't do certain things," said the judge. "Tell me what you can do and then as coaches we will find out: How can we use that?"
For every Randy Moss and Rob Gronkowski who's always great, the Patriots have two in the roles of Wes Welker and Julian Edelman … or Mike Vrabel and Kyle Van Noy.
This is where the giants go.
"How many deletions do you see in the league in the NFL in another team that everyone says," Wow, how can you get that out of them? "Said the judge." Maybe they just didn't close their eyes at what they could do. "
You can find more information about the Giants in the latest episode of the podcast "Blue Rush":