Re: Grantland article on how Erhardt-Perkins offensive system has lead to Patriot domination. Great read.
posted at 1/17/2013 1:01 AM EST
FOOTBALL; Giants Plan to Unveil Air Erhardt Against Oilers
By FRANK LITSKY
Published: August 18, 1990
When the New York Giants play the Houston Oilers in a preseason game Saturday night in the Astrodome, they plan to do something unusual for them. Against a team that loves to pass from its run-and-shoot offense, the Giants intend to pass the ball, too.
''We'll try to throw more than we did against Buffalo,'' Coach Bill Parcells said at the Giants' training camp.
''Hopefully,'' said Ron Erhardt, the Giants' offensive coordinator, ''we're going to throw a lot more against the Oilers.''
In Monday night's preseason opener, the Giants rolled over the Buffalo Bills, 20-6. The Giants rushed 41 times and passed only 19. They gained 305 yards rushing. Now Parcells wants to get a good look at the passing game.
Good Camp for Robinson
Parcells intimated that a better-balanced offense would come with better production from his wide receivers. Of his five veteran receivers, Stacy Robinson has had the best training camp, but he is doubtful for the Oilers game because of a strained groin muscle.
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The other veteran receivers are Lionel Manuel, in his seventh season, and Odessa Turner, Mark Ingram and Stephen Baker, in their fourth. Parcells hopes at least one will become a reliable big-play threat.
''I have to see more from my receivers,'' he said. ''I'm willing to throw. We didn't last year for various reasons, not all pertinent to the receivers.''
For much of last season, the Giants ran more than usual because Phil Simms, their quarterback, was hobbling on a sore ankle. Simms passed for 3,061 yards last season. In his best years, he passed for 4,044 yards, a club record, in 1984, and 3,829 in 1985.
''I'd like to open the game up,'' Parcells said. ''But you have to have receivers to open it up with. It's not a question of ability. Two or three of them certainly have the ability to be good players. It's their fourth year now. By the time Lionel was here the fourth year, he was under way. Bobby Johnson was under way his first or second year. Earnest Gray and John Mistler were playing in their third or fourth year.''
Johnson, Gray and Mistler no longer play pro football. Of their successors, Turner has been injury prone late in the season and Ingram and Baker have been inconsistent.
''Any offensive coach would like to throw the ball,'' Erhardt said. ''But as you change people, you do different things to win. Bill keeps saying we're not in the entertainment business; we're here to win.'' Robinson said it was a Catch-22 situation. ''I think any of us is capable,'' said the sixth-year receiver. ''But are we a big-play offense? We haven't opened up because we haven't anyone to open up to. But can we have someone like that if we don't open up?
''If you bring a Jerry Rice here, is he going to catch 80 passes a year? If he could do that, they would probably open up the offense and then he would.''
Robinson is saying the Giants have to pass more to develop more productive receivers, and Parcells is saying he wants to see more productive receivers before he passes more. Erhardt offers another thought. ''The only way to change it is to change people,'' he said. The Giants-Oilers game will be carried by ESPN, Channel 11 and WNEW-AM at 8 P.M. ... Parcells plans to start Jeff Hostetler at quarterback, followed by Craig Kupp and Simms.