The Ben McAdoo experiment in New York? That’s pretty much a wrap after the Rams ripped the Giants on Sunday 51-17.
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The Rams could have scored 70 points in that game. And the Giants shouldn’t be 30 points worse than anybody. I don’t care who you put out there. It’s the NFL. That’s just a sign of guys kind of shutting it down and already looking at flights home after the season.
For that to happen this early in the season and in an organization that has won four Super Bowls, you have to point a finger at McAdoo and (general manager) Jerry Reese.
Mike Sullivan, who is calling the plays, is running McAdoo’s system now. But he was there when the Giants won the Super Bowl in 2008 and ’12. Steve Spagnuolo, the defensive coordinator, was there when they won the Super Bowl in 2008. Those guys know what it takes to get to a championship level.
There’s one variable there. There’s one person who hasn’t been through all that success on that staff and that’s McAdoo.
When I was in that locker room in New York, what was never a question was the character of the guys in there and the belief that they had in their head coach and the belief that he had in them.
I think McAdoo has lost the locker room. You suspend one of your best players (if not the best) in Janoris Jenkins for who knows what? – he misses a practice and at first it’s an excused absence and then it isn’t; we’re probably never going to find out the real story. That doesn’t happen in a healthy locker room. When I was in that locker room in New York, what was never a question was the character of the guys in there and the belief that they had in their head coach and the belief that he had in them. Tom Coughlin was a great leader and he had a good read on the pulse of the team and that’s not what I see right now.
Yes, the Giants have had a lot of injuries and they’ve battled through a lot. But there’s a lot more than that. You don’t see the kind of stuff that you’re seeing out of their locker room from any of those other teams that are struggling. Guys are still going to practice. They’re still going to work trying to grind ways to win. What I’ve seen in New York is guys quitting on a head coach.
Something has to happen. You still have half a season left – you can’t just go out there and perform the way you’ve been performing.
Both Sullivan and Spagnuolo are very energetic and could easily be an interim coach and step into that role and I know that guys would gravitate to either one.
I don’t know that there is a quick fix on the field, but that’s the Giants’ best chance.
McAdoo was in Green Bay before going to the Giants, and the offense New York is running is almost a clone of what the Packers do.
With where the Giants are now, it’s very difficult to make that go.
It’s a system where the run game happens if it happens. It’s not an emphasis. The play-action pass game is nonexistent. Unless you’re Aaron Rodgers, and not everybody is, unless you have Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams, which not everybody has, it’s going to be a difficult situation.
That scheme is only as good as the guys running it and the guy who is pulling the trigger. Eli Manning had success there last year. But New York without injured receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall is like Green Bay without injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers – missing a key piece. The Giants’ offensive line is decimated, to boot. That brings it back to, “OK, is your scheme good enough to transcend all of that?” No, it’s not in New York.
When Manning was playing his best and was a Super Bowl MVP he had a system that really focused on running the football, play-action passing and really relied on Eli’s ability at the line of scrimmage to make adjustments, to get you in and out of good plays.
That, they can do.
Eli, he’s their best chance. He has to have some pieces around him, but he’s a smart player and he’s a tough player and I still think he has something in his tank.
Question of the week
From Alice Duba: What is the typical 24-hour day for a player on game day? For example, do they have special things to eat, how do they get ready, when do they report at the stadium? What do they do after the game – have a team dinner or go their separate ways?
The night before the game, home or road, you’re in a hotel. Dinner will be available for the team. On the road, sometimes you have some friends or family who live in that city, they’ll come out and see you and the night before you can go out to dinner with them. On rare occasions, you’ll go out and have dinner with someone from the other team. That’s only if you’re really good friends, if you’ve known the guy since college or you played with him for awhile in a different place.
You’ll have a meeting around 8 p.m., there will be chapel service right after that and you’ll have a snack after that, so guys will hang out, have a snack with their boys, have some ice cream, have some milkshakes. I mean, guys eat like crazy the night before a game and still are able to go out there and play without throwing up, which is kind of crazy to me with as much as some of these guys put on their plates. But that’s a good time to just hang out and chill with your boys.
You get a good night’s sleep, get up in the hotel. If you’re at home, you can go drop by the house, grab whatever you have to grab and head to the stadium. If you’re on the road, you sleep in, hang out. If it’s an evening game on the road maybe you take a walk. I used to like to do that, just go do something easy by the hotel. You just have to get out of the hotel. That’s the hardest part, just trying not to sit in your hotel room the entire day.
But game day is the best. There’s a lot of anxiety and you just want to get on the field, but at the same time you feel like you’ve done all your work, done all your film study. I’d get to the stadium three, three and a half hours before the game. It’s fun. It’s the culmination of a week’s work that you’re going to put out there. It’s just about the game, being out there with your boys, playing a game that you love, a game that you’ve been playing since you were 7 years old. That’s the fun part.
David Carr is a former Fresno State quarterback, NFL No. 1 draft pick and Super Bowl champion. Now he’s an analyst for the NFL Network and writing a weekly column in collaboration with The Bee’s Robert Kuwada. The column is sponsored by Valley Children’s Hospital.
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