Ben McAdoo isn’t Tom Coughlin, but he could match his success

PHILADELPHIA — Ben McAdoo auditioned for two years and landed the leading role and his run with the Giants could be a long one.

He impressed John Mara and Steve Tisch with his work as offensive coordinator in Tom Coughlin’s final two seasons and elevating him to head coach allowed Eli Manning to keep working within the same offense. But it was the confidence McAdoo could handle the entire team that eventually got him the job.

The interesting twist is that McAdoo has done a better job this season as a head coach than he has running the offense. The players love him, he changed the schedule with Monday off instead of Tuesday, instituted “Fresh Fridays,” turned up the music at practice and entertained the players with some motivational video clips at their Saturday meetings.

The Giants went into Thursday night’s game against the Eagles on the verge of clinching their first playoff spot since 2011. They have won double digit games for the first time since 2010. The $200 million upgrade immediately transformed the defense from one of the worst in Giants history to the strength of the team.

So, what’s so hard about being an NFL head coach?

With a $200 million defense, Ben McAdoo has led the Giants to a 10-win — and counting — season.

With a $200 million defense, Ben McAdoo has led the Giants to a 10-win — and counting — season.

((Evan Pinkus via AP)/AP)

McAdoo has been tested in his rookie year.

He helped the Giants get this close to the Super Bowl Tournament despite having to deal with too many distractions, too much drama and one — which is one too many — domestic violence case.

McAdoo won over the veterans on defense who didn’t know him well when he was the offensive coordinator. He has not been afraid to talk about the Super Bowl being a goal without making any predictions.

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was asked what he felt McAdoo had done well.

“I would just say keeping everyone focused and grounded. Just remaining humble. Even when he had the adversity at first,” he said. “Started off 2-0 and then you lose three in a row. Being a new coach, it hit hard. I think the main thing he did was just stay the course. He always comes in here and hasn’t changed since day one. Most people get a little tight and jumpy but I think he stayed the course.”

Even when it appeared the season could slip away at 2-3, McAdoo didn’t change the way he ran the team. “My man came in and put a slide up,” DRC said. “It was a funny slide and a joke. I knew it was something funny because that’s what he does.”

McAdoo inherited the Josh Brown domestic violence crisis. He was an assistant coach when Brown was first arrested in the spring of 2015 and the Giants started a chain of regrettable mistakes when they didn’t immediately cut him.

When the situation blew up over this summer and then early into the season, McAdoo became the team spokesman when it was the job and responsibility of GM Jeery Reese to come out of hiding and address the situation.

The stench from the Brown situation was finally lifted when he was put on the commissioner’s exempt list — where he still resides and is still getting paid — and then finally cut by the Giants. McAdoo was criticized along the way for a mess created by those above him in the organization. When Reese finally addressed the media a few days after Brown was cut, he showed no accountability and refused to discuss Brown at all.

McAdoo has had to deal with Odell Beckham’s weekly drama, which included him banging the kicking net with his helmet and the net hitting back, Beckham kissing the net and eventually proposing to the net. Coughlin pretty much scripted his exit from the job when he failed to discipline OBJ after his meltdown against Josh Norman and the Panthers last year. Beckham’s antics this season have frustrated McAdoo, but never got to the point where he felt the need to sit him down.

If Beckham’s wants to break league rules, as silly as some of them are, and get fined $18,000 for wearing cleats to honor Craig Sager, that’s his business. He doesn’t seem to mind getting fined and donating money to the NFL’s many charities.

Deflategate 2.0 didn’t have legs after the Giants decided not to file a formal complaint against the Steelers for underinflated footballs that were apparently the result of — no kidding — cold weather. McAdoo broke the rules himself and was fined $50,000 for using a walkie-talkie when the coach-to-quarterback communications system went down against the Cowboys two weeks ago.

While Odell Beckham Jr. has certainly been a handful for rookie head coach Ben McAdoo, the Giants’ HC hasn’t felt the need to discipline the talented wideout.

While Odell Beckham Jr. has certainly been a handful for rookie head coach Ben McAdoo, the Giants’ HC hasn’t felt the need to discipline the talented wideout.

(Al Bello/Getty Images)

He used the walkie-talkie for four or five plays. Was he wrong? Of course.

But if the NFL could finally perfect the technology it wouldn’t be necessary to use a backup system to send in the plays.

McAdoo has turned out to be the right choice to replace Coughlin, who went out the door kicking and screaming. Coughlin later interviewed for the Eagles and 49ers jobs and when he didn’t get either one or didn’t want either one, the Giants went ahead and inducted him into their Ring of Honor in November, a tribute he very much deserved.

Now the Jaguars have indicated they may have interest in bringing Coughlin back to Jacksonville to replace the fired Gus Bradley as head coach. Coughlin was the coach/GM of the Jaguars from one year before their inception in 1995 until he was fired after the 2002 season. The ownership has since changed from Wayne Weaver to Shahid Khan, David Caldwell is now the GM, but Coughlin could very well be the right guy to get a young team with a lot of talent turned around.

He has been working in the NFL office this season but has been clear he would like to coach again. Coughlin still has strong ties to the Jacksonville community with his Jay Fund charity and Jaguars fans would likely embrace his return.

Coughlin won two Super Bowls in 12 seasons. If McAdoo can match his longevity and success, he will be in the Ring of Honor one day, too.

Tags:
nfl
new york giants
philadelphia eagles
ben mcadoo
dominique rodgers-cromartie
tom coughlin

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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