Ben McAdoo says Giants need to reload, not rebuild
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — In deference to predecessor, Ben McAdoo is keeping the New York Giants on Tom Coughlin time.
The clocks will continue to run five minutes fast. On time remains five minutes early.
It’s McAdoo’s way to honor his mentor over the last two seasons.
That said, the 38-year-old McAdoo will make changes in taking over a Giants team that won two Super Bowls in Coughlin’s 12-year tenure. His focus will be get the four-time Super Bowl-winning Giants back on track after four straight seasons out of the playoffs, including three straight losing years, the last two ending in 6-10 records.
“I like the pressure,” McAdoo said Friday after being introduced as the Giants 17th head coach. “That’s what you live for. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s the capital of the world, the football capital of world. What could be better? This type of opportunity and this type of pressure, you prepare for it. I have been a guy who has been baptized by fire and I am comfortable with it.”
In formally taking over the team on Friday, McAdoo said the Giants don’t need to rebuild, just reload.
“This job is not for the faint of heart, and I’m the right man for the job,” said McAdoo, whose confidence seems to border on arrogance. “I’m hardened, battle tested, and I’ve been groomed for this opportunity by Super Bowl-winning coaches, players and organizations. We’re going to assemble a staff and a locker room that the fans can rally around. We’re going to set our jaw, and we’re going to get to work.”
McAdoo has reason to be confident. He transformed a feeble Giants’ offense into one of the most prolific in franchise history over the past two years as coordinator, turning around Eli Manning’s career with the help of Odell Beckham Jr.
Manning endorsed McAdoo after the season, but co-owner John Mara said that was only one factor in the team’s decision to hire him.
McAdoo’s familiarity with the team gave him the edge, Mara said.
The final decision was pushed by the Eagles’ interest in hiring McAdoo. He was supposed to have a second interview in Philadelphia on Thursday but the Giants gave him a second one Wednesday afternoon after Hue Jackson was hired as the Browns’ coach.
“Just something about having watched him on the field with the quarterbacks, with the offense, the first thing that came to my mind two years ago was this guy is a teacher, and he has got an edge to him,” Mara said. “He is not afraid to lose his temper. He can bark at guys and I happen to like that.”
McAdoo’s goal now is to get a fifth Super Bowl trophy for the team’s display case.
The unknown for Mara and the Giants is that McAdoo has never been a head coach. There are no guarantees.
“I think Ben is confident and not arrogant,” co-owner Steve Tisch said. “I think his confidence is going to be very, very valuable as he begins to lead this team.”
The immediate need will be finding more talent, especially for a defense that was ranked last in the league.
McAdoo plans to tell general manager Jerry Reese what he needs. The job of getting it will be Reese’s responsibility.
McAdoo said there would be four elements to his coaching approach. He will stress strong leadership, talent and integrity, a positive working environment to inspire learning, and a comprehensive structure and function, he said.
“The most important thing when you are talking about leadership is you have to be yourself,” McAdoo said. “Everybody else is already taken, including Tom. I can’t worry about being in Tom’s shadow. I have to be comfortable in my own skin.”
McAdoo refused to discuss his staff, saying things were fluid. He is expected to announce his staff in a couple of weeks, once all the positions are filled.
McAdoo has had a meteoric rise in the coaching ranks. He was a high school assistant 14 years ago. He joined the NFL in 2004 as an offensive quality control assistant with the New Orleans Saints, spent a year with the 49ers the following year and then joined the Green Bay Packers for the next eight seasons, working with the tight ends and the final two years as Aaron Rodgers’ quarterback coach.