Ben McAdoo has seen the highs and lows of life as an NFL head coach after just 24 games on the job.
McAdoo’s New York Giants won 11 games in 2016, clinching their highest victory total since 2010 and first postseason berth since winning Super Bowl XLVI. Even though the 2016 season ended with a Wild Card whooping at the hands of the Green Bay Packers, the Giants were convinced they were ready to take the next step.
The Giants have taken the next step in 2017, unfortunately that step is in the wrong direction. They’ve lost six of their first seven games. Reports of team discord are running rampant. McAdoo’s competence as an NFL head coach has been scrutinized and the voices calling for his job at season’s end are getting louder and louder.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way, of course. The Giants returned nine starters on a defense that allowed the second fewest points in the league last season. They added offensive playmakers for their iron man, two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback.
“You take a look at the first half of the season. I don’t think you can point to one thing. Were we a hungry enough football team? You can make a case that we weren’t,” McAdoo said Monday. “But that’s just part of it. It’s not just one thing.”
McAdoo is correct. It hasn’t been just one thing for the Giants thus far. That same defense that kept opponents from scoring has wildly underachieved an inability to stay healthy. The team failed to address their faulty offensive line. The offense has suffered from a rash of injuries of its own as well as substandard play. McAdoo’s own coaching and decision making is also a part of the Giants’ 2017 tragedy of errors.
“I think that there are a few things when you take a look at the first half of the year and we were humbled, obviously, the first half of the season,” McAdoo said. “And, we talked to the players about the first half before we left and we were obviously humbled. One thing I wanted them to keep in mind is don’t forget how badly you once wanted what you now have.”
The Giants have nine games remaining on their schedule with nothing more to play for than their collective pride. Any talk of dethroning the Dallas Cowboys as NFC East champions or advancing deep in the postseason is just empty talk. McAdoo, however, wants to focus what’s ahead even if the Giants’ season will end after their regular season finale against the Washington Redskins on New Year’s Eve.
“It’s a blessing to be here and to work with these guys each and every day and they had an opportunity to get away from it for a little bit and reflect on the first half of the season. But, we need to flush the first half,” he said. “We need to move onto the second half. It’s important for us to get better as a football team and the thing I asked of these guys is just taking it one game at a time and one play at a time. Don’t hold onto what we did the first half, but let’s go out here and be the best team we can be in the second half of the season.”
– Curtis Rawls is a Managing Editor for cover32 and covers the NFL and New York Giants. Please like and follow on Facebook and Twitter. Curtis can be followed on Twitter @CuRawls203.
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