Meeting the Mysterious Ben McAdoo

Ben McAdoo

Prior to Ben McAdoo being introduced as the next head coach of the New York Football Giants, I had never heard him talk. Never. From watching him talk to Tom Coughlin or Eli Manning on the sidelines or talking into his headset during games, I tried to imagine what his voice sounds like, but until Friday, I never really thought about it. So when McAdoo said, “Thank you all for coming today,” it was the first time I had ever heard him talk.

McAdoo did a decent job in his first press conference and his first public setting as a head coach in the NFL. He could have had better opening remarks and could have answered some questions more honestly, and he certainly could have used a suit that fit, but overall it was your average introductory press conference for a head coach.

No one knows what to expect from McAdoo. He’s a mystery. If the Giants had made Steve Spagnuolo the head coach or gone outside the organization with Doug Marrone or Mike Smith or Lovie Smith, we would have some idea as to what to expect from the new Giants head coach. But with McAdoo, any guess or prediction is reasonable. The Giants could finish off the games in 2016 that they shouldn’t have lost in 2015. Or they could be the same postseason-less Giants of the last four years. Or they could be a complete disaster and we’re looking at a new head coach again for 2017. It’s all possible.

Here are four things I took away from McAdoo’s first words as Giants head coach. For not seeing anyone else in this role for the last 12 years, it certainly felt weird, so here’s to not having to do this again for another 12 years.

1. Thank You to You and You and You and You
After McAdoo thanked “you all” for coming today, he then went on to thank every person he has ever come in contact with in his life. His family, the people from his hometown, his former coaches, his former players, the guy who sold him his first bike as a kid, the barber who gave him his first haircut, the owners of the liquor store where he bought his first case of beer and every person who has ever held a door open for him entering a building.

Oddly enough, McAdoo didn’t thank Odell Beckham Jr. Without Beckham (well we saw what the Giants’ offense looks like without Beckham in Week 16 against Minnesota), McAdoo isn’t having this press conference. He’s probably no longer an offensive coordinator in the NFL. He’s probably back to being a quarterbacks coach or having some made up title at some college. Beckham is single-handedly responsible for the success of the Giants’ offense over the last two seasons. He should have thanked him first and maybe only thanked him.

2. The Four Keys
McAdoo talked about the keys to winning and the structure he will instill in the Giants, which were broken down into four categories. They are …

  1. Strong leadership
  2. Talented men and women
  3. A positive working environment
  4. Comprehensive structure and function

McAdoo does realize he’s coaching a football team and not serving as the Director of HR for a Fortune 500 company, right? I mean I understand No. 1 and to some extent No. 3, but what is with No. 2 and No. 4? It’s one thing to have “talented men and women” in the organization, but McAdoo won’t be coaching any women because there aren’t any women on the Giants. And “comprehensive structure and function” just sounds like some BS phrase a company uses in their company handbook or on some unnecessary paper you have to sign on your first day. Someone might want to remind McAdoo he is the head coach of the team and not the CEO or president.

3. The Coaching Staff
McAdoo dodged every question about who would be on his staff and frequently said the staff is “fluid” as if a group of football coaches were in liquid form. Sure, nothing is set in stone, but at the time of his press conference, there were obviously already decisions made. There was no need to hide any information if deals had already been made with staff members or returning staff members.

When asked if he will continue to call the plays, McAdoo wouldn’t say and cited “a competitive advantage for the opponent” if he were to say. Either McAdoo has no idea if he will call the plays or he thinks the Giants have a game this week because I’m not sure how saying who will call the plays would give any team a competitive advantage for the Giants’ next game which is in eight months. I mean this is about WHO is calling the plays and now WHAT the plays are. I hate to break it you McAdoo, but between now and training camp, he’s going to have make it known, who is calling the plays for the Giants. I just hope that simple fact doesn’t give the rest of the NFC East too much of an advantage.

4. Reloading Not Rebuilding
A main reason I wanted the Giants to make McAdoo the head coach and also why I thought they would is because even though the Giants were a 6-10 team, they could have easily been a 12-4 team if they handled the final minutes of six games differently. Ownership didn’t need to clean house when it came to the roster or staff, and they could have easily kept Tom Coughlin. But the most important thing with this team that could still be playing moving forward is continuity. The Giants are close. McAdoo clearly believes the same thing as he said, “We’re not looking to rebuild, we’re looking to reload and we’re going to start in a couple minutes.”

It must be weird to start a job on a Friday, especially on a Friday before a holiday/three-day weekend, but I respect McAdoo for getting to work right away. The Giants shouldn’t have missed the playoffs this season, their fourth straight season without reaching the postseason and if they miss them again in 2016, we’ll be having this same press conference for a new general manager next January.