Giants' owners end rumor about McAdoo
(TSX / STATS) -- EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With speculation running amuck regarding the immediate fate of New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, team ownership finally stepped up to weigh in.
In a joint statement released on behalf of team, CEO John Mara and chairman Steve Tisch acknowledged that while they are perhaps even more frustrated with how the Giants' 2017 season has gone than the fans, they are not about to make any rash decisions regarding their embattled head coach.
"Ben McAdoo is our head coach and has our support," the statement read. "We are in the midst of an extremely disappointing season. Our performance this year, particularly the past two weeks, is inexcusable and frustrating. While we appreciate that our fans are unhappy with what has occurred, nobody is more upset than we are."
Despite their increasing frustration, Mara and Tisch are sticking with the age-old organization practice of waiting until the dust settles and doing all evaluations after emotions have returned to normal.
"Our plan is to do what we have always done, which is to not offer a running commentary on the season," the statement read. "It is our responsibility to determine the reasons for our poor performance and at the end of the year, we will evaluate the 2017 season in its entirety and make a determination on how we move forward."
The Giants last had to employ this approach in 2014 with then-head coach Tom Coughlin, after the Giants blew a 21-0 lead against the Jaguars to lose 25-24.
Their patience sort of paid off as Coughlin led the team to a 3-1 finish in its final four games that season, thus saving his job.
McAdoo finds himself in a similar situation with seven games left. He's so focused on righting the ship that when asked what it meant to him to have ownership's backing, he sounded almost surprised.
"I'm in the process of finishing grading the film of the last game and starting up on the next one (against the Kansas City Chiefs)," McAdoo said. "That's where my focus is right now, working to find a way to get the team better and get our first home win of the year."
--Giants head coach Ben McAdoo finally got his long-anticipated chance to watch the tape of his team's 31-21 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, and the biggest thing that jumped out at him was inconsistency.
"The thing that was disappointing that showed up on film is the desire to finish on a consistent basis," he said during his conference call Monday with reporters. "There were plays we were capable of making, and the desire to finish wasn't consistent. I need to coach it better and we need to do it better. Not every play or every player, but it did show up on tape."
One such player who has come under fire for his inconsistent play is cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who was playing in his first game since being suspended by McAdoo a week earlier.
While McAdoo said he initially didn't want to throw anyone under the bus for their effort or lack thereof, he did offer some honest feedback on Jenkins' play, starting with the 47-yard touchdown reception by tight end Garret Celek, a play in which Jenkins looked like he gave a half-hearted attempt at tackling the big tight end.
"I think he got caught up on a big body there and he needs to find a way to get the big body on the ground," McAdoo said of Jenkins.
McAdoo was asked if overall, he was satisfied with the effort he got from Jenkins, who at times during the game looked disinterested and appeared to be going at half speed.
"Like I said before, there were some players in the ball game that needed to show a consistent desire to finish better," McAdoo said. "I think the post ball on the third down is a tough play and a tough spot for him to be in against a player that has tremendous speed and they're going to make some plays on you.
"He had an opportunity on third down where he slipped, he could have come up and had a chance to pick the ball off. If he had his footing there, I expect him to pick the ball off. There were some opportunities on some balls on the perimeter where his desire to finish consistently needs to show up and we need to get the guys on the ground. We need to tackle better as a defensive unit and he was a part of it."
Since returning from his suspension, Jenkins has shown little remorse for letting his teammates and his coaching staff down. His play against the 49ers further fanned the flames of controversy that there might be strife between him and McAdoo.
McAdoo, who takes pride in having an open-door policy, was asked if he would approach a player who might be struggling with an aspect of the program or would he wait until the player approached him.
"I try to make my way through the roster each and every week as best as I can and build relationships with these players," he said, adding that he would prefer to keep his conversations and the identities with those with whom he speaks private.
When asked if he might consider sitting a player who continued to give a lackluster effort, he said, "That's something we're taking a look at. We have a 46-man roster on game day and the players who are going to go out and do it the way we ask them to do it and do it on a consistent basis are going to get a chance to play."
He added, "We're all in this thing together as coaches and players. I'm not here to throw anybody under the bus today, whether it's a coach or a player. We're looking forward to playing at home Sunday (vs. the Chiefs) against one of the best teams in football and getting our first win at home."
--If head coach Ben McAdoo and his assistant coaches can't put a finger on what's gone wrong with this team, perhaps the men on the field who each week seem to be getting their collective backsides handed to them might have an idea.
Or so you'd think.
In reality, the Giants' players might as well have taken a page from their head coach's book and told reporters that they needed to watch the tape as they had few answers for the team's 31-21 loss to the previously winless San Francisco 49ers.
"I don't know how to explain it," said safety Landon Collins, who added that he was hurt and discouraged after this latest debacle. "They made big plays. We didn't stop the big plays."
"We got schooled," added cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. "I did not see enough relentless play, attitude, you name it, I did not see it. Everything we should have done, I felt we did not do it."
Well, almost everything. The Giants' offense was probably the best of the three units as far as consistency, but the defense, last year a top-10 overall unit, which although stricken by injuries this season, has failed miserably in taking the leap defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was hoping to see after last year's success.
How bad was it?
The Giants' run defense, which last year finished third in the league, allowed 186 yards on the ground, their second highest total this season and the ninth time this year they've allowed over 100 yards to an opponent.
The pass rush officially managed only two quarterback hits, both by defensive end Olivier Vernon, who also had the only interception for the Giants and who, one might argue, was the only member of the defensive front that showed up for the game.
The pass coverage? Coming into this week, the defense had allowed 30 big pass plays of 20 or more yards.
Of the 49ers' 10 longest plays from scrimmage, five were pass plays of 20 or more yards, with four of those going for 30-plus yards.
"It seems like you have two teams that came out there with their backs against the wall," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "You had a team that came out swinging harder than the other."
At this point, about all the Giants can do is finish out the remaining seven games and hope that they are at least competitive going forward.
"We're not a good team right now. Hopefully, we can turn this around to be competitive. It's sad that I'm sitting here talking about us not competing in games instead of winning, but that's the truth," said linebacker Jonathan Casillas.
"We have to be able to compete, hang around to the end and pull out a victory."
"We have seven games to finish the season, finish right man," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "Each week is a new week, we get another opportunity. We cannot continue week-in and week-out to put out another performance like that."
NOTES: OL Justin Pugh (back) will likely be out a while according to head coach Ben McAdoo. Pugh, who has already missed one game due to the back problem he said began in the Week 7 game against Seattle, said his back locked up on him early in the game against the 49ers. ... DT Damon Harrison (ankle) will likely be limited in practice this week, according to head coach Ben McAdoo. Harrison twisted his ankle in the loss to the 49ers and had to be carted off the field for further evaluation. Harrison's status for Sunday is uncertain. ... LB Kelvin Sheppard (groin) is expected to be limited this week in practice. ... TE Matt LaCosse, who was waived by the Giants Saturday to make room for fullback Shane Smith on the 53-man roster, will sign with the Giants' practice squad this week per a source. ... QB Eli Manning started his 208th consecutive regular-season game, tying his brother, Peyton, for the second-longest consecutive starts streak by a quarterback in NFL history. Manning has started every Giants game since Nov. 21, 2004. He has also started 12 postseason games, including two Super Bowls. ... WR Sterling Shepard led the Giants' receivers with career-high totals of 11 catches for 142 yards. His previous bests were eight receptions (for 117 yards) vs. New Orleans on Sept. 18, 2016, and 133 yards (on seven catches) at Philadelphia on Sept. 24. Shepard was also the first Giants' receiver with at least 11 catches in a game since Odell Beckham Jr. had 11 at Philadelphia on Dec. 22, 2016. ... TE Evan Engram's nine-yard touchdown catch was his fifth touchdown reception of the season, tying Bob Tucker's franchise record for rookie tight ends, set in 1970. Engram has a touchdown reception in each of the last four games, the longest streak by a Giants player since receiver Rueben Randle caught a touchdown pass in each of the final four games of the 2015 season.
REPORT CARD VS. 49ERS
--PASSING OFFENSE: C - The Giants definitely have themselves a stud in tight end Evan Engram, who has scored every week since the team lost receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall. While Eli Manning's numbers weren't bad -- 28 of 37 for 273 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions -- he did lose his fourth fumble of the season and his pass protection left something to be desired as it allowed three sacks and five quarterback hits.
--RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus - The Giants managed to record 114 yards on the ground, 70 of which were gained by Orleans Darkwa. It wasn't perfect -- there were a couple of rushing attempts for zero or negative yardage -- but the rushing offense was one of the most consistent of the Giants' units this week.
--PASS DEFENSE: D - Other than defensive end Olivier Vernon, who returned to the lineup after missing four games, the pass defense was invisible and lacking in effort. The lack of effort shown by cornerback Janoris Jenkins alone should land him a permanent seat on the bench the rest of the way as well as his poor attitude leading up to the game in which he sounded unremorseful for having earned himself a suspension in the first place.
--RUSH DEFENSE: F - The Giants gave up 186 yards, a season high, to a 49ers team that coming into this game had averaged just 92.9 rushing yards per game. The 186 yards, by the way, was the second highest total allowed by the Giants' once vaunted run defense this season, falling just short of the 193 yards they allowed to the Eagles in Week 3. The Giants' run defense has now allowed opponents to rush for at least 100 yards in every game but one, a Week 6 win over Denver.
--SPECIAL TEAMS: F - Lost in the debacle of the Giants' season has been the poor performances of both kicker Aldrick Rosas and punter Brad Wing. Rosas not only sent the opening kickoff out of bounds at the 2-yard line, he missed another chip-shot field-goal attempt, making this the fifth straight game in which he's had at least one field-goal attempt he has failed to convert (he didn't have any attempts in the Week 5 loss to the Chargers). Wing, who finished with a 41.3 gross average but just a 33.7 net, failed to put any of his three punts inside the 20, something he did regularly last year.
--COACHING: F - Talk certainly is cheap when it comes to the Giants. After the players swore up and down last week that they had Ben McAdoo's back, they came out and their actions told quite another story. Enough said.
Updated November 13, 2017