Maybe new Giants head coach Ben McAdoo is more Herm Edwards than Tom Coughlin as he stated the obvious during the NFL Combine on Wednesday. Where Edwards was explaining the why when he emphatically stated “You play to win the game!”, McAdoo was driving straight at the how.
“We have to end the game with the lead”, McAdoo deadpanned.
First tweeted by the Giants’ social media team, the quote was met by instant derision and mockery amongst Giants Nation and football fans alike. Some posted sarcastic GIFs that showed their world being turned upside-down while others were just happy that the team’s leadership knows which way is up.
"Well we’re going to change," noted McAdoo. "Like I said before, I’m not going to try to be Tom. I’m not Tom. He’s already taken. But we’re going to evolve a little bit, it’s evolution, not revolution. If something works and we feel good about it and we like it, we’re going to stick with it. If not, we’re going to make some changes. There are some things that we’ve done in the past and we’ve kicked around a lot of ideas within the staff. We’re going to implement those moving forward, and we’re going to make it our own."
Perhaps not stated as eloquently as most people would like, McAdoo’s point has some credence as he was referring to the Giants’ 8 losses last season by 6 points or less. In 5 of those games, Big Blue gave up the lead near the end of regulation, including Week 1 and 2 where the G-Men entered the fourth quarter with double digit advantages. In the other 3 contests, the Giants had dug themselves into a hole and, despite valiant comeback attempts, couldn’t recover such as being down 20-0 against Washington and 35-7 against the then-undefeated Carolina Panthers.
While Giants fans will be hoping for far more insightful thoughts from their head coach in the future, they should note that Edwards’ infamous ‘02 outburst did help to spark the team. The Chad Henne-led Jets were 2-5 and coming off a loss to the Cleveland Browns when Edwards decided to go back to the basics. The team compiled a 7-2 record the rest of the way and ended up in the playoffs, something Giants fans are hoping McAdoo can also emulate.