The Giants on Tuesday hired Green Bay Packers quarterback coach Ben McAdoo as their new offensive coordinator after a quick two-week search.
The Packers have not announced who would fill McAdoo's shoes, though it presumably would be running backs coach Alex Van Pelt. Van Pelt, who was added to the coaching staff in 2012, played quarterback for the Bills for nine seasons. He served as the Bills' quarterbacks coach in 2008 and 2009 and was promoted to offensive coordinator during the 2009 season. He was Tampa Bay's quarterbacks coach in 2010 and 2011. Josh Freeman's best season as quarterback came in 2010, when he threw 25 touchdowns against six interceptions.
"Ben is an excellent football coah," Van Pelt said last week. "Obviously, he's going to have room for growth wherever it is. I'm the running back coach right now. Not to speculate on anything. I'm very happy with my guys. I love my room. I really enjoy the experience the last two years of coaching running backs but I work for Coach Mike (McCarthy), and whatever Coach Mike asks me to do, I'm going to do with everything I got. If he wants me to clean the bathrooms, I'll do that."
The hiring of the 36-year-old McAdoo is a strong indication that there will be changes next season after the offense underperformed under longtime coordinator Kevin Gilbride in missing the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.
"I think this is the best coach for the job," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "With his experiences, I think he brings a lot to the table. Our players are going to be exited to hear what he has to say."
McAdoo has spent the past eight seasons mentoring under Mike McCarthy and his uptempo offense. The first six years were as the tight ends coach and the last two working with the quarterbacks.
"We have a great opportunity in front of us and I can't wait to get started," said McAdoo, who interviewed for the job on Monday. "This is obviously a big step. It's also another step in the progression of a coach's career. It's a golden opportunity for me. It's an opportunity I feel I've been groomed for. And I look forward to it."
While the Giants weren't afraid to go for the big play under Gilbride, they were a very traditional offense, stressing the run and a balanced attack. It did lead to two Super Bowl titles, but it looked stagnant this past season with an injury plagued offense line and sub-par season by two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.
Gilbride retired after the season, insisting the poor season did not influence his decision and that he was not forced out.
The Giants ranked 28th in the NFL in both yards (307.5) and points per game (18.4) in 2013. Green Bay's offense was third in the league in yards a game (400.3) and tied for eighth in scoring (26.1 points a game).
"I've heard a lot of good things about Coach McAdoo," Manning said. "I was able to talk to him over the phone last week and we had a great conversation. Obviously he's had a ton of success in Green Bay and I look forward to working with him and improving our offense."
The Packers won the NFC North despite having quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed seven games with a broken left collarbone.
After Rodgers was injured, McAdoo had to work with three different starters — Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn, who started four straight games before Rodgers returned for the regular-season finale against Chicago and the playoffs.
"Think about what they overcame this year in Green Bay," Coughlin said. "One of them (Flynn) wasn't even on their roster to start the season. And they still got in the playoffs. We beat them when Tolzien was in there. Then Flynn came in and they won a critical, critical game with him at quarterback in Dallas. They lost to the Steelers when they could have cushioned their opportunity a little bit. The ball was down in close and it just got away from them. But then they beat Chicago (in Week 17 in a winner-take-all game."
The Giants interviewed four candidates in their search and many believed the job would go to former Giants quarterbacks coach and recent Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, However, his ties to the past might have worked against him with team co-owner John Mara looking for changes.
New York also interviewed former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and former Houston Texans quarterbacks coach and UCLA coach Karl Dorrell.
"He's a very detail-oriented, meticulous teacher, a fundamentalist, first and foremost," Coughlin said. "I was very, very impressed by the presentation that he made, in terms of the fundamental details of his presentation, whether it is quarterback fundamentals, offensive philosophy. I was just very, very impressed with that."
McAdoo has also worked with the Niners and Saints and coached in college at Fairfield, Stanford, Akron, Pittsburgh and Michigan State.
Manning has played in the same offensive system during his 11 seasons with the Giants, so this will be a learning year.
"Here's what I expect," Coughlin said. "I think the players will respond to this. We're going to try to compromise the system with what we have here. However, there will be change. And that change will be very positive and very well-received by our team and our players. And if our players are scrambling around to learn a new system - good. That's another fire in their rear end."