Maybe, somewhere deep inside, Ben McAdoo will feel a sense of nostalgia when the New York Giants’ buses arrive at the south side of Lambeau Field on Sunday evening.
Maybe Mike McCarthy will feel like a proud father when he greets McAdoo before the game.
On Wednesday, however, neither of the head coaches for Sunday night’s showdown between the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants were inclined to take a warm-and-fuzzy trip down Memory Lane.
When McCarthy was hired by the Packers in 2006, he brought McAdoo with him from San Francisco to serve as his tight ends coach. McAdoo held that position for six seasons before spending 2012 and 2013 as the team’s quarterbacks coach. Then, it was off to New York, where McAdoo was the Giants’ offensive coordinator for the past two seasons before replacing Tom Coughlin as head coach for this season.
Asked about preparing for McAdoo on a personal note, McCarthy chose instead to talk about the matchup.
“This is an important game for us because, frankly, it’s the next game, it’s a home game, it’s an NFC game,” McCarthy said before Wednesday’s practice. “Yes, the personal part of it, those are really things that are private. I’m obviously proud of what he’s done and what he’s doing, but we’re just focused on trying to figure out defensively how they’re going to line up, offensively how they’re going to attack our defense, the similarities of their approach in the no-huddle offense, and they’re doing some good things on special teams.”
So much for an emotional “welcome home” speech.
McAdoo clearly learned from his mentor.
“You know, I haven’t given it much thought,” McAdoo said during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday evening. “It’s a quick week for us this week, playing on Monday night, fast turnaround. I’m sure I’ll have some thoughts and emotions when I walk through the tunnel for the first time.”
And what will those emotions be?
“We’ll see,” McAdoo said. “I’m excited to get back on the field with these guys. I’m not someone who’s overly emotional or dramatic or any of those types of things. I like to take care of the task at hand and focus on my work.”
That’s not to say McAdoo isn’t thankful for his time with McCarthy. After serving as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh in 2003, McAdoo got his first NFL job with the Saints in 2004. McCarthy was the offensive coordinator there, and McAdoo followed McCarthy to San Francisco in 2005. Those early years helped pave the way for McAdoo to take over the Giants.
“I think it was a huge factor for me,” McAdoo said, “going first from New Orleans to San Francisco with him and having the chance to help put the offense in there, and then going to Green Bay and having an opportunity to put the offense in again from the ground floor was instrumental. And then working through a few different jobs with the offensive line, the tight ends and the quarterbacks in the same offense was important. Mike was always open and I had a chance to get a lot of feedback from him. He did a nice job as far as teaching the coaches and giving you an opportunity to develop leadership skills and an opportunity to speak in front of the media and speak in front of the team, and you could develop that way, which was very helpful.”
Leave it to quarterback Aaron Rodgers to add some levity. In his conference call with Giants beat reporters, Rodgers recalled McAdoo’s sense of fashion.
“He’s famous for his layering — you know, the short sleeves under long sleeves under short sleeves. Always appreciated that about him,” Rodgers said.
Relayed those comments at the end of his conference call, McAdoo said: “I change it up a little bit. It’s a little warmer here in the summer. So I still layer, but I’m more three-quarters sleeves/short sleeves now.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.