Two years ago, Aaron Rodgers sent a text to Ben McAdoo and told him to put the Super Bowl MVP quarterback down as a reference for his interviews to become an offensive coordinator.
On Thursday, the New York Giants hired McAdoo as their 17th head coach in franchise history.
“I said ultimately I need and have always needed a guy who gets me prepared every week and can give me the opportunities to reach my potential,” Rodgers, a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time league MVP, said on a local Wisconsin radio station when the Giants gave McAdoo his first offensive coordinator post in 2014.
“And Ben did that every day the last two seasons for me and the other quarterbacks in the room. It was fun to see his personality even continue to come out this year as we became closer and as he just allowed himself to relax and be comfortable in those rooms.
“I think he’s a guy who really understands scheme and preparation and how to install plays. I think he did a great job the last couple years installing the red zone, and you saw him in front of the room every week. Every week he got more comfortable. He put more into his presentation.
More of his personality came out. There were jokes. There was an ability to control the room.
Two successful seasons later, those words ring true.
McAdoo, who led Eli Manning to a pair of career years in which he threw 65 touchdowns to just 28 interceptions, was the first candidate to interview for the Giants’ head coaching position after Tom Coughlin stepped down following the 2015 season finale.
“Ben’s a great coach,” Rodgers told Newsday on Sunday after the Packers’ wild card victory over the Redskins. “He’s really advanced quickly, and the key is he’s got an excellent work ethic.
“He’s a grinder. I’ve been around some grinders in my life. [Packers coach] Mike McCarthy’s a grinder. [Former California coach] Jeff Tedford was a grinder. [McAdoo] puts in the work and he cares about it. We had a great time working together, him in kind of a new role as a quarterbacks coach, and we learned a lot from each other.”
Speaking of McCarthy, the man who trails only Curly Lambeau in wins as a Packers head coach, he had nothing but praise for his former assistant. McAdoo spent eight years as an assistant for him in Green Bay, the first six as tight ends coach (2006-11) and the final two (2012-13) as the quarterbacks coach.
“I’m very happy for Ben to be in this position and the opportunity that’s in front of him,” McCarthy said Thursday in Green Bay as his team prepares for a playoff game against the Cardinals. “Can’t tell you how proud I am of him and just the job he’s done over the years. He’s definitely ready and deserving.”
McCarthy on Ben McAdoo: Can't tell you how proud I am. He's ready & deserving.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 14, 2016