EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Patience is not Ben McAdoo’s most obvious character trait, but the Giants’ first-year offensive coordinator is not fretting over his unit’s operational deficiencies in the first two preseason games.
“Monday night in Detroit, we need to be 100 percent ready to go,” McAdoo said today. “We’re not there yet. We’re making small strides. You’d like to say you’re taking two steps forward every day and one step back. At this point in time, we took a couple steps forward last night. Practice, we had a good day out there, and we have to keep making small strides.”
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McAdoo has not yet presented his entire playbook to the players. And while he wants the players to execute what they’ve learned, he also is cognizant of showing as little as possible to early-season opponents.
“We have a plan on how we’re going to install,” McAdoo said. “We’re going to continue installing and continue to review some things we’ve done earlier. We have a plan in place for that. You never want to sit on your hands.”
Quarterback Eli Manning enjoys playing in the new offense, but admits it’s been a challenge to learn a new scheme for the first time since he was a rookie 10 years ago.
“It’s a lot of work,” Manning said. “There’s a lot going in. We still haven’t installed the whole offense, so today is kind of a big green zone (inside the 20) installation. We have a lot of things going on, so there is still some thinking going on out there, still trying to understand some of the concepts that are going on. We’re probably installing more plays than we’ll get to run. I think they’re just trying to get people familiar with all of concepts so when they’re maybe installed for a game later in the season, they’ve seen it before and thought about it before and talked about it.
Despite their strong faith and lofty expectations for the regular season, those responsible for the offense would like to see better performances in the remaining preseason games, beginning Saturday night in Indianapolis. In the first two games, victories over Buffalo and Pittsburgh, the starters played a total of seven series. One possession produced an 80-yard touchdown drive and another was a one-play, 73-yard score by Rashad Jennings. But the Giants totaled 10 yards on the other five drives, which ended with four punts and a lost fumble.
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“Obviously, when you take a look at the first four drives from the last game, we didn’t have much rhythm,” McAdoo said. “We want to start faster. The first series, we don’t get done what we’d like to get done. We had a manageable third down (a third-and-two) and we expected a conversion then. We hit the big play in the second series, which was nice to see and was well-blocked. Rashad is a very efficient mover and hit the hole with good energy and that was nice to see. The line communicated and blocked it up well. Eli made a good decision leaving the play on. The third series, we get the sack. We didn’t execute the way we’re capable of and the fourth series, we had the penalties, which there is no excuse for. We didn’t have a chance to throw the ball on the first four drives, but we’re not going to walk around with our heads down because of it.”
He has little patience for mistakes, but realizes they are inevitable when installing an offense for a new group of players.
“I try to stay calm, as calm as I can be,” McAdoo said. “I think it helps the players and coaches around you. It helps you think clearly. I’m not someone who is patient by nature, that’s something that I have to work at. But the response of the coaches and players in the game the other night helped. It showed we can overcome some adversity. Even with the third group, the way they responded, came in and did a nice job. We have a pretty level-headed offensive group. There’s a lot of character there and when you can hang your hat on character, you like your chances.
“This isn’t about one man or one man’s offense. This is about the New York Giants offense growing and learning together. I look forward to the challenge.”