The McAdoo Report: Division game kicks off 2nd half

Posted Nov 4, 2016

The McAdoo Report, an exclusive weekly interview with head coach Ben McAdoo: :

Q: We haven’t spoken since the game in London. Did you enjoy that experience?

McAdoo: “We have to give the operations department credit. Everything was pretty seamless. Took the flight, got some rest and hit the ground running. Fresh Friday had a little different twist to it. The walkthrough on the Duke’s lawn was interesting. The players embraced it. We got them some rest Friday night and had a good practice on Saturday. It paid off for us on Sunday.”

Q: You said earlier this week that you don’t really like the bye week. A lot of coaches say that they like the break in the routine. You don’t like the break?

McAdoo: “No. I don’t like the bye week. I enjoy and cherish the grind. I like the grind and the routine. Keeping your foot on the gas, especially when you have a couple of wins in a row. I enjoy that part of it.”


Q: You’re forced to take some time off. Can you relax when you have to do that or do you find that you’re still working?

McAdoo: "I try and do as best I can. Take a couple hours. The first part of the bye week you’re thinking about the past couple of weeks. The next couple days you’re thinking about the future. You try and get as much time on the past as you can as far as evaluating the team. Then looking forward to the next game or the next two games. How you want to handle things. We have some scheduling things in the future coming up. How you want to handle the next Monday Night game and Thanksgiving.”

Q: When you do have a bye week or a Monday Night game and you’re home on a Sunday, do you like to watch football?

McAdoo: “I like to have games on as I’m doing other things so I can catch bits and pieces. I’m a football fan. I love football. I’m a junkie that way. My son (BJ) loves it; my daughter (Larkin), she enjoys it. My wife (Toni) does. My daughter, when we play, she’ll sit down and write play-by-play’s of the game as we go. My son will put his helmet on and want to play football and throw footballs. It’s a family activity for us.”

Q: Your daughter scripts plays already?

McAdoo: “Yes, she does. I have pictures of her last year on the road. She was sitting down doing play-by-plays as the game was going on. She enjoys that part of it.”

Q: We heard a lot of your self-scouting over the bye week. You’re always looking at your team, watching tape and out at practice. How much do you really find out that you didn’t know by self-scouting during the bye week?

McAdoo: “Not much as far as tendencies, (which) are a week-to-week deal. You really know who you are tendency-wise each and every week. During the bye week, you really have a chance to go back and look at more film of yourself. Look at it through concepts. Study not just tendencies. Anybody can just crunch out a number. It just depends on how you tell yourself the story. Statistics, you can twist and turn any way that you want. You have a chance to go back and actually look at the Jimmy’s and Joe’s performing the concepts. To me, that’s the biggest value of the bye week. You can see how the concepts unfold. Is there merit in continuing to build on concepts that were productive or unproductive? Is it a factor of execution? Are we putting guys in a position to be successful or is it something we should get rid of all together?"

Q: Did you come out of the bye week after the self-scouting and find a couple of things that surprised you a little bit?

McAdoo: “Yes absolutely. The other thing is, you have to be careful of the other wrinkles you put in. You don’t want to have a whole game plan full of wrinkles and the players play too slow. You have to put them in, pick and choose what you like. Don’t outsmart your common sense. Really go with what fits against your next opponent. It’s a matchup league.”

Q: Do you look at things like the fact that you’ve score a lot more points in the second and fourth quarters than the first and the third quarters? Are those the kinds of things that you look at also?

McAdoo: “It’s part of it. It’s part of being able to start quicker in the offense. Getting off the field quicker on defense and earlier in the drives. It's concept related. Trying a couple of things to get the game going quicker on offense, especially in the first and third quarters.”

Q: Each of the last two games you’ve fallen behind 10-0 early (and came back to win both games). In those situations, do you tell your players to just stick with the plan?

McAdoo: “Last week was an interesting week. Second week in a row that it happened. We were in London. There was a lot going on. It’s early in the season, but we’ve been through a lot as a team already. Last week, we really didn’t need to say anything. We all knew. Just hang in there and keep swinging and playing hard. Focus on the play. Don’t worry about the scoreboard. Guys hung in there, they kept playing. No one blinked or flinched. You just kept playing and it worked out.”

Q: Is the first thing on your agenda to not turn the ball over on the opening possession (as the Giants did each of the last two games)?

McAdoo: “Yes. Take care of the ball. Obviously, we need to take care of the ball. The first and second play of the game, we certainly don’t want a turnover. We don’t want a turnover in the game, let alone the first or second play. Whatever happens in the game, you have to roll with the punches sometimes. You have to keep playing. You can’t worry about it. You can’t hang on to that. You have to go ahead and flush it. Move on to the next play.”

Q: Is the positive spin that you kept your cool, fought back and won both games? It shows that you can fight through adversity to win games?

McAdoo: “I think we’re building a strong-minded, physical, heavy-handed team. We’re building a team that has gone through adversity and believes that when it’s crunch time and we have to go through adversity again, we just set our jaw and keep going.”

Q: How much does the red zone touchdown percentage (42.1) tie into the trouble you have running the ball?

McAdoo: “I believe we’ve run the ball better in the red zone this year than we have the last couple of years. We’ve had more rushing touchdowns down there, I do believe. I don’t think that factors as much. When you do run the ball and you are balanced in the red zone, they don’t come out and you don’t get an explosive gain or win the down, it makes it harder in the passing game. The field is shorter down there. Some say that the points are in the passing game. I believe the points are in balanced football. I believe in running the football and having things come off of the run game. That makes for a good red zone, green zone offense. We need to keep running the ball and to be balanced. We need to be aggressive with what we’re doing in the passing game. The most important thing about it is we need to get down there more. We’re not down there enough. We get down there more, those reps which you learn from down there builds throughout the season. We get down there more, we’ll learn more about these weapons that we have, what they do well in game-like situations, and be able to attack better.”


Q: In your time in the league, can you make a general statement about a team coming off a bye? Does it sometimes take time to get back on track?

McAdoo: “Well, we need to start fast in the game. That’s important this week. Again, it’s not like we haven’t played in a month. Every team goes through it. It’s not something I’m spending a ton of time thinking of. We got in an extra practice this week. We got some time meeting wise and some feet meets (meeting on their feet) on Tuesday. We had good energy at practice (Wednesday) and had good tempo. We finished three minutes ahead of schedule. That’s a good sign for a Wednesday practice.”

Q: When you last played, Landon Collins had eight solo tackles, two interceptions, a touchdown and set up the other touchdown. He was the NFC Defensive Player of the Week. Are we watching a player develop into really one of the better safeties in the league?

McAdoo: “I think he’s a young player that got a lot of experience as a rookie. He’s continuing to grow. He has good football instincts. Seems like it’s in every fabric of him where he’s a football player. He gets ball. Whether it’s special teams or defense, you can count on him. He’s a tremendous tackler. He has leadership qualities that I like. He’s developing in the back end in the pass game and his ball skills are improving. That’s a good combination.”

Q: Robbie Gould flew to London on short notice to kick against the Rams, and then he stayed here during the bye week, when he went over to the stadium to kick. What can you say about the way he does his job, prepares himself and carries himself?

McAdoo: “He showed up and fits in with the guys. Showed up in London ready to kick. Got used to a new long snapper and new holder. New coaching staff and everything. New time zone. He got over there, learned quickly and jumped right in with both feet. He’s a veteran and a confident guy. He’s been there, he’s done that and we’re fortunate to have him.”

Q: This team has obviously not had recent success against the Eagles (whom the Giants host Sunday). Do you think that will provide extra motivation, or should you not need extra motivation against a divisional opponent?

McAdoo: “You shouldn’t need extra motivation any week to perform against anyone in this league. Every game is important. You only get one a week. To have a 1 o’clock game at home in the division, it’s exciting. One o’clock games at home are great. Anytime we can get in front of the home fans and have their support. You get it eight times a year, hopefully more. You have to cherish those opportunities.”

Q: Especially because it’s against a team you’re tied with in the division?

McAdoo: “Farm our own land. We need to take care of our own business. Everything is in front of us.”

Q: You’ve played a lot of good front fours this season. Is it fair to say Philadelphia’s might be the best at pressuring the quarterback?

McAdoo: “Yes. They’re loaded up front in the D-line. Inside, they’re physical guys that can play and have athleticism. They’re deep at all four spots. They’ll rotate. It’s like line-switching in hockey. They’ll play one line and then rotate out with a completely new, fresh defensive line. Those guys are just as good. They all have some tricks of the trade. They play with some width and get up the field. They have speed to power. We have our work cut out for us.”

Q: Some teams we talk about bring a lot of extra pressure and blitz a lot. The Eagles don’t do that. Does that present a different challenge because they can rush the quarterback with four and have so many other guys in coverage?

McAdoo: “(Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jim) Schwartz does a good job. It’s not his first rodeo. I’ve gone against him for years when he was in Detroit (where he was head coach from 2009-13) and I was in Green Bay. He can play a variety of different types of games. What you’re seeing on tape may not necessarily be what you get on Sunday. You have to be ready for a coverage game and a post safety coverage game. You have to be ready for a pressure game and a bear-type game. They can play a variety of different ways. He’s going to try and beat the quarterback. We have to be ready to adjust and improvise as the game goes on.”

Q: If you looked at a tape of them blind not knowing the team or the player, would Carson Wentz look like a rookie quarterback?

McAdoo: “No. I think he’s acclimated well to the pro game. Obviously, he has the physical tools. He’s a smart guy. That gives him a head start right away. I think he moves well in the pocket. Does it with two hands on the ball. Does a nice job of escaping the pocket. He can do it either way and make throws either way. He’s done a nice job.”


Q: Their system really helps him not get too flustered. They throw a lot of short passes early to get him comfortable. Does he look comfortable to you?

McAdoo: “Yes. We keep talking about all these short passes. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try and throw the ball down the field early in the ball game a little bit. Sometimes the offense that he’s in doesn’t get a lot of credit for pushing the ball down the field. He has to go where the coverage dictates the ball to go. Obviously, it shows he’s not going to force the ball if he doesn’t have to.”

Q: How dangerous is Darren Sproles?

McAdoo: “Very dangerous. He’s like a fine wine. He gets better as he gets older. They’re running him more from under center. They look for a variety of ways to get his hands on the football. He’s a tough tackle. Whether it’s in the return game or he’s coming out of the backfield as a receiver. We just have to make sure we bend our knees, wrap and squeeze and roll.”

Q: Their special teams have about as much depth as any team. They already have two kickoff returns for touchdowns, their kicker has made 17 in a row, and they have a good, veteran punter.

McAdoo: “They’re very good on special teams. They have a core group of guys that really focus and spend their time on special teams. They do a nice job. They’re physical and combative. They play with good speed. Their returners do a nice job. They’re each a little bit different, so you have to know who has their hands on the ball. That’ll help our guys. They’re very talented there."