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The McAdoo Report: Divisional matchup looms

Posted Sep 23, 2016

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

Q: Washington is coming here this week with an 0-2 record. Do you have to be mindful that you are playing a desperate opponent, and convey that to your team?

McAdoo: “Yes. We talked about it. It’s a division game, a rivalry game. It’s worth two games itself. We need to prepare for a good team, a hungry team. They’re hungry animals. We have to be ready to go.”

Q: A week ago, we talked about how explosive the Saints’ offense is. Then you went and held them to one touchdown and less than 300 yards. As you looked at the tape, what were some of the keys to the defensive performance?

McAdoo: “I thought we were physical and heavy-handed up front. I thought we challenged them on everything they wanted to do, whether it was in the run game, receivers coming off the line of scrimmage or tight ends coming off the line of scrimmage. We challenged them and we were physical. We didn’t give them anything easy.”

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Q: You went for a touchdown on fourth down on the 3-yard line in the first quarter. Of course, your immediate goal was to score points, but there were also long-term ramifications – indicating to your players your confidence in them, showing them you’re going to be aggressive. Was that part of your thinking as well?

McAdoo: “Yes. I’m confident in our green zone offense. I’m confident in the players. We’re an attacking style. We have confidence in our special teams and defense, too, to hold them. We have a chance inside the 5-yard line to be aggressive, we’re going to do that.”

Q: You won the coin toss and deferred, taking the ball to the second half. Deferring has become more popular around the league. The Giants' record had been poor when deferring. Is that decision going to be a game-by-game decision?

McAdoo: “Yes. Multiple things factor into that decision. It shows confidence in your defense that you want to kick the ball away, go out and get a stop right away.”

Q: After losing three fumbles last week, have you spent more time on ball security in practice this week?

McAdoo: “We emphasize ball security each and every week. We’re not going to overreact to one week and panic. We’re going to emphasize it more. The players took that among themselves to emphasize it more. As coaches, we made sure we hammered the points home.”

Q: In the same vein, when you have a player who fumbles the ball or drops a pass, I’m sure it doesn’t affect you long-term as a play-caller. But what about the short-term? Do you need a cornerback’s mentality, quickly forget about it and move on to the next play?

McAdoo: “To me, you want to get them the ball as soon as you can afterwards. I think great players, professional players, the sooner you can get the ball back in their hands, the sooner everyone can move on.”

>> EYE ON THE REDSKINS: SCOUTING REPORT

Q: This week, Marshall Newhouse hasn’t practiced because of a calf injury. If he can’t play, either Bobby Hart or Will Beatty will take his place. Does the way you structure your practice week, with a long, full-pads practice on Thursday, help you make a more informed decision regarding a potential replacement lineman?

McAdoo: “Absolutely. It gives him more time to recover more on Wednesday. You really have the whole plan in on Thursday, so they have a chance to go out there and work all the situations, the run game, third downs, as well as one-on-one with the pads on. It gives you the chance to make a well-informed decision.”

 Q: Much of your news conference (Wednesday) was devoted to current events and issues outside of football. Throughout your career, have you tried to be more than just a football coach to your players? Also a life coach and a mentor regarding larger issues in society?

McAdoo: “Yes, but it’s a little different for me. I’ve never been that much older than the players I’ve coached. I don’t know if it’s more like being a big brother, uncle or whatever it may be. I think coaching, teaching, leadership and parenting are all wrapped into one in what we get to do for a living. I try to make myself available for players for whatever they may need. If it’s off-the-field, I certainly feel that that is important.”

Q: Regarding the Redskins, for the second week in a row you are facing a team with an explosive offense.

McAdoo: “They have a variety of playmakers. They have a lot of weapons on the outside, (DeSean) Jackson being one of them. (Pierre) Garcon is one, Jordan Reed can really change the game. He’s a tight end, a yards after catch guy as well as a down the field threat. You don’t normally find that at that position. They have some backs that can factor into the pass game as well. Matt Jones is a big, physical runner. They have the guards and tackles, and they run, block and protect. Their center (Kory Lichtensteiger) does a nice job directing traffic so (quarterback) Kirk (Cousins) can just go play.”

Q: Is Jordan Reed as good a receiving tight end as there is in the NFL?

McAdoo: “He’s one of the top guys we have in the league now. Everyone has their own game. He has a little bit of a basketball-type feel for it underneath. He can definitely go make the long ball play.”

Q: Defensively, they are a 3-4 base team that frequently employs a 4-man front.

McAdoo: “They use a lot of 4-man front in their nickel. They use a lot of personnel. They won’t just play base and nickel. They’ll show some dime in there, show some little base and play (rookie Su’a) Cravens in there at one of the linebacker spots. They have a variety of packages they use to get all their players involved in the game plan.”

Q: How formidable are Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Chris Baker and Preston Smith up front?

McAdoo: “They’re all tremendous pass rushers. Smith and Murphy are definitely up and coming.”

Q: He has received attention for other reasons, but Josh Norman is a pretty good cornerback, is he not?

McAdoo: “Absolutely. He’s a shutdown corner. He’s a premier corner in this league. That factors into some of the decision-making by the quarterback.”

Q: Have they upgraded their coverage teams with David Bruton, Terence Garvin and Cravens?

McAdoo: “No question. They have a lot of DB’s that are active in the game. Their coverage teams have a ton of speed out there. They’ll be a tough matchup for us, but we’ll be prepared.”