Will Ben McAdoo call plays? Mike McCarthy weighs in

Posted Feb 26, 2016

Packers coach Mike McCarthy gives his take on Giants coach Ben McAdoo

Ben McAdoo proved he can call plays. But will he moving forward?

Mum’s been the word since the former offensive coordinator became the 17th head coach of the New York Giants, citing competitive advantage yesterday as well as the lengthy offseason to-do list.  

And speaking Thursday from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Packers coach Mike McCarthy, a mentor who knows McAdoo as well as anyone in the business, isn’t surprised that his former assistant is playing coy.

“Knowing Ben, he probably don’t want to tell you about it until the last second,” said McCarthy, who took back his own play-calling duties last season in Green Bay. “That’s part of his nature. Him and I haven’t specifically talked about it, but it’s an important decision. The way you structure your staff, all those things are very important, so in regards to what we did last year and what we’re going to do this year, I think it’s important as a coach, particularly with your staff, with your program, to ask the question each and every year – how do you improve? How can you become two or three plays better? And Ben will do a great job in New York.”

When Tom Coughlin hired him in 2014, it was the first time McAdoo, who previously spent eight years as an assistant coach with the Packers under McCarthy, called plays in his career. It’s hard to argue with the results from the former tight ends and quarterbacks coach.

Over those two seasons combined, the Giants were ninth in scoring and eighth in yards, while quarterback Eli Manning’s two-season averages include a 62.8 completion percentage, 4,421 yards, 32.5 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. Only Tom Brady (69) and Aaron Rodgers (69) have thrown more touchdowns than Manning (65) in that span.

“You know what, that hasn’t been decided yet,” McAdoo said Wednesday when asked if he will call plays. “We’ll take a look at a couple different scenarios moving forward. But like I said in the past, that’s a schematic advantage so I’m not going to talk about that.”

So spectators may have to wait until Week 1 to see whether or not McAdoo handed the baton to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, the former quarterbacks coach.

“We may give everybody a call sheet on opening day,” McAdoo joked. “No, that’s something that we’re going to work through that process and whatever we feel is best for the Giants, that’s what we’re going to do.”