- McAdoo: "We are always chasing consistency."**
With two games left in his first season as an offensive coordinator and play-caller, Ben McAdoo wants to see his unit put it all together for a strong finish. "We are always chasing consistency," McAdoo said Thursday. "The more time you spend together, the more time you can grow and see consistent improvement. We are looking for that over the final two games, especially this week. It is about consistency. Each play, each quarter, each half and each game we are looking to put it all together.
2. McClain upgraded; Jennings remained out.
Linebacker Jameel McClain (knee) and running back Rashad Jennings (ankle) were the only players to land on the Giants' injury report this week and neither practiced yesterday. McClain was upgraded on Thursday and fully participated, but Jennings remained out.
3. JPP and Hankins make each other better.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins have started all 14 games next to each other on the right side of the defensive line and have combined for 16.5 of the defense's 41 sacks this season. Pierre-Paul leads the team with 9.5, and Hankins is second with 7.0.
"Hank and I talk a lot on the field," Pierre-Paul said. "He helps me out a lot and I help him out. He has become a very good player in his second year. I am proud of him. He has seven sacks now. He is dominating the pass rush now. He can play the run. So do I. We take pride in that."
4. Odell doesn't have Odell's vote for Rookie of the Year.
There has been a lot of talk this week about wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.'s candidacy for Offensive Rookie of the Year, and rightfully so as he sets or extends records on a weekly basis. But Beckham was asked today which player gets his vote, to which he said Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry. And his second choice? Bengals running back Jeremy Hill. All three were teammates last year at LSU and part of a nine-member draft class from the SEC school.
"No, I wouldn't vote," Beckham said when asked if he would vote for himself. "That is not up to me. If they vote for me and I win it, I win it. It's in the back of your mind, but at the same time, you've still got two games left and you just have to finish strong, really."
5. No "aha moment" for McAdoo.
McAdoo, who coached tight ends and more recently quarterbacks for the Packers prior to joining the Giants this season, was asked how he has evolved in his first year on the job. "That is a good question," McAdoo responded. "I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about that. You learn what you learn along the way. You apply. You go back to conversations that you may have had along the way and in tough times, you think about players, not plays. Maybe that is something that you can apply going forward, especially in a long season. Other than that, that is the first thing that comes to mind."
*6. Last week's onside kick was a no-brainer. *
Because of penalties and an ejection of a Redskins player at the end of the first half last week, the Giants had the rare play of lining up in plus-territory for the opening kickoff of the second half. That's when Josh Brown attempted an onside kick from the Redskins' 35-yard line, and the Giants were able to recover. On Thursday, special teams coordinator Tom Quinn agreed it was a no-brainer decision.
"We've kicked off from a bunch of different spots, but that's the first time from the 35," Quinn said, later adding, "We saw what happened at the end of the half. We knew we were going to kick off from at least the 50, so we were preparing for that. And then we talked to the officials coming out and proposed that to them and we kind of laughed and we ended up doing it from the 35. We had both scenarios ready."
7. Kennard's ideal position is SAM linebacker.
Linebacker Devon Kennard has come on strong down the stretch in his rookie season, gathering 4.5 sacks in the last three weeks. His ability to rush the passer comes from his days as a defensive end at USC, but defensive coordinator Perry Fewell says strongside linebacker is still his ideal position.
"He's a powerful man that can play at defensive end and rush and do that type of thing," Fewell said. "He's also skillful enough to play a linebacker position. He's not as fleet-footed as you would like for him to be and so we put that in the term of a tweener. I think after the season and over the next training period, if he works on his burst and his explosion, that he can be an ideal linebacker. We call him a SAM linebacker. That would be his ideal position and he can also transition and put his hand on the dirt and rush, but I think linebacker would be his natural position."