Distractions for Ben McAdoo and Odell Bckham Jr. are in the rear view mirror, and are only focused on obtaining their first win this season:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Odell Beckham, Jr. and Ben McAdoo are on to Tampa Bay.
Neither the Giants' star wide receiver nor the team's head coach wanted to talk at length about Beckham's controversial celebration following the first of his two touchdowns Sunday in Philadelphia. Those actions, which resulted in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, prompted Giants president and chief executive officer John Mara to state yesterday that he is "very unhappy with Odell's behavior on Sunday. And we intend to deal with it internally."
At his regular weekly news conference today, Beckham said he spoke with Mara, but did not offer details.
"He and I talked," Beckham said. "We had a discussion – private discussion in his office. We talked about it – him and I."
Beckham was asked if he believed he had embarrassed the organization.
"Moreso myself, I guess," he said.
Asked about Mara's comments, McAdoo said, "We've had conversations on it." The coach's focus is on reducing the penalties that keep setting the team back, notably the 15-yarders for celebration infractions the Giants have received in each of the last two games.
"I'll start with this – we had 10 penalties in the (Philadelphia) game," McAdoo said. "Penalties snap to whistle are penalties that happen, combative penalties in the game. You can clean those up with fundamentals. Pre-snap and post-snap penalties, we have to clean up, and that's a part of it. Celebration penalties are things you can't have. It's a poor reflection on me, on the program and on the organization. We have a plan for it. We're going to handle it internally, and we have a plan for it moving forward."
*McAdoo would have preferred to discuss Beckham's two spectacular touchdown receptions. On the first, Beckham was pushed by cornerback Jalen Mills but still managed to get his feet down in the back of the end zone. The second was a Beckham special, as he grabbed and then secured the ball using only his left hand – with Mills draped all over him.
Beckham and Mills are former LSU teammates.
"We should be focused on the way he plays the game," McAdoo said of Beckham. "He made two of the finest plays you'll ever see in pro football since I've been in the league. Those are getting overshadowed. It's unfortunate."
*Eli Apple has the perfect mentality for a cornerback. He has shaken off his rough outing in Philadelphia and is eager to line up against Tampa Bay.
Apple was flagged for two pass interference penalties totaling 77 yards, and each one helped set up an Eagles touchdown. He also collided with Janoris Jenkins on Alshon Jeffrey's 19-yard reception, immediately prior to Jake Elliott's 61-yard field goal.
So, what does Apple need to do to improve?
"Just everything," he said. "As the season goes on, you want to improve in all areas. You want to tackle better, you want to make better calls, you want to communicate more and, of course, you want to make more plays."
Could the pass interference penalties have been avoided?
"For sure," Apple said. "Just having better awareness of the situation and seeing the way the calls were going, you don't want to give (the officials) anything that they can easily call. So just getting your head around, not making too much contact with the receiver, because if you make too much, obviously that's a flag."
Apple thought his second penalty, a 36-yarder when he was covering Torrey Smith, should not have been called. Corey Clement tied the score on a 15-yard run on the next play, with 5:40 remaining in the game.
"It was uncatchable, and I thought I was in better position than the receiver," Apple said. "They always tell you that you have a right to the ball, so that's one thing. I was trying to go for the ball and make a play, but you've got to learn from that, and continue to just play your game."
Six-year veteran Janoris Jenkins has been working with Apple on both his technique and his psyche.
"I just keep talking to him," Jenkins said. "Let him know what I see, help him out a little bit, as far as technique and lining up and what to expect from different formations. He's going to get better.
"Just basically about the deep balls, the pass interferences that he's been getting lately, I've just been telling him, instead of him turning his head all the way around, just stay facing the man, because he's already at that point where he doesn't have to turn his head. And then the ball is underthrown and now he's reaching and grabbing. It's just small things like that."
Doing the small things can help prevent the opposition from making big plays.
*Six Giants did not practice today: linebackers Jonathan Casillas (ankle/wrist) and J.T. Thomas (groin), running backs Orleans Darkwa (back) and Shane Vereen (calf), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle) and tackle Bobby Hart (ankle). Linebacker B.J. Goodson (shin) was limited.
*Goodson didn't play against the Eagles, who rushed for 193 yards. But McAdoo said that total resulted from more than Goodson's absence.
"It was more than one position," McAdoo said. "First things first, you have to give the opponent credit. They did a nice job and then we have to go to work on ourselves."
A look at the expected starters for the Buccaneers on Sunday