*Ben McAdoo, as well as the entire Giants roster beleive they can get the season turned around: *
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –Ben McAdoo is confident the second half of the Giants' season will be far better than the first.
"You may think I am a little out there…I believe to the core we have a run in us," McAdoo said today.
They could certainly use one. The Giants are 1-7 and looking to rebound from a 34-point loss to the Rams as they prepare to face the 0-9 San Francisco 49ers Sunday in California. But McAdoo is not alone in expressing confidence that better days lie ahead.
"Of course (a run is possible)," safety Landon Collins said. "Get this win underneath our belt. Doing the simple things. Playing what we do best and get back to having fun. If we do that, yeah, we can definitely make that run."
"Go out there, get a win and just change the mentality, the feel, the vibe in the whole building," offensive lineman Justin Pugh said. "If you come in and the woman at the front desk, she'll be smiling, everyone will be a little bit happier. So it's definitely a thing that we need. We need to go out and get a win and have that one-game mentality. I think Denver (the Giants' lone victory) was a good example. That's all we were focused on. Just going out there and playing tough, playing hard, playing physical and they're going to be hungry, too. It's going to be two hungry teams looking for a win trying to right the ship, and I think that's the mentality we have to have."
McAdoo is often reluctant to reveal details of his communications with the players. But when asked today what his message to the team was this week, he hit the ground running and didn't stop to rest.
"I'll hit you with it," McAdoo said. "Let's go into it. I talked to the team about getting back to our identity. Sound, smart and tough. Committed to discipline and poise. That's something I haven't been talking enough about, and we got back to it. Talked to them about we're disappointed where we are. We're not discouraged with where we are. Everything is fixable. We have a lot of pride. We have a lot of fight in that room and they responded as well. We talked about doing simple better. We hit that before. We made it an increased emphasis this week. Coaches – asked the coaches to come up with a sound plan this week. Sound plan – doing simple better to teach and demand. Ask the players to study the plan. Prepare. Do a good job studying it. Prepare this week and be ready to go out and perform at a high level. Asked the Frasier's in the group to lead. If they need me for any reason, I'm available to them. Asked the 'IF' players, the young players, to step up. It's time for them to grow up and be men. You know, Sterling Shepard is a guy that comes to mind. Evan Engram. Dalvin Tomlinson. All played at a high level for us so far this year. Even Avery Moss last week. They're young players who can step up and help us lead. Talked about let's begin again. That was really the message for them. Don't buy into the lies. The lies that your feelings are telling you. This thing is not about feelings. It's a decision and let's make the decision to begin again. We talked about, you know, you may think I'm a little bit out there, but I believe we have a run in us. I believe to the core we have a run in us. We have to be hungry. We have to get our football right. We have to be disciplined. Be where we're supposed to be when we're supposed to be there. Do it as well as we possibly can and do it all the time and it's between our ears. In the locker room, if you're in a pro locker room, whether you're a player or whether you're a coach, the word legacy shows up quite a bit. It's important to all these guys and it all starts between the ears. So, that was the message to the players."
And what is the end goal of this run?
"Win," McAdoo said. "And we can start this week. I believe we have a run in us. Like I said, I like this team. They haven't flinched. They haven't blinked. You know, we set our jaws. We had another great day of practice. I look forward to playing again on Sunday and I believe we have a run in us."
Even with a healthier roster and a large booster shot of confidence, a sustained run will be a daunting challenge. After facing the 49ers, the Giants will play just one team in their final seven games that is currently under .500 – the 4-5 Raiders, in Oakland. They will also travel to Washington and Arizona, and host division leaders Kansas City and Philadelphia, as well as their other division rivals, Dallas and Washington.
But the NFL is a one-week-at-a-time league, and the Giants' sole focus right now is on San Francisco.
"Looking ahead is not going to get you anywhere," Shepard said. "You have to take it one game at a time. Be in the moment at practice and execute there first.
"We just got to come out and execute and play the Giants football that we know we're capable of playing. That goes back to what I was saying – just taking it a moment at a time and taking it a game at a time."
Linebacker and defensive captain Jonathan Casillas believes one victory can be the catalyst for the sustained run McAdoo alluded to.
"I believe so," Casillas said. "I think you have to believe that as in start with one game at a time, and hopefully we can put some wins together on a win streak. We haven't had a win streak. We got one win. There's no way you can have a win streak with one win. So hopefully, we can start this week and get a couple games in a row."
"It's right now," McAdoo said. "Right now. One game this week. Let's go win it."