The McAdoo Report, Giants.com's exclusive weekly interview with head coach Ben McAdoo:
Q: Do you sense a different vibe or feeling around here after an exciting win against Kansas City?
McAdoo: "It was great to get a win at home. The players are excited. Don't have much time to enjoy it. Got to move on to the next one. Thursday (and their next game in Washington) is going to be on us quickly."
Q: Do you think a win like that can catalyze the team for the final six games?
McAdoo: "We have an opportunity to get two wins in five days, and we're excited about the possibilities."
Q: Landon Collins said after the game that he was upset that his shortcomings were featured in last week's brutally honest meeting. How much do you think that meeting, and the fact that you got everyone's attention, had to do with the effort that you got in the Kansas City game?
McAdoo: "I think we played good football the other day. I'm not sure how you would ever know whether the two were linked or not. I know we played hard, we played inspired football in all three phases, and Landon had one of his best outings of the year."
Q: As you watched the tape, was it a noticeably better performance than the previous week?
McAdoo: "I think we executed better, we played better football. We were in better football position. We took our Monday and our Tuesday team meeting and went through some of the film in the team meeting room. We just showed the football position that we were in, the long stride; short stride; the tackling fundamentals; the three hits of tackling: us hitting them, them hitting the ground and then us landing on them; and that was notably better in the game."
Q: Some of the players have talked about Eli (Manning's) fiery pregame speech. How did that come about? Did he approach you about it?
McAdoo: "As a coach, we spend a lot of time talking to the players during the week and preparing them for the game. As a coach, I'm not sure that there is much you can say before the game to help win the game. Sunday is game day. That's the players' day. It's all about the players. So I try to empower the players as best I can, and give each player an opportunity to speak pregame before we head out on the field. They don't know it's coming. I choose one of the captains each week, and I chose Eli this week, and he showed a little fire, a little passion and was excited to go play."
Q: Some people would say that's out of character for Eli, because he's relatively quiet, but it wasn't in the sense that he'll do whatever it takes to help this team win. Do you think it was out of character for him to do that?
McAdoo: "I don't know. He didn't punch any grease boards or throw his helmet through a locker, or get in fisticuffs or anything like that. He gave a motivational speech. It came from the heart, and I think that was probably the most important part of it. He spoke from the heart and the game is important to him, his teammates are important to him and it showed."
Q: On the fourth-and-five on the final drive, he threw the ball deep down the field to Roger Lewis. It worked out, because Lewis made a great catch (and drew a pass interference penalty on Phillip Gaines). Under normal circumstances, do you like him taking a chance throwing it downfield on a fourth-and-five?
McAdoo: "It was zero coverage, so we had three one-on-ones. When they play zero coverage, they are always going to have one more rusher than you have blockers. So he made a protection adjustment, max protected, got it all picked up. The free rusher came, he beat the free rusher with the ball, took a one-on-one matchup with a player that he has confidence in. He liked the matchup, he liked the access and threw a ball he's been throwing his whole life to a guy that has been running go routes his whole life. He's a young player, but he made a tremendous play for us. It's part of the offense and he executed it flawlessly."
Q: Many of us thought it should have been a touchdown. After watching the tape, what did you think?
McAdoo: "Like all of the calls that we want interpretation on, we sent it into the league and we wait for their interpretation. But I thought it was a touchdown myself, but we'll wait and see what the league has to say."
Q: In both of your wins, you've had exactly 32 rushing attempts, which is your season high. Did you go into that game thinking you were going to run 30-something times, or when you got to the stadium and saw how windy it was, did you change what you thought you had to do to win the game?
McAdoo: "During the week, we check the weather quite a bit going into the ballgame, and we do that each and every week. We knew that it was going to be a windy day. One end of the stadium can be gustier than the other end, so we felt like we had to plan accordingly. That's the way we play now. So it fits us. The offensive line is physical coming off the football, the backs are running big, the tight ends are doing a nice job, and blocking is important to the receivers. So that's a big part of the way we're playing football now."
Q: If someone told you a week ago that Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram would combine for one catch and you still win the game, you might have been a little skeptical. Since they've taken on bigger roles, how have Lewis and (Tavarres) King and (Travis) Rudolph progressed?
McAdoo: "They definitely have. We hit Rudolph on a couple third down throws last week. Not all conversions, but he did have some completions there. Lewis is a guy that's been around, he's a young player, had a big role on special teams, and really grew into his role on offense. You see how important it is to him to develop chemistry with the quarterback. He's been outspoken on it, and he works hard on it every day in practice. He's one of our work dogs out there, he really works hard at practice, and it shows up when you look at the numbers each and every day on the GPS, and also the targets as well. Tavarres King, he's a guy we've always had a lot of confidence in. It's been hard to get on the field for us at the receiver position. He knows the offense inside and out. He's a Giant, loves it here, and it shows in the way he plays."
Q: You started your seventh different combination on the offensive line the other day and you didn't allow a sack, and you had a good day running the ball. How has that unit been able to keep re-inventing itself while continuing to produce no matter who you put in there?
McAdoo: "I think (center) Brett (Jones) does a good job of leading that group. It's a well-coached group. Coach (Mike) Solari and (assistant) Lunda Wells do a tremendous job leading those guys. Brett has a lot of positive energy, he's a tremendous communicator and upfront, it starts and ends with communication and confidence, and that spreads throughout the group. That's a big part of it."
Q: Beyond the linemen, players like (Calvin) Munson, (Andrew) Adams, (Ross) Cockrell and the receivers have contributed. Do you like how the entire team has taken to the "next man up" philosophy when you've had guys go out?
McAdoo: "It's a big part of pro football these days. Some years are better than others with injuries. We do the best we can at setting the schedule and factoring in as many things as we can as far as the soft tissue injuries. This has been a year that the football injuries have hit us a little bit. But we're confident in our depth and the coaches and players to get ready for the next man up, and they've done a nice job for us."
Q: Can you talk specifically about the game that Calvin Munson had (12 tackles)?
McAdoo: "Calvin is a tough, gritty guy. He's out there, he's battling through some things himself, and he just keeps fighting through it. He's got a nose for the football and he's a gritty grinder."
Q: What is your biggest challenge this week after playing an overtime game and then having to travel for a Thursday night game?
McAdoo: "It's a quick turnaround, so the most important thing is we have to make sure we give the players a chance to recover, get their bodies right. Make sure that when they get here to the office, to the locker room, that they are focused mentally on their preparation. Most of the preparation is going to be between the ears this week. You'll have some walkthroughs and things like that, but we have to be smart with them. Get them to the game and give them a chance to go out and play at a high level."
Q: Last year, Washington had DeSean Jackson and (Pierre) Garçon at wide receiver. Are they a different kind of offensive team this year without them?
McAdoo: "They have a couple of different pieces they've been working in. They are a little bit different. They rely on the tight ends quite a bit now. They have a lot of speed and skill at the tight end position. Vernon Davis is really playing at a high level. He's caught his second wind, I guess you can say, in his career. He's playing fast, he's playing aggressive, he fits the system nicely, has great chemistry with Kirk (Cousins). Jordan Reed, we all know the talent that he has in the passing game. They have a young back that they're working in, (Samaje) Perine. With the injuries, he's coming on, he comes from a big school (Oklahoma), he's built low to the ground and has some good balance and seems to have a bright future."
Q: They have had a lot of injuries, including losing Chris Thompson and Terrelle Pryor this week. With Cousins as the trigger guy, do you still look at them as having a dangerous offense?
McAdoo: "Absolutely. (Josh) Doctson is a guy that is coming on for them. A young receiver; big, rangy target. Smart guy, we really liked him coming out. He's quite the talent. (Ryan) Grant is another guy for them. They have a lot of guys that have been there for a little bit that are getting an opportunity to shine. (Jamison) Crowder is always dangerous in the slot. He is quick and aggressive. He can stick his foot in the ground and can separate. He does a nice job on punt returns, and you see that part of his game show up in the slot."
Q: Defensively, they are a good pressure team. Is (Ryan) Kerrigan the guy that you have to watch out for?
McAdoo: "Kerrigan, (Preston) Smith, they have some good edge rushers. They're very deep there. (Ryan) Anderson is a guy you can see coming along. (Junior) Galette is healthy again, and we all know how talented he is with the speed coming off the edge. The linebackers on the inside factor as well. Just very good, very talented, very deep. They've had the injury bug there, as well, but they just keep turning out good players."
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