Al Thompson
Ben McAdoo talks about his team’s 0-4 start. Photo by Andy Lewis /

The Giants have their faults for sure: An offensive line that is not effective in the run game. Big Blue does not have the running backs who could take advantage of good blocking even if they did.

Special teams has let them down when it counts the most…giving up walk-off field goals on back-to back weeks to fall to 0-4.

And baring a miracle the Giants are done for 2017.

But Big Blue has talent both at the receiver position and on defense. The Giants biggest problem seems to be from the neck up.

Coach Ben McAdoo’s No. 1 job is to coach that up.

Here are his comments following his team’s 25-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Let’s start with the game. We are 0-4 and our film verifies it,” McAdoo said. “A lot of problems that are all correctable and it starts with blocking, tackling, catching the football, kicking and punting, especially in the fourth quarter.”

Here is where the second-year head coach talks about the mental aspect.

At times, we look like we are pressing, other times it looks like we’re hesitant,” he said. “Really, we were fortunate to be in the ball game yesterday. Tampa missed two field goals and a PAT. We started slow on offense, which has been a theme for us. We battled back. Expended a lot of energy battling back in the second and third quarter to get back in the game and take the lead. We had some opportunities after we got the lead to extend the lead, which would have been huge for us. We didn’t do that and we didn’t finish strong on defense. We had four times in the last two ball games to do that and we failed to do it. We’re the only ones that can do anything about it. We got to get back out there on the practice field and we got to work through the fundamentals. We can’t get numb. We can never get used to this feeling or accept it. We have to get back to work.”

McAdoo said he team is just not doing enough.

I’ve been in this league long enough to know that it takes a lot of work, it’s hard to win in this (league),” McAdoo said. “And when things aren’t going well you have to dot your i’s and cross your t’s and you have to play fundamentally sound football. And we haven’t done that. And it’s no reflection of the team, it’s just the fact it’s not surprising when things aren’t going well that you really have to buckle down.”

Some questioned McAdoo’s strategy after the Giants took a 23-22 lead late in the fourth quarter asking

why he didn’t pressure Jameis Winston as much on the final drive.

We had some success,” he said. “We made some plays on some other ones. That’s what we felt the situation dictated for us to be successful. Give him credit, he extended the play. Made a nice play, nice play there on the third down and short to get it into a chip shot for them.”

McAdoo was asked to explain the Giants haven’t scored in the first quarter this year.

Yesterday we had to make an adjustment on the second play,” he said. :Things didn’t go as well as planned obviously. The three-technique factored. We had some penetration the first two runs of the ball game. We moved the ball, we just haven’t finished drives.”

Q: How do you deal with preventing your players from becoming hesitant or pressing?

A: We have to go back and simplify. Simplify what we are doing schematically and let these guys go out and play and showcase their ability.

Q: Do you still think that you’re a good team?

A: I think we’re a team that has a lot of work to do.

Q: Do you think that things were too complicated? Am I interpreting that correctly?

A: No, I don’t believe things are too complicated. I’m saying what you do at this point is you simplify.

Q: Are there things you have to do in this situation that are more complicated than simplify? Such as managing their attitudes?

A: Yeah, I mean, its fight or flight time. We have talented men of integrity in the locker room. It’s not going to be easy. But we have to go out there and we have to fight. I expect us to fight. We have character in the building upstairs and down. I expect us to go out there and fight. The biggest thing that I get concerned about is guys going numb. We can’t go numb. Can never accept this. You got to fight through it. You got to work for that first one. Work for the first win.

Q: Could there be a tendency that leads to players playing scared that could lead to further mistakes?

A: No, I don’t see anyone playing scared out there. We may be pressing or may be hesitant, depends on which part of the game or which phase you’re talking about. I don’t see that. Confidence is always an issue. It’s a game of confidence and you build confidence through the way you practice. And then it has to transition to game day and that’s really been where we’re struggling. Falling behind early and then hanging on late. Second and third quarters we’re playing some pretty good football. We just have to start better and finish stronger.

Q: Do you sense that the guys are giving their best efforts in regarding to tackling?

A: It’s something that we’re going to take a look at this week and find ways to change it up. And make even more of an emphasis of it. But it’s a fundamental part of things. We got to bring our arms. A lot of the tackling that you are seeing out there on the missed tackles is block tackling. We are not bringing our arms and wrapping up. And that’s a fundamental part of the game. But we need to work on when we work the drills on the practice field they show up. We have to carry it over to game day.

Q: Why has the defense looked so different from a year ago despite having majority of the same personnel?

A: Year to year things change. You can’t take 2016 and plug it into 2017 and think things are going to be the same. Teams change year to year. Players change year to year. You can’t just pick up where you left off and that’s evident.

Q: Do you think that your defense has gotten complacent?

A: I do not think that our defense has gotten complacent, no.

Q: Do you think the defense has slowed down?

A: No. I have tremendous confidence in our defense. We’re going to right the ship and finish games strong the way that we’re capable of finishing. But the fundamental part of the game, that’s number one for us. We got to tackle better.

Q: Why do you think it has taken so long for Brandon Marshall to get going?

A: I think catching is confidence. Confidence is catching. He seems to be double catching a little bit and we just need to get through a clean game with him. He’s been catching it well in practice, we need to carry it over to game day. And that’s a part of the game for receivers.

Q: Is it surprising to you that this is happening to a veteran like him?

A: Well I think it’s a new offense. He’s doing a lot of learning. He’s still doing a lot of learning. Playing with a different quarterback. He hasn’t caught the ball cleanly in games.

Q: What did you see on the challenge that made you throw the flag?

A: I saw a catch and I saw a football move. I thought that it was worth the risk at that point.

Q: You haven’t had much success throwing the challenge flag. Do you think that system needs to be tweaked or it’s just not working out your way when you throw the flag?

A: I think this year seems to be more difficult than years past to try to get one overturned. Fourth quarter, a big play in the ballgame like that was. It’s always worth the risk.

Q: What did you think of the double pass interference?

A: We’re going to send that in and see what kind of feedback we can get back. I think it’s challenging. When it’s OPI, then the defender just kind of hangs on for dear life at that point. I think that’s a tough two-way call. There’s not really much the defender can do at that point. You’re just playing through but we have to send that one to the league and see what type of feedback we get back.

Q: What did you think of the two-point conversion involving Odell (Beckham)?

A: I have to go back and look at the TV copy. I didn’t see where he went out of bounds. I saw it was close. A lot of defenders now are working to push receivers out of bounds. And again, we are going to send that one in and see where the line of being physical and being pass interference where that line is. Because he was being pretty physical with Odell there

McAdoo’s injury update for Weston Richburg, Odell Beckham, Jr. Olivier Vernon and Paul Perkins.

OV re-aggravated his ankle. Weston is in the protocol. Odell is sore. He’s fighting through a bunch of things. Perkins has a contusion.”

3 Oct 17 - Football, Giants, NFL - Al Thompson - No Comments