It’s been a trying week for the New York Giants and for head coach Ben McAdoo in particular, the subject of an ESPN report citing two anonymous players who ripped the second-year head coach.
Rather than throw up the white flag in surrender, McAdoo seems to have dug his heels in even deeper in his quest to help stop this sinking ship from becoming engulfed by waters.
“I think they’re excited to go play. Excited to go get back on the field,” McAdoo said of the state of his roster. “When you have a setback like we did last week and some fake news, I guess you could all it, like we had this week, some drama, I think it’s good to go out and play the game you love to play.”
McAdoo’s choice of words in describing the anonymous quotes raised an eyebrow or two. He was asked to clarify if he thought the quotes reported by ESPN were fake.
“No, I’m saying it’s anonymous. No names behind it,” he said.
McAdoo also reiterated that if the quotes were to eventually end up being attached to a name, he is standing by to help whoever needs it.
“I’d like to help the players that have issues,” he said, adding that the report isn’t an issue for the team. “We can handle it, we’re strong. You saw how the players responded in the locker room yesterday, I thought they did a great job.”
McAdoo also opined that the stress from a season that has gone horribly wrong has not diminished the club’s enthusiasm for the game.
“I don’t think it’s taken a toll. I think, again, the way last week worked out, I think we’re excited to go jump on a plane, go across the country and play in a ballgame,” he said.
He’s also counting on the players and coaching staff to quell some of the rumblings of there being unrest regarding the future of the football program.
“It’s the only one we have this week. They’re all big,” he said when asked if this week’s game might answer a lot of questions about the effort the team gives.
“We have an opportunity to play a team that is going to be hungry. They’re going to be scrapping. They’re going to see a one-win team get off the plane and we’re going to have to go out there and give it everything we got.”
The Giants declares three linebackers out of Sunday’s game: starters Devon Kennard (quad) and B.J. Goodson (ankle) and nickel back Keenan Robinson (quad).
Cornerback Donte Deayon (ankle) is doubtful. Linebackers Jonathan Casillas (neck) and Calvin Munson (quad), defensive ends Olivier Vernon (ankle) and Kerry Wynn (knee) are questionable and offensive lineman Justin Pugh is good to go.
“He practiced in a limited role. Did a little bit more this week than he did last week. He’s making some progress,” McAdoo said of Vernon, who has missed four games.
The same can be said of Casillas, who has missed three games. “He’s making some progress, too,” McAdoo said. “Tomorrow’s a big day for us; it’s launch day.”
McAdoo, on the injury report being longer this year than last and what might be behind that: “One thing we always take a look at are soft tissue injuries, that’s a big part of it. We feel we have a lot of control over that, whether it’s the players hydrating, whether it’s how we practice, the duration of practice, the off days, the on days, those types of things. The other stuff is just football.”