New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, dealing with the latest self-inflicted blow to the Giants secondary resulting from cornerback Janoris Jenkins’ suspension, once again denied the public perception that he lost the locker room .
Jenkins suspension due to a violation of team rules has mirrored the chaos of Dominique Rodgers-Cromarite’s indefinite ban three weeks ago (one that was later reduced to one game) and has only served to intensify belief that McAdoo is no longer in control of the locker room.
For McAdoo, he could care less about public perception.
“I’m not concerned about perception; I’m concerned about reality,” McAdoo said during his post-practice press conference on Wednesday. “To turn your cheek to something that needs to be handled for disciplinary reasons because you’re worried about perception isn’t a smart thing to do. So I’m not concerned about perception.”
If anyone was looking for the slightest hint of dissension from the defensive backs, the primary source of the team’s discipline issues that have trickled out to the public, they weren’t going to find much and in fact insisted that McAdoo still had their respect.
“If that was the case, it would be haywire, a lot of chaos,” Rodgers-Cromartie said when asked if McAdoo had lost the room. “I think guys show up to work every day with the same energy, with the same mindset of coming out here and competing. So it’s definitely not disrespect.”
“We have not lost respect for (McAdoo),” safety Landon Collins firmly echoed. “We continue growing with him and trying to be a great team and stay together because our back is against the wall right now. We can’t fight against each other. If we fight against each other, things are definitely going to go bad.”
Cornerback Eli Apple, like Jenkins, was said to be excused for a “personal reason” from Monday’s practice. That personal reason turned out to be a delay in returning to the team’s East Rutherford facility after the bye week, caused by heavy rainstorms in the New Jersey area on Sunday afternoon. (Running back Paul Perkins was also affected.)
While Apple hinted that he too had been disciplined for his failure to be back at work on schedule, the second-year man from Ohio State nonetheless expressed respect for his head coach.
“It’s just unfortunate situations at a time,” Apple said, expressing a disagreement that the defensive backs have turned on McAdoo. “He’s got my respect. He’s got everybody’s respect. We are just trying to win games.”
The players took their support a step further, expressing that while they’ll miss having Jenkins in the lineup, they accept McAdoo’s decision to sit him.
“I wish (Jenkins) was here. We need him,” Collins said. “We need every guy that we have on this team, but that’s coach. Coach makes the rules and we have to abide by them.”
“I think the people that got suspended got to take ownership to it. They got to own what they do,” Rodgers-Cromartie added. “There are consequences to everything you do. Whether you feel like you’re right or wrong, there are certain ways to handle things and if you do it the wrong way, you got to pay for it.”
The Giants return to action against Jenkins’s former comrades, the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday at MetLife Stadium (1:00 PM, FOX).