After the Giants‘ 51-17 home loss to the Rams, coach Ben McAdoo denied that his team quit. Two of his players disagree.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that two Giants players told her (anonymously) that the team has quit on McAdoo. Of note: The comments below were made before the Giants’ loss to the Rams.
“McAdoo has lost this team,” one player told Anderson. “He’s got us going 80 percent on Saturdays before we get on a plane to play a game. It’s wild. Changed our off day. He’s dishing out fines like crazy. Suspended two of our stars when we need them the most. Throws us under the bus all the time. He’s ran us into the ground and people wonder why we’ve been getting got.”
“Guys are giving up on the season and nothing’s being done. Guys just don’t care anymore,” the second player said.
Unsurprisingly, their opinions didn’t change after the loss to the Rams.
“I would say this last week [against the Rams]. Even after the game, a lot of guys were like at their wit’s end,” the player said. “You could tell even on the sidelines. I just got the vibe. You can tell when the team has quit, and it just felt like we did. It felt like nobody wanted to be there, and the whole week [McAdoo] didn’t give us the day off last week [after players returned from the team’s bye]. Guys were a little upset about that — even though we did get a bye week, so the morale was kind of shaky.”
The player even cited McAdoo’s press conference behavior.
“I think a lot of the guys watched the press conference after the game like a lot of guys do just to see what [McAdoo] says,” the player said. “When [McAdoo] said ‘um’ to the question ‘What did you tell the team at halftime?’ and [McAdoo] just said ‘um,’ he didn’t really have anything. Man, he didn’t really have anything for us when we came back in the locker room, too. It was just kind of like the same old, same old. You can just see guys were like, you can just tell that nobody was kind of following it.”
Here’s the moment he’s talking about, which is probably the perfect metaphor for the Giants’ season:
So, yeah, it’s official: The Giants’ season is a disaster that deserves its own Roland Emmerich movie. The Giants entered the season with playoff aspirations after an 11-win season. Now they’re 1-7. They’re down their best player in Odell Beckham. McAdoo has suspended two defensive starters for violating team rules. He’s taken the chance to publicly blame Eli Manning after a loss. He hasn’t completely ruled out benching Manning for someone like rookie Davis Webb. And now two players are detailing just how bad the storm has gotten.
That said, two players did stick up for their coach on Wednesday.
“McAdoo has been leading the same way he led last year. So, I don’t knock the way he has been doing things,” safety Landon Collins said, per ESPN. “Fining people like crazy? If you don’t follow the rules, you get in trouble because you got to pay the consequences. I wouldn’t say he lost the team. I have the utmost respect for him. He’s been doing a great job. Just trying to figure it out like we all are.
“McAdoo has it all. He can lead men. He can do whatever you say. He has the ability to do those things. It’s not McAdoo … it’s everybody. Everybody has to look in the mirror, the coaching staff, the coordinators, the players, everybody.”
Even cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who was one of those suspended players, defended McAdoo.
“But I’m telling you, [McAdoo] has our support,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “It’s just been a tough season. It is what it is.
“It’s everybody’s fault. It’s not just one person to blame. Can’t just blame Coach McAdoo. Can’t blame [general manager] Mr. [Jerry] Reese. Can’t blame the offensive staff. It’s everybody.”
It’s not surprising to see varying opinions in a locker room of 50-plus players. Just because those two players spoke out against McAdoo doesn’t mean the entire team is united against him. Still, it’s not the greatest sign when two players are sounding off to a reporter. And I don’t think you could find one person who would rationally argue that the Giants made a good decision when they replaced Tom Coughlin with McAdoo nearly two years ago.
The good news: The Giants play the winless 49ers on Sunday.
The bad news: If they can’t beat the 49ers, they might just redefine what it means to hit rock bottom.