Giants offensive coordinator on spot for opener
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) New York Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo is heading into the regular season under the microscope.
The 37-year-old former Green Bay Packers assistant was hired to fix the offense and the preseason only raised concerns despite the team's 5-0 record.
Under a new West Coast offense, Eli Manning and the first-team scored three touchdowns in 19 series, and one was on a 73-yard run by halfback Rashad Jennings.
It certainly wasn't the instant gratification Giants' fans were expecting from someone who had worked with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' potent offense.
''Preseason is more about evaluation,'' McAdoo said Friday, just three days before the season opener against the Lions in Detroit. ''I'm sure you would like to go out and be more productive. I realize we weren't as productive as we wanted to be, not with our first group. We are not looking in our rear-view mirror. We're looking forward; taking care of today and preparing for tomorrow.''
McAdoo feels the team has made progress since training camp opened seven weeks ago. He feels things have clicked in practice and there is a chemistry developing.
One also senses that McAdoo knows his unit is the focus heading into the season. While he professes not to mind that, it is an added burden for a coach who will be calling plays for the first time in his career.
''It's a team game, but I knew what I signed up for when I signed the contract,'' McAdoo said. ''I'll never back down from that. I am excited and look forward to it, confident and confident in the players in the locker room and the coaches upstairs. I'm excited.''
Giants players are also excited, knowing that for the first time they will be getting a full game plan. Much of what they have run in the preseason has been very bland.
''I am excited to go out there and put our offense to the test, and put ourselves in third-down situations where we have to convert, and challenge ourselves a little bit and see ourselves come through,'' receiver Victor Cruz said. ''I am excited for our offense to see what we are capable of doing.''
Jennings, who was signed as a free agent in the offseason, said installing an offense is a process.
''Just like anything else in the world we want immediate gratification for our work,'' he said. ''We know it's a never-ending process and we are growing every single day. There is no doubt about that. It's a long season.''
If there was a positive in the preseason it was the running game performed well and turnovers were down a season after Manning threw a career-high 27 interceptions. None of the Giants quarterbacks threw an interception in the preseason, and there were only five turnovers, three by the offense.
Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is confident McAdoo is ready to run an offense. He said it sometimes takes a little time for a new coordinator and his players to get on the same page but everyone in the organization is willing to be patient.
''He is in New York and there are a lot of expectations,'' Fewell said. ''He expects a lot of himself. The cream will rise to the top, and he'll rise to the top and get it done. He knows exactly what to do.''
And right now, McAdoo is just working.
''(You're) never finished with game plan, the hay is never in the barn,'' McAdoo said. ''We always have work to do.''
NOTES: Manning, Cruz, S Antrel Rolle, LB Jon Beaon and LS Zak DeOssie were elected captains by their teammates. ...The Giants announced the launch of the team's official female fan club, the New York Giants Women's Club. Members will have the opportunity to attend events, receive deals and discounts and enter contests for prizes. The Giants are not the first NFL team to have a women's fan club. ...WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), DT Markus Kuhn (ankle) and OT James Brewer (back) did not practice for the second straight day. ...Special teams coorindator Tom Quinn said receiver Preston Parker will handle punt returns.