EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Heading into their rookie seasons as NFL head coaches, Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles and Ben McAdoo of the New York Giants knew there is a lot more to it than drawing up game plans, changing personnel and make those key late-game decisions.
There is the non-football stuff, too. Both men have had to deal with that, even heading into this week's game Sunday.
The Eagles and Giants both go into the NFC East rivalry game with 4-3 records, two games behind first-place Dallas with nine games to go. The chance is there to get back to the playoffs.
Of course, they have to have to play better and avoid more injuries. Then there is the other stuff.
Let's start with McAdoo, the 39-year-old former offensive coordinator who got the job when Tom Coughlin left after missing the playoffs for a fourth straight year.
McAdoo has had to deal with Odell Beckham Jr.'s tantrums; the one-game suspension of Josh Brown in the wake of a domestic abuse charge, and later his release after the kicker's prolonged history of domestic violence was disclosed; and left tackle Ereck Flowers' pushing incident with a reporter after a game in Green Bay.
''You knew going in that there were going to be dumpster fires every day and you deal with them as they come,'' McAdoo said. ''A lot of things cross your desk that you don't want to deal with, but it is part of the job and you handle it and you move on. You stay consistent, you stay in the moment, and you keep everyone's best interest in mind.''
Pederson has had his share of problems, the most recent the arrest of receiver Josh Huff . He was charged Tuesday with possession of a handgun without a permit and having a small amount of marijuana after he was pulled over for speeding in New Jersey.
Pederson spent almost 11 minutes Wednesday answering questions about Huff and the arrest instead of talking about the game with the Giants. Huff was released on Thursday.
There was also Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham, who faces a misdemeanor concealed weapons charge after he was caught carrying a loaded gun at a Miami airport on Oct. 2.
''It's kind of like you're the father of your house. You just got to keep talking to . your kids and just keep reiterating the importance of who you represent, what you represent, your families, the Philadelphia Eagles, and you got to make smart choices,'' Pederson said. ''It's all about choices and consequences in life. If you make bad choices, you've got to suffer the consequences. So, we'll just continue to keep talking about it.''
The coaches also are being forced to be the face of the organization. Giants management has refused to talk to beat reporters about the incidents, leaving McAdoo to be the voice of the franchise, just as Pederson was this week for the Eagles.
It's probably not what they expected when they decided to head into coaching.
Other things to watch Sunday:
SAFETY ISSUES: The Giants hoped to come out of their bye week at full health, particularly at free safety. Nat Berhe (concussion) and Darian Thompson (foot) were expected back. Berhe was still in the protocol and Thompson had a setback Wednesday. Expect former free agent Andrew Adams to make his fifth straight start.
DINK AND DUNK: Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz completed 32 passes for 202 yards against Dallas, averaging 4.7 yards. He's last in the NFL, averaging 4.97 yards per completion. The only time the Eagles threw deep against the Cowboys came when Huff caught a backward toss and fired downfield 30 yards to Jordan Matthews, who couldn't make a tough catch. They have only one offensive play for more than 30 yards in the past four games. ''We have to figure out and find ways to get the ball, obviously, down the field,'' Pederson said.
LAST CARRYING THE ROCK: If the Giants' offense is going to wake up, Eli Manning and the receivers are going to have to do the job. The running game is last in the NFL, averaging 70.3 yards. In the previous four games, New York has gained 78, 43, 38 and 36 yards on 70 carries. Rookie Paul Perkins may get more carries this week.
COMMITTEE OF BACKS : Pederson insists Ryan Mathews is the No. 1 back and he hasn't lost confidence in him. The stats say otherwise. Darren Sproles, the 33-year-old scatback, led the Eagles with 86 yards rushing on 15 carries vs. Dallas. Mathews, who fumbled twice in the fourth quarter in the past four games, got only four carries. Rookie Wendell Smallwood had a costly fumble on his only carry in the fourth quarter. Kenjon Barner ran three times for 9 yards.
TIGHT ENDS: Eagles tight ends have had career days against the Giants. Zach Ertz had nine catches for a career-high 152 yards in January. However, the Giants' defense has improved this season, particularly strong safety Landon Collins. So don't be surprised if Ertz is covered. New York's tight end have done little. Larry Donnell fumbled early two games ago and the group has not helped much in the run game. There is always the chance New York goes extensively with four wideouts.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia contributed to this report.
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