Even though almost every member of the New York Giants who has addressed the media this week has maintained that their sole focus is playing the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, there’s little doubt they are concerned with their own future. Tom Coughlin fired back at reporters for inquiring about his job security at his press conference on Wednesday insisting that this week’s focus is on the Eagles.
While Coughlin’s fate appears to be sealed, a much more interesting question faces John Mara. What do the Giants do with Ben McAdoo? McAdoo left Green Bay to replace Kevin Gilbride as offensive coordinator in 2014 and has done wonders for an offense that was old school, rigid and “broken,” according to Mara.
In the second year of McAdoo’s system, Eli Manning is putting up some of the best statistics of his career. While the offense has stalled at times, Manning’s 33 passing touchdowns are a career high and with one game remaining, his completion percentage is only equaled by the 2014 season.
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If Mara and the Giants end up moving on from Coughlin, the 38-year old McAdoo would be on the list of potential candidates. He is on the head coaching track, but one would have to imagine the Giants envisioned that if he took over, it would be further down the line. McAdoo has only called plays for two years. Continuity with Manning is a consideration for ownership; they just resigned Manning to a four-year contract. But your head coach should be in power for much longer than a 35-year old quarterback.
McAdoo insisted on Wednesday that he, like Coughlin, is looking solely at Week 17. “We’re focused on Philadelphia. I’m not thinking about my future. That would be selfish…There are a lot of people in the building that are all working together and trying to get a win this week and for me to think about myself and the future, as far as that goes, I think would be selfish and short-sighted.”
If the Giants go another way at head coach, that candidate will likely want his own coordinators, McAdoo will be gone and the progress he’s made with Manning will be lost forever. According to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, McAdoo admitted it took 10 games for he and Manning to get in sync with the offense. If Manning has to learn yet another offense, that’s a significant chunk of next season put at risk. Yes, Manning is a high-intelligence quarterback, but his rhythm and footwork are now set after two full seasons.
The McAdoo question is a consideration when addressing Coughlin, but certainly shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for keeping him as head coach. This Giants team needs to be rebuilt and if that includes both McAdoo and Spagnuolo, then so be it.