If you thought it was a fait accompli that the New York Giants would hire Mike Sullivan as offensive coordinator to replace Kevin Gilbride, think again. The Giants' search for a new coordinator will extend at least until Saturday with a new name, Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo, entering the mix.
McAdoo, 36, has been with the Packers for eight seasons. He coached tight ends for six seasons and quarterbacks for the past two. McAdoo, who has never been a coordinator, interviewed recently for the Cleveland Browns head-coaching job. McAdoo carries the Aaron Rodgers' seal of approval. Here is what Rodgers said when he heard McAdoo was getting the interview in Cleveland:
I sent Ben a text and said to make sure you use me as a reference. He's a guy I really trust. I've needed a guy who can get me prepared every week. He wants to learn and takes things to heart I say and the things he hears from Tom (Clements). He understands the scheme. He's a very prepared coach. I'm happy he's getting this opportunity.
Here is some added insight into McAdoo from Evan 'Tex Western' of SB Nation's Packers web site, Acme Packing Company:
McAdoo was the Packers' tight ends coach for a few years before taking over as QB coach when Tom Clements was promoted to offensive coordinator. The Packers really like to try to cross-train their coaches at different positions - for example, former Green Bay running back Edgar Bennett coached the backs for a while, but is now the team's wide receivers coach. McAdoo's interview for the Browns' head coaching vacancy was a bit of a surprise, since he's never been a coordinator, but that would follow the path Andy Reid set forth in the late '90's (also the Packers' TE and QB coach and never a coordinator before the Eagles hired him).
Rodgers certainly had nothing but positive things to say about McAdoo, stressing his ability to get the QBs prepared with the game plan. I can't really speak to his Xs and Os abilities or playcalling, since he doesn't handle that in Green Bay, but at least in working with QBs he's been a very positive influence, and I certainly think he could help Eli overcome the issues he's had this year. In any case, the Packers seem very prepared to move on without McAdoo - from all accounts, it's not because they want to, but because there isn't an opportunity for a promotion in Green Bay and they think he's ready for the next step.
While Sullivan has been considered the favorite, and carries the endorsement of players familiar with him from his days as wide receivers and quarterbacks coach with the Giants, his hiring can't be considered a slam-dunk. Sullivan interviewed in East Rutherford on Wednesday, and if that were the case there would be little reason for the Giants to bring in McAdoo, or any other candidate.