Welcome to the New York Giants, Ben McAdoo! It's a place where the football seems to be the equivalent of an explosive device and no one wearing a Giants' uniform wants to be caught holding onto it. Drops, fumbles, interceptions, wrong-way receivers and the like seem to be the order of the day for the Giants -- no matter who is playing the game or running the offense.
After a ghastly season that saw Eli Manning lead the league with 27 interceptions and the Giants lead the NFL with 40 giveaways, they are on a pace to actually make both of those numbers look good. With Manning having four picks already he is on pace for an ungodly total of 32. The Giants' six giveaways put them on track for 48 over a full 16-game season.
Yes, the New York Football Giants. The gift that keeps on giving to the rest of the NFL.
The arrival of McAdoo and his safer West Coast-based scheme was supposed to eliminate some of the risk in the offense, and ultimately limit the turnovers that plagued the Giants last season. McAdoo spoke about fundamentals during his introductory press conference back in February:
"We're going to be sound, smart and tough. We're going to be committed to discipline and poise, and at the end of the day we're going to hang our hat on the fundamentals," McAdoo said.
He also said this:
"We want to take care of the football. Taking care of the football is the biggest factor in winning and losing games."
It seems, however, that old habits die hard. Whether it be with the old quarterback or with new players like Rashad Jennings, the Giants and the football just can't seem to make peace with each other.
Going back to the hat McAdoo mentioned, so far this season the Giants have pretty much hung their hat wherever they please. Mostly, like a sloppy roommate (or husband) they have just dropped it all over the turf in Detroit and New Jersey.
McAdoo was not pleased with Sunday's turnovers against the Arizona Cardinals.
"Three turnovers [the fourth came on special teams]. There is no excuse for it. It is inexcusable," McAdoo said. "What it does is deflate the team. It costs you plays. It costs you series and it takes points off the board. It impacts you negatively on the scoreboard. We have to take care of the football; that is number one."
Like head coach Tom Coughlin earlier in the week, McAdoo was critical of Manning for the early interception on a short throw toward Victor Cruz. It was a play that robbed the Giants of at least a field goal opportunity.
"There are probably four things on that play alone that could've eliminated the turnover," McAdoo said. "Protection-wise, you would like to see guys going above and beyond the X's and O's. You would like to see a smoother transition on the combination by number two and three. Simply put, you would like to see the quarterback, if it is not clean, throw it into the first row."
McAdoo did say the Giants are making progress offensively. Manning did complete 26-of-39 passes against Arizona.
"I thought he had some comfort in his feet. He felt good about where he was going with the ball. That is encouraging to see," McAdoo said. "We are continuing to grow each and every day. We have made some progress. We are continuing to plug away and we are climbing that mountain and trying to get to the peak, but we are not there yet."
When, and if, the Giants get there let's just hope they remember to bring the ball with them.