The New York Giants introduced their 17th head coach Friday morning.
After a short introduction by John Mara, a familiar face took the podium. Standing behind the lectern in an ill-fitting suit was offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo.
Except he isn't the offensive coordinator anymore. Now he is the second-youngest head coach in the NFL -- second only to the Miami Dolphins Adam Gase, hired less than a week before McAdoo. With a bottle of water and a few pieces of paper in hand, he started his opening statement.
It was more than a bit awkward and uncomfortable.
Stumbling over his words, looking like a boy wearing his father's suit, McAdoo looked every inch the unready young man stepping into the shoes of a legend. In short, at first blush he was everything outside observers were afraid of. Then something remarkable happened. When McAdoo's mission statement, his vision for the Giants turned to football, his whole demeanor changed. He stood straighter, leaning forwards slightly and his gaze intensifying.
"Dedication. Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated. We will be dedicated to our football," he said.
He spoke about relationships, having the team's identity being what their film looks like, the whole team playing as one, committed to discipline and poise.
As a coordinator, McAdoo's personality was compared to dry Cheerios. Not bad unpleasant by any means, but neither was he dynamic.
In his first press conference as head coach, McAdoo was transformed once he hit his stride and started talking football. It was almost eerie, seeing somebody other than Tom Coughlin standing in front of the media as the Giants' head coach. But in many ways McAdoo reminded of his predecessor. He answered the questions directly, but in "coach-speak", offering pithy answers with an undercurrent of passion and notes of humor that seemed to be lacking from him previously.
But where Coughlin could come off as ... prickly, McAdoo was more reserved, perhaps a bit understated but still engaging. McAdoo has been compared to Coughlin -- minus 30 years -- by beat writers, Andy Reid and Pete Caroll by Louis Riddick, and Bill Parcells (today, by Bill Polian).
But he isn't any of them.
McAdoo is his own man, and if there were questions about how McAdoo could handle the New York media, he aced his first test with flying colors.