New York Giants' co-owner John Mara said when the team hired Ben McAdoo to succeed Tom Coughlin as head coach that one reason was a desire to have coaches with something to prove. Well, if you buy NFL.com's assertion that only the Tennessee Titans' decision to give Mike Mularkey their head-coaching job was worse, one of those things McAdoo will be trying to prove is that giving him the job was not a colossal blunder.
Here is what NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal wrote about the McAdoo hiring:
This was a hard move to understand. The Giants essentially blamed the entire recent run of losing on former coach Tom Coughlin. They retained defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who nearly set the record for most passing yards allowed in a season (Spags' defense set the record for most yards allowed during his time in New Orleans).
Perhaps it wasn't Spagnuolo's fault; the roster was lackluster. But general manager Jerry Reese, who has picked all the players, remains in place. Promoting McAdoo provides continuity for a veteran quarterback and offense that has mostly maximized its talent over the last two years. Then again, Eli Manning wasn't thrilled when former offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride got the boot, either. That's why players don't fire and hire coaches. McAdoo will have a learning curve like any rookie head coach as he handles aspects of the job like organization and frequent media interaction for the first time.
The lack of a true fresh start also cuts down on McAdoo's honeymoon period. The Giants are shuffling assistants, but they are essentially betting that removing Coughlin will make them better.
Others who ranked or graded the seven head coach hirings were much kinder to McAdoo and the Giants.
Walter Football gave the move an A-, calling it "a great move" because of its impact on Eli Manning.
USA Today ranked the hiring No.2 on its list, saying "give me a young up-and-comer over a retread or a guy who's been passed over for more jobs than your hippie uncle any day."
Russell Baxter of Bleacher Report ranked the hire No. 3, saying McAdoo "seemed like the logical candidate" to replace Coughlin.
Sort of like ranking or grading the NFL draft immediately after its completion, these are rankings for the sake of rankings. Meant to do exactly what we are doing here -- generating a discussion. Nobody has a clue how well, or poorly, any of these hires is going to work out.
NFL.com's Rosenthal is absolutely on target when he says it appears the Giants have scape-goated Coughlin for the recent failures. There is really no other way to take the fact that they made no effort to convince him to stay and that other than removing some of the "Coughlin guys" from the coaching staff little else appears to be changing.
The hiring of McAdoo was, though, easy to understand. In their current situation, with a 35-year-old quarterback who trusts McAdoo, what other move was actually logical? There certainly wasn't another available candidate who can absolutely be called a better option.
Forget the rush to judgment. Let's just wait and see what the results are. Truthfully, that might take us a couple of seasons to figure out whether or not this was the right move.