San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused a backlash by refusing to stand during the national prior to last weekend’s 49ers-Green Bay Packers preseason game. Monday, New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo said he would be “disappointed” if any of his players followed suit.
‘The way we operate for the national anthem, we consider it a small gesture to those who served and sacrificed their lives for our country and for us to play and coach in this great game. Part of that is the freedom of speech, and we certainly respect that,” McAdoo said. “We talk to our guys about keeping empathy in mind when they do lead and use this league as a platform. But I'd be disappointed if one of our guys chose not to stand. It's their choice, it's not mandatory, but we feel it's important.“
During preseason games, McAdoo has had players line up in a specific way. It is obviously something that is important to the coach.
Here are more takeaways from McAdoo’s Monday meeting with the media.
About that blocking
McAdoo was asked if the run-blocking or the pass-blocking concerned him more.
“For the offense? Blocking in general. We need to block better. The pocket integrity needs to improve in the pass game and I think it has gotten better. We took a step back on a few plays last week, but overall the pocket integrity has been better the last two games. Run blocking is something that we need to improve on. It's not just the offensive line, it's the tight ends, it's everybody who's included,” McAdoo said.
About those tight ends
The Giants have lost Matt LaCosse, who reportedly will have knee surgery. Will Johnson (burner) has yet to return to full practice, but McAdoo said “He'd be a good piece of the puzzle to add to the mix.”
McAdoo said rookie Jerell Adams has had “ups and downs” and that second-year man Will Tye “has to keep his head down and keep working and make it important.”
Of the tight ends and the offense overall, McAdoo had this to say:
“We have guys who are improving. They are not there yet. But we need to continue working. It's not done just because it’s August. We can get better in the September and October; we can get better as the season progresses. What we are now and what we are going to be is two different things.”