Ben McAdoo will step to the podium Wednesday around 2 p.m. ET and try to explain the latest New York Giants forest fire, the suspension of star cornerback Janoris Jenkins for being AWOL on Monday when the Giants returned from their bye week.
Rather, McAdoo will almost certainly stonewall questions about Jenkins and about why he lied to media on Monday by telling them Jenkins was among a group of players (Eli Apple and Paul Perkins being the others) excused for personal reasons.
For a guy who GM Jerry Reese says is “smarter than all of us” McAdoo appears to have missed the lesson on maintaining credibility.
It’s apparent through the words of Eli Apple about the “culture” of the locker room and the disrespect shown to McAdoo by and ultimate suspensions of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins that at least certain segments of the Giants’ locker room have no use for their head coach.
Though it’s really a small, and insignificant to some, part of the story it’s also obvious that McAdoo has no friends in a media that has turned on him with a vengeance. See here and here for examples. Which is no wonder. I have been in enough McAdoo press conference to know he generally treats media members like ants to be squashed rather than people with a job to do.
Anyway, when the Jenkins suspension was announced Tuesday afternoon I wrote that “It’s difficult at this point to argue that McAdoo has control of the locker room.”
I reached out to a number of people on Tuesday night and got agreement with that viewpoint, with one telling me “It's not a 100 percent lock, but hard to find another more plausible angle on it.”
It has been interesting to me that the issues that have become public all involve Giants’ defensive backs — Apple, Jenkins, Rodgers-Cromartie.
When he turned over the offensive play-calling to Mike Sullivan, McAdoo made the curious statement that “the whole locker room needed me this week.”
Doesn’t the whole locker room need the head coach every week? It makes me wonder if McAdoo, buried in his play card and insisting on continuing to function as the team’s real offensive coordinator, ever really built relationships with many of his defensive players.
McAdoo couldn’t have helped himself in the eyes of players by refusing to address inappropriate behavior by his star player, yet by trying to discipline others. He often says candidly that he believes he is being consistent by treating everyone differently. when, however, you have an obvious double standard players will notice. They will also notice when you refuse to take responsibility for a key mistake you were complicit in, instead throwing your quarterback under the bus.
The Giants right now have far bigger problems than losing games. They are broken, from the top down.
The head coach has no credibility outside the locker room and, apparently, not enough inside of it.
There are nine games to go, and it’s hard to see how things get any better the rest of the way. It is also increasingly difficult to see how McAdoo survives and gets a third season as head coach.