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Ben McAdoo: “No excuses” for players not returning on time

Says he didn’t tell the truth on Monday because he was “trusting the player”

New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo said Wednesday there could be “no excuses” for players not returning to the facility on time for Monday’s practice following the team’s bye week.

“The players had five days off. I communicated to the players in our team meeting today – I didn’t have to give them five days off. I chose to give the players five days off because I felt we needed to get away from it. That’s important at this time of year at the midpoint and the bye week,” McAdoo said. “With that, I expected all the players to be here ready to go Monday morning. No excuses.”

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins has, of course, been suspended after failing to return on Monday.

McAdoo originally told the media on Monday that Jenkins, along with Eli Apple and Paul Perkins, had been excused for personal reasons.

“Until I had all the information, I was going to err on the high side of trusting the player, protecting the player,” McAdoo said when asked why he didn’t tell the truth on Monday regarding Jenkins.

As for Apple and Perkins, McAdoo said they were late returning for “travel-related” reasons and would not be suspended because “I had had communication with Paul and Eli at that point (on Monday).”

Apple, though, did hint that he received some form of discipline for not returning on time.

Significantly considering the speculation surrounding whether or not McAdoo has lost the locker room, players backed his decision to suspend Jenkins.

“I wish (Janoris Jenkins) was here. We need him. We need every guy that we have on this team, but I mean, that’s coach,” said Landon Collins. “Coach (Ben McAdoo) makes the rules and we have to abide by them.”

Collins denied that McAdoo has lost the locker room.

“Not at all. Not at all. I mean, like I said, those two guys – suspensions happen. It’s two different things, but no. We have not lost respect for him,” Collins said. “We continue growing with him and trying to be a great team and stay together because our back is against the wall right now. We can’t fight against each other. If we fight against each other, things are definitely going to go bad.”

McAdoo appears not to have learned one lesson from the previous Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie suspension. In that instance, he waited several days before addressing the suspension with players. That, in some cases, left media asking players questions about something they weren’t fully aware.

Again Wednesday, Collins said McAdoo had not addressed the issue with the team.

“Everybody doesn’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what’s going on. DRC (Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie) doesn’t know what’s going on,” Collins said. “We don’t know what truly happened and why he got suspended.”

It seems mystifying to leave players without information when a) it’s a teammate and b) they have to answer questions from the media about the situation.

The bigger problem for McAdoo, who referred to the recent suspension of Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as “isolated incidents,” is that the issues have been big enough to spill out into the open. That, of course, has led to the perception that the Giants are in chaos.

“I’m not concerned about perception. I’m concerned about reality,” McAdoo said. “To turn your cheek to something that needs to be handled for disciplinary reasons because you’re worried about perception isn’t a smart thing to do. So I’m not concerned about perception.”

One reality, though, is that functional teams generally do not have to suspend a pair of front-line players for in-season incidents.

“I feel that when things aren’t going the way you want them to from a record standpoint, things get blown out of proportion at times,” McAdoo said. “But, again, we’re getting ready to play a ball game this week. Let’s talk about the ball game.”

The Giants have nine of those ball games left. Unfortunately, those have become little more than a sidebar to everything else that is going on.