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Will “brutally honest” meeting between Ben McAdoo, Giants players help?

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Is it too little, too late?

New York Giants v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo said that he had a “brutally honest” meeting with players on Wednesday morning.

“We had a long, hard, honest meeting this morning,” McAdoo said. “We had some open conversations. Some hard talks. Some plain talks. Some simple talk. Played some film. Were brutally honest with each other. We’ll see how the players respond.”

Better late than never.

The meeting comes with the Giants already 1-8, far out of playoff contention and with fans continuing to call for sweeping changes. It comes on the heels of back-to-back losses during which the effort of some players on the defensive side of the ball was “questionable” at best. It comes two days after Giants’ ownership said McAdoo would remain head coach for the rest of the season, but made no guarantees beyond that.

McAdoo, and really the entire locker room, is now taking part in a seven-week audition.

“We talked about being disappointed but being determined. These guys, this group of men – they’re special in a lot of ways. They’ve been fighting through adversity their whole lives. The players and coaches to be sitting in that room is unique and we talked about running to adversity. That’s where we are in the season. We’re halfway through. We have one win. Let’s run right to it. We’re blessed to have the opportunities that we have,” McAdoo said. “Seven more weeks. I think it’s a great opportunity. It’s probably the greatest opportunity in my life these next seven weeks. A lot of doubt out there. Whether it’s in the building or not, but there’s doubt definitely on the outside. So, we have a chance to flip the script these last seven weeks.”

Are the players listening?

“Until we get to Sunday, we wont know,” is how McAdoo responded to that question.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, suspended earlier in the season for a run-in with the coach, has lately become a guy who seems to be supportive of McAdoo. He said Wednesday that he thought the meeting should have been held earlier in the season.

“I think it would put guys in a different attention span, put us on alert. Nobody wants to get caught, I don’t care what you say. Ain’t nobody want to have a play up there where you got to come back in the locker room and everybody is looking at you like you’re that guy,” DRC said. “So I think it could have helped if it was done earlier or not, but at least it got done.”

DRC said he “can’t explain” some of the poor effort he saw on film from players, but that it was disappointing.

“I mean as a player, man, you never know what’s going on in a player. Only thing I can say that’s disappointing is the lack of wanting to after all that we’ve been through,” he said. “I’ll take a loss playing hard, flying around, but how we’re losing, nuh uh.”

Linebacker Devon Kennard said it was apparent during the film session that some players “definitely” could have given more effort and that as a player it “doesn’t get much worse” than being called out for how hard you are trying.

Kennard also said Wednesday’s meeting was “a good way for everybody to be held accountable for what’s going on, on and off the field.”

Lineup changes coming?

McAdoo hinted that some of what he saw in the film could be reflected in the personnel we see Sunday.

“There’s a possibility there will be some changes,” he said. “I want us to play better. Our desire to finish has to improve and we need to see that.”

The view here is that if there aren’t some lineup changes, even temporary ones, then anything that happened during Wednesday’s meeting ir really toothless, just empty words.

“I’m built for this”

McAdoo’s team is 1-8. Despite the assurance from ownership he will coach the rest of the season, there is great doubt he will last longer than that. The coach, though, simply said “nope” when asked if he had doubted himself at all.

“I’m built for this. A calm doesn’t suit me. A storm does,” McAdoo said. “Tougher it gets, the better I’m going to get. The better I expect this team to get down the stretch.”