The old adage in sports is that “you play the way you practice.” I’ve coached CYO basketball for 20 years, and it’s a line I sometimes use with my young players. If New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo is to believed, that adage then makes the team’s 1-6 start a complete conundrum.
McAdoo told Giants.com this week that the Giants have been a better practice team in 2017 than they were last season when they went 11-5. He reiterated that on Friday when speaking to the media.
“I feel that we are a better practice team this year than we were last year. The tempo has been consistently better,” McAdoo said.
What makes a good practice?
“Physical, heavy handed, good tempo, you win the turnover battle in all three phases, catch the ball cleanly, it doesn’t hit the ground often. On the defensive periods, they catch the ball cleanly, they don’t drop it on interception opportunities. The offense catches the ball cleanly, they don’t put it on the ground. Zero pre-snap penalties, offense, defense and special teams. When it’s the team that you’re playing with in the game is up, tempo is a big part of it, too,” McAdoo said.
So, if he is seeing those things in practice why are they not translating to games?
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” McAdoo said.
Here is another question. I won’t take credit for it because Dan Duggan of NJ.com is the first one I saw raise it, but it’s this. Is it possible that McAdoo is simply trying to counter GM Jerry Reese’s “You have to earn wins and you have to do it the right way. You have to put in the preparation” remark from last week?
Truthfully, I can recall that we used to hear this quite often from Tom Coughlin, too. The Giants would play poorly and Coughlin would say he didn’t see it coming because the team had practiced well.
It’s all just curious. Just adds another layer to the what to believe and what not to believe intrigue of the 2017 Giants season.