On Sunday afternoon, the New York Giants football team was embarrassed for the second consecutive week. On Monday afternoon, team owners John Mara and Steve Tisch reiterated their standing behind head coach Ben McAdoo, stating that they will evaluate the 2017 season once it is complete.
This is an admirable strategy that the Giants’ front office has held for quite a while. They are not an impulsive ownership group. They don’t change coaches or executives at the drop of a hat, instead preferring to review information after time has passed. This is a solid technique for running an NFL team, but it may not be prudent for the ’17 team specifically. Mara and Tisch’s patience may come back to bite them if they do indeed let this year play itself out.
The depths New York has found itself in are astounding. This team entered the season with playoff goals and Super Bowl hopes. After seven games and a bye, the franchise seemed to have hit rock bottom. Then it dug a little deeper.
The team got blown out following the bye week; anonymous players announced that McAdoo had lost the locker room; McAdoo decided he didn’t know the difference between anonymous and fake. We hit a new low.
That was surely rock bottom, until NY found sharper shovels. The Giants lost to the previously winless San Francisco 49ers, and the game wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. It was at this juncture that Mara and Tisch felt the need to reiterate their standing behind McAdoo and the coaching staff. These guys don’t throw seasons off kilter by making radical changes during the year. It just doesn’t happen like that in New York. But maybe it should.
How long can you really stick with this staff when the team is not playing hard? It’s not that the team is failing to live up to expectations. It doesn’t even seem to be giving full effort. The secondary, arguably the best in the NFL a year ago, has completely given up. The pass rush is invisible. Tight ends do whatever they want against the porous middle of the defense. The offense may be pulling its weight but only because it weighs so little after injuries took the legs out from under the unit.
There are moves to make the most of this situation. New York could insert rookie quarterback Davis Webb into the lineup to see what he can do within this shaky unit. Okay, that’s about it. That’s the only move left for McAdoo. And since he’s coaching for his job (whenever ownership wants to evaluate his future), McAdoo will surely put off that move as long as possible. Eli Manning gives the team a better chance of winning than Webb ever would. And McAdoo needs to win.
But playing Manning isn’t McAdoo’s shortcoming. He has lost the defense, if he ever had it. It was just a few short weeks ago that McAdoo admitted the defense needed his attention. He, as a head coach, was never previously aware that he was responsible for both sides of the ball. Offensive head coaches aren’t required to ignore their defenses. McAdoo took that upon himself, and now it is essentially forcing him out of this job.
What will seeing seven more weeks of this teach Mara and Tisch? What is to be gained from trotting Manning and this squad out there behind McAdoo’s leadership for another two months? Preaching patience is one thing. Being overly patient when a move needs to be made is an error in and of itself. They are delaying the inevitable for the benefit of no one.
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