Ben McAdoo spoke critically of New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning in an interview at the NFL Combine on Thursday. When asked about improving the offense and going forward, McAdoo addressed the offensive line, the wide-receivers and his franchise quarterback:
“The offensive line, they need to play better. I agree with that. (But) I think Eli needs to do a better job of playing with fast feet, and I think he needs to sit on that back foot in the pocket.”
“We’re seeing a lot of man coverage, so the receivers, it’s gonna take a little time for them to get open, so everything may not be rhythmical,” the coach continued. “So (Eli) has gotta play with fast feet, he’s gotta sit on his back foot and be ready to hitch into a throw. Things aren’t always clean in this league, but you watch film of the end zones throughout the league and you’re seeing a lot of dirty pockets.”
The comments left many Giants fans scratching their heads. Giants Left Tackle Ereck Flowers had many games last season where he looked completely lost. The wide receiving core actually thought it would be a good idea to post pictures on vacation just days before a playoff game. And the running game ranked 29th in the league with just 87 yards per game. So why was McAdoo was so specific and degrading in his critiques of Eli Manning?
At age 36, it’s natural to wonder how many more years Manning will have left with the team. But if there’s one man who deserves respect in this organization it’s him. Certainly more than McAdoo does.
Since becoming the starter in 2004, Manning has not missed a game. On the all time list he is 7th in passing touchdowns and 8th in passing yards. He is the best quarterback in the history of the Giants franchise, and likely a Hall of Famer with two Super Bowl MVP’s.
Manning’s successful passing numbers under McAdoo’s offense in 2014 and 2015 were also a big reason for McAdoo being named Head Coach in 2016. For McAdoo to openly critique a player that has done so much for him is extremely puzzling.
It may have been a tactic because McAdoo knows his captain can handle the pressure. It also could have been a notion to put Manning on the hot seat as the starter. In either reasoning it’s highly unprofessional.
Despite an 11 win season in his rookie year as head coach, McAdoo still has much to prove. New York is a tough town, and fans won’t take first round playoff exits too lightly.
If McAdoo wants to earn the respect of Giants fans he needs to be more accountable about his faults as well. The offense that looked great in 2015 took a serious downslide in just one season. In what world does none of that blame fall on the head coach?
McAdoo will learn that the blame game isn’t always fair in the NFL.
Just ask Tom Coughlin.