If Ben McAdoo was on the hot seat before his Giants played the 49ers, his chair has turned to molten lava following New York’s desultory loss at previously winless San Francisco. Nevertheless, at least one prominent Giants player is sticking up for his embattled head coach.
“He needs to be the coach next year,” star safety Landon Collins said of McAdoo (via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post).
Not everyone shares that opinion, given that McAdoo’s Giants are now 1-8, after a 31-21 loss to the 1-9 Niners that wasn’t as close as the score may indicate. New York scored a touchdown with a minute left to somewhat save face, but there’s very little sugarcoating a double-digit defeat to a team that hadn’t so much as held a lead at any point in its previous five games.
Not surprisingly, the New York tabloids have drawn the knives, with the Post’s Mark Cannizzaro skewering the coach in a column with a headline of “Leave Ben McAdoo in San Francisco.” Cannizzaro wrote, “The Giants owners are not going to do this because it’s not what they do, but it’s looking very much like they need to make a coaching change — not after this season but now. Immediately.”
Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News had a similar take, writing, “The Giants leaked last Thursday that they wouldn’t make in-season changes to their coaching or management staffs to quell the chaos created by anonymous players claiming McAdoo had lost the team and players were giving up. Well, Sunday’s 31-21 loss … changes that.” His column had the headline of “Giants need to fire Ben McAdoo right now after embarrassing 31-21 loss to 49ers.”
Leonard was referring to recent reports of unrest in the Giants’ locker room. At the start of the month, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan wrote that some Giants players told him about “a lack of overall respect for McAdoo and some of his coaching staff, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.”
That was a few days before the Giants hosted the Rams in the Meadowlands — and got eviscerated in a 51-17 loss. However, at least McAdoo apologists could point to the fact that the Rams have the league’s best offense, as measured by points per game. The defeat by the 49ers, who came into the game with the third-worst scoring offense, is another story, one much harder explain away.
For his part, McAdoo, who went 11-6 (including a playoff loss) last year, his first with the Giants, didn’t attempt much more defense after Sunday’s game than his team exhibited during it. “They outplayed us today; they out-coached me today,” he said.
When asked why he said he was out-coached, McAdoo replied, “Look at the scoreboard.”
“We’re not a good team right now,” Giants linebacker Jonathan Casillas said. “Hopefully we can go ahead and turn around to be competitive and compete. It’s sad that I’m sitting here talking about us competing in games instead of talking about winning, but that’s the truth.”
It’s unlikely that the Giants will fire McAdoo before the season ends, if only because that’s not the team’s style. The last Giants coach to suffer such a fate was Bill Arnsparger in 1976 (axed after an 0-7 start); Ray Handley (1991-92) was the last coach to only last two seasons at the helm.
However, it would not be a shock to see the Giants make another exception for McAdoo, if only to change what has become an overwhelmingly negative narrative. At least the coach appears to have Collins in his corner.
(H/T The Score)
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