Janoris Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images
MONDAY BEN MCADOO CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the media by conference call on Monday to discuss the team’s 27-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns:
McAdoo: I’ll start with the defensive side of the ball. What I thought we did well, we held them to 13 points. We played good situational football. We had some hits, pressures and sacks on the quarterback. Three forced fumbles and recoveries and the touchdown on defense. What we need to work on, we need to get back to tackling the way we’re capable of.
On offense, what we did well, two weeks in a row, we took care of The Duke. It was big in the ballgame. Touchdowns in the green zone and on first and second down, normal down and distance, we won the run 58 percent of the time. What we need to work on, we need to put ourselves in position to score more points. We’re not getting that done. We have to be more consistent, detailed and finish better.
On special teams, what we did well, our coverage teams played fast and loud. We challenged them this week and they answered the call. I thought with all the personnel in and out of the ballgame they did a nice job stepping up with all hands on deck. What we need to work on, we need to clean up the bad football; the muff, the penalties and the missed PAT.
As a team, where do we go from here? It’s December football. This is where the real football begins. All our hard work to this point has set the table for December. It’s an exciting time against a lot of playoff teams and playoff environments. The margin for error is small. This is where our identity needs to take over.
Q: You talk about December football and you’re playing playoff-caliber teams to finish off the season. Do you run the risk at all of looking ahead or is it still a week-to-week mentality?
A: We’re going to have a week-to-week mentality. I think it’s important to address the elephant in the room, so to speak. Everything gets cranked up a notch in December with everyone jockeying for position. We just need to make sure we play our best football moving forward.
Q: What is the elephant in the room in your estimation?
A: All of our hard work up until this point has set the table for us to be playing meaningful football in December, which is what everyone in the league shoots for.
Q: Do you view the running game to be more important in December?
A: December football, everything is important. That’s where our identity needs to take place.
Q: Do you know what that identity is yet?
A: Sound, smart and tough, committed to discipline and poise. I know you love writing about it.
Q: Have you seen enough of that to feel confident that it is heading in the right direction as we head to this home stretch?
A: Absolutely. Fundamentals, we’re getting better. We’ve been playing smarter football. Been playing tough and hanging in there mentally and physically. Playing tough. Committed to discipline and poise, absolutely.
Q: You have a lot of young players that haven’t been through meaningful December football. How do you express to them what to be ready for?
A: We’re going to rely on our veterans to lead. It’s important this time of year that the players spend time together. Spend more time together talking about their football and getting our football right. We need to be mentally dialed-in on our preparation. It starts way before game day.
Q: What are you happiest with in regards to where the defense is?
A: I think the most important stat for a defense is points. If we hold a team to 13 points like we did yesterday, that’s a great place to start. I think situational football is improving. Affecting the quarterback is something that is improving. It was nice to see us get some fumbles yesterday, recovered and score on defense, too. The situational football is important, points are obviously important and disrupting the quarterback because we’re going to see some good ones coming up.
Q: When you look at your offense yesterday, are you okay with Sterling Shepard not being targeted in the pass game?
A: We would like to see all of our players touch the ball.
Q: Why do you think it turned out that way?
A: It was a combination of a lot of different things. It’s unfortunate that that’s the way the game went. (He) actually had a nice carry there in the fourth quarter to get us in scoring range. We have some things from an offensive perspective that when you see the type of coverages we did yesterday, you would like to get the ball in his hands.
Q: Obviously you have considered the risk and reward of having Odell on punt return. Is that a tough choice for a coach? Returning punts is a pretty difficult and physical challenge. Do you want to see Odell do that more or less here?
A: We’ll take a look at it and talk through it in the game plan meetings this week.
Q: Is Sterling not having any catches just a function of your offense? It feels like we have had times this season talking about Victor not having any targets or Odell and now Sterling, is that the way it’s going to work some weeks?
A: No. We’re not completing enough balls or moving the chains as much as we need to move the chains for everyone to get involved. Our details and consistency needs to improve. Everyone wants touches. We need to get better and finish better.
Q: The decision with Odell as a punt returner, how do you balance that being that he was so successful?
A: We will get to that when we talk through our game plan meetings. That’s not something I’m going to be talking about with all of you.
Q: Do you find that punt returners are at a greater risk for injury?
A: I think every play that they’re out there on the field is a risk.
Q: Your players seemed harder on themselves after a game like yesterday than you seemed to be on them. Would you agree with that and is there a reason for that? They were totally unsatisfied with yesterday’s win and how they played. How do you explain that?
A: We have a good locker room. We have a high character locker room. They hold each other accountable. As a coach, you really appreciate that.
Q: Is Shane Vereen going to practice with you this week?
A: We will wait and see. We will take a look at that.
Q: When you say a high character locker room and appreciating that as a head coach, did you mean that they will correct and hold themselves accountable for mistakes so you don’t have to necessarily focus on that part of it as much?
A: I have the pulse of the locker room. It’s important for me to be consistent with the way you grade film and the games. You talk about what you did well and what you need to work on. You address where we need to go from there to be successful and to get better and improve. I need to be consistent week in and week out with the way we evaluate games.
Q: Any updates on the injured guys? Justin Pugh, Mark Herzlich, Nat Berhe?
A: Nat and Mark are in the protocol. Pugh did some rehab work today. It’s too early to tell there.
Q: Do you expect Marshall Newhouse or Brett Jones to practice this week?
A: Again, it’s too early to tell. Wednesday is an eternity away.
Q: Eli Manning has hit some deep balls but he’s also had some misses on plays where receivers do have separation. What do you attribute that lack of accuracy?
A: It’s a combination of everything, really. Obviously he has some throws that he’d like to have back, so our accuracy needs to get better. The protection was good at times and not so good at times. The details on the perimeter need to take shape.
Q: Some of the players talked yesterday in the locker room about the idea that you’re fortunate to have players that can make big plays that change the game but you’re waiting for the collective performance that will be able to carry you through the entire game. Do you believe as a coach that when you have players that make those big plays that that can sustain success in December and beyond or do you need more collectively as a team?
A: I think it’s great that we have players that can change the game in one play. We need to be mentally dialed-in to play a complete game at all three phases for four-plus quarters. We really need to cash in on that in December.
Q: Do you feel that the running game is still making progress or did they take a half-step back?
A: I believe in a normal down and distance we made some progress there. We’re not where we want to be yet. We’re going to keep working our way through it. Again, it’s not just the offensive line. It’s the tight ends, receivers, the backs. Everyone is included. We all need to take steps to get better.
The Giants 8-3 start is their best record through 11 games since they were 10-1 in 2008.
The Giants 8-3 record is the second-best in the NFC and tied for the third-best in the NFL.
With their eighth victory, the Giants are assured of finishing with no worse than a .500 record for the first time since they finished 9-7 in 2012.
The 14-point margin of victory was the Giants largest of the season. Their previous largest margin was seven points (17-10 against the Rams in London). The Giants eight victories have been by a total of 41 points.
The seven sacks raised the Giants season total to 25, which is two more than they had in the entire 2015 season, when their 23 sacks was a franchise-low in a 16-game season.
QB Eli Manning threw at least three touchdown passes for the third time in four games, and the fifth time this season, and was not intercepted for the fifth time this season, including each of the last two games.
WR Odell Beckham has eight touchdown catches this season and 33 in his career. That ties him with Plaxico Burress for the most touchdowns by a receiver on passes thrown by Manning.
It was Beckham’s ninth career game with at least two touchdowns, tying the franchise record also shared by Homer Jones and Joe Morrison.
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Select players will be available for media sessions on Tuesday. The players return to practice on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s away game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.