Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports
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 19-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys:
Opening Statement: From the outcome and results of last night’s ballgame, we have to learn and grow from it as a team. Some things I thought we did well as a football team is we had effort as a team throughout the adversity last night from start to finish. There were some shots of physicality in all three phases, but we didn’t win the physical battle. We played a better second half than a first half, really up until the interception. We felt like we had enough to go down and win the ballgame being down by two scores. The coverage units on special teams were a positive, but we left some yards out there. What we need to work on as a team – quite simply, play more offense, play less defense. Time of possession is important as is field position. Offensively, we need timely third down conversions. We need to make the makeable ones. On defense – if you want to play third down alone, we have to win the down on first and second down on a consistent basis. Special teams – when you get an opportunity to return a kickoff, flip the field, you have to take advantage of it. You can’t have the penalty there. Visual and verbal communication is important. Moving forward, it needs to be an emphasis and staying on schedule and ahead of the chains. Where we go from here – have to make a big jump from week one to week two. We’re blessed to have a long week this week. Have to play complementary team football and take care of each other in all three phases, something we didn’t do last night. With that, we’ll open it up.
Q: When you went back and watched the film, what was the biggest thing that stood out about the offense?
A: There were just breakdowns across the board. It wasn’t one group or one position or one player or whatever the case may be. There was enough spread around.
Q: Why weren’t you able to get longer passes thrown down field?
A: They got a lead. It turned into a bunch of line stunts up front. Trying to make a pocket that wasn’t deep and wasn’t wide and they were playing soft zone in the back end.
Q: Are you seeing some of the issues that you saw in the preseason as far as the breakdowns that are happening on the offensive side of the ball?
A: Yeah. I mean, we need to do a better job on third down handling the stunts, that’s for sure, and pass protection. I thought that Eli (Manning) did a nice job in the pocket with two hands on the ball. We didn’t lose any of those there, but when we talk about third down conversions, we had some opportunities to get the ball out and get the first down, but there was some trash in the pocket. That’s part of it. That’s part of playing quarterback in this league and you’re going to have that if that answers your question.
Q: What are some things that can improve the play of the offensive line moving forward?
A: We just need to get better technically. We had some technical breakdowns and, again, it’s not one guy. There’s enough to spread around and the tight ends are in there as well. The running backs fit in. Again, it’s not just the offensive line.
Q: Would you consider any scheme changes to get guys more help up front?
A: Yeah. We’ll consider all those moving forward. Take a look at it week-to-week like we always do and do what we feel is best for the team.
Q: Was there anything in particular that kept you from getting off the field on third down on the defensive side?
A: I think they were in manageable third downs. It starts on first and second down. We were either winning first down and not having success on second down or vice versa, and when you do that, a team that has balance like Dallas does, it makes it tough. You make it tough on yourself.
Q: You talked about not getting too emotional about one game. Is that because the game was such an intense game on national television?
A: Yeah. I mean, a lot goes into every game in this league and this just happened to be the first one. It didn’t go the way we wanted it to. Didn’t go the way we planned, but we need to understand it’s one of sixteen and we’re blessed with a long week this week and we have to find a way to get better going into week two.
Q: What do you attribute to wide receiver Brandon Marshall only getting one reception in last night’s game?
A: I think it was a product of a lot of things. There may have been times where you’re trying to get him the ball, but couldn’t get it to him for one reason or another. It could’ve been where he was lined up in the progression, based on the coverage we were seeing. It’s not just one factor, you can’t just point to one thing. It was a variety of things. We certainly want Brandon to get a touch earlier than he got a touch.
Q: How much of a factor does offensive linemen coming from college spread offenses have on offensive line plan in the league and as a coach, how do you get those players ready to play in a pro offense?
A: Yeah, that’s a question for the offseason. We need to find a way to win a ballgame this week and find a way to get better up front in a hurry. Everyone’s playing by the same rules right now.
Q: After the first series when the offense went three-and-out, did you get a sense that the offense was maybe pressing a little bit?
A: Again, I give Dallas credit. That’s the way they like to play. They like to receive the ball, they like to go on long drives, chew clock and play keep away, essentially. It forces offenses to press and we’ve got to be better than that. We have to have timely third down conversions. Anytime you have a third down conversion that’s not third-and-long, you’d like to be able to execute it at a high rate and we weren’t able to do that early in the ballgame.
Q: Did you have injuries from the game last night?
A: Yeah, [tackle] Bobby Hart has an ankle [injury]. Right now, that’s all I have.
Q: Any concern about Hart’s availability for week two?
A: It’s still early, it’s still early.
Q: Did you think you and quarterback Eli Manning were getting the offense into the right plays to face Dallas’s zone defense, or was Dallas just disguising it?
A: No, we knew it was a zone game early. We saw that it was a zone game early. They just relied on playing zone and playing with a lot of depth and playing on top. That’s why a lot of the throws were underneath. Eli was just trying to take what they were giving him.
Q: Did cornerback Janoris Jenkins have a hand injury after the game?
A: He may have gotten nicked up there with a hand [injury]. He may have.
Q: Do you anticipate wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. practicing this week?
A: We’ll see, we’ll take it day to day.
Q: Is Beckham much improved from last week?
A: He was out there working out in pregame, that’s all I have for you.
Q: What is the plan for the next couple of days for Beckham?
A: He’s going to come in and he’s going to get treatment and work with the training staff.
Q: How do you think cornerback Eli Apple can improve off of this game? It seemed like the Cowboys were targeting him specifically.
A: Eli just needs to play. He needs to take a step. He missed some time being nicked up in the preseason and he needs to get out there and he needs to play and he’ll continue to improve.
Q: Is tight end Evan Engram not ready to get up to speed, as far as breaking the cover two defense with seam routes?
A: It wasn’t that simple last night. It wasn’t just cover two. There were a variety of coverages being played. There was a form of quarters, there was some sky weak being played, there was two being played as well, but yeah, it’s novice to say that it was just a bunch of cover two yesterday. But they were playing soft and they were playing to keep the ball in front and to make you take completions and move the ball slow and methodically down the field.
Q: Do you feel like you have legitimate options on the offensive line if you wanted to make a lineup change?
A: We feel that we’re confident in the guys that we have and we’re confident in our depth and if we feel that we need to make a change there, we’ll make a change.
LANDON COLLINS ON ESPN RADIO…
The audio of Monday’s ESPN Radio interview with New York Giants safety Landon Collins is available at ESPN.com.
The Giants have lost the opening game for the sixth time in seven seasons. The Giants are 1-8 in season openers vs. the Cowboys, including 1-6 in Texas.
Eli Manning started his 200th consecutive regular-season game, becoming the third quarterback in history to reach that milestone. Brett Favre holds the record with 297 straight starts from 1992-2010, and Peyton Manning started 208 games in a row from 1998-2010.