May 232016
 
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Eli Apple, New York Giants (May 6, 2016)

Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MAY 23, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started on Monday. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activities, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The OTA practices will be held May 23-24, May 26, June 1-3, June 6-7, and June 9-10. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 14-16.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Safety Cooper Taylor had surgery last week to repair a sports hernia injury and will be out until training camp begins on July 28.

Working on the side were wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf), running back Orleans Darkwa (leg), offensive tackle Byron Stingily (unknown), and defensive end Romeo Okwara (unknown).

“Right now, we’re looking for (Cruz) to get back here and he’s working to get back to training camp,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “Small steps.”

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was a no-show for the voluntary OTA. “DRC wasn’t able to make it today,” said McAdoo. “We look forward to getting him back here as soon as we can…It’s a voluntary opportunity, OTA’s. If he’s here, we’ll coach him. If he’s not, we wish him nothing but the best…We want all of our guys here. We feel it’s important to developing the team and building fundamentals and working on communication and we can’t wait to get DRC back.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The first-team safeties were Landon Collins and Nat Berhe. The second-team safeties were Bennett Jackson and Darian Thompson.
  • The first-team wide receivers were Odell Beckham, Jr. and Geremy Davis outside, with Dwayne Harris playing in the slot.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple received time with the first unit and did a nice job against receivers such as Geremy Davis and Dwayne Harris. He worked both outside and in the slot.
  • Offensive lineman Bobby Hart appeared to work exclusively at right tackle, even receiving some first-team reps.
  • Nikita Whitlock lined up at fullback with second team in drills. Will Johnson appeared to work with the second team at H-Back.
  • Adam Gettis was working with the second-team offensive line at center.
  • Brad Bars appears to have been shifted from defensive end to linebacker.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins had a nice pass breakup of a deep pass from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Wide receiver Geremy Davis made a diving catch of a deep ball from quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Wide receiver Roger Lewis beat cornerback Tramain Jacobs on a deep pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

May 102016
 
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Uani' Unga, New York Giants (September 13, 2015)

Uani’ Unga – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN MATT SMALLEY, WAIVE UANI ‘UNGA…
The New York Giants have signed cornerback Matt Smalley (Lafayette), one of the unsigned tryout players who participated in las week’s rookie mini-camp. To make room for Smalley on the 90-man roster, the Giants waived/injured linebacker Uani ‘Unga.

The 5’9”, 184-pound Smalley lacks ideal size but he has good quickness and speed. Smalley has experience returning punts and kickoffs.

The Giants originally signed the undrafted ‘Unga to the team’s Practice Squad in December 2014. ‘Unga played far more than expected in 2015 due to injuries to other players. He played in 13 games with three starts, and finished the season with 59 tackles, 4 pass defenses, 2 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles.

ELI MANNING ON ESPN RADIO

The audio of ESPN Radio’s interview with quarterback Eli Manning on Tuesday is available at ESPN.com.

ARTICLES…

Apr 272016
 
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Owamagbe Odighizuwa, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Owamagbe Odighizuwa – © USA TODAY Sports Images

APRIL 27, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The second day of the New York Giants 3-day, voluntary mini-camp was held on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. There will be no media access on the third and final day of the mini-camp on Thursday.

On-field workouts allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted. Players will wear helmets, but no shoulder pads.

“Second day back on the field, had a chance to work on the fundamentals a little bit, do some team periods, get a little offense and defensive action and we have a lot of work to do, but we are excited for the process,” said Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Wide receiver Ben Edwards was carted off of the field after reportedly suffering an injury to his left knee. He appeared to be in a lot of pain. No word yet on the severity of the injury.

Several players are still recovering from injuries suffered last year and are slowly being brought along. Wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf) was kept out of drills and spent time with the trainers.

“We threw routes the past couple of weeks and he seemed good,” said quarterback Eli Manning of Cruz. “He was running routes. He seemed sharp and he was able to come out of breaks. He looked the same. Hopefully he can get back out here soon.”

Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (pectoral), linebacker Devon Kennard (foot) and safety Bennett Jackson (knee) were spotted working on the sidelines.

NJ.com reports that running back Orleans Darkwa (leg) has a small fracture in his tibia and is expected to be held out of football activities for about a month.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • NJ.com reports that once again, John Jerry was the starting right guard and Marshall Newhouse the starting right tackle. Bobby Hart was at right tackle and Sean McDermott at center with the second unit. Brett Jones was the third-team center.
  • In a three-wide receiver set, Odell Beckham and Myles White started outside with Dwayne Harris in the slot.
  • Trevin Wade lined up at slot cornerback.
  • Newsday reports that wide receiver Anthony Dablé looked more comfortable today and that his skill set is obvious.
  • Wide receiver Myles White beat cornerback Janoris Jenkins on a dig route.
  • Wide receiver Geremy Davis made a long, jumping touchdown catch on a pass from Ryan Nassib.
  • Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie picked off a pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib, but Rodgers-Cromartie was then beat for a touchdown by wide receiver Odell Beckham on a stop-and-go route.

GIANTS PICK UP 5TH-YEAR OPTION ON JUSTIN PUGH…
The New York Giants have picked up the fifth-year option on the contract for offensive guard Justin Pugh. The base salary in his fifth year is expected to be $8.821 million.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Wednesday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Apr 262016
 
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Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham, New York Giants (July 31, 2015)

Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

APRIL 26, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants opened a 3-day, voluntary mini-camp on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

On-field workouts allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted. Players will wear helmets, but no shoulder pads.

“It’s good to get back out here on the field,” said new Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “Third week of the offseason program, so we really just got out here and knocked the rust off a little bit, getting the guys orientated to the way we’re going to go about the business and we’ll build on it each day. We’ll do a little bit more tomorrow, a little bit more on Thursday and off we go.

“The building has been buzzing here for a few weeks, and the guys are excited to get back and get going. I think you felt that out here a little bit today. It was a good first day. We didn’t do much out here other than train the fundamentals. We didn’t do any offense or any defense, but the guys were into it.”

Video of practice highlights is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Several players are still recovering from injuries suffered last year and are slowly being brought along. Wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf) was kept out of drills and spent time with the trainers.

“(Cruz) looks good,” said McAdoo. “He’s moving around. He’s doing a lot of things. He’s certainly ready to go if we needed him to go today, but he’s going to go when we deem him ready to go…Victor has come a long way and we’re going to take small steps with him. It’s the third week of the offseason program. We don’t want to rush into anything there. We want to take our time and when he’s ready to go, we’ll put him back out there when we deem him ready to go…He’s running routes. He’s working hard. He feels he’s 100 percent, but we’re going to take it slow and we’re going to take small steps with him. When we deem him ready, we’ll put him on the field.”

Linebacker Devon Kennard (foot) and safety Bennett Jackson (knee) were limited; they participated in some drills. Running back Orleans Darkwa (unknown) and place kicker Josh Brown (personal business) did not participate.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Newsday reports that defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa looked quick, wide receiver Geremy Davis looked bigger, and safety Mykkele Thompson looked agile.
  • NJ.com reports that Jason Pierre-Paul lined up with the first unit at left defensive end and Olivier Vernon at right defensive end.
  • John Jerry lined up with the first team at right guard and Marshall Newhouse at right tackle. Bobby Hart saw reps with the second-team unit at both right tackle and right guard.
  • Jasper Brinkley was with the first team at middle linebacker.
  • NJ.com reports that Landon Collins and Cooper Taylor started at safety with the first unit and that Nat Berhe and Bennett Jackson were with the second unit.

Good sign for #Giants: Safeties Nat Berhe and Mykkele Thompson back working with team after missing all of 2015

A video posted by Jordan Raanan (@jraanan) on

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Tuesday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Apr 112016
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (October 4, 2015)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS OFFSEASON PROGRAM BEGINS…
The New York Giants offseason program began on Monday, kicking off the 9-week “voluntary” program that by NFL rules is broken into three phases:

  • Phase One (Two Weeks): Consists of activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
  • Phase Two (Three Weeks): Consists of on-field workouts that may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
  • Phase Three (Four Weeks): Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The Giants will hold a “voluntary” mini-camp on April 26-28. The team’s OTAs will be held on May 23-24, May 26, June 1-3, June 6-7, and June 9-10. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 14-16.

NEW YORK GIANTS PLAYER MEDIA SESSIONS…
Transcripts and video clips of Monday’s media conference calls with the following New York Giants players are available in The Corner Forum section of the website and at Giants.com:

QUOTES…
Linebacker Kelvin Sheppard on coming to the Giants: “This is my sixth year in the league now, so I know the different vibes you get when you go in a facility. When I came in this one, the aura, a lot of the players weren’t here, but the aura. Then with OV signing – my boy, Olivier (Vernon) – it was a no-brainer. He’s one of the closer people I was with down with the Dolphins; sitting next to me in all the meetings and everything. When he heard I was coming up (for a visit), he was like, ‘Man, you better sign. I need you up here, it’ll be good for the team and us.’…(Dwayne Harris is) my cousin on my father’s side. He lived probably about 15-20 minutes from me (when they were growing up). He went to East Carolina, I went to LSU. We went to separate high schools but we were close.”

ARTICLES…

Apr 072016
 
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Markus Kuhn, New York Giants (December 28, 2014)

Markus Kuhn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

PRESEASON SCHEDULE RELEASED…
The 2016 preseason schedule for the New York Giants has been released. Specific times have not yet been released.

  • Friday, August 12: Miami Dolphins
  • August 18-21: at Buffalo Bills
  • Saturday, August 27: at New York Jets
  • Thursday, September: New England Patriots

The team’s 2016 regular-season opponents are listed in the Schedule section of the website.

MARKUS KUHN SIGNS WITH PATRIOTS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Markus Kuhn has signed with the New England Patriots.

“I couldn’t be more happy about my time here and I’ll definitely miss that place with all the great people in this building,” wrote Kuhn. “Good byes are never fun, even if they’re just a see you later. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. It’s time to move on and I couldn’t be more excited where life is taking me next. ”

The Giants placed Markus Kuhn on Injured Reserve with a knee injury in December 2015. In his four season with the Giants, Kuhn has steadily seen his playing time increase. In 2015, he played in 10 games with nine starts, finishing the year with 20 tackles and 0.5 sacks. Kuhn was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Giants. Kuhn was born in Germany and was only a one-year starter in college.

HAKEEM NICKS VISITS BENGALS…
ESPN is reporting that New York Giants unrestricted free agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks tried out with the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday.

Desperate for veteran wide receiver help, the Giants signed Nicks off of the street in November 2015. Unfortunately, the results were not good. Nicks played in six games with two starts, but finished with only seven catches for 54 yards. It’s been a precipitous decline for Nicks ever since his stellar 2010 and 2011 seasons when he compiled 155 catches for 2,244 yards and 18 touchdowns in 28 regular-season games.

Nicks was originally drafted by the Giants in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft. After two disappointing seasons in 2012 and 2013 when Nicks’ production fell to 109 passes for 1,588 yards and three touchdowns in 28 regular-season games, Nicks departed in free agency for the Indianapolis Colts. Nicks’ production in Indianapolis was disappointing too as he caught 38 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns. He tried to catch on with the Tennessee Titans in training camp in 2015 but did not make the team. Nicks’ demise has largely been attributed to injuries, including compartment syndrome in his lower right leg in 2010 as well as a broken right foot and a poster cruciate ligament (PCL) tear in 2012.

ARTICLES…

Timing is everything. ⏱ @donellansports

A video posted by Victor Cruz (@teamvic) on

Mar 022016
 
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Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (December 28, 2014)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JOHN JOHNSON PASSES AWAY…
John Johnson, who served as an athletic trainer with the New York Giants for 60 years, passed away on Sunday at the age of 98. Johnson retired after the 2007 season and was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor just last year.

“Johnny Johnson was one of the finest men I have ever known,” said team President and CEO John Mara. “He spent 60 years with our team caring for players from Charlie Conerly and Frank Gifford, right on up to Eli Manning. Nobody was more loved and respected than Mr. J. We were so pleased to be able to include him in our Ring of Honor this past season. He was part of the family and we will miss him terribly.”

“We have lost a great Giant,” said team Senior Vice President of Medical Services Ronnie Barnes. “Johnny looked after our players for over a half century. He was compassionate and caring and a true professional. His dedication to his profession and his poise and class were recognized by all.

“John had a stellar career with the Giants. He traveled with the team and was an indispensable member of the medical staff. He had so many stories about the early NFL and medicine before the arthroscope and advanced diagnostic technology.

“Leaving a legacy is something that we all strive to do, and John Johnson achieved that and more. He was a licensed massage therapist and physical therapist with tremendous hands. Michael Strahan sought him out and made John his personal athletic trainer. He cared for him with the same compassion that he had for Y.A. Tittle, Frank Gifford, and Charlie Conerly.”

For more on Johnson, see Remembering Giants Trainer John Johnson (1917-2016) by Michael Eisen of Giants.com.

TOM COUGHLIN CONFIRMS HE WAS FORCED OUT…
During a Tuesday FOXSports radio show, Tom Coughlin confirmed that he did not really resign as head coach from the New York Giants in early January. “Hey, do I agree with the move? Of course not,” said Coughlin. “I don’t, it hurts, it hurts. ‘Former’ is not a good word. I don’t like the word. But, nevertheless, that’s the way it is.”

“Don’t think that there aren’t some hard feelings there. There are,” Coughlin said during another interview on ESPN Radio. “That’s just natural. I just try to control them when the moment is right.”

The audio to the ESPN Radio interview is available at ESPN.com.

GIANTS DO NOT USE FRANCHISE OR TRANSITION TAGS…
The deadline for NFL team’s to designate an unrestricted free agent a “franchise” or “transition” passed on Tuesday. The New York Giants chose not to protect any of their 19 remaining unrestricted free agents. For a complete list of the 19 players, see the 2016 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website. Since the current system of free agency was inaugurated in 1993, the Giants have protected the following players:

  • OT Jumbo Elliott (franchise) in 1993
  • LB Carl Banks (transition) in 1993
  • TE Howard Cross (transition) in 1994
  • RB Rodney Hampton (transition) in 1996
  • RB Brandon Jacobs (franchise) in 2009
  • P Steve Weatherford (franchise) in 2012
  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul (franchise) in 2015

BOB PAPA INTERVIEW WITH QB ELI MANNING…
The audio of a Bob Papa podcast interview with quarterback Eli Manning is available at at PodBean.com.

ARTICLES…

Feb 082016
 
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Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (January 3, 2016)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

TOM COUGHLIN SAYS HE IS NOT RETIRED…
Tom Coughlin, who stepped down as head coach of the New York Giants in early January, was on FOX & Friends on Monday morning promoting his Jay Fund Charity. Coughlin was asked how he was dealing with not coaching.

“Not well, not very well, to be honest with you,” Coughlin replied. “It’s a very difficult thing, I don’t care who you are, or how long you’ve been doing it. I’ve been doing it a long time, so you get yourself into the rhythm. Your whole life, the calendar of your life is based on football, about the seasons, whether it’s in-season or out of season. You have a schedule that you follow. So there’s some adjusting for me to make.

“I’m not (retired)… I don’t like that word, you know the retired word. I’m way too young for that — you know what I mean.”

ELI MANNING DOES NOT WIN MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD…
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning was one of three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, but the honor was given to San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin on Saturday night. The award recognizes an NFL player for excellence on and off the field. It was established in 1970, and renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton.

Every year, each NFL team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact in his community. No New York Giants player has ever won the award in its 46-year history.

ARTICLES…

Feb 062016
 
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JOHN MARA KEEPS DOOR OPEN FOR TOM COUGHLIN…
At Tom Coughlin’s farewell press conference on January 5th, New York Giants team president and CEO John Mara said he would like Coughlin to remain with the team in some capacity.

“I asked him would he consider staying on in some capacity,” said Mara a month ago. “I don’t want to let all that knowledge walk out the door. I asked him to think about over the next few days ways that he might be able to help us going forward.

“He agreed to do that. I don’t think either one of us have an idea yet exactly what form that could take. Let’s face it, he brings a unique perspective. He knows our team as well as anybody. He knows the league as well as anybody. There may be some capacity in which he could help us.

“This is not a situation where we wanted to see him walk out the door. We want him to stay involved because of everything he has brought to this organization, everything he could still possibly do at some point in the future.”

Since that time, Coughlin interviewed for the head coaching jobs of the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles were reportedly strongly considering him but Coughlin withdrew his name from consideration. Both the Eagles and 49ers have hired new head coaches and the 69-year old Coughlin remains out of work.

On Friday, Mara was asked about Coughlin again. “He’s been away, but I do plan on talking (to him),” Mara said. “There’s still hope.”

NFL NETWORK INTERVIEW WITH VICTOR CRUZ…
The video of an NFL Network interview with New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is available at Giants.com. The text of the interview is also available at Giants.com.

“GIANTS INSIDER” Q&As…
Video clips of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • CB Trevin Wade (Video)
  • P Brad Wing (Video)
  • Ex-Giants WR Amani Toomer (Video)
  • Ex-Giants CB Sam Madison (Video)

ARTICLES…

Feb 042016
 
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Victor Cruz, New York Giants (August 22, 2015)

Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

VICTOR CRUZ TALKS ABOUT HIS HEALTH, CONTRACT, AND NEW COACH…
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz spoke to the media on Thursday. He addressed a number of topics including his injury and contract status, as well at the team’s head coaching change.

Cruz did not play in any preseason or regular-season games in 2015. Cruz was placed on Injured Reserve in November 2015 due to a left calf injury suffered in August that never healed and required surgery. It is the third leg injury that Cruz has suffered since signing his big 6-year contract in July 2013, including arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in 2013 and career-threatening patellar tendon surgery on his right knee in 2014.

Cruz said the calf injury was a rare torn fascia. “It just wasn’t healing right,” said Cruz. “It would half-heal. If you ran on it after like six weeks, it would kind of pop again. So we had to shut it down, have the surgery, cement the calf back down so it can heal properly, and then we’re back to 100 percent… Supposedly after you get it fixed it’ll be 100 percent. It’s a soft-tissue injury so it should heal pretty well on its own. Other guys have had it as well, but it’s something that I should definitely have a full recovery from.”

Cruz has not begun to run as part of his rehab process yet. The rehab work involves underwater exercises and walking on treadmills.

“Obviously still rehabbing, still getting strength back in the calf, but I feel good,” said Cruz. “There is no more pain, there are no more setbacks or anything like that. Now we’re just working on getting the strength back so I can be able to run and cut and all those good things.”

Cruz has three years left on his current contract and is currently scheduled to make $7.9 million in base salary in 2016 and count $9.9 million against the 2016 salary cap. Cruz said he is amenable to have his contract restructured.

“I don’t care about that stuff,” said Cruz. “I realize the way I came into this game was on a humble opportunity, and wherever this goes, I just want to play. It’s been two years of not playing. I just want to go out there and play, and whatever happens after that happens.

“I just want to play. Whatever it takes, whether it’s with the Giants or anyone else. Obviously, the Giants are home, they’re family. But I just want to play football, man.”

Cruz was also asked about the head coach transition from Tom Coughlin to Ben McAdoo.

“(Coughlin is) my guy,” Cruz said. “He’s the one who pretty much took a chance on me coming into this league and gave me an opportunity. So it’s sad to see him go, but certain things are just out of your hands as an individual and as an athlete. It was tough to see him go, but he’ll definitely be in my thoughts all the time, and the things that he has taught me will never fade.

“I think (McAdoo) has a great temperament. I think he brings a good energy to the head-coaching position. I think guys are going to love to play for him because he understands us. He understands how to talk to us, he understands what gets us excited. And he understands that we need to work hard to get to where we need to go. He’s a guy who can facilitate that.”

ARTICLES…