We've heard a lot of positive things about incoming New York Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo.
I sent him a text. I said, "Make sure you put me down as a reference." Just a little pro athlete joke there, but I’m happy for Ben. Any opportunities he gets, he deserves. He’s a guy that works extremely hard. We had a long talk yesterday, and I just continued to echo the things that I felt about him and appreciate about him. He’s a guy who really puts the time in. He’s got an incredible work ethic, and I think he’s really worked hard to become a better coach in the time that we’ve spent together and a guy who I really trust and appreciate for his approach and the way that he makes sure that his guys are prepared.
He has lit a fire under the league's oldest head coach. From Tom Coughlin, per Giants.com:
“I think this is the best coach for the job. With his experiences, I think he brings a lot to the table. Our players are going to be excited to hear what he has to say.”
But maybe the most important reaction to this development came from Andrew Brandt, who worked with McAdoo early in his stint with Green Bay.
Quiet, confident. He might not be a close personal friend of Coughlin's and he comes from a different coaching tree, but it seems McAdoo has the demeanor of a New York Giant.
He's considered to be a blue-collar grinder with a strong work ethic. He suits the Giants and their mentality as an organization, but he's also going to bring something new to a franchise that has been stuck in the past for far too long.
The Giants could have taken the easy route and gone back to Mike Sullivan, who worked under Coughlin and incumbent offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride for nearly a decade. Sullivan wouldn't have changed things very much, which isn't healthy. The Giants needed to be removed from their comfort zone, and full credit has to go to a sometimes stubborn organization for recognizing that.
|Giants offense under Kevin Gilbride|
|Pro Football Reference|
According to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, McAdoo has never called plays at any level. Good, bring it on. That's the kind of fresh feel this offense needs. I can guarantee you McAdoo will be prepared to prove to the football world that he's not another Gilbride. He'll make things easier on Manning. Just watch.
“We’re going to be an up-tempo, attacking-style offense,” McAdoo said Tuesday, according to Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News. “We’re going to play with good energy. And we’re going to rely on fundamentals.”
I like the sound of that. New enough that it'll force the Giants to become something different, which is necessary after missing the playoffs four of the last five years, but not so different that they'll look like one of those dogs wearing boots.
Things had become too comfortable, too stagnant in New York. It was time for this franchise to do something bold, and by replacing Gilbride and his archaic offense with a bright young mind, they'll add a much-needed jolt of energy to the locker room, the practice field and probably even their Sunday performances come fall.
“I think the players will respond to this," Coughlin said, according to Giants.com. "We’re going to try to compromise the system with what we have here. However, there will be change. And that change will be very positive and very well-received by our team and our players. And if our players are scrambling around to learn a new system—good. That’s another fire in their rear end.”
And when you consider how quickly the 36-year-old McAdoo has been climbing the NFL coaching ladder while helping coach one of the best offenses in the league, it's also possible that, on Tuesday, the Giants hired Coughlin's eventual successor.
We fear the unknown, so there will certainly be some trepidation from Giants players, coaches and fans between now and the beginning of the McAdoo era. But when in doubt, close your eyes and remind yourself that this is the guy who helped make Matt Flynn look good in 2013.