Ben McAdoo has been preparing to be a head coach for the better part of the past decade, dedicating himself to schemes and philosophies while learning under the tutelage of some of the NFL’s best at that job. Yet on Tuesday, when he stepped on the field for the first time with his new title, he admitted he was a little lost.
“When practice started I was looking for something to do,” McAdoo said after the first workout of the Giants’ voluntary minicamp. “I think that’s pretty natural in the grand scheme of things.”
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McAdoo is now more of a supervisor than a participant in these practices. Where he once spent the early parts of the workouts doing very hands-on drills with the quarterbacks, he now roams the entire field watching and making sure everything is up to his standards.
The first day, for what little the Giants did in a bit more than an hour on the field, seemed to meet them.
“It was a good first day,” McAdoo said. “We didn’t do much out here other than train the fundamentals. No offense, no defense, but the guys were into it, paying attention to details. Again, it’s the first day. We have to keep it up.”
There were certainly differences from the way things have been done for the past 12 seasons with the Giants. There were new drills, new stretches, and new music. McAdoo had the music piped up for most of the workout.
Because the Giants have a new coach, they are afforded this “extra” minicamp. It comes early in the offseason program — the players only began working at the facility in Phase I two weeks ago — but is certainly an outlet for the players who have been waiting to get back on the field for several months since the season began.
“The building has been buzzing here for a few weeks and the guys are excited to get back and get going,” McAdoo said. “I think you felt that out here a little bit today.”
The players also felt it from him. Jason Pierre-Paul joked that he was tired from the fast pace of the drills, something offensive players might be used to from two years with McAdoo as their coordinator but something new for the defenders. And Odell Beckham Jr. said McAdoo’s temperament was just as frothy.
“He looks prepared, he looks anxious for the season like he’s licking his chops,” Beckham said. “But it’s something so exciting I feel this year for the Giants, I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
McAdoo’s new job requires attention to other areas as well. This week, for example, he is juggling not only his first minicamp but his role in the draft that begins on Thursday.
“My involvement in the draft is complete now, it’s offense, defense and special teams,” he said. “I have responsibilities there and I’m enjoying the process. I have an opportunity to give some input. That’s exciting. But my main job and my main role is to coach the team. And that’s what I’ll do first and foremost.”
It’s what he did for the first time on Tuesday. And it didn’t take him long to find his footing, even if those initial moments were somewhat awkward for him.
“I found something to do,” McAdoo said of his role in the practice. “And I’ll find plenty more.”