BOCA RATON, Fla. — Ben McAdoo has the title and the office, but since January there have been two head coaches at the Giants facility.
That’s because Tom Coughlin remains a fixture in the building, showing up regularly for his morning workouts and doing whatever it is he can to pass the time during this semi-exile he finds himself in.
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Awkward? Coughlin told Newsday at the NFL Scouting Combine last month that at times it is, but McAdoo doesn’t seem to feel that way. At least not publicly.
“It’s great,” McAdoo said at the NFC coaches breakfast on Wednesday at the NFL’s annual meetings. “Tom is a phenomenal resource and was a mentor of mine. Any time that I can use him I’m going to use him.”
Since he took the job replacing Coughlin, McAdoo said that has been a couple times a week or so.
That’s fine during the offseason, when McAdoo and the other coaches can pick the brain of one of the most successful coaches in franchise history. But what about when the players show up next month? What will they think? Who will they go to with their issues, concerns and questions?
Eli Manning wept when Coughlin “stepped down” from the position at the end of the season, an expression of the tight bond he has with the only NFL coach he has ever known. Coughlin is the only Giants coach any of the players on the roster have ever known. It’s possible that their allegiance could be split.
“No,” McAdoo said emphatically. “I don’t have those concerns.”
That seems to be the philosophy of the entire organization. Co-owner John Mara said earlier in the week that the door always will be open for Coughlin, whether he winds up getting an actual position within the organization or not. McAdoo concurred.
“As long as Tom is around, we’re going to welcome him and use him as a resource,” McAdoo said. “He’s welcome.”