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At NFL Combine, Giants’ Ben McAdoo sneaks some football into player interviews

New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo speaks

New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo speaks at a press conference introducing him as the Giants new head coach on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

INDIANAPOLIS — Ben McAdoo may be a fine judge of character, but at the NFL Scouting Combine he knows that it is not his job to be one.

The Giants head coach was asked about trying to wade through the off-the-field issues many of the college players arrive in Indianapolis toting around during the quick interviews each team is allowed to conduct with said specimen.

“For 15 minutes, most guys can act the right way and say the right things,” McAdoo said. “That’s where it goes back to trusting our scouts. [They] do a tremendous job and we need to trust our scouts and the personnel department and Marc Ross. They do a wonderful job. As coaches our job is to take off the film, don’t factor any of that stuff in, just evaluate what you see on the film, not their background, not their character, and rely on the scouts and the personnel department to do their due diligence there.”

It’d difficult, of course, to be such an impartial juror.

“There is so much access to information out there, sometimes it’s hard to divorce yourself from all of that information and just focus on the film,” McAdoo admitted.

Making it easier, perhaps, is that the interview process at the Combine has become as regimented as the 40-yard dash.

“You have to give the agents credit,” McAdoo said. “They do a great job as far as coaching these guys up. They’re well-coached when they come in here, they have a pretty good idea of what’s going to be asked of them. Most of them, I would say 90 percent plus, really do a good job and they show well. So it’s hard to find the cracks in guys from an interview standpoint any more, they do a nice job.”

Instead of probing psychiatric questions, McAdoo said he prefers to discuss more practical matters.

“You like to throw in some football when you get into the interviews with them and see if they can talk ball and how they can communicate, how they can take criticism, and how they take praise,” McAdoo said. “Do they change and are they willing to learn, listen and grow?”

That’s a bit harder to fake for 15 minutes.

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