When was the last time Ben McAdoo saw an interception in a practice and was pleased by it?
“I think it would be never,” he said.
And yet on Saturday, that’s exactly what happened. Thus is the life of a former offensive coordinator who is now a head coach.
The interception came on the first competitive play of training camp, with Eli Manning dropping back and throwing the ball down the right sideline to tight end Will Tye. Linebacker Devon Kennard slipped to the inside of his coverage and caught the pass.
“Great effort,” McAdoo said. “DK made the same type of play last year in Buffalo on the same type of route. Great effort, good ball skills, and I’m happy for the young man. He made a nice play.”
As offensive coordinator a year ago, of course, he would have had a much different take on the play. As running back Rashad Jennings said earlier in the week, that’s one of the biggest adjustments a coach has to make when he goes from focusing on one side of the ball to the entire team.
“When you are out on the field and something goes wrong with the offense - a tipped ball, an interception or a dropped ball – it’s funny because he is the head coach, so he is upset that it happened, but he is also cheering the defense now, too,” Jennings said. “That’s just a funny dynamic to watch a coordinator go to a head coach.”
For McAdoo it didn’t take very long to experience it.
Being excited about an interception wasn’t the only ‘first” for McAdoo on Saturday. It was his first practice as a head coach in front of fans. The Giants had a few thousand in bleachers watching the workout, which was free and open to the public.
“It was great to have the fans here,” he said. “We appreciate their energy, their enthusiasm. They’ve been great so far, very supportive. Nothing better than a New York Giants fan.”
Especially when there is a Cowboys fan in their midst. The loudest roar of the day came when one brave soul wearing a Tony Romo jersey walked through the crowd. Boos and chants rained down on him. But there were other times when the crowd was into the action. McAdoo said he and others noticed.
“When they opened the gates, it was like a sea of red, white and blue coming in here,” he said. “I know the players and coaches both appreciate it.”