The change has been made.
For the first time since Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning arrived with the Giants in 2004, there will be a different offensive system. Ben McAdoo, the 36-year-old who was most recently quarterbacks coach for the Packers, was hired Tuesday night as offensive coordinator. He brings a different philosophy, outlook and perspective, something Coughlin said that perhaps the players need.
"We're going to try to compromise the system with what we have here,'' Coughlin said. "However, there will be change. And that change will be very positive and very well received by our team. And if our players are scrambling around to learn a new system, good. That's another fire in their rear end.''
McAdoo replaces Kevin Gilbride, part of the staff since 2004 and the coordinator since the end of the 2006 season. Gilbride retired after a season in which the Giants were ranked 28th in offense and co-owner John Mara described the unit as "broken.''
Now it's McAdoo's job to fix it.
"We're going to be an up-tempo, attacking-style offense,'' he said. "We're going to play with good energy. And we're going to rely on fundamentals.''
McAdoo became the Packers' quarterbacks coach in 2012, and since then Aaron Rodgers has completed 67 percent of his passes for 56 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Manning comes off a season with a career-high 27 interceptions and only 18 TDs.
Manning said he spoke with McAdoo by phone last week.
"We had a great conversation,'' he said. "He's had a ton of success in Green Bay, and I look forward to working with him and improving our offense.''
McAdoo interviewed with the Giants on Monday after a weekend’s worth of travel delays, met with the Dolphins about their open offensive coordinator job on Tuesday, and the Ravens wanted to meet with him on Wednesday. He was also considered a candidate for the head coaching job with the Browns.
The Giants interviewed four candidates for the job. Mike Sullivan, the first to meet with the team, was considered the early front-runner because of his time as a Giants assistant and the similarities in philosophy with Gilbride and Coughlin. Those attributes may have hindered him, as the Giants were clearly looking for a new direction. They also interviewed former Texans quarterbacks coach Karl Dorrell, and former Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.
“I think this is the best coach for the job,” Coughlin said. “With his experiences, I think he brings a lot to the table.”
One experience McAdoo does not have is calling plays in NFL games.
“When you get your first opportunity in this league, you start to prepare for [calling plays],” McAdoo said. “I feel like with the way we prepared with the coaches, and Mike McCarthy does a great job getting the coaches ready, we’ll respond. I’m ready to take that task head on.”
Said Coughlin on the play-calling aspect of the job: “I’ll be there to help him.”
Coughlin liked that McAdoo has spent time coaching the 49ers, Packers and now the Giants, some of the most stable franchises in the NFL. He was also impressed that the Packers made it to the playoffs this season despite missing Rodgers for a long stretch late in the year.
“He’s not a flashy guy,” Coughlin said. “He’s a smart, intelligent guy to work with. He works very, very hard. He’s got the dirt under his fingernails. He’s my kind of guy. He’s got the blue-collar work ethic … He’s a very detail-oriented, meticulous teacher, a fundamentalist, first and foremost.”
“Working for a class organization like the Giants and a championship coach like Tom Coughlin, and being able to work with Eli Manning, who is a very talented and proven quarterback, is very exciting for me,” McAdoo said. “We have a great opportunity in front of us … This is obviously a big step. It’s also another step in the progression of a coach’s career. It’s a golden opportunity for me. It’s an opportunity I feel I’ve been groomed for. And I look forward to it.”