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Ben McAdoo laments defense’s lack of ‘desire to finish’

The head coach criticized cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who had a bad game.

Giants head coach Ben McAdoo speaks after a game

Giants head coach Ben McAdoo speaks after a game against the 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017.  Photo Credit: AP / Marcio Jose Sanchez

Ben McAdoo said he did not think anyone quit. Nor did he want to call anyone out for lacking effort. But even he had to admit, after re-watching Sunday’s lackluster 31-21 loss to the 49ers, that there was something missing from some defensive players.

“The thing that was disappointing that showed up on film is the desire to finish on a consistent basis,” McAdoo said during his Monday conference call. “It’s not one player and it’s not on all plays. It’s something that almost looks like at times we’re waiting for someone else to make a play instead of just pulling the trigger and making the play ourselves.”

McAdoo said he would not “throw anyone under the bus” by pointing out the specific plays he was concerned about, but surely a few belonged to cornerback Janoris Jenkins. The Pro Bowler who missed last week’s game serving a team suspension was beaten on an 83-yard touchdown pass and missed three tackles, including one that could have stopped a touchdown late in the first half.

McAdoo excused the deep pass somewhat because of Marquise Goodwin’s speed, but was critical of other missed opportunities by Jenkins.

“His desire to finish consistently needs to show up, and we need to get the guys on the ground,” McAdoo said. “We need to tackle better as a defensive unit, and he was a part of it.” The Giants missed six tackles in the game.

Given the specter of “quitting” that has been lurking in the locker room during this 1-8 season, might McAdoo be inclined to yank a player who is lacking the “desire to finish”?

“That’s something that we’re taking a look at,” he said. “We have a 46-man roster on game day, and the players who are going to go out and do it the way we ask them to do it and do it on a consistent basis, they’re going to get a chance to play.”

Pugh to miss time

Justin Pugh played half a game in his return from a sore back and may miss an even more extended period after aggravating it Sunday.

“He is probably going to have to sit out a little bit,” McAdoo said of Pugh, who has started at guard and tackle this season.

Pugh, who had not played since Oct. 22 against the Seahawks, said after Sunday’s game that he felt good early in the day.

“I thought I gave it enough time, and obviously, I didn’t,” he said. “Going out and playing real football today was the trust test, and I didn’t pass that test. I need time to let it heal up.”

Giant steps

DT Damon Harrison was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. “I would expect him to be limited in practice this week,” McAdoo said . . . Sunday’s loss was the Giants’ first to a team with no wins and at least nine losses since Nov. 20, 1966, when they fell to the 0-9 Falcons, 27-16, in Atlanta’s first season . . . TE Evan Engram has a touchdown reception in each of the last four games, the longest streak by a Giant since WR Rueben Randle had one in each of the final four games of 2015.

With Bob Glauber

New York Sports