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Ben McAdoo looking for answers to fix Giants’ offense

New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo speaks

New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo speaks to reporters at Quest Diagnostics Training Center as the Giants wrap up their season on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Ben McAdoo was hired because of his abilities as an offensive coach. Those skills will be put to the test this offseason as he attempts to fix a surprisingly anemic Giants offense that finished the regular season ranked 25th in yards and 26th in points.

“We have to look at everything,” McAdoo said on Wednesday in a radio interview on WFAN. “We’re going to look at coaching. We’re going to look at teaching. We’re going to look at who we’re playing and how we’re playing them and the personnel and what we can add to help fix it and create competition. We’ve got to get a fix because we didn’t play good enough offense to get where we want to go.”

In 2015 it was just the opposite. In that season the offense was rolling along, finishing eighth in yards and sixth in scoring while the defense was the worst in the NFL. The Giants brought back most of the same offensive personnel — they even added pieces with Sterling Shepard, the return of Victor Cruz, and rookie running back Paul Perkins — yet stumbled throughout the entire season.

They couldn’t score 20 points in any of their final six games and never scored 30 in any game.

“We started to do that already,” McAdoo said of trying to figure out why. “If it was that easy, we’d have the answers already. But we don’t.”

Giants general manager Jerry Reese on Monday called it a “mystery” as to why the offense never functioned properly, and the players never really figured out the issues either.

“We have the personnel to do it,” Shepard said after the wild-card game loss in Green Bay. “That’s what everybody hopes for. But it doesn’t always go like that. You can say it’s a whole bunch of stuff, but in the end we didn’t end up clicking.”

“It was never a lack of effort, but we came up short,” running back Rashad Jennings said. “All small things. And that’s the story.”

It’s a story McAdoo wants to reverse, just as the Giants did on defense between last season and this season.

“We can’t expect to come back and just play great defense because we played great defense, because that doesn’t work,” McAdoo said on the radio interview. “Last year, we scored points on offense, but this year we didn’t. It’s a loser’s mentality to think you’re going to carry anything over from year to year, and we’ve got to use this as a driving force. We have to get back to work. We have to go through the monotony. We have to go through the details. We have to go through the pain and growing pains of it, and we’ve got to work to get better.

“We have to come back hungry and a little bit angry.”

No urgency to finding Eli’s successor

Jerry Reese on Monday said the Giants would start looking for an eventual replacement for Eli Manning this offseason. McAdoo said he’d rather not force that decision. “That’s a tough position to chase,” he said. “It has to be a good fit, you have to find the right guy, and it’s a tough position to evaluate. But a little competition always does players some good, so you never say never.”

McAdoo said the idea of having a quarterback of the future in his system will not determine what they do this offseason and that the Giants are simply looking for “the right guy.” “If you find a guy you like and you can bring a guy in at the right value that is going to help you and help create competition, maybe somebody for down the road, then you do it,” he said. “If not, then you don’t press.”

McAdoo: Giants weren’t tripped up

McAdoo reiterated his belief that the wide receivers’ trip to Miami to start the week of preparation for the playoff game was a non-factor in the loss to the Packers. “That didn’t have anything to do with it,” he said on the radio. “[Odell Beckham Jr.] had his best week or preparation since he’s been here.” McAdoo also echoed what Eli Manning said of Beckham’s performance against the Packers. “He may have been pressing a little bit,” McAdoo said. “He feels like he let a lot of people down. It’s unfortunate that’s the way it went, but that’s the game.”

McAdoo also spoke about Beckham punching a hole in a wall at Lambeau Field after the loss. “Listen, it doesn’t matter what happens on the field, we have to act appropriately in the locker room afterwards,” he said. “There’s a lot of emotion, a lot of passion that goes into it, but we can’t take that out on other people’s property.”

Reviewing the first year

McAdoo summed up his first year as a head coach: “You go in and you prepare for everything you can prepare for. There’s obviously a bunch of things that come across your desk that you never expect will come across your desk. We had a bunch of those this year. Hopefully next year is a down year for that. But the integrity of the people in the organization and the locker room really helped me do my job this year.”

As for the report that the Giants trashed their plane on the flight home from Green Bay, McAdoo called that a word that WFAN had to drop from its broadcast using the seven-second delay. The general sentiment of his response was that it is untrue.

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