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Ben McAdoo’s first year as head coach praised by Jerry Reese

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

A year after hiring Ben McAdoo as their coach, the Giants are pleased with the decision.

“Ben McAdoo has done a really nice job for us as a first-year head coach, how he handled himself, and how he handled the team,” general manager Jerry Reese said on Monday, a day after the season ended with a wild-card playoff loss to the Packers. “I think probably for the head coaches, for the most part, you don’t realize how much extra you have to do beyond coaching, so he has learned a lot, done a nice job and I think we have a good foundation to build on.”

McAdoo may have graded higher as a head coach than as the offensive play-caller. After two years coordinating the Giants offense with a good deal of success, this year the unit went south. It did not score 20 points in any of its final six games and never scored 30 in any game in 2016.

“I think it’s a little bit of a mystery about that,” Reese said. “I thought that the offense would definitely come in and be able to score more points than we did. I thought that we had some yards, but we settled for three points too many times. In this league, when you get in the red zone and green zone, you have to score touchdowns and put teams away. [Sunday in Green Bay], if we go up 14-0, we are in pretty good position right there, and we didn’t get a chance to do that. All they had to do was make a play and they were back in the game, so that hurt us.”

It was the story of the season, really. So how do the Giants prevent it from being the story of McAdoo’s tenure?

“We’ll evaluate everything,” Reese said. “We’ll evaluate the play-calling, the players, everything that happened. It’s all part of the evaluation process and we will be honest and look deep into that and see what was a problem. Why didn’t we produce more points than we did? We will figure that out.”

McAdoo said he had not had time to reflect on his first season as a head coach, but he included his unproven status when addressing the team on Monday. He noted that they “bought into a rookie head coach and I thanked them for that. That was important for me personally to thank them for what they’ve done for the Giants organization.”

McAdoo became just the second first-year coach in Giants history to win 11 games, following Dan Reeves in 1993. He got the Giants back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Ultimately, though, McAdoo said he judges his first go-round in the big chair as coming up shy of his own lofty goals.

“The bottom line is all that matters, it’s a bottom-line business,” McAdoo said. “We fell short of our goal . . . Put the trophy in the case, that’s the goal here, period. That’s what we’re here to do. That’s why we show up to work every day.”


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