Eli Manning has thrown six interceptions in the past four games, two of them against the Bengals on Monday night. Ben McAdoo’s advice, though, is not quite what you’d expect.
“I don’t want him to be careful,” McAdoo said in his weekly interview on Giants.com. “You’re not going to play that position well playing careful. We want to play aggressively and be in attack mode. We don’t want to be careful by any stretch of the imagination.”
McAdoo said he wants Manning to keep pushing. “We talk all the time about being aggressive,” he said. “I want him to play the game aggressively. I want him to see it and I want him to go after it when he knows what’s coming. I want him to stay within the family, so to speak, in the concept that we’re working to do that. So we can get everything on film that we can. I want him to be aggressive.”
Aggressive, but not reckless.
“We understand that you’re going to miss some throws in this league, that’s a part of it,” McAdoo said. “The defense is going to make some plays, that’s a part of it. What we can’t have is turnovers based on decision-making. If it’s not there, you have to go on to No. 2. If two is not there, you have to work to No. 3. You can’t turn the ball over based on decision-making. That’s probably the biggest thing. He’s been solid there.”
Manning has thrown 10 touchdown passes during the Giants’ four-game winning streak. He has 15 TD passes and 10 interceptions this season.
That belief in being aggressive extends to McAdoo. He’s developed into a risk-taker — he’d likely say an educated risk-taker — as best exemplified by his going for the winning score on fourth-and-goal from the 3 against the Bengals early in the fourth quarter. He also went for a fourth-down conversion earlier in the game and called for a deep pass on the play after Landon Collins’ interception. Neither of those worked out, resulting in a sack and a turnover.
Is that just an element of being aggressive? An unfortunate byproduct?
“We don’t want to take the bad with the good,” McAdoo said. “That’s not a part of it. We want to be aggressive, but we want to be able to execute and put ourselves in positive situations. That goes back to practice. If we practice the situation well and we execute in practice, then you’re more confident in the game going into the situation and giving yourself a chance to be successful.”
So McAdoo, who has preached to his team about “taking care of the Duke” since the first day he took over, is willing to accept interceptions in the name of aggressiveness?
“It’s about choosing our words properly, too,” he said. “It’s not, ‘We can’t have turnovers.’ It’s about taking care of the football and being a good decision-maker.”