INDIANAPOLIS — Not many first-time head coaches have to see the man they replaced on a daily basis as they try to find their footing in a new position, but Ben McAdoo does.
While he is getting acclimated in his new role with the Giants, former coach Tom Coughlin is a regular presence at the team’s facility. He’s so omnipresent that not even the Scouting Combine could create distance between the past and present head coaches; Coughlin is in Indianapolis doing work for the NFL on several committees and even took the same flight into town as McAdoo did out of Newark.
McAdoo, however, insisted that having Coughlin around is not a burden. In fact, he views it as a resource.
“Not awkward at all,” McAdoo said on Wednesday. “I respect Tom, have talked to him a few different times since he left and I feel we have a strong relationship. I’m going to bounce ideas off of Tom as long as I can bounce ideas off of Tom. He’s someone I have a tremendous amount of respect for and I’m grateful for everything I learned from him.”
Coughlin, however, told Newsday’s Bob Glauber that it can occasionally be difficult to be relegated to the backseat of a franchise he used to drive.
“It’s not as comfortable, honestly, but I don’t interrupt anybody or disturb anything or disrupt anything,” he said. “Usually I see Ben when I’m in there, and I get a workout in and visit others in the building.”
For now, McAdoo seems to welcome Coughlin’s presence.
“We’ve talked about a lot of different things, whether it’s the organization, whether it’s the roster, whether it’s scheme, whether it’s scheduling, whether it’s the owners’ meetings, whatever it may be,” McAdoo said. “Family. We talk about just about everything. We have that type of relationship. And I’d like to keep those things between us.”
But that doesn’t mean McAdoo will be Coughlin 2.0.
“We’re going to change,” he said of the organization. “As I’ve said before, I’m not going to try to be Tom. I’m not Tom. He’s already taken.”
Nor will the Giants be carbon copies of the past 12 seasons.
“We’re going to evolve a little bit,” McAdoo said. “It’s evolution, not revolution. If something works and we feel good about it and we like it we’re going to stick with it. If not, we’re going to make some changes. There are some things we’ve done in the past and we kicked around a lot of ideas within the staff and we’re going to implement those moving forward and we’re going make it our own.”