Ben McAdoo put the progress of young players in financial terms.
“It’s like the Dow,” he said. “It’s development. It’s not always going to go up. There are going to be ups and downs, and you stick with them if they’re working hard in practice and working to get better and they’re learning.”
That’s what he has done so far with pretty good success. Safety Andrew Adams was called for a terrible penalty that played a large part in costing the Giants a win against the Redskins, but McAdoo stuck with him at a time when many coaches might have gone in a different direction. First-round pick Eli Apple was benched in the second half against the Eagles, but he started and played the whole game against the Bengals and did well.
Now comes undrafted rookie Roger Lewis Jr., who had a terrible game against the Bengals with a dropped pass, a poor route and a slip on the end of an interception. And it seems as if McAdoo again is intent on proving he does not have the proverbial doghouse that many coaches keep for their error-prone youngsters.
“Roger will still get work, but he needs to play better on special teams and play better on offense,” McAdoo said on Wednesday. “We’re still going to work him. He’s going to learn from his mistakes and get better.”
That faith to stick with players despite their down moments that can hurt the team is supposed to pay off down the road. It did with Adams and Apple. We’ll see if it does with Lewis.
The player himself remains confident. “I’ll be fine,” he said. “I’ll bounce back. All in all, we got the win, so I can’t complain.”
Lewis did say that it is “very helpful” that one mistake or one bad game does not relegate someone to the sideline.
“If someone drops a pass, I usually try to go back to them fairly quickly if possible,” Eli Manning said. “And I usually go up to them on the sideline. Certain guys, you know it’s not going to bother them because they have been through it before. But a young guy, you want to try and just let them know: ‘Hey, I am going to be coming back to you. We’re going to hit a big one. Be ready.’ ”
The Giants have options beyond Lewis. Tavarres King took some of his reps against the Bengals. And Victor Cruz, if he is healthy enough to play Sunday against the Bears, will further cut into Lewis’ snaps.
But in some fashion or another, it seems, Lewis will be back on the field trying to learn from Monday night’s failure and be one of those stocks in McAdoo’s market that rebounds.
“You have to show confidence in the players,” McAdoo said. “The more they play, the more they’ll develop and the quicker they’ll develop.”