Ben McAdoo’s speech on Wednesday may have been worthy of Winston Churchill, but it won’t do the Giants a lick of good if the players didn’t hear it.
Sure they were all in the room, but did they understand what the coach was telling them? Did they absorb it? Did they buy what McAdoo was selling?
“Yes,” safety Landon Collins said. “He makes a clear message. Makes it very strong messaging. We abide by it. We take it in and we take it to heart because we believe in everything that he says. We’re not turning our backs toward him.”
“I think he’s got confidence in us,” offensive lineman Justin Pugh said. “We’re going to go out there and play hard for him, play hard for each other, and try to get this thing turned around.”
Not everyone, though, seemed to be as moved by McAdoo’s words. Second-year cornerback Eli Apple was asked about McAdoo’s message to the team.
“What message?” he asked.
Told the gist of the speech — simplifying things, having the players believe in themselves, and predicting a run of wins — Apple said simply: “Great message.”
McAdoo was asked if this week, perhaps more than most coming off a 51-17 loss and owning a 1-7 record, he has to focus on the psyche of the team more than the playbook and game plan.
“They need to believe in themselves,” he said. “They need to trust themselves.”
A loss on Sunday to the winless 49ers would be the lowest point in a season of low points, which is undoubtedly why McAdoo put so much effort into his message.
“It’s right now,” he said of the turning point to the season, and perhaps his tenure as the coach of the Giants. “Right now. One game this week. Let’s go win it.”