Ben McAdoo spent the last few years coaching Aaron Rodgers with the Packers. Now he moves on to coach Eli Manning. Does he see any similarities between the two?
“I haven’t worked with Eli, so that’s hard to say,” McAdoo said. “But I do know this: They’re both Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, they’re both highly motivated and highly competitive. I’m excited to be here and excited to work with Eli.”
That doesn't mean he's going to try to cram Manning into Rodgers' role.
"As Eli gets his hands on it and has a chance to get comfortable with it we’ll make tweeks here and there," McAdoo said. "Really as the offseason and training camp goes on every offensive system tailors towards the strengths of the starting quarterback, what he does well and what he doesn’t do well in the passing game and fit the runs in and the runs are directly related to the runners. At the end of the day, this system is built around your personnel, not the other way around."
One of the ways McAdoo will be judged is on how Manning is able to bounce back from a dreadful 2013 season in which he threw a career-high 27 interceptions.
“First and foremost we hang our hat on fundamentals and that’s going to be our focal point, that’s the first thing we’re going to address,” McAdoo said. “The second thing is we want to take care of the football. Taking care of the football is the biggest factor in winning and losing games. Fundamentals can help you there. At the same point in time everybody on the offensive side of the ball needs to play better.”
McAdoo had had relatively brief meetings with Manning so far, as the CBA prevents a lot from happening during this time of the year. They spoke on the phone before McAdoo interviewed for the job, and apparently have run into each other at the Giants’ facility. But McAdoo noted that he actually has coached Manning before. In the 2013 Pro Bowl, the Packers were the coaching staff for the NFC team that included Manning (and Victor Cruz, by the way).
“Not too rigorous of a work environment, but came away with a great impression of him,” McAdoo said. “Talking to him on the phone and having a chance to sit down and talk to him a little bit here at the facility without going into too much detail, I’m very fond of him, obviously, watching him play. There’s been some very high profile games between the Packers and the Giants over the years, and he’s played very well in those games.”
Even though he comes in as a former quarterbacks coach, McAdoo already laid the first row of bricks for the wall that he will undoubtedly use this season when it comes to Manning’s success or failures. It’s a familiar refrain.
“When you win in this league the quarterback gets a lot of credit, too much credit,” he said. “When you don’t play so well and you lose in this league, the quarterback gets a lot of blame, probably too much blame. But that is the nature of the beast.”