Ben McAdoo thought the Giants finally brought to the field the concepts and system he had been preaching and they played with some success in the final six games of the 2014 season. But as he enters his second season as offensive coordinator, don't dare ask him if they will hit the ground running in 2015 because of that.
"It's a loser's mentality to think you can come in here and not miss a beat and pick up where you left off," McAdoo said in a tone just below a scold at Saturday's rookie minicamp, his first media availability since the end of last season. "Any success in this league is earned. If you come walking in thinking you don't have to do any work and you can pick up where you left off and we can execute the way we were at the end of the season, that is a loser's mindset."
McAdoo's current mindset is anything but that. The normally reserved coach seemed excited about what lies ahead. He's been telling the players since they arrived for the start of offseason workouts last month that what they are running is no longer a system, it is their offense.
"We went back and retooled the offense a little bit," he said. "We spent a lot of time on scheme and tying it into the personnel that we had and some of the new toys that we added . . . It is tailored to the players we have in the room. It's about the players, not the plays. We tailored it. You put some stuff out in the storage shed that you may like, but you may not get to because it doesn't fit with who you are."
Now, in other words, they are starting to form an identity.
A big part of that is Odell Beckham Jr., last year's rookie of the year. His rise to prominence in the second half seems to coincide with those final six games McAdoo was pleased with. But McAdoo said it wasn't just Beckham that clicked. It was Eli Manning as well.
"I think the quarterback started feeling better about the offense at that point," he said. "It takes some time."
And going into the second season, McAdoo expects even more.
"Usually when you put in changes or change the system or address fundamentals, it usually shows up in year two," he said. "I like the look in [Manning's] eye. I'm excited for what is on the plate this year."
One thing is for sure, it won't be leftovers.