Instead of putting a Monday Night Football loss on himself, as many coaches do, Ben McAdoo went in a different direction. He criticized Eli Manning – not once, but several times – for “sloppy quarterback play” in New York’s 24-10 home loss to the Lions this week.
In hindsight, perhaps this shouldn’t have been surprising.
“McAdoo’s been doing that pretty much since he became head coach,” New York Daily News NFL writer Gary Myers said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “He has not been hesitant to criticize Eli publicly. A guy like Belichick, he’s probably hardest on Brady in practice, but he never says anything negative about Tom publicly. McAdoo has taken the opposite approach.”
Myers, however, did a little research and discovered that Tom Coughlin did the same thing during his coaching tenure in New York. If Manning had a bad game or made critical mistakes at key moments, Coughlin would call him out for it.
“There were some games where Eli was just an interception machine that Coughlin was really critical of him,” Myers said. “I think maybe these coaches do it because they know that Eli can take it, but I look at it a little deeper in this case. You have a coach that really hasn’t accomplished all that much as a head coach. He’s only in his second year, but it’s one thing for Eli to have taken it from Coughlin. I’m not sure how he views it taking it from a guy who’s a year older than him.”
Well, a little more than a year – McAdoo is 40, and Manning is 36 – but the age disparity is still negligible. In the football world, McAdoo and Manning have a coach-player relationship, but in the real world, they’re peers.
Also, this ain’t Jacksonville.
“You can’t do that in this market and just expect it to just fly under the radar,” Myers said. “That’s all anybody’s talking about today is McAdoo’s relationship with Eli and how Eli’s going to handle getting criticized by his coach, whose offense has just been a complete dud for over a year now. It’s a very interesting situation to keep an eye on.
Especially given the expectations for this team.
“I’m not a homer, but I did pick the Giants to win the Super Bowl this year,” Myers said, “so the expectations inside that building are tremendous. For them to be 0-2 and only having scored 13 points in two games – which is usually a good quarter for them – and with no real quick fix in sight, this thing could get real explosive relatively soon.”
The Giants play each of their next two games on the road, beginning with the Eagles (1-1). Sunday’s kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET.