EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Long known as a defense-first team that has won games — and championships — with an old-school approach, the Giants are heading into the future with an altered philosophy.
At least, that figures to be the plan initially under new head coach Ben McAdoo.
The veteran assistant was promoted to head coach officially on Thursday, replacing Tom Coughlin, who resigned last week after leading the Giants for 12 seasons. McAdoo met the media on Friday.
“This is the capital of the world, and the football capital of the world and with that comes a certain amount of pressure, pressure I look forward to,” McAdoo told reporters, including CBS2’s Otis Livingston.
“We’re not looking to rebuild. We’re looking to reload and that’s going to start in a few minutes,” McAdoo added.
Citing “respect, humility and dedication” as his core values, McAdoo offered a preview of what to expect from him as head coach.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime. I was brought up in this business to keep your head down and keep working,” he said. “This job is not for the faint of heart. I’m the right man for the job. I’m battle tested and have been groomed for this opportunity by Super Bowl-winning coaches, players and organizations.
“At the end of the day we’re paid to win, not just compete,” McAdoo added. “The vision for this football team is putting a fifth Lombardi Trophy in the case.”
McAdoo, who at 38 is currently the second youngest head coach in the NFL behind newly-hired Adam Gase in Miami, spent the past two seasons as New York’s offensive coordinator, and in that time turned veteran quarterback Eli Manning back into the player that had been a two-time Super Bowl MVP prior to hitting a rut in 2013.
Yet the Giants still went 6-10 and missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. Their problems were many, ranging from an absentee defense to brutal clock management issues late in games to a plethora of injuries that took a toll across every unit.
“Our theme moving forward this year is going to be ‘evolution not revolution.’ We’re going to have an opportunity to carry some things over. Some things, we won’t,” McAdoo said. “We’re going to take a look at last season and study every game and situation … figure out what we can do in all three phases.”
After four straight seasons without a playoff appearance the pressure to win is now.
“I like the pressure. This is what you live for. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s the capital of the world. It’s the football capital of the world. What could be better than this type of opportunity and this type of pressure? You prepare for it, and I’ve been a guy that’s always been baptized by fire and I’m comfortable with it,” he said.
McAdoo will be charged with not only keeping the Giants among the best offensive teams in the NFL, but also with overseeing a rebuilding phase on defense that will be spearheaded by general manager Jerry Reese, who will be under the gun to find impact players.
“The first thing we have to do is get Ben some players,” Giants co-owner John Mara said.
According Mara, the Giants interviewed six candidates to replace Coughlin, but McAdoo seemed to be the favorite since the beginning. He has earned rave reviews from several prominent figures around the NFL, including members of the Green Bay Packers, with whom he served as quarterbacks coach in 2012 and 2013 and helped turn Aaron Rodgers into one of the best at his position in the league.
“It’s an exciting day for us. It marks a new era of Giants football,” Mara said upon introducing McAdoo and later added, “Ben is a teacher and he has an edge to him. He’s not afraid to show a temper. Ben knows where we need to improve. He’s not afraid to voice his opinions.”
“We think he is the coach of the future for us,” Reese added.
McAdoo discussed some of the words of wisdom he received from his predecessor.
“Being five minutes ahead of schedule is very valuable,” he said, echoing the familiar Coughlin refrain. “First thing Tom said to me today when I entered the building was ‘don’t mess with the clock.'”
McAdoo has a very good rapport with Manning, but it remains to be seen how he will do handling all of the responsibilities of a head coach.
“I hold myself to the highest standard. I’m my own biggest critic,” McAdoo said.
He said he has not yet filled out his staff and the play-calling responsibilities will be addressed at a later time.
Many on social media noticed that McAdoo’s suit was big on him. He said afterwards that the suit fit him about 60-lbs ago and that he recently lost the weight.