Ben McAdoo and players are in a defensive mode after published comments by two anonymous New York Giants players that the second-year coach has lost the team and guys are giving up in the wake of a 1-7 start.
The ESPN report also quoted a player as saying the team has given up on the season, the coach is not a leader, that he is handing out more fines this season and that they did not like his policy of having players work out at 80 percent the day before a game.
McAdoo, who usually does not talk to the media on Thursdays, changed his routine. He said he has an open-door policy for anyone who wants to vent.
“It’s hard to help a player when they don’t put their name on a quote,” McAdoo said. “So, if they need some help, come see me. I’m the guy that can help them.”
McAdoo said he did not address the report with the team because it was anonymous.
“I’m not doubting it, I’m just saying I don’t know who it’s coming from,” said the 40-year-old coach who led the Giants to an 11-5 regular-season record and their first playoff berth since 2011 last season. “If I know who it’s coming from, I can address it.”
Regarding the fines, McAdoo said the players incur those for breaking rules.
“I don’t find fine players, they fine themselves,” he said.
Several players were upset because the quotes were anonymous.
“Whoever was anonymous, whoever said it is a coward,” defensive tackle Damon Harrison said. “Flat out. I mean, if you’re not man enough to put your name behind something that you feel because that hasn’t been echoed to anybody in this locker room. I mean, we could have talked it out if you feel that way. It could have (gone) differently, but point-blank, whoever said that is a coward.”
Offensive lineman Justin Pugh also was annoyed.
“All I am going to say about the whole situation is put you name on your work,” Pugh said. “If you say something, be a man and put your name on it.”
Safety Landon Collins said he believes one of the anonymous players was a member of the defense. He did not know who it was, but it seemed obvious since one player was quoted as saying that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was panicking in games.
“I’m curious to who it is, as a team, we know we are behind Coach McAdoo, and still are behind Coach McAdoo,” Collins said. “For a guy to say that, we just want him to come forward and be a man.”
McAdoo has upset some players by suspending cornerback Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for a game in recent weeks for violations of team rules.
Jenkins, who was reinstated this week, said he has put the suspension behind him. He does not believe McAdoo has lost the team.
“You got to look at it, man. It’s hard to win in this league,” Jenkins said. “It ain’t like he’s not coaching. He’s coaching to the best of his ability. We are playing to the best of our ability. If you look at the teams we beat last year, they are just beating us this year. We just got to keep moving forward and pushing man and keep fighting.”
Rodgers-Cromartie, who was suspended for the Denver game on Oct. 15, said he played on a team that quit when he was in Philadelphia.
“I’ve seen a lot of locker rooms, and I know for a fact this locker room ain’t lost,” he said. “I’ve seen a lost locker room. I know what guys do. They come to practice lackadaisical. They don’t have a care. Nothing really matters no more. And I don’t see that happening.”
Spagnuolo said he would not address anonymous comments.
Linebacker Jonathan Casillas said that if a player has given up he doesn’t want him out on the field.