Ben McAdoo had to be pleased with the way things went yesterday.
After all, the Giants won his first game 20-19 in Dallas, a please that has been a house of horrors for them the last few years.
And it was Dallas’s clock management error that allowed Big Blue to be victorious, when Terrance Williams decided to run up the field instead of out of bounds, letting the clock expire.
But today, McAdoo was looking for what went wrong, as his team returns home to play the Saints on Sunday, so there’s no time to celebrate.
McAdoo knows he will get a better view of his team in Week 2 than in the opener.
“No team is really quite sure what you’re going to get in week one,” he said in a conference call today. “Every team changes each year. There’s a lot of turnover season to season. You have an opportunity to go out and play the game together in a full game. You have the chance to take a big jump in the second week.”
With all the changes the Giants made on defense, they didn’t know what to expect from that side of the ball.
However, McAdoo seemed pretty pleased with their performance.
“We were physical and heavy-handed at the line of scrimmage,” he said. “I thought we showed poise to hang in there with the number of plays that we played. They showed signs of being comfortable being uncomfortable, which is encouraging. Obviously closing the game out in the fourth quarter was a huge positive for us.”
Offensively, he also seemed to be happy, even though there is obviously room for improvement.
“We handled the noise,” he said. “There were some great shots of tempo over the ball. Physicality and heavy-handed at the lines of scrimmage with some signs of finish at the end of the runs and at pass protection. Really on both sides of the ball in the green zone, red zone and two-minute, we won those situations. When you win those situations, you have a chance to be ahead when the ballgame is over.”
And they were. McAdoo obviously wants more turnovers on defense and also less penalties from his team, but those are always the complaints from any head coach.
That said, it was a pretty good debut for the young coach. The Giants took a risk giving the job to a younger coordinator, who had limited experience on the job, but overall you can’t have any complaints.
He took a high profile team with a number of veterans and had them buy into his way of playing football.
Rookie head coaches always make mistakes, but thankfully McAdoo has been around this team for a few years. It allowed the Giants to keep the status quo on defense with Steve Spagnuolo and promoting and reassigning different coaches that have been with the team.
So there wasn’t any adjustment period.
And now, they are 1-0, looking to be 2-0 after Sunday.
McAdoo earned the game ball for his efforts on Sunday with his first career coaching win, which he “gave to our equipment guys. They’re going to take care of it for me. Not sure what they’re going to do with it. It’ll be a prized possession, that’s for sure.”
Hopefully, there will be more prizes McAdoo and the Giants in weeks to come.