The Giants have made a major change for 2016, even though the next version of the franchise may not look all that much different than the last one, with G.M. Jerry Reese still in place and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo deemed worthy of a promotion after his former boss earned a pink slip.
The ultimate boss can never get a pink slip, since he holds the ownership papers. Still, Giants co-owner John Mara opted on Friday to assume accountability for the franchise’s failure to get to the postseason since 2011.
“I accept my share of the blame for what has gone on,” Mara told reporters on Friday. “I got a lot of love letters recently from our fans; one of them wrote me and said that, ‘The problem with the organization is sitting right in your chair.’ Another one put it a little more succinctly and he said, ‘The fish stinks from the head down.’ I take that personally and I accept my share, this is all under my watch, and I know we need to get better as an organization. . . .
“It’s been three and a half awful years and the last Super Bowl is a distant memory at this point. We long ago lost the benefit of the doubt with our fans and stuff. That’s what happens when you have three losing seasons. Really it’s been three and a half, it goes back to the second half of the 2012 season, and then the following three years have been miserable. It’s time to start on a new course.”
The new course features a new coach who is 38 years old and limited in his experience. Mara realizes that he’s taking a leap of faith based on McAdoo’s time on the job one step below the job he now has.
“The only thing is he’s been a coordinator for two years,” Mara said of McAdoo. “Ideally he would have been a coordinator for longer than that but my instincts feel as if he’s the right guy. You’re never going to be in a perfect situation and even if he’s been a coordinator for 20 years it’s a different job becoming the head coach. I learned that in 1974 when we hired Bill Arnsparger, who’s the defensive genius of all time and it didn’t work out for us back then. Guys can be great coordinators, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be great head coaches, but I think he has something in him that’s going to allow him to be a terrific NFL head coach.”
The Giants — and everyone else — won’t know whether McAdoo becomes a terrific NFL head coach until he does, or doesn’t. Some coordinators do, some coordinators don’t.
The simply reality, as six franchises move ahead with a glass-almost-completey-full attitude, is that there will continue to be good teams and bad teams. And the bad teams will continue to make coaching changes in an effort to become good teams.