Ben McAdoo is safe, for this year at least

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The best evidence that the 2017 Giants have failed miserably comes from the fact that, as of Week Five, reporters are actually chasing the question of whether coach Ben McAdoo is on the hot seat.

Of course he isn’t. That’s not how the Giants do things, as evidenced by the extended tenure of coach Tom Coughlin — and the ongoing tenure of G.M. Jerry Reese.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media used a lot of words this morning to come to the obvious conclusion that McAdoo is safe. Because of course he is. Last year, McAdoo took the team to its first playoff berth since 2011. After four straight years with no postseason before firing Coughlin, the Giants surely would tolerate one.

The real question is whether McAdoo will be on the hot seat in 2018, as he enters the third season of a four-year contract. Again, the team’s history and culture suggest that he won’t be. But the unexpectedly strong performance of the Jets coupled with the unexpectedly poor performance of the Giants could put unprecedented pressure on the front office to do something, if things don’t change.

And here’s the best evidence of the importance of change, beyond the 0-4 record. McAdoo’s response to the notion that the Buccaneers cracked the New York offensive code made a bad look even worse. By downplaying the value of keeping the defense guessing as to whether a run or pass is coming, it’s fair to wonder whether he even tries to disguise via pre-snap formations, shifts, tendencies, and tells whether quarterback Eli Manning will be handing the ball off or throwing it.

“There is no defense for the perfect throw and the good route,” McAdoo said. “I think if we do what we’re supposed to do from an execution standpoint and the throw is on time and where it’s supposed to be, we should be able to complete the ball.”

Right, but if the Giants do what they’re supposed to do from a coaching standpoint, the execution from the players won’t need to be perfect, because maybe the receiver will spring a little more free because the defense expected a run, or maybe the safety will be on his heels when the running back busts through the front seven because the defense expected a pass.

For now, don’t expected a coaching change. But expect ownership to be paying close attention to whether McAdoo is doing what he needs to do in order to get the most out of his players.