New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo continued his unique and specific criticism towards Eli Manning on Monday by labeling him “rusty.”
On Sunday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford just two days after the team’s first preseason action of 2017, Ben McAdoo called on shells.
No pads. Just shells and shorts as he preps the team for a long week prior to the New York Giants Week 2 preseason matchup in Cleveland on Monday night. Any day a football player receives of avoiding full pads is a good day. In fact, for most players, it’s a glorious occasion — at least in his eyes that are positioned under that slick-backed head.
On this sort of day, head coaches look to be rewarded. On this specific day, McAdoo’s quarterback didn’t reward him.
Once the two-hour session was complete, McAdoo spoke about Eli Manning in less than glowing terms, labeling No. 10 “a little bit rusty.”
“He seemed a little bit rusty today,” McAdoo said Manning. “I don’t know if that needs to be a headline, but I’m sure most of you may use it. It’s an easy one. We need to get him back and get him some work. I know he’s excited to get back to work.”
While McAdoo very casually threw in the witty line surrounding a headline, he knew exactly what he was doing. McAdoo always knows what he’s doing when it comes to his offensive leader.
It’s true. On Sunday, Manning was less than stellar. But he wasn’t horrible. In all, he finished 11-of-16 when it sort of counted, in full-team reps, but many were of the safe variety against a two-deep look.
The worst taste Eli left in his coach’s mouth was throwing a pick to wind down practice as the offense operated in the two-minute drill. Looking for Sterling Shepard on the corner (flag) route, corner Donte Deayon cut underneath and snagged the attempt:
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) August 13, 2017
It was almost as if Eli expected a hard out-route.
In any event, the narrative of McAdoo remaining stern when it comes to his quarterback continues to surge ahead.
Never does McAdoo get on Odell Beckham Jr. Rarely will he call out a running back on the roster. In fact, when it’s come to the future of Paul Perkins, he’s been over-the-top encouraging preaching opportunity at every turn.
But when Eli’s part of the discussion, McAdoo makes sure he’s heard loud and clear.
Rewind the clock to January. After the Giants bitterly disappointing loss in Green Bay during the Wild Card Round, McAdoo made sure to single out Eli when it came to protecting “The Duke,” via Tom Rock of Newsday.
“I think that’s an easy blame, an easy one-liner that you can throw out there and think you have all the answers,” McAdoo said. “I don’t necessarily agree with that. The offensive line, they need to play better, I agree with that. I think Eli needs to do a better job playing with fast feet and he needs to sit on that back foot in the pocket. He’s got to play with fast feet, he has to sit on his back foot and be ready to hitch into a throw.”
In a game that featured Manning humming the ball and his receivers coming up small, this is what the Giants leader said. In a season that showcased a horrid offensive line and Manning doing everything he can to protect it — whether it came via throwing too quickly or in some other fashion — McAdoo still made certain his criticism of Manning was loud and clear.
More often than not over the last year-plus, it’s Eli who receives the brunt of McAdoo’s media messages. It’s always thrown in the direction of Eli, the poised, calm veteran football player who’ll never make a fuss.
Remember, this is a guy (McAdoo) who spent two years with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. He witnessed excellence more often than not. He knows what he has in Manning, the two-time Super Bowl champ. He knows what he was in his stellar weaponry. And he also knows what he doesn’t have up front.
McAdoo intentionally dishes the criticism in this direction for a very simple reason …
He knows he (Eli) can take it. He also knows others on the team can’t.
And if this strategy produces better results offensively, he’ll continue to keep the high moments on the down low and the low moments extremely visible and singled out.
On Monday, Manning wasn’t terrible in the least. It was a ho-hum session that showcased very little both offensively and defensively. But McAdoo made sure to throw a little more ammo into that loaded Eli Manning gun.
He’s hoping come Week 1, Manning uses that ammo and turns it into fire.