Caldwell, NJ–Say it ‘aint so, Johnny. Say it ‘aint so! The previously vaunted and legendary original NFL Franchise known as the New York Football Giants made a decision yesterday. Giants co-owner John Mara was a part of this same organization way back in 1991. At that time, Big Blue was coming off their 2nd Super Bowl Championship in 4 years, and Head Coach Bill Parcells decided it was time to “hang ’em up.” The Tuna was forever finagling his way around other opportunities even as he coached the Giants to that 2nd title. But the bigger issue then-as now, was how to replace a legendary multiple Super Bowl winning coach.
Back in ’91 Parcells had a fair bunch of assistant coaches surrounding him. The Offensive Line Coach was a guy named Charlie Weis. Receivers were coached by a fortysomething disciplinarian named Tom Coughlin. The Defensive Line was coached by Romeo Crennell, and Linebackers-by Al Groh. You may have heard of the team’s Defensive Coordinator too. Guy by the name of Belichick or something.
So John Mara, his late father Wellington Mara and late Giants GM George Young surveyed this field of candidates and felt confident that promoting from within was the right course of action. What a field of coaches from which to choose! There were a bunch of Hall of Fame caliber coaches right there. Fish in a barrel, right? The Giants “Braintrust” chose Ray Handley. Little known Running Backs coach Handley was selected to be HC of the NYG-a Super Bowl champion team. Ray F*&*ck’N Handley!
I’m not suggesting that the G-Men decision to hire Ben McAdoo was a mistake. He has been after all, their Offensive Coordinator for 2 whole years. He helped Eli Manning dramatically cut down on his interceptions by asking him to throw 4 yard crossing routes most of the time; and throw deep to Odell Beckham Jr at other times. At first glance, McAdoo seems a wise choice. Eli vouches for him. Even Aaron Rodgers and Packers Coach Mike McCarthy think highly of him.
Here’s why though, I believe the hiring of McAdoo will be a disaster of “Handleyian” proportions. In his few public comments since he’s been OC here, he’s shown a thin skin, and little patience with the media. But what really confirms for me that McAdoo is the wrong guy is this. While the world has been quick to condemn the Defense and the DC Steve Spagnuolo for 6 late game collapses, I believe it was McAdoo’s Offense that was the real culprit. I’m not a stat guy by any means. But across the season, the Giants time of possession per drive when fewer than 8 minutes remained in the game was a league-worst 1:32. So in every instance when the right call on Offense may have iced the game-the play failed to be executed correctly. Each time the ball was turned back over to the defense. A fluke? A coincidence? Not a chance. McAdoo is in over his head. Ray Handley lasted 2 seasons for the Giants. I’m betting the “under” on McAdoo.