OAKLAND — Ben Must Go. Ben Will Go.
It appears Giants fans will be deprived of the opportunity to serenade embattled coach Ben McAdoo at next Sunday’s home game against the Cowboys.
Nothing like a “Goodbye Allie” chant to bring back memories of the lean years of the ’60s.
It will be ugly enough at MetLife next week with the massive number of expected no-shows, and with all the Cowboys fans who always show up anyway — even without McAdoo on the sidelines.
No need to subject him to the venom of Big Blue Nation, who are disgusted by the dysfunction and the 2-9 season and the bungled benching of Eli Manning.
No need to bring out the creativity of angry fans by hanging McAdoo in effigy from the mezzanine, like fans did with Wellington Mara at the old Giants Stadium, or fly an airplane over the stadium or burn tickets in a parking lot toilet, all in that wonderful season of 1978.
McAdoo’s Giants legacy: The man who brought down Eli. Giants fans, even those who wanted Manning to be benched, will never forget or forgive an outsider for doing it. And who knows? Maybe with a new coach Manning will return as the starter against Dallas.
John Mara and Steve Tisch ought to send McAdoo and his family to Miami next week as a parting gift to go along with the two years of salary they owe him. Maybe Odell can meet them and they can all hang out with the Biebs and take a boat trip. McAdoo’s mishandling of OBJ led to so many other issues.
It was reported by ESPN on Sunday morning that McAdoo could be fired as early as Monday. The result of Sunday’s game against the Raiders in the Black Hole is meaningless as far as McAdoo’s future. The damage has been done. The Giants are on their way to 2-14.
As I’ve been writing for quite some time now, McAdoo has to be fired and GM Jerry Reese must go with him.
One almost down. One to go.
How bad is this?
No coach in the Giants 93-year history has lasted less than two full seasons. McAdoo is in his second season. Ray Handley was fired in 1992 after two seasons.
The Giants have not fired a coach mid-season since 1976 when Bill Arnsparger was let go seven games into his third year. They Giants were 0-7 and overall Arnsparger was 7-28. LeRoy Andrews, in 1930, was the only other coach the Giants have ever released during the season. Jim Fassel pre-empted the Giants firing him in 2003 by announcing with two games remaining he would resign at the end of the season. The Giants were 4-10 and then lost their last two games.
McAdoo’s clumsy benching of Manning last week was too much for Mara. Now let’s be clear: Mara suggested to GM Jerry Reese a couple of weeks ago that McAdoo work in Geno Smith and rookie Davis Webb over the rest of this lost season.
McAdoo’s poor execution of a quarterback transition plan last week accentuated his poor leadership skills and his humiliation of Manning, a Giants legend with two Super Bowls and two Super Bowls MVPs, was beyond Mara’s pain threshold. Then to pile on, McAdoo had Manning help run the scout team with Webb.
When Mara was asked Wednesday if McAdoo was safe for the rest of the season, he said ominously, “There’s no guarantees in life.”
That was a significant change from a joint statement he made with Tisch on Nov. 13, one day after losing to the winless 49ers: “It is our responsibility to determine the reasons for our poor performance and at the end of the year, we will evaluate the 2017 season it its entirety and make a determination on how we move forward.”
Mara and Tisch could wait no longer.
By dumping McAdoo now, it raises the issue of why not do it last week when all this came down with Manning? Instead, McAdoo flew with the team 3,000 miles, will coach the game against the Raiders, and fly back 3,000 miles. All as a lame duck.
By the time Mara and Tisch decided to accelerate their plan to fire McAdoo, it may have been too late in the week to switch coaches.
Assuming he is fired Monday, who will coach the Giants for the rest of this season?
Even though the defense has played poorly this season, it should be defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. At least he’s been a head coach in the NFL with the Rams and will know how to organize things for the last month, which includes three division home games. Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan is another candidate, but he’s got a full plate calling plays and figuring out how to split up the quarterback work load and trying to see if maybe the offense can score 20 points.
Despite McAdoo’s 11-5 rookie season in 2016 after two years as Giants offensive coordinator, his run is a failure. He was promoted to replace the fired Tom Coughlin because Mara deemed him good for Manning. But the step up from coordinator to head coach is always hard to predict and it proved too big for McAdoo. He lost the locker room early in the season, leading to the suspensions of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jackrabbit Jenkins and the inconsistent handling of Eli Apple.
To be clear, Mara was on board with working Smith and Webb into games of this lost season, but just assumed it would be done when Manning was playing poorly or the game was out of reach. He never wanted to end Manning’s consecutive starting streak, which reached 210 games. Mara didn’t suggest a plan when he told Reese it was time to get the young guys playing time and didn’t suggest a plan when Reese told him McAdoo was going to make the move last week, so a lot of the blame falls on him.
McAdoo told Manning he wanted him to start against the Raiders with Smith starting the second half. Manning rejected the plan, told him it wasn’t good for him or Smith and was the No. 2 QB on Sunday.
If Mara is going to jump into football matters and make personnel suggestions, he needs to provide guidance how he wants it done. Reese told Mara he and McAdoo had been discussing getting playing time for Smith and Webb before he even brought it up, but with Mara at a family function in Virginia on Monday, he was not part of the meeting with Manning.
The Giants had Super Bowl aspirations this season. Now they’re about to be looking for a new coach. McAdoo is the first to go. He won’t be the last.
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