New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Coach, you first came into the league as an offensive assistant with the New Orleans Saints back in 2004. How did that help propel you for where you are now?
"Well yeah, I lived right around the corner there in River Ridge. It was a great season for me. We finished the season 8-8. I had chance to work with some outstanding coaches and some outstanding players. (I) First hooked up with (Jim) Haslett and Mike McCarthy there. I spent a lot of time with Jack Henry and Jimmy Robinson. It was a great staff and we just missed the playoffs there by a kick."
What was that experience like when you played the Saints last year? What sort of things to do (you) remember from that game and how does it compare to other shootouts you have been in?
"As all of you are aware of; it can get pretty electric in the Dome (Mercedes-Benz Superdome). It was one of those back and forth games. I was on the offensive side of the ball, so that's where my focus was. We were just trying to put some points on the board."
We have obviously seen what Odell (Beckham) has done. He's obviously set some records and come close to some others in his first two years. What more do you think he has to show in his game?
"Odell's still a young player. He's still refining his skill set. He's very talented and smart. He practices very hard and is learning the game inside and out and puts the time in. Those numbers he had in his first couple of years are going to be tough to duplicate but he is going to work at it."
Do you anticipate this game a lot like last years in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome? Especially because of the injury to Delvin Breaux?
"No I'm not sure on how the game is going to unfold. You play the game how it unfolds. You go in knowing you are going against a very talented quarterback (Drew Brees) who is going to be a future Hall of Famer. (They have) A lot of weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Dennis (Allen) does a nice job on the defensive side of the ball challenging you schematically and there are some players that can make a difference, (Cameron) Jordan, (Jairus) Byrd, (Dennell) Ellerbe some guys can that make a difference."
What are some of the things that Dennis does that can make it challenging?
"He has a bunch of different packages that show up and are similar to some of the things we see in the past with different guys in different places and he puts his own spin on them. He does a nice job schematically, he uses all of his people."
You mentioned a lot of weapons. You seem to have a lot of weapons as well. Does Victor Cruz coming back healthy and with the addition of Sterling Shepard, how does that change your approach to a passing attack when you incorporate Odell Beckham in it?
"Well the offense is the offense. But we do tailor it to the players. Each week we are changing up a little bit, we are developing and growing as an offense. Victor Cruz has not really been in the offense and Sterling is new. When you introduce new players to the offense it changes a little bit, it takes a little while to get things humming. We made a little progress last week. We are not where we want to be yet. We have some ways to go until we get there, but we are going to keep plugging away at it."
Do you have any impressions on some of the young corners they got here?
"They are scrappy. That's the thing you notice. They are out there, (they are) young and (it) does not seem too big for them. They are fighting, scratching and crawling their way of getting better. The game is wide open for them and that's how they probably like to play. Dennis does some things that protect them and let them play fast and give them some advantages grammatically that helps them out. But they seem like tremendous young competitors."
What did you think of how the Saints wide receivers performed on Sunday and how much of a challenge can that be?
"They have a nice group of receivers. (Brandin) Cooks is a guy that jumps off the film at you. Our old quarterbacks coach here Danny Langsdorf is the (offensive) coordinator at Nebraska now and he was at Oregon State with him and he spoke very highly of him as a person and as a future NFL prospect. And you really see that shining through. (Willie) Snead is a guy that gets the most out of his ability and his competitiveness. He is another scrappy guy and the ball seems to find him quite a bit. He is a completion waiting to happen out there."
Earlier today Sean Payton said that over the years he has started to spend more time on the defensive game plan being involved in that. Being an offensive coach too, how are you balancing your time with that? Do you find yourself sticking your head in the defensive room a little bit more now and being a little more involved in that aspect?
"I never did before; I'd try to stay in my own lane as an offensive coach. If they request your presence or ask you a question, you do what you can to contribute (as an assistant). This year is a little bit different. I make myself available to all three phases, some weeks more than others depending on what's going on and how things unfold. I try to lead by service and lead through service and help Spags (Steve Spagnuolo) and Tom Quinn on the defensive and special teams' side as much as possible."
I read somewhere you have an approach with your philosophy. Coaching, teaching, parenting and leading. What's the origin of that and how long have you been taking that approach?
"It probably started young in my career as I met different coaches and different players and became a father. I think you learn a little bit more about yourself and what's important to you and the impact you want to try to make with these players. You don't necessarily want to be a coach all the time or a teacher all the time. Some of them can use some help leadership wise and some of them have potential leadership wise and some of them might not have a parent and could use someone to talk to and just being a listener can help them. I think all four of those roles are really one when it comes to our positions with the impact we can make in lives."
Ben, what did you think of your new look defensive front performed on Sunday?
"It was nice having them out there playing together, playing a full game together. They got a bunch of plays in, too many for my liking. We have to get off the field on third down, but the defensive line hung in there well against a good Dallas front and they battled their way for 60 minutes."
What did you learn last week about your team in that one-point game?
"We learned we have a gritty group. We have a tough, physical heavy handed team. We have some grit and we are not going to watch the scoreboard. We're just going to play and that's key."
New York Giants Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Do you ever look around the league and see the receivers in your draft class and marvel at the success that you guys have been able to have as a group?
"Absolutely. It's just like how when you came out of high school you took pride in the class that you came out of. You want to be in one of the best draft classes. I do not want to sit there and be like that was the best draft class, but that was a very good draft class of guys that came out. I remember there were prospects of 18-to-19 receivers across the board that were projected to go in the first round or very high. I keep up with those guys. I text (Brandin) Cooks and we talk. We'll get some scripts (scripture) in every now and then or a little prayer or whatever the case may be. I am rooting for all of those guys and I definitely want to see them do well."
Is there a friendly competition now among you guys, although you guys do not catch up with each other too often?
"At the end of the day, you are competing against everybody. It just so happens that a lot of the guys in that class are also guys in this league who are making a lot of plays. Yes, it's a friendly competition in a way but I am everyone's number one supporter and number one fan. I love seeing those guys do their thing."
What do you remember from your battle with Delvin Breaux last year?
"I think he was a guy coming in who not too many people talked about or anything like that so there was not much film to watch. I remember going against him and on the first play, I think it was a press play and it was just tough to get around him. It was tough to run the route and I knew I was going to be in for a challenge during that entire game. I think he's a phenomenal player who's been through a lot of adversity, and who has overcame that. It says a lot about his character as a man and also as a football player. It's unfortunate what has happened. Injuries are not something you want to see with any player for that matter. Hopefully, he will have a speedy recovery. Thank god it wasn't anything worse than what it was. Unfortunately, he won't be playing this week but I am sure we'll get another chance to go up against each other."
Do you have any impressions of any of their other cornerbacks?
"We're watching film on them now and we're trying to pick up everything that we can. If you make it to the NFL, you have to be a football player and you have to be a good guy, especially a guy who is going to step on the field with 53 and play in a game in the National Football League. There is nobody out there to take lightly. Right now, we have to do as much as we can in the film room, as far as trying to find their weaknesses and strengths."
Do you relish the opportunity to go against less experienced players or do you use that as an advantage?
"I relish the opportunity to play football. I love any chance that I can get to get out there. Tomorrow is never promised. You never know what your last game is, much less your last day on earth. Any opportunity I get, I want to take full advantage of, whether it is the best cornerback in the league, the worst or in-between. It doesn't matter who it is. I just want to go out there, compete, work and get better."
Growing up in New Orleans, how much of a Saints fan were you?
"You know it's tough to say. I was a Mike Vick fan so I didn't really speak too much about the Atlanta Falcons or anything like that while I was home, but I was very supportive of the years when we were down and after Katrina and everything hit. People take it for granted what Drew Brees and the Saints did for the city after Katrina. Coming back and winning (Super Bowl XLIV) against the Colts. I remember days after that the parades, the whole city was like we were back on the map. I know what they've done for that city and I grew up watching. Going from games to Mardi Gras, to the walks all the way down St. Charles. I've been there and it has been "Who Dat" for a long time. It's funny being in the league now and going against the team that you look back on and you have memories as a younger man/child. I remember going to the (Mercedes-Benz Superdome) dome and watching this team play and just wanting to be on the field and now the opportunities present themselves."
Having a healthy Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard now, what does that do for your game?
"I think it all works in a piece, one pulls one way the other pulls another, it's a triangle 180 degrees, it all works together."
What does it mean to have Victor Cruz back healthy?
"It means a lot, not just for me and for this team, but for himself as well to come back from everything that he has faced. He (Victor Cruz) could have gave up multiple times (but he) kept digging, kept fighting, kept scratching away. He's put extra work in on the side and hours and hours when nobody's looking, just to be able to return to the field of play and now to have him back it's quite an honor to be on the same field as him."
What is your take on the LSU quarterback situation and everything that's going on with Les Miles?
"It's tough, that's my school and it's tough to watch them lose games year in and year out that they are not supposed to and some of them are (understandable). You lose to Alabama and you lose to Ole Miss those are exceptional games. Those are battles that you are meant to win or lose, but losing to the other teams that they have lost too is just not what they do down there. It is not their character. I'm sure they will get it right, you lose one game and you could win the rest of them and still win the natty (National Championship)."
What are some things you hope to show improvement in?
"Everything, route running, catching the ball, being a leader on and off the field. Pretty much in every aspect of the game I want to improve and I want to do that each and every year."