Ben McAdoo addresses reporters Wednesday, announcing that veteran CB DRC has been suspended after leaving the team this morning Art Stapleton/NorthJersey.com
New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo reacts to a play late in the game against the Detroit Lions.(Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports)
EAST RUTHERFORD — Ben McAdoo’s greatest fear as head coach last month was that his team would go numb as its lost season continued to spiral.
Well, he should not have that concern anymore.
Because a considerable number of Giants players are not numb, but they have increasingly grown angry - and much of that disgust is now being harbored for McAdoo himself after the latest development Wednesday that resulted in the suspension of veteran cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
McAdoo and the Giants have lost all five of their games this season, and the second-year coach is now in danger of losing the locker room. His decision to suspend Rodgers-Cromartie left numerous players stunned after practice as they were still trying to gain an understanding of what had transpired between the player and the coach.
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In a span of 72 hours, the Giants fell to 0-5, lost Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall to season-ending ankle surgeries and wound up suspending one of the most respected and valuable players on the roster.
McAdoo was praised last season for an ability to connect with his players, but the divide between the coach and his players has been widening in recent weeks.
Any perceived fracturing has not been within the locker room between the offense and defense, a source told The Record and NorthJersey.com, but from a displeasure with the way McAdoo has been critical of certain players (Eli Manning, now his dealings with Rodgers-Cromartie) and less so of others (left tackle Ereck Flowers and Apple as an example).
"The locker room is together, united," one source said.
Asked by a reporter to respond to the perception that he has lost the team, McAdoo said defiantly Wednesday: “Not concerned about perception. Concerned about reality.”
The reality is that, for the Giants, this is turning into the worst case scenario.
Rodgers-Cromartie is one of the Giants’ most well-liked players by teammates, a second-team All-Pro last season and a vital part to the defense’s success in 2016. He moved to slot cornerback, sacrificing his spot outside after the Giants drafted cornerback Eli Apple, who started in tandem with Janoris Jenkins.
Multiple team and league sources told The Record and NorthJersey.com that Rodgers-Cromartie recently expressed his displeasure with McAdoo and the coaching staff regarding his existing role. In Sunday’s 27-22 loss to the Chargers, Rodgers-Cromartie started on the perimeter opposite Jenkins in the Giants’ base defense and Apple - the 2016 first round pick who has been struggling - was benched for three series before entering the game.
Rodgers-Cromartie then moved back inside, and a source indicated that the switch led to his frustration, especially in the second half.>
New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo works with cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie during day two of minicamp in East Rutherford, NJ on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. (Photo: Danielle Parhizkaran/Northjersey.com)
A team source told The Record and NorthJersey.com that Rodgers-Cromartie left the bench area at one point in the second half, but returned. He appeared to be injured while covering a long pass play – teammate Landon Collins said Rodgers-Cromartie was kicked in his Achilles – and Rodgers-Cromartie came off the field and threw his helmet, upset with himself and the injury that resulted.
Rodgers-Cromartie met with McAdoo on Tuesday, and it was then that Rodgers-Cromartie was told he was going to be inactive because of his actions for Sunday's game against the Broncos in Denver, according to a team source. Rodgers-Cromartie showed up at the team facility Wednesday morning, spent time in the locker room and departed prior to practice. His leaving resulted in McAdoo and the team deciding on the suspension.
Rodgers-Cromartie is expected to meet with McAdoo on Thursday to discuss the length of his suspension, a source said Wednesday night.
McAdoo would not divulge any details regarding the suspension and what transpired with Rodgers-Cromartie, only saying: “DRC came in [Tuesday]. We had a conversation that was personal upstairs and he came in [Wednesday]. Decided to leave. We will suspend him, We had a conversation [Tuesday]. He came into the building [Wednesday] morning. Decided to leave and we will put him on suspension."
Rodgers-Cromartie told ESPN that he “handled it the wrong way, but to sit me a game had me hot, so I left. I was suspended way before I left. I left [because] I felt what [McAdoo] said was BS."
Several Giants players used the words "misunderstanding" and "miscommunication" when describing Rodgers-Cromartie’s confrontation and dealings with McAdoo and members of the coaching staff.
Obviously, that does not include any details of their behind-closed-doors exchanges to which other players would not be privy unless McAdoo or Rodgers-Cromartie made them known.
“He came in with a smile on his face,’’ Collins said of Rodgers-Cromartie. “He had his gospel music playing, being the same DRC that he was when he came in. It surprised all of us when we heard what happened. Am I upset with McAdoo for suspending him? We’re upset that he’s suspended. He’s a major part of our defense and we need him on the D. That’s the coaches’ decision, not going to go against it. If he felt strongly about suspending him, then he felt strongly about suspending him.’’
Jenkins also left the field in the closing seconds of Sunday's game. McAdoo said he'd handle that in-house, adding Wednesday that Jenkins remains a starter. Apple also seemed to be critical of the "culture," telling reporters at his locker following the game: "You lose games and it's got to be someone else's problem and they look around and think, 'OK, this is the problem.' But it's not just one guy, it's the whole culture, it's everything. We've got to fix it."
The Giants could hold the key to McAdoo's long-term future as a head coach with the way they finish this season. Every move he makes (and does not make) should be (and will be) analyzed with next season and beyond in mind.
Make no mistake: McAdoo's 22-game tenure as head coach is at a crossroads.
The status of general manager Jerry Reese has also been called into question, and how the roster performs the rest of the way will be a reflection on him, too.
It's difficult to dismiss any options regarding the Giants' future at this point.
Ben McAdoo has everyone inside 1925 Giants Drive watching now.
His players undoubtedly want answers, and how he responds should matter as much to ownership as anything that unfolds on the football field the rest of this season.
The bottom line is this: McAdoo's Giants aren't going to win many, if any, more games if he completely loses the players on whom he must rely to find a way to get them.
Source : http://www.northjersey.com/story/sports/nfl/giants/2017/10/11/0-5-giants-arent-numb-theyre-angry-and-now-ben-mcadoo-has-locker-room-problem/755560001/