After winning 11 games and going to the playoffs last season, the New York Giants reached the halfway mark of the 2017 campaign with one victory. The losing has led to two weeks of discord for the Giants — and All-Pro safety Landon Collins isn’t happy about the finger-pointing.
Last week, Josina Anderson of ESPN attributed quotes to two anonymous players critical of New York coach Ben McAdoo.
“McAdoo has lost this team,” one player said. “He’s got us going 80 percent on Saturdays before we get on a plane to play a game. It’s wild. Changed our off day. He’s dishing out fines like crazy. Suspended two of our stars when we need them the most. Throws us under the bus all the time. He’s ran us into the ground, and people wonder why we’ve been getting got.”
Another unnamed player said: “Guys are giving up on the season, and nothing’s being done. Guys just don’t care anymore.”
New York safety Landon Collins disputed that observation.
“I don’t see any quit on this team. Haven’t seen it,” Collins said. “We’re all out there still practicing, and nobody is giving up. Nobody is being disrespectful. Everybody is staying in tune and standing together.”
The former Alabama All-American also stood up for the coach.
“McAdoo has been leading the same way he led last year,” Collins said. “So I don’t knock the way he has been doing things. Fining people like crazy? If you don’t follow the rules, you get in trouble because you got to pay the consequences. I wouldn’t say he lost the team. I have the utmost respect for him. He’s been doing a great job. Just trying to figure it out like we all are.
“McAdoo has it all. He can lead men. He can do whatever you say. He has the ability to do those things. It’s not McAdoo — it’s everybody. Everybody has to look in the mirror — the coaching staff, the coordinators, the players, everybody.”
Then the Giants got drubbed at home 51-17 by Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
And McAdoo’s anonymous critics inside the team were back at it: “I’m going to keep it 100 and I’m going to tell it like it is, and it’s terrible, man. I feel like we really don’t got a leader in coach McAdoo.”
This time, Collins called out the anonymous players.
“We just want him to come forward and be a man,” Collins said. “We’ll figure it out.”
Collins said he doesn’t think anonymous complaints will help the Giants turn around their season.
“Basically, if I played for the Cleveland Browns and the losing seasons that they have had, I would still have my team’s back, coaching staff and all,” Collins said. “If I was playing for Nick Saban’s Alabama team and he was calling the worst stuff I ever heard in my life and we were having a losing streak — and everybody knows Alabama does not lose — I would not down my teammates nor my coaches nor my coaching staff.”
That doesn’t mean Collins doesn’t have ideas about how the Giants can play better in the second half of the season. He’d like New York stick to its strengths on defense. Last season, the Giants ranked second in scoring defense and 10th in total defense among the NFL’s 32 teams. This season, New York has slipped to 29th in scoring defense and 30th in total defense.
“Cover-2 high look, where you see both safeties back high and we are playing stern up front,” Collins said. “Every time we line up in our Cover-2 defense, it’s really hard to beat us. It’s really hard to get a first down on us. We make big plays off of it. We make interceptions off of it. …We can read stuff and play fast. That’s how we get back to us. We kind of have been all over the place, trying stuff instead of just being us.”
Only one NFC team has a worse record than the 1-7 Giants — New York’s next opponent. The Giants visit the winless San Francisco 49ers at 3:25 p.m. CST Sunday.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group.@AMarkG1.