Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo
September 17, 2015
I would like to start off. I have a couple things to say. I’d like to address the other night in Dallas. I was raised an aggressive play caller and I think everyone realizes that from last year and the beginning of this year and that’s something I take a lot of pride in. I understood the situation in the last—the third-and-1 call, I guess—the last play call of the game. Did understand the situation. We were running the ball well and run blocking was running the ball well, Rashad was running it well, so that was definitely a possibility to run the football there. I decided to be aggressive and go for the fake and try to get the one-on-one with the tight end. The thing I failed to do was mention to Eli that if it wasn’t open to eat the football and that’s something I take responsibility with and I take ownership of. At the same point and time, you know we need to move on. We need to flush this last game. It’s best for the players, it’s best for the organization and it’s best for the fans to move forward. We need to focus on Atlanta, they’re a good football team coming in here. Really we need to focus on scoring points in the green zone because we were one for four and that is not good enough. So with that, we’re going to move on and we’re going to go on to Atlanta and I will accept questions on Atlanta.
Q: Did you think your guys can put it past them quickly enough after such a tough ending of the game to come back strong?
A: Absolutely. You know we got together on Monday and it was tough. It was tough, we didn’t get a lot of sleep but we decided right then and there we were going to flush the game and move forward. We’ve got a lot of confidence in ourselves, we’ve got confidence in the players on the field and in the coaching staff and working together. We’re looking forward to the challenge to play at home at one o’clock on Sunday afternoon.
Q: All year long we’ve been writing that the offense is going to be the backbone of this team and it was slow in the preseason, I mean the first game—how close are you?
A: We moved the ball. We were 9-for-10 in the series with a first down and it seems each time we feel like we’re going to take off, something holds us back. We just need to eliminate that and we need to execute at a higher level and avoid the mistakes. We had some chances when we got to the green zone to advance the ball and put points up on the board and we failed to do that.
Q: Is it mental, physical, or both?
A: I think it’s probably a little bit of both at this point. We had some opportunities; we’ve got to accept and test the bounds that we didn’t catch that we needed to catch. We had some accuracy things that we can improve on. In the run game, we kind of got better as the game went on but we need to start that, we need to start running the ball well. We don’t have to warmup in a game. We need to start with our hair on fire and be productive from the beginning. Dallas controlled the ball too much for my liking. We want the football, we want to control the ball, we want to be balanced. We don’t want to be standing there watching so when we get our hands on the ball, the best thing for us to do is to control that thing.
Q: How does that affect you as the offense and the game caller to not get the ball for the first 11 minutes of the game?
A: I think you have to have a calm mind on the sideline. We have to be communicating with the players and make sure they stay focused and stay loose. It’s ideally—no one wants to start the game that way, obviously, but you have to roll with the punches at that point.
Q: Did it make you feel rushed our hurried?
A: No. I don’t ever feel like I have a vice on my gut or anything like that. I was comfortable with it. They were doing a good job executing and they were battling pretty good out there with the defense. We were just holding on, waiting for our turn.
Q: Eli targeted Odell eight times in this game. It was a lot higher at the end of last season. Do you look at that as a priority of giving him more chances to make plays?
A: The way the game went, he didn’t get a bunch of targets early on. It’s not going to be easy to get Odell the ball. He’s a guy that can change the game in a blink of an eye; teams have a plan for him. So we need to do a good job of playing the shell game with him, so to speak. We can’t force the ball to him. If they’re going to double him, we need to take the one-on-ones and we can’t be stubborn about that. There’ll be some time to take a shot or two with him but we do need to be smart with it, we need to protect the football and do what’s best for the team that way.
Q: It looked like you had some one-on-ones with Preston Parker who just didn’t make the catch. How do you go forward with him or do you make changes there?
A: Preston, he had a tough day. We count on him bouncing back. He’s a tough guy, he’s a fighter, he’s a competitor and he’s a pro.
Q: What is it about Preston that you like as a receiver in that spot in the slot?
A: I think Preston has some grit. He’ll go in there and put his face on people if he has to, he’s got his teammates’ backs, he plays at a good speed. We just need a little more productivity out of him this week and we trust that he’ll bring it.
Q: Is Dwayne Harris your next option?
A: Yeah, Dwayne is getting reps in there. He has been getting reps in there. He did a nice job today in practice.
Q: With Odell, you did some real unique stuff with him in terms of handing the ball, throwing the ball, stuff like that. Does he have to establish himself as a wide receiver first to do that? When will we see that?
A: We have a variety of ways we can get him the ball. We’ll see how it goes.
Q: To what do you attribute the lack of downfield throws? I know your long play was the very last play of the game. What do you attribute that to for that game and how do you sort of go forward with it and get the ball down the field even if they’re playing two-deep and stuff like that?
A: Teams are doing a nice job of staying on top of us and that didn’t change. That’s been the history with the system we played on Sunday night. They do a good job staying on top of you and try to minimize your big gains and getting after you with a four-man rush with a bunch of line stunts and they did a nice job there. We need to do a better job pushing down the field and that’s my job.
Q: Is it tough to win with the time of possession that you had?
A: We’d like to control the ball more, absolutely. That is a part of it. We want a lot of plays and we want a lot of minutes and we want a lot of production. We need—it starts with the execution when you look in the mirror first.
Q: You’ve been with Eli for a little while now but in a week like this, do you continue to learn about him? His teammates, all of them, are younger, of course, and marvel at how even keel he is and how he’s able to move on.
A: Yeah, he’s a pretty steady guy. Pretty steady guy, he has great leadership skills. He did a nice job of handling this barrage of criticism this week, which I don’t feel is just, but with that position a lot of times when you win, you get maybe a little too much credit, when you lose, you maybe get a little too much blame. Unfortunately that is how it went this week.
Q: Why is it unjust?
A: Because we’re moving on to Atlanta.
Q: Moving forward, how do you make sure you communicate to Eli and the players what to do with the ball in certain situations?
A: In that situation there?
Q: Yeah, what do you do moving forward in that communication?
A: You have to be smart in what you give a quarterback through the headset. If you start giving them too much information, you can slow them down and that is something we’re always going to be conscious of.
Q: Are there ways for you to prepare for these kinds of situations moving forward? Is there something you can do as a coach or a quarterback during the week or anything of the sort where you sort of prepare for those types of situations?
A: Yeah, we do mock situations all the time.
Q: Does Atlanta play a lot of single-high which might allow you to go deeper?
A: Yeah, versus Philadelphia, every snap was single-high, but that was the way they chose to play Philadelphia. I imagine that they’re going to roll some things at us, some different shells, some different coverage types and probably have a plan for Odell that way. We’ll have to take a look at it and adjust as the game goes on.
Q: I wanted to clarify, are you saying you’re going to simplify what you give through a headset in the future now?
A: No, I’m saying you have to monitor what you give in the headset so you don’t slow the player down.
Q: I’m sure you trust him a lot to make these on-field decisions on his own. He obviously said he didn’t make the right ones on his first and second downs. How do you balance him not going off the script from the sideline and him making his adjustments that…
A: Every game you live and you learn. Ideally, you’d like to win, get a little bit better along the way. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t win last week and we learned a lot. There were some painful lessons to be learned there and we’ve got to take them and move forward with it and improve from it.