Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch
Conference Call, January 15, 2016
Q: What impressed you most about Ben and what are you looking forward to with him as the coach?
A: I think the quality that impressed me the most this morning was, I think Ben is confident and not arrogant. I think his confidence is going to be very, very valuable as he begins to lead this team. There was not a trace of arrogance and I really appreciated that. I thought he handled himself very, very well in his first time in front of the press, specifically the New York press. Also, his sincerity I think came through very, very clearly. Iím not a west PA guy, Iím a southern Jersey guy. Whatever is in the water in west PA, I think it sort of leads to a lot of great leadership qualities.
Q: What separated Coach McAdoo from other candidates?
A: I think two years of being the Giants OC is very valuable. Itís kind of like, for us, itís not a first date. We got to know Ben over two years. His experience working with not only the players, but working under Tom and with Tom and Spags and the other position coaches. That experience is extremely valuable. My sense of Ben is that heís a great student. I think those two years are a game-changer. I think those two years did move the needle in a very positive way. Heís not coming into a system thatís going to be new to him. Thereís a tremendous amount of continuity because heís been with the team for two years. The team heís been with and the players who will continue on the team going into this season he knows. He knows the locker room, he knows the strengths and weaknesses of not only the players, but the staff, the organization. So for me, that was a game-changer.
Q: After the last couple of years, do you think thereís too much continuity? Can there be too much continuity?
A: I think generically, I think I would say too much continuity could be an issue. But I think based on Benís personality, the goals he has set for himselfóhe outlined how heís going to approach his new position, his sort of four points of leadershipómade me very confident that his game plan is going to be very, very effective and hopefully, very successful.
Q: Based on the challenges that Benís going to be facing as a first year head coach, what kind of support can you, Mr. Mara, Jerry Reese loan to him?
A: Weíre going to be extremely supportive. A lot has been brought up about his age. I donít think his age is a factor. I think his age, in my opinion, is a positive factor. Heís young, heís in the best sense of the word, ambitious, heís got a vision, he seems appropriately fearless. If John Mara, Jerry, and I start to feel that, in the first couple games of the season, that heís getting it right and heís doing it right and weíre putting some Wís on the board the first few games, heís going to be very, very supported. It all depends, this is all prologue in opinion. It all starts when the season starts. I think heís going to be extremely prepared. I like how Ben told us this morning that he is his biggest critic. Iím not sure every head coach in the league would say that about himself. I think thatís a very strong comment, I think thatís a very honest comment. His standards are very high. Heís going to get tremendous support from ownership. I think the working relationship over the next few months that he and Jerry develops, Iím optimistic that itís going to a very functional, very successful working relationship.
Q: What was your feeling about Tom interviewing with the Eagles and how relieved were you that he did not take that job?
A: I havenít spoken to Tom since he spoke to the Eagles and since he went out and spoke to the 49ers. You all know that no one makes decisions for Tom except Tom. Jeff Lurie is a friend, heís a very good owner. I was not in the room and you guys were not in the room. Iím sure he was a very serious candidate and Iím not sure why he took himself out of being considered.
Q: Would it have been hard to see Tom wearing green over there?
A: Yes, it would have because I see Tom in blue and red.
Q: In your personal opinion, did the fact that the Eagles went after Coach McAdoo speed up the process a bit?
A: I think it was a bit of a catalyst to speed up the process. With the open head coach opportunities across the league and the number of candidates, it kind of becomes sort of a game of musical chairs. A couple of chairs were pulled, a couple of guys got jobs. John Mara, Jerry, and I were very focused on getting the right guy. When we first interviewed Ben we felt very, very positive for some of the reasons we all articulated last week and this morning. I think the Eagles situation did accelerate our decision, but at the same time, at the end of the meeting with Ben on Wednesday, we knew we were going to make the move and contact Benís representativeís right after he left the office. The Eagles situation, we werenít totally aware of what it was Wednesday afternoon. We knew Ben was our guy. Weíve kind of learned more about the Eagles situation subsequent to reaching out to Benís representativeís than we did Wednesday afternoon.
Q: Just going back a little bit, why did you feel that at the end of the season that it was time to move on from Tom? Obviously you still a lot of respect for him and the job heís able to do.
A: Look, after 12 years and getting to know not only a great head coach, but a fantastic human being, I felt it was time for the next chapter in New York Giants head coaching. Three or four disappointing were a factor. I like change when change is organic, not arbitrary. I felt John Mara felt in discussing this with me and Jerry that it was time for the next chapter. Because Tom Coughlin is such a gentleman and such a decent human being, the conversations were very, veryóI donít want to say easy because itís not an easy topicóbut Tom was a gentleman, a professional, and totally understood that his 12 years with the Giants were significant, appreciated that resulted in two Super Bowls. As the 16th head coach, it was a spectacular run. At the same time, time for a change.
Q: Obviously Ben was part of Tomís staff the last two years. What makes you confident that this is enough of a change?
A: I think, as Ben articulated this morning, to quote him, this staff is fluid. He used that expression a couple of times this morning. Iím sure in the last 45 minutes, one of the things heís been focusing on since the end of the press conference is staffing. I do believe that Ben understands how important staffing is, how important his relationship with Jerry Reese is going to be. When Ben said this morning that itís going to be ďevolution not revolutionĒóI get it. I think thatís a great phrase and I think it is going to be one of the qualities of how he approaches his head coaching position. Heís smart, heís got a tremendous amount of experience for his age. One of the reporters brought up that 14 years ago he was coaching high school. He didnít rise to the position heís in today because of any of the jobs, starting when he a high school coach, were gifted to him. He earned those jobs, heís earned the positions heís had. He earned the position at the Packers and working with McCarthy. The arc of his career rise is, I think, something that should be acknowledged because itís pretty remarkable. Every step along the way of his professional journey has been ascending, not descending. Heís really, in my opinion, earned the position we have given to him. I also think heís humble. When he sort of mentioned a lot of people from his past who he wanted to thank, for me that was noteworthy that he mentioned players. I saw that as a man who is acknowledging not only coaches heís worked with, but players who have had an impact on his career and who Ben has impacted their careers. Thereís a real humanity to acknowledging players. I just find him to be everything we want in our head coach. I guess, starting today, Iím very excited about the reality that Ben is the New York Giants head coach.