The playoffs are apparently just one big distraction for the New York Giants, who are a virtual lock to make the postseason for the first time since 2011. And apparently talking about it is a no-no for the man who led them there.
Ben McAdoo has overseen the turnaround of the Giants franchise, a team that was 6-10 for consecutive seasons and is now primed for the playoffs. McAdoo (and $200 million in offseason spending) is a major reason why the Giants have rebounded from a string of disappointing seasons but the man with the gameplan is being mum when it comes to playoff talk concerning his 10-4 team.
It is getting to the point of annoyance as McAdoo simply won’t acknowledge that his team is poised for a major moment under his leadership, that they’ve accomplished an obvious goal of making the playoffs. He said it “doesn’t register at this point.”
“Doesn't have anything to do with the game on Thursday night,” McAdoo said on Tuesday when asked about the team’s playoff possibilities. “We have to be ready to play a game on a short week Thursday night against a division rival.”
Earlier in the week, defensive tackle Damon Harrison was asked about the Giants defense and if the unit wants to be one of the best in the NFL. He responded by saying that the ranking of the defense isn’t their priority but that “Our goal is obviously to make it to the playoffs and put a fifth trophy in the case.”
If the players can talk about goals, then why can’t McAdoo at least tip his cap to the hard work of this team in getting to the playoffs? It is a quixotic quest on his part to refuse to publicly acknowledge the obvious.
Four times during a news conference this week, McAdoo was asked about playoff possibilities. Four times he had the chance to at least talk about the first goal his team to get into the playoffs. It was a chance publicly to "atta boy" his team a little. He didn’t have to gush.
Four times he refused to answer the question, pivoting instead to talking about the Thursday night game at the Philadelphia Eagles. And all four times he did so without so much as even mention the dreaded P-word.
“It's just something to talk about, it's a distraction if you let it be,” McAdoo said. “We need to be focused on the game on Thursday night, on getting ready to play Philadelphia. That's what this week is all about.”
Perhaps the bigger distraction is not even talking about it at all.