New Giants head coach Ben McAdoo is determined to be his own coach, but that doesn't mean he won't pay tribute to the legend who stepped down to make it happen.
When McAdoo first arrived, Tom Coughlin told him "don't mess with the clocks," which meant don't change Coughlin's policy of running everything five minutes ahead of schedule. McAdoo did not show up five minutes early for his introductory news conference, but he did vow to keep Coughlin's wish intact.
"We're going to stick with that," McAdoo said on Friday, the day he was formally introduced as head coach. "That's TC time, and that's a part of Giants culture now."
McAdoo, who signed a four-year deal, said he would welcome Coughlin's return to the facility should he accept owner John Mara's offer to join the club in an advisory role.
"I hold myself to a very high standard," McAdoo said. "I'm my biggest critic. Every night I take pride in looking myself in the mirror, and knowing I did my best to get the job done."
He added: "I like the pressure. This is e."
He's right, although the Giants have been high on McAdoo ever since they lured him from Green Bay. During the coordinator search in 2014, the team was deciding between Mike Sullivan, now McAdoo's offensive coordinator, and McAdoo. McAdoo also had offers from the Dolphins and Ravens. But the idea that likely cemented the move was the possibility that he could one day take Coughlin's job when the time was right. The Giants always did their best to dodge any reference to a coach-in-waiting, but people inside the building thought of him as a young Andy Reid from day one.
McAdoo's news conference lacked panache, but that's fine by Giants standards. He outlined his plan and would not comment on supposed changes to the staff. According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, that will include retaining Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator. Joe Philbin is expected to be the team's quarterbacks coach and potentially an assistant head coach, according to Rapoport.
What McAdoo managed to do was peacefully bridge the gap. That's step one in a long grind for one of the most visible men in football.