Ben McAdoo defended his “philosophy” of practicing at 80 percent speed on Saturdays or “launch day,” which an anonymous player called “wild” on Wednesday and blamed for “(running) us into the ground” in an ESPN report.
“Same for three years,” McAdoo said, referring to former coach Tom Coughlin instituting the practice in 2015. “We’re on the field usually 48-to-53 minutes. Some guys like it, some guys don’t. There’s a philosophy to it. I believe in it. I think building guys up on Wednesday and Thursday, … bringing them back down on Friday, recovering them and touching a little bit of speed the day before the game will get you ready to ignite.”
Justin Pugh reminded that “it’s the same coach, same practice schedule as last year,” and no one was complaining then when the Giants went 11-5 and made the playoffs.
But it’s important to note that the Giants have been decimated by injuries this season and that McAdoo was an assistant in Green Bay from 2006-2013, where Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has taken criticism for hard Saturday practices, too.
“They practice on Saturdays and it seems like every time we’ve had a Packers game somebody’s gone down in a Saturday workout. It’s remarkable,” FOX analyst Troy Aikman said on the NFC Championship Game broadcast last winter.
“Same for three years,” Ben McAdoo said, referring to former coach Tom Coughlin instituting the practice in 2015.
Giants offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, who signed as a free agent this past offseason, told the Daily News on Thursday that never has had such a heavy day-before-game day schedule as he does now in New York. But he also said it’s important to respect and buy into what the head coach is preaching.
“It’s my first time ever going through an 80% practice on a Saturday. I’ve never heard of that,” Fluker said. “It’s my first time doing it. Do I like it? Eh. It’s not my call. I’m not the coach. But if he wants to do it, I mean, I don’t really have a choice but to do it, that’s my job.
“You can’t complain about my job,” Fluker added, with perspective. “You could be working at Walmart right now making $ 20,000 a year trying to find a way to survive. We ain’t doing that. We’re getting paid millions of dollars to play football. How many people can say that? So be appreciative. If you can’t go (on Saturdays) tell coach ‘I can’t go, I don’t wanna do it.’ If you wanna do it, that’s your choice. You’re blessed to be where you are.”
Giants shutdown corner Janoris Jenkins finally addressed his one-game suspension for skipping an Oct. 30 practice and not checking in with McAdoo until the next morning, but he was blunt.
Without Janoris Jenkins, the Giants defense allowed 51 points at home to the Rams.
“I just didn’t show up,” Jenkins said of skipping the first practice coming out of the Giants’ bye week. “Me and coach talked about it, and we’re moving forward … That’s over, that’s previous days. I’m on to football.”
Without Jenkins, the Giants defense allowed 51 points at home to the Rams in what defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo admitted Thursday was an “embarrassing” performance. McAdoo said Wednesday Jenkins will reassume his starting role.
Asked about anonymous player comments that McAdoo has lost the locker room, Jenkins — one of two DBs suspended this season along with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie — said: “I don’t be on social media like that, as far as Twitter. I’m just on Instagram. I don’t know what happened. I can’t say. I’m just here to play football.”
Jenkins’ Instagram account sure is interesting, though. Earlier this week he posted a photo of himself sitting behind a barred fence with the caption: “Da Story!!!”