In Ben McAdoo’s final season with the New York Giants, things had gotten wildly out of control. Players were breaking team rules, getting into with coaches on the practice field and ripping each other in the media.
It wasn’t a good look and it didn’t reflect well on McAdoo, which is why the Giants moved on from the young head coach and sought out someone more “adult.”
But just how divided that locker-room became has remained relatively bottled up. Until now, that is.
Former Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich, who was released prior to the start of the 2018 season, recently sat down with CBS Sports Radio to discuss general manager Dave Gettleman and quarterback Eli Manning.
However, at the very end of the interview, Herzlich shared some interesting thoughts on McAdoo and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
“It would drive me absolutely crazy,” Herzlich said of Antonio Brown’s antics in Pittsburgh before continuing, “it would drive me nuts. First of all, that starts with the head coach, and as much as I love Mike Tomlin and as much as he might not deserve the blame for these antics, I saw it happen to Ben McAdoo.
“He came in, we had a good season, and Odell started doing things that were distractions for the team. And Ben McAdoo, who is a young coach — which Mike Tomlin is not — let those things go for a long period of time. Then when it was time to put his foot down, he could only put his foot down to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. There was this unfair balance of power: ‘This guy can break the rules, but I can’t?’ It’s a double standard. Once you lose the respect of the locker room, then you have a tough time coming back.”
Herzlich isn’t one to casually throw out such statements, so clearly he felt emotionally about this. He also implied that general manager Dave Gettleman doesn’t “see a future” for Eli Manning in blue, but that seemed to be more speculation than anything else.