Patriots

Giants fire head coach McAdoo, GM Reese

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Giants fire head coach McAdoo, GM Reese

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The New York Giants made a rare in-season house cleaning, firing coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese on Monday, less than a year after the team made the playoffs for the first time since 2011, a person familiar with the situation said.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not made an announcement. Co-owner John Mara planned to hold an afternoon news conference.

The dismissals came a day after the Giants lost in Oakland, with quarterback Eli Manning benched and the team dropping to 2-10. The firings cap an injury-marred season highlighted by the loss of catalyst wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Oct. 8.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will take over as interim coach for the final four games. He coached the St. Louis Rams from 2009-11.

Assistant general manager Kevin Abrams will take over on an interim basis for Reese, who became general manager in 2007 and had two Super Bowl wins on his resume. But the Giants missed the playoffs four times in the last five years, and this year his failure to address offensive line problems played a major role in a horrible season.

The moves came less than a week after the 40-year-old McAdoo made one of his biggest mistakes of his short tenure, mishandling the decision to bench Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP. Mara was forced to address the matter the following day and said he wished the decision had been dealt with better.

McAdoo had a 13-16 record, and his firing is the first mid-season head coaching move by the Giants since Bill Arnsparger was replaced seven games into the 1976 season by John McVay.

The 2-10 mark is the Giants' worst 12-game record since they were 2-10 in 1976, and their worst since the advent of the 16-game schedule in 1978.

A team that traces its NFL origins to 1925, the Giants have been an organization that for decades rarely shakes things up until after the season. Coaches get fired, but it's at the end of a bad run and usually they get an extra season to fix things.

The general's manager's job has been orderly succession. The late George Young turned the team around in the 1980s and was replaced by Ernie Accorsi, who eventually gave way to Reese, who joined the team as a scout and worked his way to director of player personnel before getting the GM position.

Going into this season, no one could have expected that the Giants would be replacing a coach before it finished. They came in with Super Bowl expectations coming off an 11-6 record in McAdoo's first season.

Those expectations ended quickly. The Giants lost their first five games, the last three after the defense failed to hold fourth-quarter leads.

With the losses, word started to emerge that McAdoo was losing the team. His one-game suspensions of popular cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins heightened the problem. According to several reports, some players also griped anonymously about having workouts on Saturdays, something the team also did last season.

Mara and co-owner Steve Tisch had come to McAdoo's defense after an embarrassing loss to the then-winless 49ers on Nov. 12, saying his job was safe until the end of the season. His handling of the Manning benching seemed to seal his fate.

The Giants hired McAdoo away from Green Bay in 2014 to serve as Tom Coughlin's offensive coordinator. He was elevated to head coach on Jan. 14, 2016, less than two weeks after Coughlin was forced out after missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

McAdoo had all the ingredients to succeed. He was young, ran an up-tempo West Coast offense, had worked well with Manning and he seemed to be a coach the players would like. His practices were filled with music and marked by short-interval segments.

McAdoo's first season was exceptional. Led by a revived defense, the team seemingly won every close game in a season in which most of the players stayed healthy. The only problem was the offense, which struggled to score playing with a poor offensive line, no running back and a lack of receivers other than Beckham.

Reese's failure to address the line in the offseason was a major gaffe that led to McAdoo's demise.

The line, which lost center Weston Richburg and guard D.J. Fluker to season-ending injuries and has seen guard-tackle Justin Pugh's time limited by back issues, wasn't the only problem. The receiving corps was decimated by season-ending injuries to Beckham and Brandon Marshall, who never lived up to the hype of his signing, and return man/receiver Dwayne Harris. Sterling Shepard has also been limited by ankle problems and migraines.

Before this move, the shortest stay by a Giants' head coach in recent years was that of Ray Handley — he was fired after the 1992 season. He lasted two years after replacing Bill Parcells. The only other time the team fired a head coach in midseason was in 1930 when LeRoy Andrews was replaced by Benny Friedman and Steve Owen.

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Ex-Patriot Chris Long rips NFL's new National Anthem policy

Ex-Patriot Chris Long rips NFL's new National Anthem policy

On Wednesday, the NFL announced a new policy on players protesting during the National Anthem.

The new policy permits players to stay in the locker room while the anthem plays, but requires them to stand if they come on to the field.

Former Patriots defensive end Chris Long, now with the Eagles, shared his thoughts on the controversial change via Twitter:

His teammate, Malcolm Jenkins, ripped the new policy on Twitter as well.

Devin and Jason McCourty showed their support for Long and Jenkins' statements by reposting them on their Twitter account:

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Source: Tom Brady not at TB12 while teammates next door at OTAs

Source: Tom Brady not at TB12 while teammates next door at OTAs

A source confirms that Tom Brady was not working out at his TB12 sports medicine facility at Patriot Place in Foxboro while his teammates were on the field at OTAs as was previously reported by the Boston Herald.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski, the other notable absence from OTAs, has been at the TB12 facility on the days his teammates were on the field practicing and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who participated in the first day of OTAs, has also been at TB12, according to the source.

The Herald's Karen Guregian reported on Tuesday that both Brady and Gronkowski were at TB12 on Monday, which is right next to Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots were practicing. 

Former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak of 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Zolak and Bertrand" show said Brady likely wasn't even in the country this week.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Wednesday that Brady and Gronk are expected to participate in the mandatory mini-camp at Gillette June 5-7.

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