The Giants have announced that starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules. The story was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Giants were on their bye last week, and Monday was the first scheduled practice after said bye. Jenkins was among three players missing from yesterday’s practice and when asked about it at the time, head coach Ben McAdoo said they were excused for personal reasons. Turns out nobody from the Giants had heard from Jenkins until his appearance at the team’s facility today. What is going on in East Rutherford? Has McAdoo lost control of this team?
Jenkins is the second starting defensive back to be suspended this season. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was also suspended indefinitely a few weeks ago for a violation of team rules after he was told he would be benched for wildin’ out in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Players voice their displeasure in a variety of different ways. They can get into heated arguments with coaches and/or their teammates. They can make comments through the media, the way they answer or don’t answer certain questions. They can also just not show up to work. If there is ever a sign that a player is not happy with a situation, it’s not showing up. It’s also a clear statement of disrespect. Now, we have yet to hear from Jackrabbit (Jenkins’ preferred name) so we don’t know if he’ll offer any kind of excuse. If he has no excuse, whether he’s mad about the situation or not, he is wrong. But it’s safe to say things have gone from bad to worse for the Giants, and a large portion of that blame has to lie at the feet of the head coach.
The Giants are 1-6 and among the four worst teams in the league. To be fair they have had terrible injury luck this season. Their entire wide receiving corps has been ravaged by injury, and that was to be the strength of the team this season. The team has also had injuries on the defensive side of the ball as well as the offensive line. The pool of talent along the offensive line is not very good and that is the responsibility of GM Jerry Reese. But a head coach has who he has and his job is to have the team prepared every week to go out and compete. When players are skipping practice and not notifying the organization, they are saying something to and about the organization and in this case it’s McAdoo.
Being a head coach in professional sports is an extremely difficult job. But there seems to be a problem many teams, Giants included, have when hiring coaches. The promotion of the offensive or defensive coordinator is the easy choice and teams have been doing it for decades. Just because you can coach offense or defense it doesn’t mean you can be head coach. There are a million things that go on in a game and with a team. The best coaches in sports have tremendous staff’s and empower their staffs to do what they do best. They lead and serve as the chief executive. They understand the psychology of every single member of their staff and all their players. They know how to reach each person in a manner that will lead to high performance. Bill Belichck, Mike Tomlin, and Pete Carroll all do it fairly well, and even they don’t get it right 100% of the time. Given what’s been going on in New Jersey this season, it doesn’t look like McAdoo has this mastered; and it might end up costing him his job.
The Brooklyn Nets dropped a tough one Sunday evening at home to the Denver Nuggets. The Nets led at halftime and came out of the locker room and got blitzed 40-21. Things had been looking good in the early season for the Nets, wins over the Cavaliers, Hawks and Magic had fans optimistic. Then the team laid an egg last Friday against their cross city rivals, the Knicks. You would expect the team to come out yesterday and wipe that foul taste out of their collective mouths. It started off that way, but then a problem that plagued this team all of last season reared its ugly head. The inability to build on successful quarters and closing. This prompted a question along press row (at least the section I sit in). How good are the Nets really?
The Nets don’t have an all-star on their roster, they may have a potential coaches selection in D’Angelo Russell maybe? They have a lot of really solid NBA rotation players and future solid guys (Caris LeVert). The loss of Jeremy Lin for the season was certainly problematic but he’s not an all-star either. It is very difficult for a team without an all-star to win a lot of games in the NBA. But, the Nets can start building good habits and a foundation and culture of effort (which is there) and wins so that maybe one day when they land a star, they can begin thinking about the playoffs.
Where the Nets can make a step forward is in the leadership from the team’s young guys. Players like LeVert, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Spencer Dinwiddie, Allen Crabbe, and D’Angelo Russell. Yes these guys are young and largely unproven, and two of them are brand new to the team. But, the lack of an all-star is an opportunity for one of these guys to step up and learn on the fly. There is no established veteran so no need to worry about stepping on toes. Yes, here is DeMarrre Carroll, Timofey Mozgov, and Trevor Booker but these are not stars. Their play doesn’t suggest that the young guys need to “wait their turn” or “play their role.” Several times during yesterday’s third quarter one of those guys could’ve stepped up and implored the team to pick up its intensity.
It’s still very early, not even Halloween, so it’s too early to say how good or bad the Nets really are. The team is competing hard in spurts, and needs to lock in even more when things start to slip and shots stop falling. We saw it last night. Bad offense seeped into an already bad defense making it even worse.
Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson spoke at length postgame about leadership and what guys need to do when things start slipping during the game.
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