EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Giants head coach Ben McAdoo classified the quotes from anonymous players ripping him as "fake news," while speaking with the media on Friday.
On Thursday, the day after two anonymous players blasted him to a reporter, McAdoo's response boiled down to one simple question:
Why didn't the unhappy player come to him first?
"First things first: I have an open-door policy," McAdoo said in an unscheduled interview after practice on Thursday. "So any player that has anything to say is welcome to come in the front door and talk. I had a couple of conversations over the last couple of weeks and I welcome those conversations.
"And the next thing is pretty simple: It's hard to help a player when they don't put their name on a quote. So if they need some help, come see me. I'm the guy that can help them."
Clearly, the two players who went to ESPN with their complaints never tried to talk to McAdoo first. The complaints from the players were wide-ranging, from McAdoo's Saturday practice routine, to his fine system, to his interaction with players during the week and on game day, and even a few shots at defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and his defensive scheme.
McAdoo acknowledged only that not every player likes his Saturday schedule -- which has his players go through a short practice at "80 percent" rather than a typical walkthrough. As for the rest, he seemed to broadly brush those off as the words of a chronic complainer.
"The first day of training camp we get together and I talk about the difference between bitching and complaining," McAdoo said. "And there's a difference to me, because nobody wants to be around a constant complainer. That doesn't help the team. That doesn't help the chemistry. That doesn't help anything get any better. But each player maybe have a bitch. And if you've got a bitch, I can understand that because if you don't, I'm not doing it right."
McAdoo insisted that he didn't take the criticism personal, and that he remained focused on the Giants game in San Francisco on Sunday. The same was true of Spangnuolo, who said "I don't know anonymous" when asked about the anonymous quotes.
"We don't know if it was made up. We don't know if it was actually said," he said. "So I'm not going to comment."
McAdoo said he didn't doubt the comments were made, but he did say it's possible they didn't come from a player on his 53-man roster. Given the nature of the comments, and the specific criticism of Spagnuolo, it seemed clear to everyone - even the Giants players - that they came from someone on the defensive side of the ball.
McAdoo, though, said he had no plans to address the quotes with his team.
"There's no name on the quotes so to me there's nothing to address," he said. "Get some names on the quotes and I'll find out who I need to help and I'll help them."
McAdoo did point out, though, that the things the players were complaining about aren't new. The Saturday practices and the atypical schedule have been in place for three years. And the fines and the rules that lead to them have been in place for both years he's been the Giants head coach.
Besides, McAdoo said, "I don't fine players. Players fine themselves. We have rules in place. The standards aren't going to change. We're going to hold guys accountable."
Most of the players that spoke in the locker room on Thursday seemed to have McAdoo's back, and certainly weren't willing to air any gripes about practices or rules. Perhaps that's why McAdoo insisted that he wasn't worried that two anonymous players and their quotes would have any adverse affect on his locker room.
"No, listen, I'm not concerned about it," McAdoo said. "I believe we have talented men of integrity in the locker room. I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. I have confidence in the locker room. I believe in those guys. If a player needs help, my door's open."