EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Ben McAdoo held what he called a "brutally honest" team meeting on Wednesday. He showed film clips of both the offense and defense to everyone, including a few when specific players seemed to lack the "desire" - to use his word - to finish plays.
The players swear they got the message. They said it was eye-opening to see so many bad plays on film. They said McAdoo's accompanying words were direct and harsh, and they took them to heart.
So there's just one important question: What took him so long?
"I think it would've helped to do it earlier," said Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. "But at least it got done."
That's a small consolation as the Giants begin a long, slow march to the end of one of their most disappointing seasons in many, many years. They are 1-8 with seven weeks and four home games left with nothing to play for except whatever pride they can muster.
They could've used this kind of brutal honesty way back in, say, Week 3 or 4.
"Definitely," DRC said. "But it's about being a pro, though. You give guys a chance to be professionals and understand that they got to hold their self accountable. But at some point, you do have to step in."
That's at least what the embattled Giants coach tried to do on Wednesday morning. McAdoo said "We had some open conversations. Some hard talks. Some plain talks. Some simple talk. Played some film. We were brutally honest with each other. We'll see how the players respond."
McAdoo said he talked to the players about their disappointment, about the idea of "running to adversity," not from it. He talked about the "doubt" surrounding him and the franchise. He called the next few weeks a "great opportunity - probably the greatest opportunity of my life."
The words, though, were not necessarily what got the players attention. It was the film - essentially McAdoo's way of calling out individual players for their poor, or uninspired play - that really seemed to work.
"We needed to get snapped at a little bit," said guard D.J. Fluker. "We do need to get fired up a little bit. That's part of being a coach, part of being a player. You need some fire to you. If you don't get guys going, there's no point. You're losing everybody. If you get guys fired up, pissed off about the things they did, it will make them want to play better."
"To be called out on film in front of everybody, I think it does something to that player," DRC added. "Nobody wants to get called out, I don't care what you say. Ain't nobody want to have a play up there. Then you've got to come back in the locker room and everybody is looking at you like you're that guy."
DRC, like every single player asked about it on Wednesday, believes that something positive will come from the meeting. It's one thing to be called out by the media for quitting. It's another for a position coach to do it in a small meeting. But to see it on film, called out by the head coach, in front of every player on the roster? It's hard to imagine the same players will loaf through plays against the Kansas City Chiefs this week.
"You don't want to be the guy that when we look at film this week and it's the same guys," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "Then it's going to be hard to walk in this locker room and still have trust from all of your teammates."
We'll find out Sunday if the message got through to players, like cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who sure seemed to quit in San Francisco. But it certainly sounds like McAdoo's meeting struck a nerve. And if he did finally find the right button to push for his underachieving players, good for him.
But again, why did it take so long? Why wait until now?
"Because we just corrected the last game," McAdoo said.
Those are the kinds of nonsense non-answers that infuriate everyone around the Giants. Because the real answer is this: McAdoo should've done this earlier. And he knows it. Even if it works wonders over the next several weeks, his "brutally honest" film session is still too little and far too late.