PHOENIX -- Ben McAdoo's ability to call the offensive plays and be the New York Giants' head coach came under great scrutiny last season as what was once a top-10 offense plummeted to 25th in the league. Even McAdoo's bosses broached the subject of passing off the play-calling duties to his offensive coordinator.
But it doesn't sound like McAdoo is ready or willing to do that -- at least not yet.
McAdoo was coy as ever about the subject during his 45-minute interview at the NFL Owners Meetings on Tuesday, saying only, "My plans are there's a chance I'll call the plays." He insisted that whatever he decides, "It's my decision" and he won't have to convince anyone in the organization that he's making the right choice.
"It's a decision that I'll feel comfortable making when the time comes, whether I do or whether I don't," McAdoo said. "Again, we'll let that play itself out."
It will be interesting to see how it does play itself out, because the facts are stacked against McAdoo's decision to keep the job. In his two years as the Giants offensive coordinator, 2014-15, the Giants ranked 10th and eighth in the NFL offensive rankings and averaged 369.6 yards per game. Last year, as they plummeted in the league rankings, they averaged just 330.7 yards per game.
They also finished 26th in the NFL, averaging just 19.4 points per game, and an offense they expected to be explosive and one of the NFL's best didn't hit 30 points in a game even once.
There were plenty of reasons why: a stagnant rushing attack, a weak offensive line, too many drops by receivers and poor play by quarterback Eli Manning. But it's hard to overlook the obvious: The offense thrived when McAdoo only had to focus on calling the offense. It fell flat when he had other things on his plate.
That was a serious enough concern that McAdoo's bosses, including co-owner John Mara, discussed the situation him, though in the end they left the decision up to their coach.
"That's up to him, it really is,'' Mara told reporters at the owners meetings on Sunday. "We've questioned him about it a couple of times. He's still comfortable doing it. I think he still thinks about passing it off to (offensive coordinator) Mike Sullivan, but I think he's still -- [Packers coach] Mike McCarthy still does it, and that was kind of his mentor. If he's comfortable doing it, it's fine with us, as long as he feels like he can manage the game properly."
Can he? Or did his head-coaching responsibilities really have a detrimental effect on the way he called the offense? "There are positives and negatives with that, if you look at the big picture," McAdoo said.
Asked to be specific, he pointed out that it might be easier to just have one person call the offense and another call the defense, without one person -- a head coach -- having time to play a role in both.
"It's about team game. It's about complementary football. There are three phases that go into play," McAdoo said. "You have to take a look at whether it's easier or more difficult to manage a game when you call it and you add a third cog to the equation. That's part of it."