McA­doo catches up with Pack; Beck­ham seeks catches

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Ge­naro C. Ar­mas

Gi­ants coach Ben McA­doo will catch up with old friends when he re­turns to Lam­beau Field.

Odell Beck­ham Jr. just wants to make more catches. Maybe Beck­ham will start mak­ing head­lines again for his re­ceiv­ing tal­ents when the Gi­ants visit the Green Bay Pack­ers tonight. This week, the chat­ter around the league con­cern­ing Beck­ham has mainly been about the wide­out’s tantrums. McA­doo wants Beck­ham to chan­nel that frus­tra­tion into pro­duc­tion .

“No, I like him as a salty, com­pet­i­tive player. That’s when he plays at his best,” McA­doo said.

That hasn’t been the case the last two weeks for the Gi­ants, who lost to Wash­ing­ton on Sept. 25, and Min­nesota on Mon­day night.

Now comes a quick turn­around for another tough road trip to face the rested Pack­ers, who are com­ing off a Week 4 bye. McA­doo’s his­tory with Green Bay of­fers a unique per­spec­tive on the matchup. McA­doo was an as­sis­tant coach for eight sea­sons un­der Pack­ers coach Mike McCarthy, spend­ing six years over­see­ing the tight ends and his fi­nal two years at Lam­beau men­tor­ing quar­ter­back Aaron Rodgers. McA­doo moved on to the Gi­ants in 2014 to be­come of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor be­fore get­ting his first shot as a head coach this sea­son.

McA­doo is still fa­mil­iar with some of the Pack­ers’ per­son­nel, and what McCarthy likes to do. Like­wise, some of the Gi­ants’ of­fen­sive looks bear sim­i­lar­i­ties to how the Pack­ers op­er­ate.

“But you have to be good on your­self and scout on both ends and re­al­ize it’s been a few years since Ben was here,” Rodgers said. “We’ve changed some things around.”

What hasn’t changed is the ap­pre­ci­a­tion that McCarthy and Rodgers had for McA­doo’s time in Green Bay. Ex­pect McA­doo to re­ceive some good-na­tured rib­bing, too.

“He’s also fa­mous for his lay­er­ing — you know the short sleeves un­der long sleeves un­der short sleeves, al­ways ap­pre­ci­ate that about him,” Rodgers quipped. “He’s quick with a quip right back at you and they can be cut­ting.”

Other notes and things to watch tonight:

EYES ON ODELL

Maybe this is the game that Beck­ham starts hav­ing fun again. The star wide­out at mid­week said in an in­ter­view with ESPN that he was “not hav­ing fun any­more” with foot­ball.

But Beck­ham’s frus­tra­tions won’t have an im­pact on how the Pack­ers pre­pare for the re­ceiver, McCarthy said.

“We’re fo­cus­ing on the video, what each player’s strengths are ... Just re­ally fo­cus­ing on their schemes,” he said. The Pack­ers’ pass de­fense has been por­ous the last cou­ple weeks with­out top cor­ner­back Sam Shields (con­cus­sion), al­low­ing ca­reer highs to re­ceivers to Detroit’s Marvin Jones and Min­nesota’s Ste­fon Diggs over the last two games.

AIR FORCE

Beck­ham isn’t the only threat in the re­ceiv­ing corps, with rookie Ster­ling Shep­ard and vet­eran Vic­tor Cruz also off to good starts with quar­ter­back Eli Man­ning.

The pro­duc­tion, though, hasn’t trans­lated into points. The Gi­ants are sixth in to­tal yardage and 27th in scor­ing. “That’s just turnovers and ob­vi­ously had a few games (when) we got in the red zone and weren’t able to get enough touch­downs and turned the ball over down there,” Man­ning said. “We’ve got to hold on to the ball and we just have to fin­ish the drives.”

AIR FORCE, PART 2

Pack­ers re­ceiver Jordy Nel­son seems to be ac­cli­mat­ing into the of­fense just fine af­ter miss­ing the 2015 sea­son with a knee in­jury. He has four touch­down catches in the first three games, though Nel­son’s tim­ing with Rodgers re­ally seemed to re­turn in a 34-27 win over Detroit be­fore the bye.

Nel­son caught two scores in that game. Keep an eye on whether the Gi­ants will have Eli Ap­ple (ham­string) and Do­minique Rodger­sCro­mar­tie (groin) avail­able against the Pack­ers af­ter both cor­ner­backs missed the Vik­ings game. Oth­er­wise, Nel­son could have another big day.

REST STOP

The Pack­ers had key de­fend­ers re­turn to prac­tice this week fol­low­ing a bye, in­clud­ing line­backer Clay Matthews (an­kle/ham­string) and safety Mor­gan Bur­nett (groin). It should only strengthen a run de­fense spear­headed by line­man Mike Daniels that’s hold­ing op­po­nents to a league-best 42.7 yards per game. The Gi­ants are rush­ing for 93.8 yards per game, 19th in the league, and the avail­abil­ity of RB Rashad Jennings be­cause of a thumb in­jury has been in ques­tion.

PASS RUSH

While pass cov­er­age has been a prob­lem for the Pack­ers, the de­fense is get­ting good pres­sure on quar­ter­backs. Green Bay has a deep ro­ta­tion of edge rush­ers led by Matthews and vet­eran Julius Pep­pers.

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