BRENTFORD, England — Even the Atlantic Ocean is not big enough for Ben McAdoo to separate himself from the Josh Brown problem, a dilemma that is not going away however much the New York Giants head coach might like it to.
After the Giants landed in London ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham Stadium, McAdoo was quizzed further about Brown, the kicker mired in controversy after the release of documents that included an admission from that he had beaten his wife.
McAdoo struggled to bat away questions about Brown and the NFL’s latest ugly scandal involving domestic violence, eventually admitting that the troubled 37-year-old has his support — at least for now.
“We are not going to turn our back on Josh,” McAdoo said while repeating his comments prior to the team’s departure from the United States that no final decision on Brown’s future had been made.
“He is a teammate,” McAdoo added. “He’s a guy we are hoping making strides.”
However new kicker Robbie Gould, who had still not formally signed with the Giants as of Friday afternoon London time, was on his way to join the team and was expected to practice Saturday. Gould spent 11 seasons with the Chicago Bears, becoming their all-time leading scorer, but was released prior to this season due to salary cap considerations.
“You don’t like it when a teammate can’t make a game, but we have to do our job,” quarterback Eli Manning said.
McAdoo admitted his conversation with Brown, in which he informed the veteran kicker that he would not be travelling to London, had been “tough.” It came in the wake of the release of documents by the King County (Wash.) Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, which revealed an admission from Brown that he had "been physically, emotionally and verbally" abusive to his now ex-wife, Molly.
The discomfort of McAdoo, who clearly did not enjoy the focus of his Friday media conference being about such a thorny issue, highlighted the ongoing problem the league has with how it handles such situations.
Pro Bowl Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. told USA TODAY Sports that, despite the upheaval, it was vital that the team “focus on London and focus on the Rams.”
The NFL had already suspended Brown for the first game of this season but has now re-opened its investigation into his conduct following 165 pages of extensive documentation shared with the media earlier this week.
“I just want him to get himself right,” receiver Victor Cruz said. “(I want to) make sure he is able to overcome these things. It is not an easy thing, obviously, involving his personal life.”
Brown is in his 14th NFL season and fourth with New York.