Giants Fire Pat Shurmur, But Retain Dave Gettleman
One is being shown the door, while the other is staying put. Another half-measure by the New York Giants
After falling to 4-12 to close out the 2019 season, the Giants fired head coach Pat Shurmur on Monday morning. However, general manager Dave Gettleman won’t be joining him, as the Giants are retaining him for next season.
Shurmur finishes his tenure in New York with a 9-23 record through two seasons on the job. Ironically, Shurmur was fired by the Cleveland Browns back in 2012 after accumulating that exact same record through two years.
The former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator stressed how much progress he’s seen behind the scenes and how “historically young” the team was. But it was his job to make chicken salad out of chicken scratch, and he failed to do so. The team looked uninspired these past two seasons, more so in 2019. The defense was the physical embodiment of a revolving door. And the offense, which Shurmur was brought in to improve, looked anemic throughout the season.
Now, co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch will begin their search for a new head coach.
“Steve and I have had many extensive discussions about the state of the Giants,” Mara said in a statement. “This morning, we made the very difficult decision that it would be in the best interest of the franchise that we relieve Pat of his duties. The last three seasons have been extremely disappointing for the organization and our fans. Pat has been a successful and highly-respected NFL coach for 21 years and he is not solely responsible for our record. But we came to the conclusion it is best to have a fresh start with the coaching staff. We very much appreciate how much Pat has done for this franchise. He is a man of character and integrity and the team has conducted itself with pride and professionalism.
“As owners, we take full responsibility for our recent poor record. It is our goal to consistently deliver high-quality football and we will do everything in our power to see that there is a rapid and substantial turnaround.”
Gettleman Surprisingly Spared
On the flip side, Dave Gettleman, who’s responsible for the roster as it stands, will remain with the team for the foreseeable future, according to Mara and Tisch.
“Dave Gettleman is our general manager in 2020 and hopefully for many years after that,” Mara said. “We believe he is the right person to lead us going forward. Dave has a long record of success. We think he’s capable of putting a great team together and he’s going to get that opportunity. To the extent we need to make changes in personnel or the way we do things, we’re going to discuss that.”
“Although our record didn’t reflect it this season, we believe Dave has assembled a strong nucleus of young players that will help us compete for championships in the future,” Tisch said.
The Giants’ 9-23 record the past two seasons shouldn’t only be placed on Shurmur, but Gettleman as well. Gettleman spent money on the wrong free agents, like Nate Solder, Patrick Omameh, Jonathan Stewart, and Kareem Martin. Not to mention, trading for Alec Ogletree and Leonard Williams, both of whom failed to make a serious impact on defense.
Yet, Gettleman is receiving praise for his selections of Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, and Darius Slayton in the past two NFL Drafts. But, some of his picks failed to pan out so far, like Lorenzo Carter, Kyle Lauletta, and DeAndre Baker.
That proved to be enough to save Gettleman, even though reports indicate the head coaching search can be limited due to his presence in the organization. No matter the case may be, Dave Gettleman has received a vote of confidence from Giants ownership.
Head Coaching Options
As of this writing, there are three names that have circulated at the vacant Giants head coaching position.
The most high-profile name is Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, who was previously an assistant offensive line coach under Tom Coughlin back in 2012. Not to mention, Rhule is a New York City native. Rhule is known for bringing Baylor back to its former heights, after being marred by the Art Briles saga.
In fact, New York and Rhule reportedly have a mutual interest.
A source told The Athletic’s Connor Hughes that the Giants is Rhule’s “dream job.” Furthermore, Matt Lombardo of North Jersey Media was told by sources that Rhule would “jump at the opportunity” to join the Giants. The main question is whether Rhule would leave Baylor for the NFL. Additionally, Rhule has a lofty buyout if the Giants were to hypothetically pursue him.
New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is the second name of interest for the Giants, as they requested permission to interview him this offseason. Interestingly enough, McDaniels interviewed for the very same position back in 2018.
According to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, however, McDaniels won’t accept the interview if Dave Gettleman remains with the team.
Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is the third name the Giants have added to their candidacy list. Bieniemy oversaw the rise of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and is responsible for Kansas City’s electric offense.
Names will continue t0 circulate in the coming days and weeks, but the New York Giants simply have to hire the right guy as head coach. Having three in the past five years is bad optics for the once proud organization.
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