Something had to give.
After their dismal 30-10 loss in Tampa Bay Monday night, Giants’ head coach Joe Judge insinuated that changes likely were coming on his coaching staff.
“We’ve got to put our players in better positions to make plays,” he said. “I take this very personally. I told the players to show up Wednesday ready to go. We’ll have a plan for them.”
When asked if he would attack a certain member of this staff, the always brutally honest responded, “You can put that down. You guys can write that tonight. I won’t debate that point.”
Memo to offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham: Take note, Judge doesn’t mince his words.
Tuesday morning, the embattled Garrett was fired. According to published reports, ex-Browns head coach and current Giants’ offensive assistant Freddie Kitchens will take over.
This likely was the first salvo fired, indicating there will be more to come. It also is a sign of desperation and frustration from Judge, who could be one of the final pieces sent out of the Meadowlands in January. That will depend if this edict came directly from Judge of John Mara.
More importantly, this was the proverbial wake-up call for Judge’s program. This was the equivalent of the midseason baseball manager firing.
Garrett has been under scrutiny most of his tenure since he came on board with Judge last year. Initially, he was considered to be in the running for the Giants’ head coaching job.
Yet, Garrett was the fall guy. Yes, there were plenty of rumblings about a rocky relationship with Judge. The Giants do rank 25th in the NFL in scoring offense with 18.9 points per game. Quarterback Daniel Jones has just one 300-yard-plus passing game–402 vs. the Saints — this season.
Still, Garrett had the Giants’ entire offense together against the Bucs for the first time since Week One. He had a creative play with Andrew Thomas catching a touchdown pass, but there wasn’t too much more.
Whether it is Kitchens or someone else, the real onus will be on them and Judge to resolve the lack of offense.
There won’t be any excuses if the Giants manage to keep the entire unit intact for the final seven games.
And what about the defense? They had another Jekyll/Hyde showing — a 23-16 win over Las Vegas two weeks ago — with just one sack, and allowed an average Tom Brady had his way. Should defensive coordinator Patrick Graham begin to pack his bags?
Judge may be able to save his job with an offensive revamp over the next two months.
The Giants have a relatively soft schedule that begins with the Eagles Sunday, and the G-Men are a 3.5-point favorite.
In a few weeks, however, we’ll know if Garrett was the reason or if this Giants’ team has more problems to worry about.