John Mara and Steve Tisch did the right thing.
They both were intimidated by the fact of firing another head coach after two years. The worst crowd in many years at the Giants’ home finale was the final straw.
Head coach Joe Judge was fired, and GM Dave Gettleman was forced into retirement. Judge got too big for his own football britches, and Gettleman’s gaffs caught up with him.
Judge’s brash, arrogant style didn’t produce enough wins. He had the button-up style ownership coddled as well as a New England pedigree. Even though Judge would be a rookie head coach, It seemed like a lock.
But it came down to wins and losses. Wins mean money, and fans in the seats. In the end, Mara and Tisch couldn’t wait for Judge to develop as a first-year head coach. Life in the NFL today as an unsuccessful head coach isn’t a long one.
Even though Mara and Tisch cleared the table, they now have to reset it the proper way. They need to go outside the Giants’ usual realm of their football family connections.
They both have to make the right moves. One move probably will be a first-time GM hire, and the other could be a seasoned or first-time coach. They have to find the right mix. And the clock is ticking.
Yet, both Mara and Tisch again should be hurried to have someone in place in the next two weeks. The problem with that is the other teams needing head coaches and some needing GMs. The Texans just joined the Bears, Jaguars, Vikings, and Dolphins, all who also are shopping for a head coach.
The GM interview process with some of the hottest candidates from Buffalo, Kansas City, Tennessee, Arizona, and San Francisco all likely in the mix. They are all either assistant GM or personnel types, but they all lack the experience of a general manager.
Now 19 wins and 46 losses through a Judge-Gettleman era, Mara and Tisch face the pressure. Judge and Gettleman weren’t exactly Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson working together.
Is it time to hire one of the veteran ex-head coaches like Josh McDaniel, Doug Pederson, Bill O”Brien , or Jim Caldwell? Or take a shot at ex-Dolphins head coach Brain Flores, who reportedly was fired over a power struggle? Does Jim Harbaugh fit here? Not really –see Judge.
Baltimore defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, who interviewed for Judge’s job, and Bills’ offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier are Mara/Tisch prototypes.
Buffalo assistant GM Joe Schoen is a hot commodity and could bring one of the coordinators with him. Chiefs personnel guy Ryan Poles could bring offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who seemed like a shoo-in for a job over the past three years.
Mara and Tisch need to look outside their box, and make a Giant splash. They need to keep a sharp eye on the landscape and lock up their candidate before the opposition. Does their new GM hire the head coach, or will they primarily make the choice?
More importantly, though, they have to get it right.