The upcoming search for the new Head Coach and/or General Manager for the New York Giants is a critical moment for the franchise’s immediate and long term success.
In the coming weeks, the New York Giants will once again be searching for possibly a new head coach and general manager for the second time in three years.
To put it as simple as possible, after having four head coaches from 1992-2015, the G-Men will most likely be following the lead of their fourth head coach in five years when the 2020 season kicks off. That is almost half of the amount of wins for this franchise since the start of the 2017 season (11).
The first of the recent changing of the guards came after the 2015 season, when the legendary Tom Coughlin stepped down as head coach and cut onions in our faces with his heartfelt goodbye message to Eli Manning.
At that time, this team was in a different position than it is now. The Giants weren’t great, but they weren’t fighting for top-three draft picks every year either. They were very much mediocre, having gone 28-36 in the four seasons since winning the Super Bowl in 2011. However, Eli Manning was coming off arguably the best two-year stretch in his career statistically, and coupled with an up-and-coming superstar in Odell Beckham Jr., the pieces looked to be there.
An 11-5 record and NFC Wild Card berth the following year confirmed that sentiment, and even though Eli and company saw their season end at the hands of Aaron Rodgers, the direction of the franchise seemed promising. Especially considering the defensive resurgence of Big Blue that year, led by All-Pro Landon Collins and newly acquired assets like Janoris Jenkins and “Snacks” Harrison.
Then 2017 happened.
A 3-13 campaign (the franchise’s worst since 1983) was highlighted by drama, injuries, bad coaching, an offense with no pulse, and a historically bad defense. After head coach Ben McAdoo had reportedly lost control of the locker room, he and longtime general manager Jerry Reese were fired in December of 2017 with the team sporting a 2-10 record.
Now the Mara’s and the New York Giants were in unfamiliar territory. Firing a coach mid-season? Looking for a new head coach after not even a full two seasons since the last one? The new search for the head of the team and a new general manager landed us the men who we have grown to love and adore today; Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman.
Gettleman, who had been the general manager for the Carolina Panthers from 2013-2017, helped build a team that went 51-28-1 in the regular season during that time. In that 5-year time-frame, the Panthers also had four playoff appearances, three NFC South titles, and one Super Bowl appearance.
Gettleman was an old school guy with a great talent for scouting players and finding gems through the NFL Draft. His no-nonsense attitude appealed to a lot of the fan base and the obvious success he had in Carolina made this move seem like a win-win.
As for Pat Shurmur, he was named the New York Giant’s head coach coming off a 2017 season in which he turned Case Keenum into an MVP candidate and led one of the best offenses in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings.
He was labeled as a QB guru that would be able to develop an offense for Eli Manning to get the ball into his playmakers hands, which now included second year tight end Evan Engram and slot receiver Sterling Shepard to go along with superstar wideout OBJ.
It seemed to be a match made in heaven (peterparkerbosslaughing.gif).
Critics of the Shurmur hire pointed to his miserable record as a head coach for the Cleveland Browns in 2011 and 2012, where he went 9-23. But hey, everyone loses in Cleveland, right? That couldn’t be held against him.
I don’t have to go into much detail about what has unfolded for this team since those hires. It is generally understood now that Gettleman’s failure to begin the rebuild mode in the off-season of 2017 has set this franchise back years.
His misconception of the talent and where the team was at the time, coupled with a variety of head-scratching free agent signings and roster moves have lead us to the position the New York Giants are in now – pleading for losses to get a higher draft pick for the third straight year.
So, here we are. As I’m writing this sentence, the G-Men are 3-11 and have just now equaled their win total of 2016 from the previous three seasons combined. Pat Shurmur proves week-in and week-out why he is not the right man to lead the team, and Gettleman continues to contradict himself with dumb moves and signings.
Whether or not Gettleman remains the general manager seems to be more up in the air than the fate of Pat Shurmur at the moment, who appears to be all but gone once that clock hits zero in the fourth quarter of week 17.
There are a lot of possible Shurmur-replacements floating around, the main one being Carolina’s previous head coach Ron Rivera, who was fired mid-season. His success in Carolina coupled with his relationship with Gettleman makes him an obvious fit, but that’s a discussion for another time.
When it comes to the finding the next head coach and/or general manager, the end result(s) could be looked back on as one of the more important moments in the history of the New York Giants.
There are a few reasons for this. One, the utter failures that the previous three seasons have been, coupled with the absolute air ball hiring of the last two head coaches has now set a precedent. The New York Giants are a joke, not much better than the Cleveland Browns or any of the other bottom dwellers of the NFL.
Losing creates a culture of losing, just like winning does the opposite. As it stands, the New York Giants are on pace to have the worst three-year stretch in the history of the franchise since 1974-1977, where they went 10-32.
The more you lose, the harder it is to establish consistently competitive team. The Cleveland Browns are a great example of this, especially this year. One of the most talented rosters in the NFL, yet still can’t produce a winning season.
Coaching is important in the NFL, and if the upcoming hiring process doesn’t produce some stability or signs of movement in the right direction, this downward spiral will only get worse.
The next, and perhaps the most important reason this is a critical moment for the foreseeable future of the New York Giants, is the amount of young talent on the roster.
More from GMEN HQ
- Workout clip of Evan Neal training with former All-Pro OT has Giants fans excited
- NFL Draft Schedule of Events: How to Navigate Draft Weekend
- 4 NY Giants who must step their game up in 2023
- This SEC CB at No. 25 overall for the Giants is gaining steam
- When is the NFL Draft?
Unlike McAdoo and Shurmur, who inherited teams in a win-now mode with rosters heavily comprised of NFL veterans and experienced players, the next head coach will lead a team that is predominantly rookie or second/third year players.
Shurmur is experiencing this fact now, as 23 players on the current 53-man roster are either rookies or in their second year in the league. Additionally, 8 of their 10 draft picks from the 2019 draft have started at least one game this season, the most of any team in the NFL.
The G-Men have a talented roster to begin with (if relatively healthy), but specifically the young talent on the roster is one of the best in the NFL. The proven playmakers as well as the potential of some others is ridiculous, and that’s on both sides of the ball.
Will Hernandez, Saquon Barkley, Darius Slayton, Daniel Jones, BJ Hill, Dexter Lawrence, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine, Oshane Ximines, Kaden Smith, Lorenzo Carter, Nick Gates….how could reading those names not be exciting as a New York Giants fan?
This is why coaching matters. Understanding how to not only get your players to play how they are capable of on a consist basis, but to put them in positions to be the best they can be is how you start winning ball games.
Fumbling the bag on the next head coach and/or general manager hire will absolutely waste the primes of almost all of the above mentioned players. Which in turn means the Giants keep losing games, then trade away the good players for draft capital, and stay in a constant, slow-churning pit of misery.
Lastly, somewhat tied to the last point, is the fact that this organization has their next franchise quarterback. If Gettleman is credited with anything it should be that he saw in Jones something that just about every other person in sports didn’t.
This is where the success lies for the franchise going forward, immediately and long-term. As of right now it appears we have our guy; Eli’s successor and the hopeful face of the franchise for the next decade and a half.
In an ever-growing quarterback league, where it’s as important as ever in the history of the NFL to have a talented quarterback, finding the right guy for your franchise is the difference between competing for Super Bowls and finishing last in the division. The Browns, Redskins, Denver…the list goes on of teams in a constant cycle of quarterback inconsistency and mediocrity.
NFL quarterbacks, at least the good ones, grow a lot between years one and two. And as time goes on they should get better and better. The next head coach will be getting Daniel Jones in year two with no Eli Manning in his ear and complete control of the offense. That alone is enough to make this a critical hire and moment for New York Giants football.
Does Jones develop into the quarterback he’s shown to be capable of being? Or is he mismanaged and become a victim of continued front office mismanagement and chaos? It’s a literal fork in the road for Jones’ career and what the next 10-15 years could look like for this franchise.
To the front office of the New York Giants, on behalf of all your loyal and disgruntled followers, please don’t mess this up.