The New York Giants have fired head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese.
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will be the interim head coach. He was previously head coach of the then-St. Louis Rams from 2009-11 after his first tenure as Giants defensive coordinator. Spagnuolo’s record was 10-38, including a 1-15 2009 season.
McAdoo came to the Giants as offensive coordinator in 2014 after spending the previous eight seasons as an assistant coach on Mike McCarthy’s Green Bay Packers staff. He worked with quarterback Eli Manning, who had one of his best statistical seasons in 2014. Manning had the highest completion percentage of his career (63.1) to go along with 4,410 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.
McAdoo succeeded Tom Coughlin as head coach after the 2015 season. His first year appeared to be promising. The Giants went 11-5 and made their playoff appearance since winning Super Bowl XLVI. The team appeared poised to take the next step this season.
The next step never happened. The Giants opened 2017 with five consecutive losses and are currently sit in the NFC’s basement at 2-10. It was so horrible that Giants ownership issued a statement in support of McAdoo after an embarrassing loss to the previously winless San Francisco 49ers three weeks ago.
The Giants have also been struck by the injury bug with a league-leading 20 players on injured reserve. Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall were lost for the season in the same game: a Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at MetLife Stadium.
Reports surfaced throughout the season that McAdoo had lost the Giants’ locker room, beginning when he called Manning out after a poor performance in the home opener against the Detroit Lions. He suspended cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins for violations of team rules earlier in the season. It was his benching of Manning, however, that proved to be McAdoo’s undoing.
Giants ownership wouldn’t even guarantee McAdoo’s job security after the way Manning’s benching was handled.
“There’s no guarantees in life,” co-owner John Mara said last Wednesday. “We made our statement on that a couple of weeks ago, but there’s no guarantees in life.”
The Giants averaged 23.8 points per game in 2014 and 26.2 points per game in 2015. Both seasons ended with records of 6-10. In 2016, the Giants dropped to 19.4 points per game (26th overall) but were carried by the strength of a defense that allowed the second fewest points in the league. The Giants average 15.8 points per game this season. Only the winless Cleveland Browns score fewer points per game.
McAdoo also wasn’t a big hit with Giants fans. They made fun of the suit he wore on the day he was introduced as Giants head coach as well, his hair and mustache, and the way he looked during press conferences. The general consensus was that McAdoo was in over his head and should have been fired after the 49ers game.
McAdoo is the third Giants coach to be fired in the middle of a season. Bill Arnsparger was fired after an 0-7 start in 1976 while LeRoy Andrews was fired in the middle of the 1930 season.
Reese, a former player and graduate of Tennessee-Martin, began his career with the Giants in 1994 as a college scout. He spent ten years a scout before being named director of player personnel in 2004. In 2007, Reese was named general manager, succeeding the veteran Ernie Accorsi.
In Reese’s first season as general manager, the Giants selected Aaron Ross, Steve Smith, Jay Alford, Kevin Boss, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Zak DeOssie in the NFL Draft. These players would go on to play roles on the team that won Super Bowl XLII. The Giants had six winning seasons with Reese as general manager (90-82 regular season record, 8-2 postseason) and two Super Bowls.
Reese has been criticized for some of his draft day selections. Yes, he did select Beckham, Landon Collins, and Evan Engram. He also had first-round busts like Ereck Flowers. The Giants only have one player (Justin Pugh) on the roster from their 2011-13 draft classes.
Assistant general manager Kevin Abrams will take over for Reese on an interim basis.