The New York Giants cleaned house on Monday, firing GM Jerry Reese and head coach Ben McAdoo. The team is 2-10 this season, rattled with injury and the roster as a whole is devoid of depth. Yes, there has been recent success with Super Bowl titles in 2007 and 2011 but other than those great runs, zero playoff wins in the past decade. For an organization that considers itself one of the league’s stalwarts, this is unacceptable. Co-owner John Mara let Reese and McAdoo know they were done Monday morning and immediately began to set his eyes towards the future, saying during Monday’s press conference:
We agreed wholesale that changes needed to be made to this organization to get us back to the team we expect to be. We also agreed that it was pointless to wait any longer to make these changes.
The we, of course referring to himself and fellow co-owner Steve Tisch. Make no mistake about it, this is a pivotal moment for the Giants as a franchise and Mara knows this is on him.
With the recommendation of then GM Ernie Acorsi, Mara believed it was time to promote assistant GM Jerry Reese to the big chair. He also approved of the McAdoo hiring. These were his hires. With Reese and McAdoo gone the Giants are turning the page, and Mara has the opportunity to help the team forge a new identity moving forward.
Stability, promoting from within, and having connections to the Giants organization are all very important to Mara; as evidenced by the fact that Acorsi has been hired as a consultant to lead the next GM search. Acorsi is a good football man and has been a consultant for other teams looking for a GM and coach, including the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. But he’s also 76 and part of the Giants past. It’s time the Giants look to the future with their next regime. Why not use this as an opportunity to look at diverse and innovative minds to lead the charge? No retreads or the same four or five names that come up every time there is a head coach or general manager opening. Look outside the organization, maybe even outside the NFL.
For most fans the “sexy” hire is going to be the head coach as most don’t think about the nuts and bolts of the day-to-day operation. But, the team will not hire a head coach without having a GM in place who will then select a coach. Doesn’t make sense to hire a coach that doesn’t share the same philosophy or viewpoint with the GM. Where should the Giants look for a new GM? What qualities should this person possess? Obviously an understanding of the game and league are paramount. How the salary cap works, how to exploit draft and trade loopholes, a clear vision, and the ability to identify the right people and empower them to make decisions.
A few names come to mind, and sorry Giants fans they don’t include: Bill Parcels or Phil Simms.
The Giants could certainly begin the process of forging a new direction for the franchise with any of the afore-mentioned names. Once they select a GM, a coach is the next task and the GM would have to find his/her guy.
The characteristics needed for a head coach are similar to that of a GM. Must know the game, must have a clear coaching philosophy, and have the ability to identify talent in others and motivate them to succeed.