The New York Giants have relieved head coach Joe Judge of his duties, putting an end to his two-year-old tenure.
"(Co-owner) Steve (Tisch) and I both believe it is in the best interest of our franchise to move in another direction," said team president John Mara in a statement released by the team.
"We met with Joe yesterday afternoon to discuss the state of the team. I met again with Joe this afternoon, and it was during that conversation I informed Joe of our decision. We appreciate Joe's efforts on behalf of the organization.
"I said before the season started that I wanted to feel good about the direction we were headed when we played our last game of the season. Unfortunately, I cannot make that statement, which is why we have made this decision."
Judge, the former New England special teams coordinator whose Giants finished 10-23, seemed to leave Giants ownership with little choice but to move on after a strange season that also saw the Giants lose several key players to injury along the way.
After a promising rookie campaign in which the Giants finished 6-10 but in the NFC East hunt right up until the final week of the season, Judge's second campaign fell well short of expectations.
Besides finishing with a 4-13 mark, which is a worse record than the previous year, Judge made several questionable missteps along the way. One of the earliest was his decision not to play his starters until the final preseason game, the team looking unprepared for the first game of the regular season.
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There was also the head-scratching decision to wait until after the bye week to fire offensive coordinator Jason Garrett despite the Giants' struggles on offense.
His conservative play-calling and sideline adventures which included the team having to take timeouts because it wasn't set personnel-wise, to the odd sequence in the regular-season finale in which he called for successive quarterback sneaks deep in his own territory, in essence contradicting what had been a stirring speech he gave at the end of his first campaign about honoring the competitive integrity of the game are all factors that created cracks in people's faith in him.
Add to that a couple of lengthy post-game rants in which he desperately tried to sell people that the team was building a strong culture and was headed in the right direction, and in the end, it left Giants team ownership not feeling optimistic about moving ahead with Judge as their head coach.
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The Giants are at a critical crossroads in their franchise. General manager Dave Gettleman retired Monday, and the team is prepared to interview eight candidates, all of them with no prior connection to the organization's front office, unlike the previous three hires of Ernie Accorsi, Jerry Reese, and Gettleman.
Now they will embark on finding their fifth head coach since Tom Coughlin stepped down in 2016, a string that included Ben McAdoo, interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo, and Pat Shurmur.
"We will hire a general manager, and that person will lead the effort to hire a new head coach," Mara said.