Why the Giants Need a Coaching Change
Since the start of his tenure as head coach of the New York Giants before the 2018 season, Pat Shurmur has a 7-21 record that has been devoid of consistency. And unfortunately for the Giants, they haven’t come any closer to achieving a winning consistency than they did with Ben McAdoo or in the latter years of Tom Coughlin’s career, post-Super Bowl XLVI.
For the record, the Giants were 13-15 in McAdoo’s 28 games regular-season games as head coach before firing him. He also made the postseason in his first season.
With the Giants fourth-quarter collapse versus Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium, it only furthers the narrative that the Giants should fire Shurmur as their head coach.
“At some point, we’ll be good enough to win,” Shurmur said after Sunday’s 31-13 loss.
Shurmur may very well be right. Whether he’ll be the head coach long enough to see it come to fruition is a different question.
Should he be allowed to see the job through to completion? The evidence doesn’t support giving Shurmur another season as laid out in these top four reasons the Giants need to cut their losses and end the Pat Shurmur era now:
Daniel Jones Factor
One of the few bright spots in the early stages of the Shurmur-Dave Gettleman era has been the selection of Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Jones has the arm strength, mobility, confidence, and height, among many other things to be a successful franchise quarterback in this league, and at times has been dubbed “Eli Manning 2.0” for how he’s conducted himself both on and off the field.
Ultimately, Jones should be able to accomplish everything the organization feels he’s capable of. In his short time in the NFL, he’s shown flashes of brilliance. His debut versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earned him NFC Offensive Rookie of the Week honors and began to stimulate some hope that the Giants might have another rookie of the year candidate.
On the flip side, Jones has also shown plenty of growing pains, including his three interceptions versus the Patriots and three fumbles versus the Arizona Cardinals. And it’s fair to wonder if he has the right coach to get him to the elite level, especially when the same issues seem to pop up every week.
Jones needs to take the necessary step forward, not just the rest of this year, but in Year 2 and beyond. The Giants cannot afford to see him go backward, as what has happened with other teams such as the Rams (Jared Goff) and Bears (Mitchell Trubisky).
Find a coach who can elevate Jones’ talents to the next level.
Lack of Growth/ Development of Talent
Last season, Shurmur had the most talented wide receiver in the NFL in Odell Beckham Jr, a superstar running back in Saquon Barkley, and a plethora of big-money additions on defense (Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, Landon Collins, etc.). Yet the Giants could only muster up five wins in what ended up as quarterback Eli Manning’s final full season.
This year the Giants went to more of a youth movement, but it’s fair to argue that they haven’t gotten the most out of the roster he’s been given.
Cornerback DeAndre Baker has struggled and now splits time with Sam Beal. Edge Lorenzo Carter has had a relatively quiet season and guard Will Hernandez hasn’t quite reached the Pro Bowl level that many thought his talents might take him to.
The great coaches in the game can elevate the players they have. Shurmur hasn’t shown he’s been able to do that in two seasons in charge of the Giants.
Loss of “The Giants Way”
WNBC’s Bruce Beck coined this term, speaking about the New York Giants losing the “Giants Way” after the shocking benching of Eli Manning for Geno Smith back in November 2017.
Under Shurmur and Gettleman, the hope was this narrative of lousy Giants football could be changed. It hasn’t. The team has, in the eyes of many, become a laughingstock, a hard pill to swallow considering all the talent the Giants have had and that they’ve only managed to muster a 2-9 record this season and a 7-21 mark in their last 28 games.
Those records are embarrassing, especially for a proud organization like the Giants and its ownership duo of the Mara and Tisch families, both highly regarded voices in the NFL landscape.
The Giants need to get back to the Giants Way. Shurmur, based on the result seen on the field, doesn’t appear to be the man who can lead them back to the promised land.
In-game Decision Making
Shurmur has insisted on serving as his own play-caller. While he proved to be a very good play caller while with the Vikings, every week, it seems as though the Giants have something pop up during the game that leaves one wondering if Shurmur is overwhelmed during the game to handle both the play calling and managing the sideline.
There's a long laundry list for sure. Most recently, there was recently last week's fiasco in not substituting the defense for the punt return team. This week, it was not calling a timeout when it was apparent the defense was confused during a hurry-up sequence in which Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers caught the Giants with 12 men on the field on the 17-yard touchdown pass to Devante Adams that broke open the game.
A head coach has enough to worry about during the game, and for Shurmur, he is also trying to bring along a rookie quarterback. Throw in the questionable in-game management decisions, and it's clear that Shurmur's way of doing things isn't working.
Is a Change Needed?
The Giants ownership likely doesn't want to make a change so soon after the significant upheaval of 2017 in which Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese were fired in-season. But given that things haven't progressed, they might not have any choice but to start over again with a new coaching staff.
What do you think Giants fans? Should the Giants fire Pat Shurmur? Tell us in the comments section below.