Giants coach Ben McAdoo has been fired (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). His dismissal comes in the midst of a disappointing season, but also less than one year after leading his team to the playoffs.
The Giants will install defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo as the team’s interim head coach. Meanwhile, Giants’ assistant general manager Kevin Abrams will serve as the GM for the rest of the season, a person with knowledge of team’s moves tells Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (Twitter link).
“Steve and I spoke after yesterday’s game in Oakland and agreed to talk again today,” said owner John Mara in a statement released by the team. “Ben, as a first time head coach, continued up until this morning to do everything in his power to give us a chance to win. I know the public perception of both these men is not positive, but within these walls, you could not ask for two better professionals.”
This marks Spagnuolo’s second stint as an NFL head coach. After making a name for himself as the Giants’ DC years ago, he went on to become the head coach of the Rams. Things didn’t go as planned in St. Louis, unfortunately, as his teams went a combined 10-38 in three seasons. While he remains highly respected in coaching circles, it’s fair to wonder if he is the right guy for the Giants’ top job given their defensive struggles this year.
Heading into the season, the Giants believed that they had the talent necessary to contend in the NFC East. Instead, a slew of injuries early in the year – including several in the wide receiver group – hurt them early in the year. The offense slumped without Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, but the front office apparently feels that a lack of leadership was also to blame.
Last week, McAdoo was slammed by fans when Geno Smith was installed as the starter for Sunday’s game over Eli Manning. The decision to give Smith a shot over the franchise hero was not exclusively McAdoo’s, but it seems that he is being made to be the fall guy. Smith had his moments against Oakland, but ownership has decided to clean house after watching the Giants fall to 2-10 on the year.
McAdoo first made a name for himself nationally as Aaron Rodgers‘ position coach in Green Bay. In 2014, he joined Tom Coughlin‘s staff as the offensive coordinator for the Giants. Two years later, the Giants pushed Coughlin out and installed McAdoo as the head coach. At the time, the Giants felt that they were choosing the coach best suited to guide Manning. That wasn’t the case in hindsight, but other teams had serious interest in hiring McAdoo, including the rival Eagles.
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