Jason Garrett

Joe Judge: No “Radical Changes” Expected Yet

The Giants are off to an 0-3 start, and one of the biggest sources of angst for frustrated fans is offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Second-year HC Joe Judge showed he wasn’t afraid of making an in-season firing when he sacked O-line coach Marc Colombo last November, but Judge is not ready to make a similar move just yet.

When asked about Garrett’s job security, Judge said, “[w]e’re going to stay consistent with what we’re doing and keep improving as a team. here’s a lot of things we’ve got to clean up coaching-wise, execution-wise. We’re going to stay on track with it and make sure we get those things right before we make any radical changes” (via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv).

Despite scoring the second-fewest points in the league in 2020, New York retained Garrett largely because the club did not want young QB Daniel Jones to have to adapt to a third OC in his third year in the league. And, though Garrett has been heavily criticized for his scheme and play-calling, Jones has performed well over the first three games of the season.

The No. 6 overall pick of the 2019 draft has completed over 65% of his passes for 782 yards and has thrown two touchdowns without throwing a pick. He has also rushed for two scores. His efforts represent one of the few bright spots in what is shaping up to be another disappointing year for the Giants.

Of course, if the team does not experience a major reversal of fortunes, then it would be shocking to see Garrett and GM Dave Gettleman brought back for 2022 (if they even make it to the end of this season). But for now, it sounds as if Garrett will keep his post for at least a while longer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jason Garrett Expected Back As Giants OC

The Giants dropped from 18th to 31st in scoring offense last season, and Daniel Jones did not make considerable strides. But the team is not planning to make big changes to its offense.

Jason Garrett is expected to stay on as New York’s offensive coordinator, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com notes. Some potential turnover at this position coach level could take place, and Raanan adds assistants like tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens, QBs coach Jerry Schulplinski and wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert may take on increased responsibility. (Tolbert has interviewed for Minnesota’s OC job.) But Garrett will still run the show.

This is not especially surprising. Dave Gettleman said last month, as Garrett interviewed for the Chargers’ HC job, he was “antsy” about the prospect of losing his OC. Keeping Garrett will ensure Jones only has two play-callers in his first three seasons, though the Giants have plenty of improvements to make on offense. Saquon Barkley‘s expected re-emergence will certainly help.

Joe Judge already fired a coach Garrett brought in, ex-Cowboys O-line assistant Marc Colombo, and Raanan adds the new Giants HC’s hands-on approach with the team’s offense caused tension between he and Garrett. Last season was Garrett’s first as a full-time play-caller since 2012.

One of the changes on Big Blue’s staff will be replacing Dave DeGuglielmo. The veteran O-line coach is not expected back, and Raanan notes that the Giants have interviewed ex-Texans O-line coach Mike Devlin and Giants assistant O-line coach Ben Wilkerson for the job.

2021 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Exiting the regular season, six teams are searching for new head coaches. That number is up from last season but not quite as high as 2019, though there may well be more vacancies that emerge during the playoffs.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 1-27-21 (7:05pm CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Chargers Request Jason Garrett Interview

The Chargers have requested an interview with Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The former Cowboys head coach would be one of several candidates to interview after the firing of Anthony Lynn

[RELATED: Chargers To Meet With Arthur Smith] 

Garrett posted a regular season record of 85-67 for the Cowboys across nine seasons. Although they came up short in the playoffs, Garrett remains a highly-respected offensive mind. He also played quarterback in the league for nearly 15 years, making him a solid choice to develop youngster Justin Herbert. Of course, this past year wasn’t a banner season for the Giants, but there’s plenty of blame to go around in Northern New Jersey.

The Chargers will also look to interview Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). Daboll is also being targeted by the Jets, who got an up-close look at Josh Allen‘s transformation in 2020.

So far, the Chargers have put at least three candidates on their HC list in Garrett, Daboll, and Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. It’s worth noting that the competition for Smith will be fierce — all six teams with openings have asked to meet with the 38-year-old.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

COVID-19 Latest: Giants, Bubble, Rosters

The biggest game (to date) of this Giants season will take place without Jason Garrett. The team’s first-year offensive coordinator tested positive for COVID-19, and the Giants announced former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens will call plays against his old team in Week 15. The Giants converted their Thursday practice into a remote session and have announced no high-risk close contacts of Garrett have emerged. The former Cowboys HC may also miss the Giants’ Week 16 game against the Ravens. Hired as Cleveland’s running backs coach in 2018, Kitchens rose to the position of offensive coordinator that year and made the jump to become the Browns’ head coach in 2019. That ended in a one-and-done scenario, but Kitchens found his way to Joe Judge‘s staff this year.

Here is the latest on the NFL’s coronavirus front:

  • In another blow to Big Blue, the team announced James Bradberry will miss Sunday night’s game. The Giants placed their top cornerback, and arguably their top player this season, on the reserve/COVID-19 list. This is not related to Garrett’s positive virus test, according to the team, which revealed Bradberry has not tested positive for the coronavirus. Bradberry came in contact with a COVID-positive person while receiving chiropractic treatment away from the Giants’ facility, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). The Giants not having Bradberry will weaken their chances of knocking off a nine-win Browns team. Pro Football Focus rates Bradberry as its No. 6 overall corner.
  • Not only will the NFL not follow the other three major American professional sports by using a centralized playoff location, the league will also not mandate teams be sequestered in home-market bubbles for the postseason. Teams may still provide hotel rooms for players who choose such an arrangement, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets, but the league and the NFLPA agreed they will not force players on playoff teams to be away from their families.
  • Following the unusual Dez Bryant situation that left the Ravens a man down for their Week 13 game against the Cowboys, the NFL made another adjustment to its pregame roster policy. If a player must leave the field pregame because of a positive COVID test or because he qualifies as a high-risk close contact, teams may activate a replacement, Pelissero tweets. The usual rule of teams submitting their inactives 90 minutes before games left Baltimore down a player against Dallas, after Bryant was forced to leave the field shortly before kickoff. Teams will now be able to make an emergency activation in such instances.

Giants Cut Jon Halapio, Slash Roster To 53

The Giants revealed the moves they made to pare their roster down to 53 players. Here are the cuts Big Blue made Saturday:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

The two quarterback cuts will leave Daniel Jones and Colt McCoy as the Giants’ only two quarterbacks to start their post-Eli Manning era, though Rush certainly would profile as a practice squad candidate. He played for new OC Jason Garrett in Dallas for three seasons.
Connelly’s cut is somewhat surprising, given the linebacker’s three starts last season. But an injury cut short his rookie season. The Giants can place 16 players on their practice squad this season. If Connelly clears waivers, it is likely he will be part of that group.
The Giants re-signed Halapio days ago. He has been Big Blue’s starting center in each of their past two Week 1 games, and the former Patriots draft pick started 15 games in 2019. The Giants did not tender Halapio as an RFA this offseason and kept Nick Gates, whom they extended this year, and Spencer Pulley on the roster over him.

Giants To Hire Jason Garrett As OC

Jason Garrett wasn’t out of a job too long. The Giants are planning to hire Garrett as their new offensive coordinator, a source told Ed Werder of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Garrett staying in the division and getting to face the Cowboys twice a year will provide a lot of drama and entertainment, if nothing else. Garrett met with Giants brass a couple of days ago, and apparently everything went well. He caught a lot of flak his last few years in Dallas, but he will be a solid veteran presence to lean on for rookie head coach Joe Judge in New York.

Garrett, who played quarterback in the league for nearly 15 years, will now be tasked with helping to develop Daniel Jones. He spent four years with the Giants as a backup, so this is a homecoming of sorts for him. He’ll surely be excited about the opportunity to take on Jerry Jones and his old team. He started his coaching career as the quarterbacks coach with the Dolphins for a couple of years before moving on to Dallas.

Garrett went a perfect 6-0 against the Giants the past three years, which couldn’t have hurt his cause with New York’s ownership. He was the offensive coordinator for the Cowboys for four seasons before serving as head coach for the past nine. Still only 53, the 2016 NFL Coach of the Year surely has his sights set on becoming a head coach again sometime in the near future. If he can get Jones to take the next step and develop like Dak Prescott did, that opportunity could come relatively soon.

The Giants are entering a new era of football, as they finally appear set to move on from Eli Manning. They fired Pat Shurmur after the season ended and brought in Judge, the Patriots’ receivers/special teams coach, to replace him. Judge’s staff is starting to fill out, as he already hired away defensive coordinator Patrick Graham from the Dolphins. We heard earlier today the Giants were planning on speaking with Scott Linehan, who worked under Garrett as his OC in Dallas. A reunion could be in the works there.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Meet With Jason Garrett

Former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett could land with his longtime rival. On Wednesday, Garrett met with Giants brass to interview for the vacant offensive coordinator position, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

Garrett could provide the Giants with tons of offensive knowhow, plus years of coaching experience to support first-time head coach Joe Judge. Garrett also helped to groom Day 3 pick Dak Prescott into one of the league’s best quarterbacks, so the Giants are undoubtedly interested to hear about what he could do for youngster Daniel Jones.

On the flipside – Garrett has long been accustomed to running his own show, and it’s unlikely that he would see an OC role as his final stop. The Giants may, or may not, be wary of hiring a coordinator who will surely be in the head coaching mix this time next year.

Although Garrett’s Cowboys disappointed in 2019, he had his fair share of accomplishments in Dallas, including a 6-0 record against the G-Men over the last three seasons. All in all, Garrett coached the Cowboys to an 85-67 record since taking over as HC midway through the 2010 season.

The Giants requested to interview Garrett for their head coaching position earlier this month, but that meeting was 86’d when they hired Judge. Garrett also has history with the franchise, having played for them as a backup quarterback between 2000 and 2003.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Rumors: Cowboys, Giants, Barwin

Mike McCarthy being hired so soon points to the Cowboys being confident he will coax more from their talented roster than Jason Garrett did, and ownership looks set to give its new HC more power. McCarthy will not only have greater input on roster decisions than he did in Green Bay but will hold as much influence in this area as Bill Parcells did three coaches ago in Dallas, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News and Ed Werder of ESPN.com (Twitter links). It was not a secret McCarthy and ex-Packers GM Ted Thompson did not see eye to eye on the latter’s aversion to free agency additions, so it will be interesting to see how the Cowboys proceed now that McCarthy will possess greater influence than Jason Garrett or Wade Phillips did on this front.

Here is the latest from Dallas and other NFC East cities:

  • Jerry and Stephen Jones kept Garrett in the loop on their plans, notifying the since-displaced head coach they planned to interview McCarthy. “[Jason] said, ‘You’re not going to meet anybody more special than Mike. I love his story, I love him. he’s great,’” Jones said. Attempting to explain the delay in parting ways with Garrett, Jerry Jones said he sought a “soft landing” for his 10-season HC. Stephen Jones said the Cowboys’ deliberate actions were “in line with what Jason wanted.”
  • The Cowboys only interviewed McCarthy and Marvin Lewis for their coaching job. No other interviews were scheduled, Werder tweets.
  • Bret Bielema is expected to be in the mix for the Giants‘ defensive coordinator role under Joe Judge, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets. Judge is believed to have most of his staff selected, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, who notes said staff will likely include several coaches with more NFL experience than the 38-year-old HC. The former Wisconsin head coach, Bielema spent 2018 as a Patriots consultant and coached the Pats’ defensive line this season.
  • Not long after Connor Barwin announced his retirement, the pass rusher may be set to transition into a staff role. The Eagles may be in the process of bringing Barwin in for a personnel role, per Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio (Twitter link). This may mean a scouting job for the 33-year-old ex-Eagles linebacker. Barwin played four seasons with the Eagles, from 2013-16, arriving early in Howie Roseman‘s GM stay.

Latest On Giants, Jason Garrett

3:11pm: Hold the phone. The Giants have not requested permission to speak to Garrett about their OC job, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (on Twitter) hears. Their request was for their head coaching job, before they agreed to hire Joe Judge.

As the HC, Judge will get to pick his own staff. It’s not clear whether he would consider Garrett for the OC job, or if the ex-Cowboys head coach would be interested in the position.

10:50am: The Giants’ head coaching job is spoken for, but the team still wants to meet with former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. The Giants are interested in Garrett as a candidate for the offensive coordinator role on Joe Judge‘s staff, Ed Werder of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. 

Judge, 38, lacks head coaching experience, and Garrett could provide some helpful counsel to him. Garrett, of course, spent a decade as the Cowboys’ HC.

It’s not clear whether Garrett is willing to consider coordinator positions, though the Giants job would have some obvious upside. Garrett could groom quarterback Daniel Jones, who showed promise as a rookie despite still being green. The Giants OC job would also give him a chance to face his old friends twice per season.

The Browns stand as the last head coaching vacancy in the league and, so far, they haven’t shown any real interest in Garrett.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.