Giants to Head Coach: You Are Ben McA-Done [UPDATE]
The Giants have mercifully ended the Ben McAdoo era in New York. GM Jerry Reese is done, too.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Hours after a 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders brought them to 2-10 on the season, the New York Giants have fired head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese. Previously, co-owner John Mara had informed the press that McAdoo would finish out the season and his future employment would be evaluated in the off-season. Then McAdoo and the Giants made the bizarre decision to bench two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith. It was, to put it charitably, a disastrous decision and the announcement only made it worse. It didn't help that Manning was in the midst of a consecutive-starts streak of 210 games. New York media predictably freak out, and thus McAdoo became the first Giants head coach fired midseason since 1976.
McAdoo was coming off an 11-win season and a playoff appearance in his first season as head coach, but he lasted precisely one more game than his quarterback did this season, with many believing his firing after the Oakland game was academic, anyway. There's a lot of blame to go around for the shit soup the Giants find themselves in now—injuries, to be sure, and a roster devoid of offensive line talent are the biggest culprits—so it is no surprise that Reese was fired, too.
Reese has two Super Bowls to his credit, but his drafts have not been good, outside of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jason Pierre-Paul; he inherited a roster largely built by the previous general manager, Ernie Accorsi, before winning his first Super Bowl. Reese had generally coasted on those Super Bowl wins and ultimately ran out of time.
It's unclear what's next for the Giants—defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has been named interim head coach, and Bill Cowher's name has already been bandied about on New York sports radio as a possible candidate. They will likely have a good pick in next year's quarterback-heavy draft, but right now they need someone to draft that quarterback, and someone to coach him. As for Eli, he plans on playing somewhere. It probably could have been New York still, if the past week never happened.
Update 1:05 PM: A bizarre coda to this bizarre story: Eli, after having his streak interrupted by getting benched, is expected to be back behind center next week at home against the Cowboys.