Giants head coach Pat Shurmur shown door after 4-win season: report | CBC Sports
A person familiar with the move tells The Associated Press that the New York Giants have fired coach Pat Shurmur after the once-proud franchise took a step back by winning four games in a season marked by a franchise record-tying nine-game losing streak.
Shurmur was released Monday, a day after the Giants failed to play the spoiler role and saw the Philadelphia Eagles beat them 34-17 to win the NFC East. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Giants have not announced the firing.
The four-time Super Bowl champions finished with a 4-12 record, missing the playoffs for the seventh time in eight years. New York has won 12 games over the last three seasons, including a 5-11 mark in Shurmur’s first season in 2018.
Shurmur had refused to speculate about his future after the game. He felt the franchise, which dates to 1925, was in better shape than when he took over after a 3-13 season in 2017. He noted the organization now has salary cap room for free agency and draft picks, including the No. 4 overall selection in 2020.
Co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch disagreed. Beating Washington (3-13) twice, Miami (5-11) and Tampa Bay (7-9) was not enough.
Mara had said before the season he wanted to walk off the field after the final game feeling the team was making progress. He refused to define progress with a certain number of wins.
Shurmur came to the Giants after a successful stint as the offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings, where he turned Case Keenum from an average player into a star for a year. It was hoped he would revive Eli Manning’s fortunes but it never happened. The two-time Super Bowl MVP was reduced to a backup role when rookie Daniel Jones, the No. 6 pick overall in the draft, was made the starter in Week 3 this season.
The 54-year-old Shurmur’s chances of success were hurt by a bad defence that was constantly making mistakes in the 3-4 front installed by coordinator James Bettcher.
This was Shurmur’s second head coaching job. He went 9-23 in two seasons with the Browns, the same record he had with the Giants.
His firing is the Giants’ third coaching change since Tom Coughlin was fired after the 2015 season. Offensive guru Ben McAdoo, who had been hired from Green Bay as a coordinator, replaced Coughlin in 2016 and led the Giants (11-5) to their only playoff bid since winning the Super Bowl for the 2011 season.
Things went south the following year. The team went 3-13 and McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese were fired in early December, a day after Manning was benched for a game against Oakland, ending his string of 210 consecutive starts. It was a public relations nightmare.
The Giants were expected to make progress this season with 2018 NFL offensive rookie of the year Saquon Barkley entering his second campaign and the offence bolstered by a group of talented receivers and tight ends. The line was expected to improve with the addition of guard Kevin Zeitler.
Even the trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland was not seen as a major loss because it would open things up for Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. And it would calm the storm that always seemed to follow OBJ.
An ankle injury in the third week slowed Barkley until near the end of the season, and Engram (foot) and Shepard (two concussions) missed time. Veteran Golden Tate III was supposed to help fill in for Beckham but he was suspended for the first four games for using a performance enhancer.
The defence added two first-round draft picks, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence II and cornerback DeAndre Baker, and linebackers Oshane Ximines, Ryan Connelly and safety Julian Love.
But other than, free agent linebacker Markus Golden, who was outstanding with 10 sacks, and safety Jabrill Peppers, who played well before being injured, the unit did not have enough playmakers. Safety Antoine Bethea and linebacker Alec Ogletree are past their prime.
The Giants lost their first two games with Manning at quarterback and then got a lift when Jones took over and led the team to two straight wins. The season went down the drain with the nine consecutive losses, matching a team mark set in 1976.
In Shurmur’s defence, he never lost the locker room despite the losing. Players said he was positive and consistent.
No shortage of potential replacements
Critics knocked Shurmur for calling his own plays when he had a coordinator, and for failing to make adjustments during games. He also struggled at times with the media, something that never goes over well in the New York market.
Whoever gets the job will need to develop Jones and be able to fix the defence.
Former Packers coach Mike McCarthy is expected to be a candidate, along with Baylor coach Matt Ruhle, a former Giants assistant, and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel. Dallas coach Jason Garrett, a former Giant, might also draw interest if the Cowboys release him.
As we reevaluate our team leadership, culture and process for winning football games, I am excited for the opportunities that lie ahead …— Redskins owner Daniel Snyder after firing of team president Bruce Allen
Bruce Allen was mocked four years ago when he proclaimed that his perennially last-place Washington Redskins were “winning off the field.” More eye rolls arrived more recently when Allen defended the club’s “culture.”
Washington 62-97-1 under Allen
After a lot of losing on the field and all manner of public-relations disasters off it, Allen is out as president of the NFL team once coached by his father. He was fired Monday, a move announced by owner Daniel Snyder a day after a 3-13 disaster of a season was capped by one last embarrassing loss, 47-16 at rival Dallas.
From the outset of the 2010 season, the Redskins went 62-97-1 with Allen serving as Snyder’s right-hand man, a stretch that featured only two playoff appearances and zero playoff victories.
“As this season concludes, Bruce Allen has been relieved of his duties as president of the Washington Redskins and is no longer with the organization,” Snyder said in a statement issued by the team. “Like our passionate fan base, I recognize we have not lived up to the high standards set by great Redskins teams, coaches and players who have come before us.
“As we reevaluate our team leadership, culture and process for winning football games, I am excited for the opportunities that lie ahead to renew our singular focus and purpose of bringing championship football back to Washington.”
There could be another important move soon, too: Ron Rivera, fired as coach of the Carolina Panthers during the season, was visiting the Redskins on Monday.
Allen was hired as Washington’s executive VP and general manager in December 2009, then promoted to president in May 2014.
Coach Gruden fired early in season
Only once in Allen’s tumultuous tenure did Washington even manage to win as many 10 games and it finished at the bottom of the NFC East five times.
Just one team in the 32-club NFL had a worse record this season, and the Redskins own the No. 2 pick in the next draft.
Jay Gruden, who was given a contract extension by Allen, was fired after an 0-5 start to this season, his sixth — the longest stint for a head coach under Snyder — and replaced by offensive line coach Bill Callahan on an interim basis.
So the always-in-disarray Redskins are now in need of a president, a general manager and a coach; whoever is hired to those jobs will need to oversee a massive rebuilding project.
That includes fixing the roster and a reputation that has alienated fans to the point that the team’s home stadium often had thousands of empty seats and plenty of spectators cheering for the opponent.
For all of the Redskins’ poor game results during Snyder’s 20 years as owner — never once managing to win 11 games in a season in that span — it was Allen who infamously tried to downplay the importance of the losing by boasting at a news conference after the 2014 season that the team’s charitable foundation “does a fantastic job,” which meant, he said, “We’re winning off the field.”
It was also during that occasionally contentious session with reporters that Allen declared he would do anything to help the team win more games, vowing: “If it meant mowing that lawn out there every Tuesday, I would mow the lawn every darn Tuesday.”
During another rare appearance to take questions from the media, at the news conference to announce Gruden’s dismissal in October, Allen objected to questions about widespread criticism of the way things are run at Redskins Park by asserting: “The culture is actually damn good.”
Under Allen’s watch, the issues away from the field included:
- This season’s holdout by Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams, whom Allen refused to trade;
- The messy firing of GM Scot McCloughan;
- The acknowledgment that the team’s seemingly endless home sellout streak was over, followed by the house-cleaning after last season of new executives in charge of business matters;
- The costly trade for, and ugly divorce from, Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III;
- The mostly unsuccessful coaching stint of, and ugly divorce from, costly coach Mike Shahanan;
- The tens of millions of dollars given to Kirk Cousins (or, as Allen repeatedly called him, for some reason, “Kurt”) as the league’s first QB to play under the franchise tag more than once; eventually, he was allowed to leave as a free agent, with the Redskins receiving nothing in return;
Allen previously worked as a front-office executive for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders.
He is the son of late Pro Football Hall of Fame member George Allen, who led the Redskins to one Super Bowl appearance while coaching them from 1971-77. Allen’s brother, George, is a former Virginia governor and U.S. senator.
Cowboys won’t retain Jason Garrett: report
Jason Garrett will not receive a new contract with the Dallas Cowboys, 105.3 The Fan in Dallas reported early Monday.
Owner Jerry Jones implied he was ready to make a change following the Cowboys’ Week 16 loss to the Eagles that shifted control of the NFC East from Dallas to Philadelphia and continued that narrative on Monday. Jones told The Fan he would use his past experiences hiring coaches to guide his decision this time around.
“You just are a product of everything when you ultimately make a decision,” Jones said. “I did it to begin with when I initially chose a coach. I’ll use the same type of logic. I’ll use all the experiences I’ve had for that kind of input.”
Garrett told the station he is scheduled to meet with Jerry and Stephen Jones following a team meeting.
The Cowboys finished 8-8 in 2019, and Jones said Monday he anticipates making a change.
While he wouldn’t technically need to fire Garrett — his contract expires Jan. 14 — Jones had previously been hesitant to make a change at the top. Terminating their partnership could mean a big name and big personality coming to the Cowboys with reports indicating Jones has high interest in Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley and former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.
Garrett, 53, spent more than nine seasons as head coach. He took over midway through the 2010 season and went 85-67.