Now, finally, there is hope.
There is no way to sugarcoat the year that has been for the New York Giants, a 2-10 team that went from being a popular pick in the preseason to make the Super Bowl to now being in contention for the top pick of next spring’s NFL Draft. But Monday’s move by Giants ownership to fire general manager Jerry Reese and head coach Ben McAdoo is a huge step for the entirety of the organization.
And in a very un-Giants like move, it was the right thing to do to preserve the team’s future.
Had the Giants gone into the offseason with either McAdoo or Reese affiliated in any way with the team, it would have been a disaster. Both had presumably lost the locker room with McAdoo not generating any confidence. Reese, in turn, hadn’t addressed the team’s glaring needs over the past three years.
Decisions – or the lack thereof – cost the team dearly in the playoffs last year and throughout this season.
That both have been removed shows a commitment by the Giants to head into this offseason with a clean slate. This decision on Monday gives the team a chance to rebound and not have to rebuild heading into 2018.
To be perfectly clear, this team isn’t far away from bouncing back into the playoffs. They can begin the process of a head coach search in earnest, fully committed to this endeavor as they begin to explore their depth and young talent for next year and beyond. There are no distractions about possible firings, no rumors and leaks about when the axe would come down.
It’s over, it’s done with and the Giants can begin to move on. The process of searching for a new coach and general manager can begin with no restrictions.
They need to hit the ground running this offseason. There are decisions looming over the coming months about extensions for safety Landon Collins and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. So too are tough choices on the future of quarterback Eli Manning in Giants blue.
This team has veteran talent, some playmakers on both sides of the ball and seems destined for a high draft pick. If they win this offseason, they can take a big step towards returning to the playoffs.
Had they kept McAdoo and Reese these final four games, the distractions and disturbances would have been hourly. Now the Giants can focus on the future these final four games, not the past.
It can’t be an easy day for an organization to move on from both a head coach and a general manager, but the pain was necessary for this team and its fanbase to begin healing.
The Giants are capable of far more than they’ve shown so far this year. Monday’s decision is proof that the Giants believe that they can and will bounce back in 2018.
Best to start that process now.