Monday will go down as a cataclysmic day in the the history of the New York Giants. The firings of coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese in the same day. In-season. Nothing like this has happened in the history of this loyal, conservative, often glacially-slow-moving franchise.
The Monday Massacre! The Mac-daddy of house cleanings! The day Reese’s career went to pieces!
Stunning. Absolutely stunning. The fact Giants’ ownership went back on its three-week-old pledge that McAdoo would coach for the rest of the season — and fired Reese at the same time — shows you the depth of John Mara’s anger. And desperation.
The Giants really had no choice but to do something big before the team returns home next Sunday to face the Dallas Cowboys.
Making changes now does nothing to rescue this season. That was lost long ago, back when the Giants were 0-5 if not before. Interim coach Steve Spagnuolo won’t wave a magic wand and fix all the problems on the field and in the locker room. Interim GM Kevin Abrams won’t produce a new, healthy, winning roster out of thin air.
What this does — in the short term — is help the Giants avoid what was bound to be a really ugly debacle this Sunday. Former players who are around regularly have been threatening to boycott games, or show up wearing No. 10 jerseys in support of Eli Manning. Fans have been irate. Had ownership not done something the scene Sunday at MetLife could have been yet another embarrassment for the Giants’ organization, with fans either not showing up or vociferously showing their displeasure.
Whether Spagnuolo returns Manning to the starting lineup or not, at least now ownership has done something to temper the discontent of the fan base. It doesn’t fix anything or make this less of a disastrous, wasted season. With three games at home among the final four on the schedule, though, it may at least help the organization avoid watching its own customers turn against it.
Long term, this allows the Giants a reset that has desperately been needed for years now. Even the removal of Tom Coughlin as coach after the 2015 season was a half-measure, because it did nothing to fix a personnel department that has not delivered good enough players in recent years.
Now, the Giants can make a fresh start.