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New York Giants fire head coach Pat Shurmur after two seasons

Ownership says “extensive” search for new head coach will be undertaken

New York Giants v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Published reports Monday morning indicate the New York Giants have fired Pat Shurmur, making him the second straight Giants head coach not to get a third season in the job.

Ben McAdoo was fired 12 games into the 2017 season, his second as Giants head coach.

Shurmur went 9-23 in two seasons as coach of the Giants.

Dave Gettleman will be retained as general manager, per a statement from the team. Gettleman will get a third season after selecting Saquon Barkley second overall in 2018 and quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Statement from ownership

Here is part of a statement from co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch.

“Steve and I have had many extensive discussions about the state of the Giants,” Mara said. “This morning, we made the very difficult decision that it would be in the best interest of the franchise that we relieve Pat of his duties. The last three seasons have been extremely disappointing for the organization and our fans. Pat has been a successful and highly-respected NFL coach for 21 years and he is not solely responsible for our record. But we came to the conclusion it is best to have a fresh start with the coaching staff. We very much appreciate how much Pat has done for this franchise. He is a man of character and integrity and the team has conducted itself with pride and professionalism.

“As owners, we take full responsibility for our recent poor record. It is our goal to consistently deliver high-quality football and we will do everything in our power to see that there is a rapid and substantial turnaround.”

From Tisch:

“The last two seasons have been a continuation of what has been a very difficult and disappointing period for our franchise. It is never easy to part with someone the caliber of Pat. But John and I came to the conclusion that we need a new voice in the coach’s office and made the decision to bring in new leadership.

“We understand how frustrated our fans are. They expect more from us and we expect more from ourselves. Our focus now is on developing and improving our football team so that our fans can enjoy the winning team they expect and deserve.”

Shurmur’s two seasons

Shurmur’s tenure with the Giants was marked by a massive roster overhaul engineered by GM Dave Gettleman, and by a transition at quarterback from Eli Manning to 2019 No. 6 overall pick Daniel Jones.

After a 1-7 start in 2018 the Giants showed progress by going 4-4 over the season’s final eight games.

That progress did not carry over into 2019. After beginning the season 0-2, Shurmur removed Eli Manning as the starting quarterback and inserted rookie sixth overall pick Daniel Jones.

The Giants won Jones’ first two starts, but then lost a franchise-record tying nine consecutive games. They finished 2019 4-12.

Shurmur said Sunday night that whoever the head coach is in 2020 the talent cupboard will not be bare.

“If I’m back, I’m looking forward to working with this young talent. If I’m not, whoever is coaching this team has got a great group of young players, the dead money goes away, there’s going to be cap space, we’ve got picks,” Shurmur said. “So, there’s ways to improve the team. If I’m not here, that’s what the new coach has to look forward to.”

Shurmur went 19-46 in head-coaching stints with the Giants, Cleveland Browns and a single game as interim coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. His .292 winning percentage was the lowest among active NFL head coaches.

The Giants, 12-36 over the past three seasons, will now begin a search for a third head coach since relieving Tom Coughlin of the job after the 2015 season.

Mara said that search will be “extensive.”

“We understand this a very big decision for our franchise. We’ve had three losing years in a row and, quite frankly, we have lost some standing as an organization,” Mara said. “When you have three losing years in a row as we have, you face a lot of criticism. A lot of it is deserved. It’s up to us now to turn that around and get back to where I think we should be.”