The New York Giants have fired offensive line coach Marc Colombo. He is being replaced by long-time NFL offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, Tom Pelissero was first with the report.
“We appreciate what Marc has done, but I felt like this move is in the best interest of the team,” coach Joe Judge said in a statement from the team confirming the switch.
Colombo and DeGuglielmo were both considered for the job in January after Judge became head coach. Judge ultimately chose Colombo, whose only experience as an NFL offensive line coach had been with the Dallas Cowboys, over DeGuglielmo.
The Giants invested heavily in their offensive line during the offseason. They drafted tackle Andrew Thomas No. 4 overall, tackle Matt Peart in the third round and guard Shane Lemieux in the fifth round. They also moved Nick Gates to center and signed veteran tackle Cameron Fleming.
The Giants have the ball better in recent weeks, but remain last in the NFL in ESPN’s Pass Block Win Rate statistic, winning only 44 percent of the time in pass-blocking situations.
Lemieux has struggled mightily as a pass blocker since getting on the field beginning Week 8 when Will Hernandez went on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. His Pro football Focus grade of 9.2 as a pass blocker is worst of any guard in the league who has played at least 100 offensive snaps.
It has been the overall play of Thomas, though, that has been the most concerning. The rookie left tackle has surrendered the most pressures of any tackle in the league (44) and his PFF pass-blocking efficiency score of 93.1 is league-worst. As a line overall, the Giants are 31st in PFF’s pass-blocking efficiency metric.
There had been an acknowledgment from Colombo that Thomas was working new techniques in pass blocking from what he had done collegiately at Georgia. There was also a report recently from Matt Lombardo of FanSided that Thomas’s improved play the past few weeks coincided with him abandoning those changes and reverting to his collegiate pass sets.
After the Colombo firing, Mike Garafolo referenced his own earlier reporting that Judge had been spending an increased amount of time in recent weeks coaching the offensive line himself.
If you're wondering why the #Giants are making a change at OL coach at a time when they're playing better up front, see this clip from @gmfb Weekend the other day. Joe Judge has devoted more time to helping coach the line recently. pic.twitter.com/qQEUP29ziq— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 18, 2020
DeGuglielmo’s first NFL job was as assistant offensive line and quality control coach for the Giants from 2004-2008.
Since leaving the Giants has been offensive line coach with the Miami Dolphins (three times), New York Jets, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers (where he was assistant OL coach) and the Indianapolis Colts.
Judge and DeGuglielmo were on the New England coaching staff together in 2014 and 2015.
Garafiolo is also reporting that the Giants’ initial plan was to have DeGuglielmo on board to consult with Colombo, but that “Colombo’s reaction to the news led to his dismissal.”
Pelissero reported that Judge actually hired DeGuglielmo as a consultant a week ago and that he was supposed to start as soon as he finished his COVID-19 testing.