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Giants’ coach Joe Judge leaves open the possibility of calling his own offensive plays

Freddie Kitchens remains the likely choice after firing of Jason Garrett, but Judge refuses to confirm that

NFL: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Joe Judge
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After firing offensive coordinator Jason Garrett on Tuesday, head coach Joe Judge refused to confirm reports that senior offensive assistant and former Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens would be the play-caller for the remainder of the season.

Judge said the Giants would construct the offense “collaboratively as a group” and that “everything’s on the table” in terms of how plays would be called — including the possibility that he would do so himself.

Judge said firing Garrett was not a “snap decision” and that the poor performance Monday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should not be considered a “boiling point” in his relationship with Garrett.

It’s just a move we feel we have to make at this point to help the team go further,” Judge said. “I feel we have to be more productive as an offense. Generally speaking the offense’s job is to score points. I don’t believe we’re scoring enough points.”

Judge was asked if he regretted not making this move earlier in the season, at least during the bye, rather on a short week after a Monday night game.

“I don’t think there’s ever an ideal time to make a change like this in a season,” Judge said. “Entering the bye week we had played a stretch of three games where I thought as a team we were making some progress … this is not a snap decision

“We’ve gotta make some moves to give our offense an opportunity to change some things up, be more productive and ultimately score more points.”

While Garrett is taking the fall, Judge wouldn’t say the offensive struggles are all on the now-former coordinator.

“This isn’t a blame game. That’s not what this is at all. I’m not looking for a head to roll,” Judge said.

Yet, a head did roll.

Garrett issued a statement through the Giants after his firing:

Today is certainly disappointing, but I want to say how truly grateful I am to the Mara and the Tisch families for giving me the opportunity to coach for their New York Giants. They represent all that is good about the NFL. I also want to thank the Giants’ coaches and staff for their hard work and their unwavering kindness to my wife Brill and me. This building is filled with great people who made our time here special. Most of all, I want to express my gratitude to the players that I’ve had the privilege to coach here. While the bottom-line results weren’t what we wanted, I’ll be forever inspired by their approach, their professionalism and the fight they demonstrated regardless of the circumstance.

One of the things that motivated me to accept this position was the opportunity to help rebuild the Giants into a contending team. We knew there would be many challenges. My expectations for our offense were much greater than what our results have been, and I accept full responsibility for that.

Know that I wish everyone with the Giants nothing but the best going forward. In gratitude, Jason Garrett