By John Esposito@jespo56
The New York Giants started as a franchise in 1925. They have eight championships in their history (4 NFL championships/4 Super Bowls). They have some of the greatest players in the history of the NFL. They have had some of the most marquee plays in the history of the NFL. Yet, in 2021 they are the laughing stock of the league. Where did it go wrong?
Poor Executive Leadership
Like any business, it starts from the top. Tim Mara founded the NY Giants in 1925 for a $500 investment. The Giants suffered through 60’s and 70’s with Jack and Wellington Mara at the helm when Tim needed to hide the team from creditors. Wellington passed away in 2005 and Bob Tich who purchased half the team in 1991, passed away 2 weeks later. The team was now in the hands of sons John Mara and Steve Tich. Their first big move in 2010 was to spend one billion dollars, $400 million over the projected budget, to build the atrocity of stadium fans have to spend an exuberant amount of money to sit in. Poor GM hires in Jerry Reece and currently, Dave Gettleman, have led to poor coaching choices in Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur, really caused by pushing out 2-Time Superbowl winning coach Tom Coughlin. Steve Tich is non-existent and John Mara can kick over as many trash cans as he wants, their business decisions have been poor and they ran the franchise into the ground.
Terrible Drafting/Player Scouting
Jerry Reece technically gets the “credit” for the 2007 and 2011 championships, but it was Ernie Accorsi who actually built the heart of those teams. He drafted Eli Manning, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Snee, Justin Tuck, Brandon Jacobs, and Mathias Kiwanuka all of who played very key roles in those Super Bowl victories. Not to mention his free-agent signing of Plaxico Burress and he hired Coughlin. I am not saying Reece always missed, he was truly unlucky with injury-prone picks, however, Hakeem Nicks, David Wilson, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Kenny Phillips.
For every Ahmad Bradshaw, he had there was a Robert Henderson, Marvin Austin, and Phillip Dillard. Reece was reactionary and put the Giants in a bad financial position when it came to contracts, reference Janoris Jenkins and Oliver Vernon. Reece was mercilessly fired in 2016. Dave Gettleman currently resides in that position and you are hard-pressed to find some fans that support him. The same draft failures have plagued Gettleman along with awful free agent signings have continued along with a worst in the NFL 16-38 record during his tenure.
The NY Giants Mt. Rushmore would consist of Bill Parcells, Tom Coughlin, and who else? I would put Steve Owen up there, then maybe Alex Webster, Allie Sherman, and Jim Fassell can fight it out for the 4th spot. Now can you really blame a head coach if they are put in a spot that they were not ready for? Ben McAdoo was 13-15, Pat Shurmur 9-23, and currently, Joe Judge is 7-15. Not a great track record for coaches. Fairly McAdoo and Shurmur are good offensive coordinators that just did not translate into head coaches. Judge is a supposed special teams’ “genius” and has yet to truly grasp the concept of running the entire team. So, while you cannot truly blame them for being put in bad situations it has not helped the team find a winning tradition again.
The frustrating thing for Giants fans to me is that the team continues to stay status quo with all the same poor decisions be it player personnel or financial. The game has evolved and it truly passed the Giants by. In a world of iPhones and wireless tech, the Giants continued to be plugged in and carry a phone in a bag (dating myself there, but 80’s fans know). The time has come to blow it up and come into the 21st century. The Giants need to embrace how far the game has come and realized it is not 1975 anymore.