The New York Giants fired coach Ben McAdoo and General Manager Jerry Reese on Monday.
Under McAdoo’s leadership this year, the team has earned just two wins and 10 losses. The Giants were considered a potential Super Bowl contender at the beginning of the season.
Last Week, McAdoo made the controversial decision to bench two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning and play Geno Smith at quarterback instead.
With Smith at the helm, the Giants lost to the Raiders Sunday 17-24.
At a press conference following the game, McAdoo seemed to acknowledge his employment status was on rocky ground.
“I’m going to coach this team as long as my key card works,” McAdoo said. “Got a great group of players, coaches, great staff to work with. Want to show up ready to go tomorrow, get this thing cleaned up and move on to the next one.”
Steve Spagnuolo, the team’s defensive coordinator, will take over duties as head coach, and Kevin Abrams, formerly the team’s assistant general manager, has been promoted to general manager, according to NFL reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala.
ESPN reported the final straw for McAdoo was likely his mishandling of Manning, whom Giants owner John Mara holds in high regard. Fans and former Giants players alike were outraged by Manning’s demotion:
“They did my boy dirty,” former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress tweeted afterward. “Nuff said.”
“I’m absolutely speechless,” added former Giants lineman David Diehl. “I’ve watched every game & have sat through this rough @Giants season & this what you do to a man who has lead this team for 210 straight games.”
Two anonymous players told ESPN they felt McAdoo lost the respect of the team after he seemingly failed to acknowledge his role in the Giants’ historically bad 51-17 loss to the Rams in early November.
“I think a lot of the guys watched the press conference after the game like a lot of guys do just to see what [McAdoo] says,” one player said. “When [McAdoo] said ‘um’ to the question ‘What did you tell the team at halftime?’ and [McAdoo] just said ‘um,’ he didn’t really have anything. Man, he didn’t really have anything for us when we came back in the locker room, too. It was just kind of like the same old, same old. You can just see guys were like ― you can just tell that nobody was kind of following it.”
Early reports indicate the Giants will return to Eli Manning as their starting quarterback for this Sunday’s home game against the Cowboys.