New York Giants fire coach Pat Shurmur after two seasons

Art Stapleton

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The New York Giants have fired Pat Shurmur after two seasons, and for the third time in four years, they are searching for a new head coach.

“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," Giants president and co-owner John Mara said in a statement. "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.

Mara also confirmed that general manager Dave Gettlman would remain for next season "hopefully for many years after that."

Shurmur was hired in January 2018 as the successor to Ben McAdoo, who was fired with four games remaining in the 2017 season. Steve Spagnuolo served as interim head coach for the final month before the Giants embarked on a coaching search that included perceived finalists Matt Patricia, Josh McDaniels and Shurmur, who ended up being the choice.

His two-year record with the Giants is 9-23, including a nine-game losing streak that matched the longest in the team's 94-year history (1976).

"This is a wins business. I get it. I get it," Shurmur said Sunday after the Giants' 34-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

"We've been talking about this for, I think, six weeks, right? You've been asking me the same questions for six weeks... But that's the reality of this business. When you don't win, that's the line of questioning. I get that."

Shurmur's best argument for returning would have been the development of Daniel Jones, who finished the season "light years" from where he was when he arrived as the No. 6 overall pick last April. Shurmur made the switch from Eli Manning to Jones heading into Week 3, believing that he and Jones would get time to grow together and turn this relationship into something special.

Had he known this would be his make-or-break season with three years left on his contract, perhaps Shurmur would have delayed Jones' insertion into the lineup, in turn strengthening his case to stay and be the one to develop Jones later in the year.

Shurmur was hired because he was an "adult," according to Gettleman, and the sentiment was echoed by co-owner and team president John Mara. He was brought in as McAdoo's successor to stabilize things off the field while being the right coach to pick Manning's successor at quarterback.

From that perspective, Shurmur did his job. The Giants are far more settled than they were two years ago off the field. Now, that does not make them winners – the scoreboard does – and for that, Shurmur needs to be held accountable with context.

His in-game rationale with planning and decision-making has been suspect, mostly due to the inconsistency with which he has operated. His record is what it is – let's not bring up his two years in Cleveland, because the Giants hired him despite that – and there remained a legitimate question as to whether Shurmur was the right coach for the post-McAdoo fallout, but not the one to move the Giants forward from this to another level.

Team brass has provided the answer, and now, less than two years after he was hired, Shurmur has unceremoniously been shown the door.