Tampa, Fla. — Jason Garrett’s job could be in jeopardy after a 30-10 road loss to the Buccaneers on Monday night, Joe Judge, a starting Giants coach, said.
The head coach for the second year bragged about not scoring enough points, not placing players in a position to succeed, and the judge’s sympathy for player disappointments.
When asked if he still had confidence in Garrett as his offensive coordinator, the judge clarified that changes could be coming.
“I trust everyone on my team: the players, the coaches, everyone,” he said. “But look, we as a team will assess everything and take any steps we take to move forward.”
Asked whether Garrett would remain OC, the judge said: “I’m not going to go into it right now.”
It was a dramatically different reaction than the judge’s previous two comments on Garrett’s situation this season.
With a 0-3 record at the end of September, the judge said: “The coordinators will still be doing play-calling this week.” With a 3-6 record entering the bye, the judge said “no” to change while the Giants were inactive.
“No, at this point we are not,” he said on November 8.
But Monday’s pathetic 215-yard, 10-point performance may have put the judge on edge. It certainly seemed like it.
“I’m gonna watch the tapes, I’m gonna evaluate everything: every player, every coach, everyone makes decisions about what’s best for the team going forward,” he said. “Simply put: everything is accounted for, everything is evaluated. Every player, every coach. Everything is evaluated.”
The judge invited several follow-up inquiries about Garrett’s condition, going on to his offense’s inability to get the ball to his top arms in optimal places.
“We have to do a better job of scoring points,” the judge said. “We have to do a better job of getting our players in a position to make plays. We have got many good players. We have to put them in a better position to take advantage of this. That’s all.
“We have to make sure we sit down [Tuesday] As a coaching staff and understand how we have to play this game and give a chance to our players to make plays,” the head coach continued. “So in any kind of context [bad player] Body language at the end of the game, I’ll handle the corrections. But if I were a player, there would have been some things that would have disappointed me as well.”
When the judge was told that his criticism of Garrett stuck on Monday, he said: “Let’s not read too far into it right now. I respect and understand the question, but I’ll stay away from it for now.”
But in the next breath he was moaning at Kenny Golladay’s two targets.
“They had more than one but it was not enough. Make sure we do it right,” the judge said.
And the judge cited second-half play-calling as an example of what needed to change when the Buccaneers’ pass rushers were manipulating the Giants’ offensive line during predictable drop-back passing.
“At the end of the game we were behind, they knew we were about to throw, we had to turn it down there,” the judge said. “We have to call the sport to give our players a better chance of success.”
Players would not throw Garrett under the bus, even if he only scored a touchdown as he started with the ball over Tampa’s five-yard line, thanks to an Adori’ Jackson interception.
“I feel responsible for the way we played and the way we played,” said quarterback Daniel Jones. “We will go back and see how we can move forward as a team.”
Left tackle Andrew Thomas said: “It’s not about finger-pointing. Everyone is looking in the mirror to get better.”
Saxon Barkley said it needed to get better than 25 rush yards and 56 yards from scrimmage. Fair point there.
“As far as the plans go, you look around the league, everybody’s going pretty much the same,” Barkley said. “People want to blame the coaches but as players, we are not pretending. we are not. And it starts with me. We are the ones who are playing the game. And we’re not creating drama.”
However, something needs to change, and the veterans’ inability to generate a respectable attack is unforgivable after investing so much in their offense.
This could be an indictment of the personnel they invested in, play-calling, or both.
He averages 18.3 points per game (26th in the NFL) and 322.8 yards per game (23rd).
Despite using first-round picks on Jones, Barkley, Thomas, Evan Engram and Kadarius Toni, the top 10 included three. He then signed Goladay to a four-year, $72 million contract with $40 million guaranteed in the spring.
Also second-round picks are Sterling Shepard and Will Hernandez, and third-round picks to tackle Matt Pert.
GM Dave Gettleman had to fix the offensive line, and there’s still a train wreck four years after the job was taken.
Garrett was clear last week just how big of a liability the O-Line is, citing the Dallas Cowboys’ success in building a front by investing in cornerstone players compared to the Giants’ failure to do so.
The judge claimed that he had not seen the citations. But he’s clearly fed up with watching the Giants try to scratch points and run predictable or unsuccessful plays in key situations, like blown 4ths and 1s at Monday’s slopfest.
“I get up late and get up early because I want the players to be successful,” the judge said. “My only concern is the success of the team. When people work hard all week, I want to make sure they have the opportunity to take advantage of that hard work.
“I have to make sure from my point of view that I prepare my players to go out there and know they can play aggressively and are in a position to succeed,” he said. “My expectations are too high. And I’m not settling for them for anyone.”