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Giants fire offensive coordinator Jason Garrett as season spirals out;  Assistant Freddie Kitchens should take over

Jason Garrett is absent as the Giants’ offensive coordinator, sacked on Tuesday just 26 games in a disappointing low-scoring experience leading to Daniel Jones.

Head coach Joe Judge fired Garrett the day after a 30-10 loss Monday night at Tampa Bay because the offense’s inability to score points cost the Giants (3-7) another season.

“I have a lot of respect for Jason as a person and as a coach,” Judge said on a late afternoon conference call. “He’s been a tremendous asset to me as a young head coach. The offensive’s job is to score points. I don’t think we’re scoring enough points, and it’s my job as the head coach to make sure I give our players the opportunity to make more plays.

Garrett’s dismissal was first reported by the Daily News. He lasted more than nine years as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, but was unable to complete two seasons as the judge’s OC in New York.

It leaves the Giants ranked 25th in points per game (18.9), 23rd in yards (322.8) and last in efficiency in the red zone (44%), with 42 offensive touchdowns, the league’s lowest since early 2020.

So ends the arranged marriage between Judge and Garrett, who had such support from the Mara owner family that he was due for an interview for the head coach job in January 2020 before Judge got the job.

“Today is certainly disappointing,” Garrett said in an elegant statement released by the Giants. “But I mean how grateful I am to the Mara and Tisch families for giving me the opportunity to train for their New York Giants. They represent all that is good in the NFL.”

Garrett also thanked the Giants’ coaches, staff and players, wished them all the best and acknowledged that “the bottom line was not what we wanted.”

The Giants were 31st in points (17.5) and yards (299.6) per game in 2020 before this season also collapsed despite more investment in offensive weapons like Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney.

“One of the things that motivated me to take this role was the opportunity to help rebuild the Giants into a competitive team,” added Garrett. “We knew there would be many challenges. My expectations for our attack were far greater than our results, and I take full responsibility for that. ”

The judge said “everything is on the table” to formulate a new offense now, including the judge himself possibly calling some games within the games. Senior offensive assistant Freddie Kitchens is expected to take over major play call duties starting Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Eagles (5-6).

The judge insisted the Giants will work “collaboratively” on each week’s game plan, with Judge, Kitchens, quarterback coach Jerry Schuplinski and wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert among those involved.

But when the judge described Kitchens’ strengths as an offensive spirit, he painted a clear picture of what he was looking for that Garrett didn’t consistently deliver.

“What I love about Freddie is that Freddie has a very aggressive approach to the game,” Judge said. “I think he did a good job using his players and creating clashes and situations where they can be successful.

“I think he calls it with a number of multiples and variables that give opponents problems,” the head coach continued. “And he sees it through the lens of the player, in terms of making games for the player.”

Everything to help Jones in particular. The third-year quarterback regressed with two interceptions on Monday and now has a pathetic 11 touchdowns and 10 turnovers in 10 games this season.

Monday night’s loss saw the Giants hit post-season lows in points, yards (215), first downs (15) and possession times (24:21). The offense was 1 to 9 on the third downs, and they only scored one touchdown because a random interception by Tom Brady gave them the starting position on the field at the Tampa five-yard line. .

The judge had frustrations with the offense entering the week off. He gave Garrett another chance with healthier training and then unplugged when results didn’t improve.

Late Monday night in the bowels of Raymond James Stadium, the judge yelled, “If I were a player, there would also be some things that would frustrate me. By early Tuesday afternoon, Garrett was out.

“Coming into the week off, I wanted to give it a little more time, and I just want to make sure that we keep moving in the right direction,” Judge said. “It’s not an instant decision or anything like a reflection of [Monday] at night, but we have to make some movements to give our attack the opportunity to change some things and be more productive.

Garrett held a final poignant press conference last week before his sacking, highlighting the Giants’ lack of building blocks on their offensive line compared to the Cowboys, who built one of football’s best fronts before the sacking. by Garrett in January 2020.

“You have to make the decision to say, ‘OK, we have to allocate this resource, because it’s important to us,” Garrett said. “And we did. [in Dallas] time and again.”

Long-awaited general manager Dave Gettleman has failed to rebuild the line to save Eli Manning’s career end. And now his incompetence is jeopardizing the performance and evaluation of his next quarterback, No. 6 overall pick Jones.

Jones was pressured on 42% of his losses by the Bucs’ defensive front on Monday night, according to season-high NFL NextGen Stats. Jones has had just 23 total touchdowns and 28 turnovers in 24 games for Garrett. That includes 20 touchdown passes and three rushing touchdowns against 17 interceptions and nine lost fumbles.

That’s why Judge said he sided with the players on Monday night: because they weren’t performing at a high enough standard. He said he spoke to a few captains about Garrett’s sacking in person on Tuesday and would address the team on Wednesday.

“I’m not trying to make statements in terms of player versus coach,” Judge said. “The way I see the game, you have to have coaches who are completely in tune with the players, who want to see them succeed, and you have to have players who trust the coaches (and) that they have their best interests. to heart. ”

Frankly, the Judge-Garrett couple seemed destined to go their separate ways from the start, when Garrett was seen as a hired owner, even though the judge insisted on Tuesday, “I’m hiring the staff.”

Last season, the judge fired Cowboys pal Garrett and Giants O line coach Marc Colombo during the week off for insubordination after an altercation. Then the club quietly let go of Garrett’s friend, low-level assistant Stephen Brown, at the end of the season.

Garrett and Brown both missed at least one game at the end of 2020 due to positive COVID-19 tests. Kitchens called the games in a 20-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns in which a few better shots from Colt McCoy could have made a huge difference.

After last season, at least a month has passed without it being known if Garrett would return for a second season. He interviewed for the vacant Chargers head coach, and it is believed the judge would have replaced him with a suitable signing, but Garrett had enough traction in the building to hang on.

Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, a leading practice contender and former Judge Patriots colleague, made sense as Judge’s OC pick in 2020 and 2021 if the stars had aligned. Instead, it was Garrett.

And at the start of this season, it only took players two games to start publicly complaining about the offense: Big budget free agent Golladay was caught on camera shouting at Garrett on the sidelines from Washington.

When asked why Golladay hadn’t made more big plays on the pitch, he replied, “I mean, I don’t really have an answer to that.”

Neither Golladay nor Toney have yet touched this season. Garrett’s dismissal might not solve everything, but something had to change.

“I expect to see an increase in the level of production,” Judge said. “This is what I’m waiting for.”

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