New York Giants co-owner John Mara admitted Wednesday he’s been “embarrassed” by the way the team has fallen from grace over the last few seasons.
Mara addressed the decisions to fire head coach Joe Judge and to let Dave Gettleman retire from his post as general manager as the team embarks on a new era in the franchise once again.
He was asked whether this was his “lowest moment” with the Giants and whether he was “embarrassed” about the organization.
“Honestly, I would have to say yes. Yes, it is. I kept thinking during the season that we had hit rock bottom and then each week it got a little worse. Honestly, I’m not proud of saying this, but if I’m going to be 100% honest, I would have to say the answer is yes,” Mara said.
It took the Giants an extra day after “Black Monday,” the first day after the regular season when many such moves are made, to decide to fire Judge. Rumors indicated New York was leaning toward retaining Judge as the team searched for a new general manager, but that didn’t turn out to be the case.
On Jan. 2, he went on an 11-minute rant declaring that the Giants weren’t a “clown show organization.” Mara said he was less than thrilled by the way he handled the press conferences.
“Obviously, I wasn’t thrilled with that particular press conference, but I can’t say there was one specific act that was the last straw. It was just a culmination of things,” Mara said. “We just got to a point where I thought we had dug ourselves a hole so deep that I didn’t see a clear path to getting out of it unless we completely blew it up and started all over again with a new general manager and a new head coach. I still think that there is a really good head coach inside of Joe Judge. I just felt like given where we are right now on the verge of bringing in a new general manager, we have to give that person the flexibility to bring in the head coach that he wants. I think that was a large part of the decision here in making a change. I just felt like we really needed to just start from the ground up again.”
Mara asked Giants fans to be patient as the team, yet again, goes through the process of rebuilding the front office.
“Well, I haven’t given them any reason to believe that,” Mara said when asked whether Giants fans should believe this was the right choice. “It’s up to (co-owner) Steve (Tisch) and me to make the right choices going forward to earn back their trust. That is not going to be an overnight process. That’s going to take some time, but it starts with getting the general manager pick done correctly and then with hiring the right head coach. That’s going to be a process that we’re going to have to earn their trust again. As I said, that’s not going to happen overnight.”
Since 2012, the Giants have only had one winning season. The team was 11-5 in its first season under Ben McAdoo in 2016 and lost in the wild card playoffs. They haven’t been back to the playoffs since.