New York Giants: Pat Shurmur catches wind of Joe Judge’s comments

New York Giants, Pat Shurmur

The New York Giants are nearing the end of their disappointing 2021 season. With one game left on the schedule, the Giants are in danger of finishing the season with the highest loss total they’ve ever had. New York is 4-12 and a loss on Sunday would drop them to 4-13, tying 2017 for their most losses in a season. Joe Judge would be the first head coach in New York Giants history to lose 13 games in a season if the team loses to Washington on Sunday.

Giants fans are fed up. They are ready to see General Manager Dave Gettleman fired and many of them would like to see Head Coach Joe Judge get the boot, too. Especially after Judge’s infamous post-game rant after the team’s loss to the Bears this past Sunday.

After the Giants were blown out by the Chicago Bears 29-3 in Week 17, Joe Judge went on a rant for the ages. The Giants’ head coach spoke uninterrupted for nearly eleven minutes. In this long-winded introduction to members of the media, Joe Judge took shots at former New York Giants players, coaches, and players/coaches of other teams. Joe Judge commented on the state of the Giants’ locker room before he arrived last offseason, seemingly taking a shot at former Head Coach Pat Shurmur. Today, Pat Shurmur caught wind of Joe Judge’s comments.

Pat Shurmur catches wind of Joe Judge’s comments

During his post-game rant on Sunday, Joe Judge referenced the state of the New York Giants when he arrived last offseason. According to Judge, the players of the Giants “tapped out” toward the end of the season under former Head Coach Pat Shurmur’s leadership:

“To a man, every player looked me in the eye and said, Joe, it’s not a team, they don’t play hard, we’re out of the playoffs, everybody quit, everybody tapped … They tapped out. OK?”

Pat Shurmur, currently working as the Offensive Coordinator of the Denver Broncos, was asked about Judge’s comments today:

“I obviously – that’s not an accurate assessment. But beyond that, I have no comment.” – Pat Shurmur on Joe Judge’s recent comments stating that “everybody quit,” and “everybody tapped” and “stopped showing up to captain’s meetings” in 2019 (via Ryan O’Halloran).

Joe Judge stooped to a low level when he decided to take shots at former coaches and players. Pat Shurmur was wise not to stoop to the same level. Some current Giants players might be supporting Joe Judge and backing up his comments, but the fans are not. And in New York, you can only go so far without the support of the devoted Giants fans behind you. Joe Judge was seemingly safe to remain the Giants’ head coach next season. But after this fiasco, it seems more and more likely that ownership will rethink their plans going into 2022.

New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr. “felt betrayed” by former coach Pat Shurmur

We never did get to see what would happen if the New York Giants were able to field a healthy Odell Beckham Jr., Daniel Jones, and Saquon Barkley. As everyone knows, the team moved on from Beckham with a trade to the Browns and there’s been varying takes on whether that was a good move or not. Some have said that Beckham was a distraction and overrated on the field, and others have complained about the Giants trading away a major offensive weapon that they still haven’t replaced fully.

However, more light is coming out on just what happened before the team moved on from Beckham. If the player himself is to be believed, he had other factors than just his health working against him towards the end of his time with the franchise.

Beckham Jr. accuses Pat Shurmur of sabotage

Most Giants fans don’t have too high of a view of Pat Shurmur as a coach based on how his time with the team went, but Beckham revealed another possible problem from Shurmur’s time with the Giants while speaking to the All Things Covered podcast.

He says that Shurmur intentionally tried to turn teammates against him, a detail that hasn’t come out before.

“I felt betrayed in a sense that this coach tried to turn me against my brothers and my coaches and was telling the young guys to stay away from me because I’m not a good person or not a good team [player] or role model or this and that,” Beckham said. Of course, we all know who ‘this coach’ actually means, even if Beckham didn’t name Shurmur explicitly. It’s clear enough from who was in charge when the Giants moved on from Beckham.

He also claims that he never meant to talk down on Eli Manning – an incident that would become one of the defining controversies of the late period of his time with the franchise.

“The only thing I can look back on and be like, ‘Man, I regret saying that’ is saying he’s not the same player, even though it’s the truth.”

Manning was, of course, replaced by Daniel Jones not long after Beckham departed. But whether or not Beckham was right to state the truth, as he claims, is a matter of opinion.

Building an organization

While Beckham has said a number of controversial things, a lot of fans will likely agree with his comments about team building. The rebuilding process of the Giants has been extended by draft picks not panning out, and Beckham mentioned the draft specifically.

According to him, the Giants could have won with Eli despite his age. But not with the way they drafted during those years.

“I felt like they never put people around Eli. It bothered me because I felt like they never built around him. And we just kept drafting, we were drafting not like building an organization.”

Fortunately, the Giants have started to change that more recently. Picks such as Darius Slayton, Andrew Thomas, and Dexter Lawrence have been panning out and the team has made good free agent decisions that have directly resulted in more wins. Organizationally, the Giants went with a new coaching staff that looks more effective. Not only is Joe Judge a candidate for Coach of the Year, but his coordinators haven’t dropped the ball as Giants coordinators under Pat Shurmur did.

But we’ll never know what would have happened if the Giants kept Beckham around during these improvements. The idea of Daniel Jones throwing touchdown passes to Beckham, and of the Giants having a dangerous receiving group including Beckham, Slayton, and Sterling Shepard is an appealing one.

Like many other things in NFL history though, it remains a ‘what if.’ And it will take a serious shakeup for Beckham to somehow accomplish his old goal of winning a ring in New York.

New York Giants: Will FB Elijhaa Penny See An Expanded Role In 2020?

The fullback position is dying in the NFL. Every year, NFL teams utilize the fullback position in their offense less and less. Last season, the New York Giants ran 21-personnel on just 5% of their offensive snaps. Pat Shurmur’s offense featured a heavy dosage of 11-personnel, operating out of that grouping 74% of the time (2nd-highest rate in the NFL).

The Giants were rarely using the fullback position despite having a pretty talented player on the roster at that position. Elijhaa Penny has been with the Giants since 2018. But in both of his seasons with the Giants, Penny played 12% of the team’s offensive snaps.

In 2018, Penny finished the season as the 4th highest graded fullback with a 68.6 overall grade according to Pro Football Focus. Penny’s PFF grade dropped to 57.7 overall in 2019, but the Giants’ offense as a whole saw a decline in performance.

Why Elijhaa Penny Should Be Utilized More In 2020

Pat Shurmur was a fan of Elijhaa Penny, but he never really utilized him in the Giants’ offense. Shurmur spent the vast majority of the Giants’ snaps in 11-personnel. The Giants’ wide receiver-heavy offense struggled the past two seasons. But the Giants now have a new offensive coordinator and a new offensive scheme to implement.

The Giants’ new offensive coordinator is Jason Garrett. Garrett was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys since 2010 and served as their offensive coordinator for three years prior. He has not called plays on offense since 2012, however, the offensive coordinators on his staff have been running Garrett’s offensive system. Garrett’s system has been highly efficient for the Cowboys as they had six top-ten finishes over the years.

Jason Garrett’s offense has a strong emphasis on the running game. In 2019, Dallas ran the ball on average 28.1 times per game (9th highest rate in the NFL). Pat Shurmur’s offense in New York averaged 22.6 rushing attempts per game (4th fewest). The Cowboys also utilized 21-personnel far more often than the Giants.

As previously mentioned, the Giants ran 21-personnel on just 5% of their offensive snaps (21st highest frequency). The Dallas Cowboys utilized 21-personnel on 9% of their offensive snaps (13th highest frequency). Under Jason Garrett, the Giants are likely to run more 21-personnel and utilize the fullback position at a higher rate. This could mean an expanded role is in store for Elijhaa Penny in 2020.

New York Giants: Jason Garrett A Major Upgrade At Offensive Coordinator In 2020

New York Giants, Jason Garrett

The New York Giants are entering the 2020 NFL season with a new coaching staff. Pat Shurmur was fired from the position after two disappointing seasons with Big Blue. His replacement, Joe Judge, has quickly won over the fanbase with a commanding introductory press conference and the hiring of an excellent and experienced coaching staff.

Joe Judge hired multiple former head coaches as assistants on his coaching staff. The biggest name of all was Jason Garrett, former the Dallas Cowboys head coach from 2010-2019. Garrett was hired to serve as the Giants’ new offensive coordinator, replacing Mike Shula who held the position since 2018.

Mike Shula was always an interesting hiring for the New York Giants. He was not the team’s first choice at offensive coordinator- that was Kevin Stefanski, who is now the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. However, once the Vikings denied permission for the Giants to interview Stefanski, the team shifted focus and went with Shula instead.

Shula had some familiarity with Dave Gettleman from Carolina. He was a member of the Panthers’ coaching staff from 2011 to 2017. Shula’s offensive scheme helped quarterback Cam Newton reach MVP status en route to a Super Bowl appearance in 2015. In New York, though, Shula was not running his own scheme, rather, he was helping Pat Shurmur run his scheme.

A Different Coaching Philosophy

One of the biggest differences for the Giants in 2020 will be the fundamental change in coaching philosophy. Under the last two head coaches, McAdoo and Shurmur, the Giants’ offensive coordinators were far less involved on Sundays. Both Shurmur and McAdoo called plays for the Giants, quite unsuccessfully. Both offensive schemes were criticized for being predictable and inefficient.

Perhaps the most detrimental aspect of having the head coaches call plays was their lack of situational awareness. Quite often, both coaches would forget to call timeouts or call them at unfavorable moments. McAdoo and Shurmur had poor clock management skills that many attribute to the two coaches being too wrapped up in playcalling.

The Giants will not have that issue anymore as they welcome in a new philosophy. Now, the offensive coordinator will run the offense and call plays while the head coach oversees the entirety of the team. Luckily for New York, they secured one of the NFL’s brightest offensive minds in the league with Jason Garrett.

Jason Garrett As An Offensive Coordinator

During his long tenure with the Dallas Cowboys, Jason Garrett always had one of the league’s top offenses:

“With Garret calling plays, the Cowboys passing offense was never ranked lower than 9th in yards per game or 11th in yards per play, including two top five finishes in both categories. The rushing offense was top ten in yards per play four times.” –via

Now with an offensive coordinator dedicating his attention strictly towards the offense, the Giants could see more consistency out of its scoring unit.

New York Giants: New Offensive Scheme Will Lead To A Dominant Season By Saquon Barkley

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants have one of the NFL’s most talented players on their roster. The second overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, Saquon Barkley, is one of the NFL’s up and coming stars and, in only two seasons, he is one of the top running backs in the league.

Barkley, nicknamed “Saquads” for his massive leg muscles, is a superhuman athlete. Saquon’s offseason workouts recently made waves on the internet:

Since the Giants drafted Saquon Barkley, they have found little success in the win-loss column. Barkley has been a human highlight reel but his incredible performances have rarely led to team victories.

An Injury-Riddled 2019

Saquon Barkley was nearly unstoppable as a rookie in 2018. In his first season, Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 total yards from scrimmage. He also racked up 15 total touchdowns. Saquon’s main job is to run the football, yet he still managed to break a Giants franchise record with 91 receptions in his rookie season.

Giants fans did not see that same version of Saquon Barkley in 2019. In the team’s Week 3 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Saquon suffered a high ankle sprain that would keep him sidelined for three games. Upon his return to the starting lineup, Saquon struggled to replicate his prior success.

Even though he missed three games in 2019, Saquon Barkley still managed to top 1,000 rushing yards on the season. But it was not hard to notice that Saquon was not at full health during the 2019 season. Saquon admitted this offseason that the injury nagged him and kept him from performing at his highest level.

“In the first game I came back I ran a rush to the right side of the field and I kinda got rolled up on it again,” Barkley said. “Luckily it was wet, it was a rainy game, so I didn’t get stuck on anything but it was just nagging. It happens.

“It was tough to deal with. Once we got to the offseason and I got some time to myself to work on it and be happy with it, it made me feel a lot better.” – Saquon Barkley on his 2019 injury

A New And Improved Scheme In 2020

Saquon Barkley was not only held back by his ankle injury in 2019. He was also held back by the Giants’ offensive scheme. Former head coach Pat Shurmur served as the team’s play-caller on offense. Considering Shurmur was fired after this past season, it is safe to say he was not doing the best possible job as the team’s play-caller.

Pat Shurmur’s rushing offense was bland. When a coach has a back like Saquon Barkley on his roster, it is the coach’s job to call plays that maximize the back’s talents. One way that some of the best NFL teams get the most out of their running backs is through the use of pre-snap motion. Teams with top rushing offenses, like the Ravens, Chargers, Rams, and 49ers, use pre-snap motion a high percentage of the time. All these teams rank in the top-ten team rates of motion at the snap for the 2019 season.

The New York Giants’ offense ranked on the opposite end of the spectrum. The Giants emplored pre-snap motion on 5% of their offensive snaps, ranking 27th in the NFL. While pre-snap motion does correlate to rushing success, the Dallas Cowboys’ offense did not feature pre-snap motion enough to rank them in the top-ten. However, they were not in the bottom ten either. Jason Garrett’s offense does feature more pre-snap motion than Pat Shurmur’s did, but he still does not use pre-snap motion at an extremely high rate.

One area wherein Jason Garrett will help the Giants’ rushing offense is the diversity of the rushing direction. The Giants ran the ball up the middle 63% of the time in 2019, one of the highest rates in the NFL. The Cowboys ran the ball up the middle 50% of the time, one of the lowest rates in the NFL. The Cowboys ran the ball off the left tackle at one of the highest rates. Compared to league averages, Dallas ran the ball off the right end, right tackle, and left tackle at a higher rate than average. They ran the ball up the middle and to the left end at a below-average rate.

The Giants ran the ball off the left tackle at one of the lowest rates in the NFL last season, another opposite to the Cowboys’ rushing scheme. The Giants ran the ball to the left end only 5% of the time. They ran the ball to the left tackle, left end, and right end at a below-average rate. They were well above average in their rushing percentage up the middle and also well above average in their run percentage off the right tackle.

Saquon Barkley is one of the hardest players to tackle in the NFL. Very rarely does a defender tackle Saquon Barkley in a one-on-one, open field situation. Barkley is a professional ankle-breaker. For this reason, the Giants would be wise to run the ball outside and get Saquon out in space. Shurmur preferred to shove Barkley down the middle of the defenses’ throats. In 2020, the Giants will run the ball outside more often. This will lead to a breakout season from Saquon Barkley.

Former New York Giants Coaches Praised By Nate Solder

New York Giants, Pat Shurmur

The New York Giants didn’t have good coaching last year but they did have popular coaches, it seems.

The 2019 season was a story of the team dropping out of contention for the playoffs early in the year and putting up abysmal performances through the important middle weeks of the season, and much of the blame for that went on the coaching staff including head coach Pat Shurmur – however, despite how things went down, there’s still players on the Giants team that will support Shurmur right down to this current day.

Nate Solder is one of those players, and he had some good words for about Shurmur, following Shurmur’s addition to the Broncos staff as the offensive coordinator.

“That’s excellent. You’ve got a great staff. Growing up, I was a Broncos fan and I just wish the best for all those guys,” said Solder, who is from Denver himself and played for the University of Colorado in college.

“I think he did a great job keeping things dynamic. I think he did a great job of highlighting our best players. We had a lot of success. That wasn’t noticed in our wins and losses but I felt like we did some good things,” Solder continued, speaking about former head coach Pat Shurmur and what he brings to the Broncos as a coordinator.

It’s no secret of course that the Giants didn’t have a ton of success with Shurmur, but he appears to have been a more popular figure in the locker room than his predecessor Ben McAdoo – Shurmur did, after all, have more defenders during the season, and McAdoo didn’t get the same treatment with players even praising him in the offseason following his firing.

Shurmur might not have had success but there is one way that Joe Judge could imitate him as he eases into the head coaching role this year, and that’s forming good bonds with the players and becoming a popular figure in the locker room.

The New York Giants have a secret weapon at quarterbacks coach

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

When the New York Giants hired quarterback coach Jerry Schuplinski, formerly of the New England Patriots, everyone collectively said, “who?”

People always tend to place their trust in familiar faces that are well known. However, that can lead us down a path of simplicity and often-time, failure. Schuplinski, who worked alongside Joe Judge in New England for years, will bring his talent to the Giants, where he will help groom Daniel Jones into a top-tier quarterback.

Having worked alongside players like Tom Brady, Jacoby Brissett, and Jimmy Garoppolo, the secretive QB coach has quite the resume to prove his worth with Jones. The influence he has had on his understudies has translated into staring-level talent, let alone the elite category Brady sits atop.

Garappolo expressed his praise for Schuplinski, and now, the 49ers quarterback will participate in the Super Bowl:

“Thinking back on everything, I owe him so much. Jerry was there for everything from the minute I got to the Patriots. He was kind of my quarterback coach in a way… I mean, he started with me from day one with the Patriots,” Garoppolo stated. “He’s a great guy at simplifying things, taking a complicated offense and simplifying it for a quarterback. I think that’s crucial and he did a great job of that when I was in New England. I know he did that with Jacoby [Brissett] too.”

The New York Giants made a great hire with Jerry Schuplinski:

Jones will see the offense open up for him in 2020, especially after Jerry helps simplify the system and break down his fundamentals. That’s where Judge’s mentality comes into play, as he stated during his opening press conference that the team would perfect the micro details to develop a sound operation ultimately.

In 2019, the Giants were a wreck under Pat Shurmur, who couldn’t manage the clock well and often saw his players crashing into each other on mesh routes. Poor execution will always lead to failure, and that’s something Judge and Schuplinski won’t tolerate.

Michael Strahan tears New York Giants apart in analysis of what they need to win

New York Giants, Michael Strahan

Anyone with a basic knowledge of football can tell you the New York Giants were in a state of peril during the 2019 season. The defense was putrid, the offense was stale, and the in-game coaching was some of the worst we’ve ever seen.

Former head coach Pat Shurmur is a talented offensive mind, but he was in over his head with the job that subsequently landed in Joe Judge’s lap, an option with no HC experience. However, the team already seems to be on a better path, with two former head coaches joining the coaching staff as offensive coordinator (Jason Garrett) and tight ends coach (Freddie Kitchens).

The New York Giants feel they are in good hands:

The way forward starts with Judge evaluating the current players on the roster and grading them appropriately. That will give management an idea of what positions need significant draft/cap allocations this offseason.

One former Giants great that was willing to express his opinion on the state of the team is Michael Strahan, stating:

“Can’t have a bunch of nice guys and win. It doesn’t work. We need to find some dogs,” Strahan told The New York Times’ David Marchese in a Q&A.

“Defense is where I struggle, because there are times I’m watching, and I’m going, ‘Wow, this is pretty bad. We don’t have a playmaker, per se, on defense,’ and that’s been a little disheartening,” he said. “Where’s the guy who inspires everybody to play better?”

General manager Dave Gettleman brought in several veteran players in 2019 to help improve the leadership factor. Antoine Bethea, Alec Ogletree (was already on the team), and Markus Golden were all considered the leaders in the locker room and on the field. Nonetheless, the unit ranked 19th in the NFL in points allowed.

“Front-office wise, I don’t know what their plan is,” he said. “I mean, we got rid of Jackrabbit [Janoris Jenkins], trade [Damon] Snacks [Harrison], got rid of Odell Beckham Jr. We got rid of a lot of guys who were opinionated, but you’ve got to have a soul to your team.”

There are players and positions that Strahan complimented:

“All right, the things I like: Daniel Jones,” Strahan began. “Excited about Saquon Barkley. If we can get Evan Engram to stay healthy, he is a dynamic tight end. We need some work on the offensive line, and we need a big-play receiver, but offensively I feel good about the team.”

Michael is right, the offense is in a good place, starting with Daniel Jones. Barkley is a playmaker who can break games open, but health continued to be an issue for Evan Engram. If Gettleman can piece together the offensive line this offseason, they will be in a far better spot in 2020.

The demise of the team lands on the defense, who need bolstering at the highest level. Expect the Giants to allocate plenty of capital towards a pass rusher, linebacker, cornerback, and free safety.

New York Giants: Offensive Coordinator selection boils down to two specifics

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants haven’t hesitated in piecing together their new coaching staff, as head coach Joe Judge has already hired familiar faces from his past to lead the charge. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham worked with Judge in New England, and defensive line coach Freddie Roach spent time with Judge in Alabama for a brief spell.

The next vacant position on the docket is offensive coordinator, and with LSU’s Joe Brady off the board, the Giants need to settle on an alternative option. Jay Gruden, Jason Garrett, and others remain solid options for Judge, but his selection needs to be tailored to two specifics.

What the New York Giants need in their next offensive coordinator:

One thing former HC Pat Shurmur did well was develop rookie passer, Daniel Jones, who had multiple games of four-touchdowns or more. Ensuring his progression remains positive is a priority for Judge, and the Giants’ next OC must understand that Jones’ development is essential to the success of the team.

Judge did bring in Patriots’ quarterbacks coach, Jerry Schuplinski, who helped groom Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy G during his tenure in New England. Now, he will have the task of helping Jones perfect his fundamentals and extract the most value out of the first-round pick from 2019.

In addition to Jones, Saquon Barkley must be utilized in an expanded role, as his usage was limited by Shurmur’s play-calling scheme in 2019. A lack of targets in the passing game and first-down running plays severely hurt his efficiency. The Giants need an OC that will develop creative plays for Barkley to get into open space and maximize his tree-trunk like frame.


New York Giants: Mike Shula Interviews To Keep Offensive Coordinator Position

The New York Giants are currently in the process of rebuilding their coaching staff. They fired head coach Pat Shurmur at season’s end and replaced him with Joe Judge. Joe Judge explained during his introductory what he is looking for in his coaching staff: teachers.

So far, the Giants have made multiple key hirings, including Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator. Judge also made sure to secure Jerry Schuplinski as quarterbacks coach, the man responsible for developing Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett into starters.

It was interesting to see the Giants hire their quarterbacks coach without having an offensive coordinator already in place. The offensive coordinator is a critical coaching position on any team. They typically call the plays on offense and oversee the development of numerous key players on the offensive side of the ball.

As of today, the Giants have begun their search for the team’s next offensive coordinator. Maybe the Giants will not even make a change at this position. Joe Judge interviewed current offensive coordinator Mike Shula today, giving Shula the possibility of retaining his job (Jordan Raanan of ESPN).

Mike Shula as Offensive Coordinator

Mike Shula has been with the New York Giants for two years now. He was hired in 2018 to serve as the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under head coach Pat Shurmur. With Shurmur gone, some believed the Giants would go in a different direction, and they still might, but Judge is covering all the bases and giving Shula a chance to keep his job.

Shula would not be the only member of Shurmur’s staff to be retained. Joe Judge is also keeping special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert. Mike Shula is not exactly a fan favorite like Tolbert and McGaughey, but fans should keep an open mind.

Mike Shula is a veteran offensive coordinator with head coaching experience at Alabama. He served as an offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers and helped Cam Newton reach MVP status in 2015 before coming to New York.

Another vital factor to note in potentially retaining Mike Shula is Daniel Jones’s development. Shula was the quarterbacks coach in 2019 and helped Daniel Jones develop quickly into a starting quarterback. Hiring Mike Shula in 2020 allows the Giants to keep some continuity for Daniel Jones on the coaching staff.

Pat Shurmur called plays for the Giants in 2018 and 2019. Mike Shula did not get an opportunity to demonstrate his play-calling ability to Giants fans. Shula’s role was as a play-designer and collaborative game-planner. Shula coached some inconsistent offenses in Carolina and struggled at times with “rhythm and timing,” which could negatively affect his efficiency as a play-caller ( But for the sake of keeping continuity for Daniel Jones, it is worth it to at least interview Mike Shula and consider him as a candidate for the offensive coordinator position.