The New York Giants fired Joe Judge yesterday in a move that needed to happen but one that owner John Mara seemed to make reluctantly. Judge was fired on Tuesday when most teams fire coaches on Monday, and the rumor mill suggested Mara was worried about the optics of firing yet another head coach, his third dismissal in the last five years.
Regardless of how they got there, though, the Giants now need a new head coach. And a new general manager since Dave Gettleman retired, too. Mara spoke to media about it briefly today and gave all the right soundbites about how disappointed he was in the team and how he needs to do better for the fans, etc. It wasn't super inspiring but certainly cleared the extremely low bar set by George McCaskey of the Chicago Bears.
There was one weird segment of the interview, though. Mara was asked about the lack of accountability that his family members have within the organization; it is widely known that his brother, Chris, has significant influence in big decisions, a point hammered home by Mara telling everyone that Chris is in the room when they interview potential GMs. Mara got all haughty about that and said it was a media-created narrative that any of the Maras are a problem. Via Fansided:
“The perception [that family members aren’t held to accountability during this stretch] has been created by you and others,” Mara chided a reporter. “The reality is that in terms of my brother, my brother spent the bulk of his time doing the evaluation of college players. His grades go into our system, and he participates in the draft.
“All personnel decisions in this building, and this has always been the case, have been made by the general manager and the head coach. When they agree on a decision, they come to me with it. As long as they are both in agreement, I okay it.”
It has very much the same energy as the aforementioned McCaskey saying everyone should trust him to make the right call because his mom thinks he's doing a good job.
It isn't a "media narrative" that Mara's family members aren't held accountable for one simple reason: they are all still employed. The last five years of Giants football have been utterly horrific in every sense of the word across every aspect of the organization. There has been not a single bright spot. Regardless of how much influence Chris Mara truly has (which is absolutely more than John is willing to admit publicly), nobody who had any part in putting this product on the field over the last few years should still be employed.
John says Chris is in charge of evaluating college players. Well, he hasn't exactly done a bang-up job there! The Giants have badly blown multiple high first-round picks over the last few seasons. Their decision to pick Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft will go down as one of the most widely-mocked picks in draft history. Nobody who had a hand in those decisions should still be with the organization. The man who made the final call, Gettleman, is not. Yet Chris Mara is. I wonder why.
It's not like it's news to anybody that nepotism is a rampant problem in football and will forever be a problem among the ranks of the exceptionally wealthy. It is, however, objectively funny that Mara's immediate defense to those thinly-veiled accusations was to blame the media. Wonder how he'll react if his next hire crashes and burns just as hard as Judge did.