Tisch Defends Giants Ownership Structure After Coach Firing
NFL Giants Chair & Exec VP Steve Tisch said that he will "become more involved in the operations of the team that has fallen on hard times" moving forward, according to Paul Schwartz of the N.Y. POST. Tisch and Giants President & CEO John Mara "have a 50-50 partnership," with Mara "running the day-to-day operations from the team facility." Tisch, who addressed the media Monday after the team fired coach Pat Shurmur, said he and Mara "have a great dialogue with each other, it's a very functional working relationship." Tisch: "Partnerships are hard, professional ones and domestic ones. I feel we have a very good one." Tisch acknowledged there can be a "difference of opinions." There was speculation one of those "centered on how deep the changes needed to go after a 4-12 season, and that Tisch was pushing for firing" Senior VP & GM Dave Gettleman along with Shurmur. But Mara said that was "absolutely false." Mara said of Tisch, "Our relationship, contrary to what I read the other day, has never been better" (N.Y. POST, 12/31).
THINGS TO WORK OUT: In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro notes Tisch becoming more involved on the football side "represents a tectonic change" within the organization. It "certainly seems that Mara cast himself against type by agreeing to blow up another coach -- and that almost certainly can be read as him respecting Tisch's wishes to shake the Giants up from their malaise." Vaccaro: "The partners are still partners and appeared on the same page Monday. Will they stay there? That, as much anything, may determine if the Giants ever find their way again, and how long it'll take to get there" (N.Y. POST, 12/31). CBSSPORTS.com's Jonathan Jones noted Mara and Tisch "spent a decent portion of their media availability Monday trying to disprove any notion of friction between them -- almost to a comical extent" (12/30).
MARA SEEKS NEW LEADER: On Long Island, Bob Glauber notes Mara made a "humbling confession" on Monday regarding the team's recent lack of success on the field. Mara: "The success, the failures in the last eight years have been miserable, so I'll accept my share of the blame for that" (NEWSDAY, 12/31). In Newark, Matt Lombardo writes, "Used to be, the Tisches trusted the Maras to get this football stuff right. Not anymore." The latest Giants coaching search will be undertaken "without outside counsel" from longtime Giants consultant Ernie Accorsi or an advisory firm. The team "might be moving some furniture around to make room" for the L.A.-based Tisch (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 12/31). Mara said of the coaching search, "I'm really looking for leadership. That's the big thing going forward. Somebody who can come in and take control of this roster, help build a culture that is going to lead to winning. Somebody who is going to help us with our football re-organization during the process we're undergoing right now" (N.Y. POST, 12/31).
THE GETTLEMAN FACTOR: In Newark, Darryl Slater notes though Mara said the new coach will not have a say in Gettleman's '20 future, he is "open to changing his organization's power structure." Mara: "We would certainly consider that." But he also "dismissed the notion that Gettleman's continued presence in East Rutherford could be a deterrent for prominent coaching candidates" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 12/31). In N.Y., Bill Pennington notes any "reference to revamping the Giants' recent approach to building a winning team will be welcomed by the legions of irritated fans." Regardless of what Mara said on Monday, retaining Gettleman "will remain a target among a large swath of the team's following" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/31). The STAR-LEDGER's Slater writes Gettleman is not "considered a forward-thinking GM in today's NFL." So "why would a coach who has his pick of jobs want to come work with Gettleman?" Plus, the GM "might not even be around past 2020, if the Giants struggle again." Slater: "So the new coach will be coming into a situation with a hot-seat GM -- and facing the possibility of working in 2021 with a GM who played no role in hiring him." Those sort of hiring/firing cycles "rarely work out for anybody" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 12/31). In N.Y., Pat Leonard writes Gettleman is football's "poster boy for mocking analytics and forward thinking." Leonard: "So it was hard to take seriously when John Mara tried to sell coaching candidates Monday on the Giants being 'deeper into analytics and technology than we've ever been before.'" Mara also called his decision to fire Shurmur a "gut instinct." Leonard: "The complete opposite of analytics-based thinking" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/31).