EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Tom Coughlin is making major changes to the struggling New York Giants offense, starting with his staff.
Longtime assistant coaches Mike Pope and Jerald Ingram were fired on Wednesday after this season's dismal performance by the offense. The moves came one day after Coughlin decided to take the team in another direction by hiring Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo as his new offensive coordinator.
"Both of these men are very good talent evaluators and, in their own way, are very good teachers," Coughlin said after he dismissed two men who were members of his original staff when he was hired as coach in 2004. "I decided to make a change in our staff that I believe will be productive going forward. These are very difficult decisions, but I felt they were in the best interests of the Giants moving forward."
The Giants went 7-9 this season and missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five years. The losing record was the second in Coughlin's tenure, and the anemic offense played a major role.
New York ranked 28th in the NFL in both yards (307.5) and points per game (18.4).
The hiring of McAdoo indicates the Giants will use more of an up-tempo offense and less of the traditional balanced offense they have had in recent years with Kevin Gilbride running it. Gilbride retired after the season.
Firing Pope and Ingram sends a message to the players that even some of Coughlin's closest friends are being held accountable.
"Mike and I coached together on the Giants staff back in the 1980s," Coughlin said. "When I returned as the head coach, I didn't intend to keep anyone from the previous staff. I visited with Mike and made a decision that I wanted him as a part of our new staff going forward, and it was certainly the right decision."
Pope has been the Giants' tight ends coach since 2000. He worked for the team for 23 years spread out over three decades, and been a part of their four Super Bowl championship teams. He has been an NFL assistant for 31 seasons, also coaching in the Super Bowl with New England in 1996 and with the Giants in 2000. Pope's tenure with the Giants is the longest for any assistant coach.