On Monday, the New York Giants decided to fire head coach Pat Shurmur. In two seasons with the Giants, Shurmur was 9-23. General manager Dave Gettleman will remain in his position, the team announced on Monday.
After the announcement of Shurmur’s dismissal, Eli Manning, Daniel Jones, and Saquon Barkley reacted.
Here is what they had to say:
Q: What’s your reaction to the firing today?
Manning: Coach Shurmur and I had a great relationship. I think he is a great coach, I think he is a wonderful man and (I’m) just disappointed. I think you always feel responsible when a coach gets fired. It’s obviously because as players we didn’t do our part. We didn’t play well enough, we didn’t win enough games. I feel for him and all the coaches. They worked hard and did a lot of hard work and a lot of good things. Obviously, just didn’t win enough games for them to stay on and move forward, so (I’m) disappointed.
Q: How did the firing of your head coach hit you?
Jones: It’s tough. Obviously, that’s I guess part of the business and part of being at this level. But it’s tough on me, tough on all of us.
Q: What are you feeling right now?
Jones: Just disappointed. Coach (Pat Shurmur) obviously believed in me, Coach believed in all of us, and it’s disappointing. I’m grateful to him for the opportunity. I think he’s an excellent football coach and I really appreciate what he’s done for us.
Q: When something like this happens, do the players feel a part of it, as though they’re responsible as well?
Jones: Absolutely, no question. It’s a tough deal, but everyone is responsible. The players are very, very largely responsible for how this season has gone. I certainly feel responsible, and I think that’s the tough part. That’s the way we should feel and that’s the way it is. Everyone on this team feels that way. We have to use that to motivate us going into the offseason and make sure that we’re not in this position next year.
Q: He addressed you guys. Can you give us a little bit of insight into what that was like? He addressed you guys as a team?
Jones: He did, yeah. He let us know of the situation and told us that he appreciated us, our effort. Coach’s class and just who he is as a man was always apparent. It was apparent in that meeting also. I think the world of him. I have the ultimate amount of respect for him as a coach and as a person.
Q: Is it important to you that the next head coach be a quarterback guy, have a quarterback background?
Jones: That’s not necessarily up to me and well above my pay grade. My job is to work as hard as I can to improve, to learn the system and work with the next coach.
Q: In that vein, obviously, you’re not making the decision, but what kind of general characteristics would you be hoping for that the new head coach would have?
Jones: I don’t know. Just an energy and excitement for this team. I think the next head coach will do that. I trust the people making that decision. Like I said, my job is to work as hard as I can to learn the system and to continue to improve as a player.
Q: Going into the future, you’re the franchise quarterback. How do you accept the responsibility of being the quarterback of the New York Giants?
Jones: Just work hard every day to improve. Where we are right now as a team, where I am right now as a player, is not where we need to be. I feel that, I think this team feels that. If we want to get where we want to go, we’re going to have to use this, to learn from this. Otherwise, the season would have been pointless. We need to use it to motivate us, use it to improve going into the offseason.
Q: There are going to be several head coaching positions open in the NFL. What do you think makes the Giants’ opening so attractive?
Jones: I think, one, it’s a historic franchise with a lot of tradition. This team has a chance to, like I said, continue to improve. We have guys who can build a special team, be a part of a special team, and that’s our goal. We’re excited about this team. We know we have an opportunity to be special and we’re determined to do that. I think just the opportunity to be a part of this organization, this historic organization, is something anyone would be excited about.
Q: Are you surprised by the news of what happened with Coach (Pat) Shurmur?
Barkley: Yeah, I was surprised by it. Upset, we’re all upset. I’ve been preaching all season whenever anyone asked me about what I think about if our coaching staff are the right people, I always kept saying it’s easy to point the finger at one person. But at the end of the day, kind of like what DG (Dave Gettleman) said in the meeting, we’re all responsible. We’re all responsible for these last two seasons. Coach Shurmur is a heck of a person, heck of a coach, and definitely helped me develop over these last two years.
Q: How hard was it today when you heard the news?
Barkley: Very hard. It sucks. That’s your coach. He’s one of the guys that believed in me, believed in DJ (Daniel Jones), for us to get here and live our dreams of playing in the NFL. You don’t want to see anybody go out like that. It sucks because, like I said, you point the finger at one person. It wasn’t all him, it’s all of us. We just need to take that and learn from the lesson, and in the future, to be better.
Q: I think it’s probably just another reality of the NFL that as you move on in your career, that these things happen at this level?