The Giants have been rotating offensive linemen in recent weeks. Now they are making a change with their offensive line coach.
Head coach Joe Judge fired Marc Colombo from that position and replaced him with Dave DeGuglielmo on Wednesday, the Giants announced.
"We appreciate what Marc has done, but I felt like this move is in the best interest of the team," Judge said.
According to sources, Judge’s initial plan was to bring DeGuglielmo on as a consultant to help Colombo with a position group that had seen much progress in recent weeks but was requiring too much of Judge’s personal attention to produce those results. When Colombo balked at that idea, he was fired and DeGuglielmo was given the job.
A report that Colombo and Judge came to blows in a fist fight over the matter was vehemently denied by the team as "absolutely false in every way." There was, however, a verbal spat between the two, sources said.
Colombo’s resistance to a new role that Judge believed would help the team was in direct conflict with the mandate Judge has enforced since he was hired and which he reiterated publicly earlier this month when he benched Golden Tate for a game after he complained about how he was being used in the offense.
"First off, it has to be team first for everyone in this building," Judge said at the time. "Every coach and every player has to be team first. There’s no exceptions for that. I’m not going to tolerate and put up with any kind of selfish behavior from anybody, coach or player, it’s not going to happen."
He couldn’t bench Colombo or send him to the scout team for a week as he did with Tate, so he fired him.
Colombo came to the Giants after he was offensive line coach with the Cowboys under Jason Garrett, now the offensive coordinator for the Giants. He coached one of the top units in the league while in Dallas, a mostly veteran group, but seemed to struggle with developing young players with the Giants. Most important was the stunted growth of fourth overall draft pick Andrew Thomas, who struggled mightily until recent weeks.
"It is different," Colombo said last week. "In Dallas you had a couple of Hall of Famers, a perennial Pro Bowler, that type of deal. It was just about getting those guys the right amount of reps in every practice so they were ready and confident going into a game. Here, it’s every little tiny detail. You don’t take anything for granted."
DeGuglielmo, 52, has a history with both Judge and the Giants. He was the assistant offensive line coach and quality control coach for the Giants from 2004 to 2008. He also was the offensive line coach for the Patriots, where Judge was the special teams coordinator, from 2014 to 2015. Last year, he was hired as offensive line coach by the Dolphins when head coach Brian Flores — also a Patriots product — made a change early in their season. DeGuglielmo also was the offensive line coach for the Jets in 2012.
Now he’ll be charged with continuing the growth of the Giants’ offensive linemen — and the unit as a whole — for the rest of the season.