EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants fired offensive line coach Marc Colombo following a nasty verbal confrontation with head coach Joe Judge, sources told ESPN, and have replaced him with longtime NFL assistant Dave DeGuglielmo.
“We appreciate what Marc has done, but I felt like this move is in the best interest of the team,” Judge said in a statement released by the team Wednesday.
When Colombo was told of a plan by Judge to hire DeGuglielmo as a consultant on Tuesday night, it did not go down well.
Colombo did not agree with the move and felt that he was being undermined, a source told ESPN, due to DeGuglielmo’s background as an offensive line coach. Another source added that the hands-on Judge wanted to bring in “one of his guys” to capture more control at a position that is not his expertise.
Although there was plenty of name-calling, Colombo and Judge did not get into a fistfight, as one report indicated. A Giants spokesperson said the report of a physical altercation is “absolutely false in every way.”
The move to fire Colombo was a surprise considering that the Giants’ offensive line has shown improvement in recent weeks. The Giants have rushed for more than 150 yards in each of their past three games.
Colombo was hired by Judge this offseason to work under Colombo’s former boss Jason Garrett, the offensive coordinator. Colombo was previously line coach for the Dallas Cowboys.
But Judge has been more involved in recent weeks in working with the Giants’ offensive line.
DeGuglielmo was an assistant offensive line coach/quality control with the Giants from 2004 to ’08. He also worked with Judge in New England when he coached the Patriots’ offensive line in 2014 and ’15.
Judge interviewed DeGuglielmo for the offensive line coach job earlier this year.
Colombo, 42, played 10 years in the NFL for the Chicago Bears, Cowboys and Miami Dolphins. He worked as an assistant with the Cowboys for each of the previous four seasons.
Among Colombo’s top jobs has been to work with the Giants’ young offensive linemen. Three of their first five picks in this year’s draft were offensive linemen, including No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas. Fifth-round pick Shane Lemieux was recently inserted into the starting lineup, and third-round selection Matt Peart has been rotated in.
But Thomas struggled early, and his sloppy technique became a topic of conversation.
“We sat down, had conversations with Andrew, talked about taking [his technique] from the practice field to the game. That is what he’s done lately,” Colombo said last week. “He has a new air of confidence. The past couple weeks he has played really well. His timing has been better. His pass sets have been better. His run blocking has been better. We just have to keep growing. I’ve noticed a more confident Andrew the past few weeks.”