Bill Belichick still “has the keys” to the Giants organization.
That’s according to former Giants running back Derrick Ward, who called into Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s program on SiriusXM on Thursday afternoon. Ward talked about Brian Flores’ explosive discrimination lawsuit against the NFL which alleged his interview for the New York Giants was a sham.
“Bill Belichick, I’m pretty sure he still has the keys to Giants Stadium. To this day,” Ward said.
“I agree with you,” Russo said. “He has too much [power]. They love him too much. You’re right about that. It’s ridiculous.”
“He has a ton of power with the Giants,” Ward said. “He was dating somebody in the office when I was playing there. He still has a lot of pull in New York, which is pretty crazy to me.”
Belichick worked for the Giants from 1979-1990, winning two Super Bowls as a defensive coordinator under Bill Parcells. His recommendation led to the Giants hiring Joe Judge as their previous head coach.
Later in the interview with Mad Dog, Ward said, “It is kind of fishy that Brian Flores gets the text message from Coach Belichick, and Coach Belichick is lost and doesn’t know which Brian he’s talking to and congratulating Brian Daboll for getting the Job. Of course Belichick is going to know that before anybody. I’m telling you, Chris. I guarantee he has the keys to the New York Giants’ stadium.
“He’s going to know everything first when it comes to the New York Giants because he has that communication.”
Russo agreed with him about this point: “It was some Mara,” he said. “It wasn’t [Steve] tic. He was in Hollywood making movies. He doesn’t care.”
Russo said it was “some Mara” mentioning that it could’ve been one of about 11 of them, because former Giants GM George Young used to tell him he always worried about what the large family would talk about at the dinner table when he wasn it’s there.
Earlier this week, the Giants released a statement refuting the claims that Belichick, despite appearing to know they would hire Daboll before Flores even interviewed, had any input on their coaching search.
“The allegation that the Giants’ decision had been made prior to Friday evening, January 28, is false,” the Giants said. “And to base that allegation on a text exchange with Bill Belichick in which he ultimately states that he ‘thinks’ Brian Daboll would get the job is irresponsible. The text exchange occurred the day before Coach Daboll’s in-person interview even took place. Giants’ ownership would never hire a head coach based only on a 20-minute zoom interview, which is all that Mr. Daboll had at that point.
“In addition, Mr. Belichick does not speak for and has no affiliation with the Giants. mr. Belichick’s text exchange provides no insight into what actually transpired during our head coaching search.”
Flores, appearing on NPR earlier this week, was on the same wavelength as Ward that Belichick still wields great influence on the Giants despite not having worked there since 1990.
“I think there are back channel conversations and back channel meetings that are had that oftentimes influence decisions. I think [the Giants’ hiring process] is a clear example of that. Bill Belichick is a clear example of that. His resume speaks to that,” Flores said.
“It was clear to me that decision was made with [Belichick’s] influence,” Flores said on the podcast. “That’s part of the problem. That needs to change. There needs to be a fair and equal opportunity to interview and showcase your abilities to lead and earn one of those positions.”
Ward, in his interview with Mad Dog, did have praise for John Mara. “He’s a great owner, Ward said. “I love mr. Mara.”
Russo mentioned that the Giants are one of seven franchises who have never hired a Black head coach, and asked Ward how Mara could be a great owner if he’s never hired a Black head coach.
“That’s the question of a lifetime,” Ward said.