One of the top coaching names on the market this offseason, Adam Gase, landed in Miami this past weekend – signaling to other teams with openings that they better make a decision soon. Where it becomes tricky is that if the Giants have their heart set on, say, a Patriots assistant they had better hope the Pats get eliminated this weekend. You cannot make an offer to a coach from another team until that coach’s team is no longer playing.
A look at candidates and their status’:
Hue Jackson, Bengals offensive coordinator
Jackson appears close to taking the Browns job (where he’d be able to help select the team’s GM), but one would think he’d hear the Giants first. New York requested permission to speak with Jackson Monday. Jackson made Andy Dalton into a Pro Bowl quarterback and got some good games out of A.J. McCarron down the stretch of the regular season. Imagine if he had a proven commodity to work with like Eli?
Sean McDermott, Panthers defensive coordinator
McDermott will surely secure a job somewhere by the end of this process. He reportedly interviewed with the Browns and Buccaneers. McDermott is only 41-years-old, so that may be something of a risk for the Giants’ historically prudent front office.
Coaches on their second NFL head coaching jobs have a good success rates (Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin are examples A and B). Smith showed early in his time in Atlanta that he can win in the league as he needed the third-fewest games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to reach the 50-win plateau, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The Giants have already spoken with Smith about the job.
Marrone had the Bills on the upswing until he opted out of his contract in curious fashion a year ago. One of his former assistants, Bob Casullo, told ESPN last year that “when [Marrone] takes a job he already has his plan in place for his next job.” Casullo added that Marrone is “self-centered, selfish and greedy.” Well then.
It’s been rumored that John Mara wants someone with head coaching experience, so Marrone at least has that going for him.
Josh McDaniels, Patriots offensive coordinator
His name was mud just a few years back, but McDaniels is the odds-on favorite to become the first Bill Belichick assistant to become a great head coach. The man who calls the plays for Tom Brady can be picky at this stage of things as he will want to go to a place that has a legit quarterback already on the roster. He is said to be highly interested in the Tennessee job, with Marcus Mariota in place, and the newly opened Tampa Bay job is also appealing (with Jameis Winston under center). But if McDaniels wants to win right away, teaming up with Eli is a hell of an option. Like McDermott, McDaniels is young (39) ... but then again he's an old 39.
Bill Cowher, former Steelers head coach
It’s long been said the Cowher covets the Giants job as the front office in New York is just as stable as the one in Pittsburgh. ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio wrote last week that Cowher would want full control of the Giants personnel decisions – which would mean Big Blue would have to fire GM Jerry Reese. A brash move like firing a guy who was recently told his job is secure would be out of the ordinary for the Giants, but if the prize is Cowher – who has been one of the top coaching candidates on the market for a decade – anything is possible.
At this point, the hiring of offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo or defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo would be the definition of “boring.” But sometimes, “boring” is wise. The Giants don’t need to make a big splash. They need to hire the right guy. And a tweaking, like putting McAdoo or Spagnuolo in charge – might be safe and smart.