Shortly after the New York Giants fired head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese on Monday morning, Metro sports editors Joe Pantorno (New York) and Evan Macy (Philadelphia) decided to kick the tires on a few possible head coaches that could be patrolling the sidelines at MetLife Stadium next season
Evan Macy: New Metro Sports debate… What should the Giants do?
I would like to suggest the team avoids the Eagles. Jim Schwartz and Frank Reich seem to be among the names already in the conversation for the Giants gig. In addition, it seems like NFL internal hires aren’t really working in the NFL. Might be time to try and find the next young stud from the college ranks, no?
Joe Pantorno: I can honestly say I don’t have the slightest idea because there are so many intangibles that a new coach’s success hinges on. Will this team improve the offensive line? Will Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall create this crazy dynamic duo when healthy? Can the defense regain their 2016 form if the offense allows them to stay off the field for a bit more time? If the Giants look like a totally different team this in the final four games of the season (which will destroy any hopes of a top-three draft pick), why wouldn’t you keep Spagnuolo for at least next season to see how things work out? If not, do you go with an offensive mind that can connect with Eli Manning (or the QB of the future), OBJ, etc? If that’s the case, then you go with Josh McDaniels. If you want to carry on that Giants tradition of building the foundation of a contender through defense, you pick a defensive mind like Jim Schwartz. But if you want that big name that provides star power that can light a fire under your team, you inquire about Jon Gruden.
In short, do I know what I want right now? Not exactly.
But I would love to see Gruden going ballistic on the sidelines at MetLife Stadium next year, even if it is a long shot to coax him out of the ESPN booth.
EM: It seems to me there are a lot of big personalities in that locker room. I feel like to coach the Giants, you need to have a bit of experience. Ben McAdoo didn’t have it. (edited)
JP: And by those standards, Gruden might not be the best option considering he hasn’t coached since 2008. But Schwartz, McDaniels, Matt Patricia, Teryl Austin have been around NFL sidelines, would probably call for less money and might be able to identify with those big personalities better.
EM: Here’s a name for you. Sean Payton. Things not great in New Orleans even though the team is on fire. Drew Brees is getting old and needs a new contract. Could the two come to New York as a package deal? With Odell healthy can you imagine?
JP: If New Orleans wasn’t putting together such a solid season, I think this could’ve been a more viable option unless things fall apart behind closed doors. But if they make the NFC title game this year, I can’t see either of them leaving. Though Payton does have Giants roots as OC back in the early 2000’s. Him coming to New York would be more likely than Brees. Though the thought of Drew-to-OBJ would be surreal.
EM: The win-now mentality has to be a hard one to overcome to get an A-list coach no? Why would a Gruden or Cowher or Saban want to come coach a team that is the third best in the NFC East and in rebuilding mode? Eli’s career is done — for all intents and purposes — and the Eagles and Cowboys have a solid core that will be hard to compete with for a few years.
JP: If Eli has an offensive line and healthy receivers, I think he can be plenty productive until the end of his contract in 2019. If the Giants get a top-three pick, draft your franchise QB this spring, have him redshirt a year or two under Manning and then he should be ready to receive the torch and hit the ground running. If that vision of a seamless transition is properly presented, the Giants should be able to get whoever they see fit. The NFC East has been inconsistent enough over the past six years. Each team has won the division at least once.
EM: So lets recap. You need a sophisticated, experienced locker room role model, who is also a QB whisperer for Eli Manning’s future red shirt trainee, who can handle the bright lights of coaching in New York, who would work for less money, who is content to chase the Cowboys and Eagles for the next half decade…?
JP: Well when you put it that way….how’s Don Shula doing these days?