Giants Head Coach Interview Roundup
After firing Pat Shurmur this past Monday, the New York Giants are in the market for a new head coach. Unlike their search in 2018, the candidate list is much more expanded.
A mix of offensive coordinators, defensive coordinators, a special teams whiz, a college coach, and a former Super Bowl champion head coach. Owner John Mara and general manager Dave Gettleman are going all out to find the right coach to man the sidelines for the foreseeable future.
Here’s who interviewed thus far, and who’s remaining on the docket.
*Note: Parentheses Contains Day of Interview
Kris Richard, Dallas Cowboys defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator (Thursday):
Richard is no stranger to the head coaching sweepstakes. Back in 2019, Richard was a candidate for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins openings. Richard is best known for his work with the Seattle Seahawks secondary during their legendary “Legion of Boom” days. Once joining the Cowboys in 2018, Richard vastly improved Dallas’ defensive backfield.
Kris Richard will be a head coach down the line. Just not sure if he’ll get the gig in 2020. But, he could potentially be a defensive coordinator candidate for the Giants, considering his contract with the Cowboys expired.
Mike McCarthy, Former Green Bay Packers head coach (Friday):
Mike McCarthy is, perhaps, the biggest name on New York’s candidate list. McCarthy brings veteran experience to the table, not to mention loads of playoff experience, as evidenced by Green Bay’s Super Bowl XLV victory. During his 13 years coaching the Packers, McCarthy compiled an impressive 125-77 record.
While his resume is impressive, McCarthy’s exit from the team was well-publicized. From a reported deteriorated relationship with Aaron Rodgers, to sometimes maddening game and clock management skills.
Yet, McCarthy is the most experienced name on the list. He checks all the boxes the Giants want in a head coach, and hence why he’s one of two favorites to get the job.
Eric Bieniemy, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator (Saturday):
The fact that Eric Bieniemy didn’t get a head coaching job in 2019 was downright indefensible. Once Matt Nagy left for the Chicago Bears, Bieniemy was promoted to offensive coordinator, where he oversaw the growth of quarterback Patrick Mahomes in 2018. That year, the Chiefs led in nearly every offensive statistical category, and Mahomes won the NFL MVP award in his first year as starting quarterback.
While head coach Andy Reid calls the offensive plays for Kansas City, you can’t discredit the work Bieniemy has done. With the Giants looking to find someone to develop quarterback Daniel Jones, Eric Bieniemy showed that he can be the guy for the job.
Would the Giants pick him, remains the question.
Don “Wink” Martindale, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator (Saturday):
Don Martindale, aka “Wink,” is the top defensive mind in this year’s NFL head coaching search. After numerous stops in the league, Martindale made his trek to Baltimore in 2012, serving as a linebackers coach. Six years later, “Wink” was promoted to defensive coordinator, and has etched his name as one of the top coaches on that side of the line of scrimmage.
After a strong 2018 season, Martindale’s defense lost CJ Mosley, Za’Darius Smith, and Terrell Suggs. Most teams would have faltered with that kind of talent leaving. Yet, Martindale worked his magic, and made this 2019 unit just as good. The charismatic coordinator even turned a once-struggling Rams cornerback in Marcus Peters into a stud at his position.
But what really makes Martindale stand out is his relationship with Joe Brady, the LSU passing game coordinator that turned Joe Burrow into a Heisman Trophy winner and an eventual first overall pick in the NFL Draft.
A Martindale-Brady duo could entice a team like the Giants, who want to improve defensively and help Jones progress.
Matt Rhule, Baylor head coach (Interviewing this Tuesday):
Matt Rhule is the talk of the league-wide coaching search. Rhule turned around two collegiate football programs during his head coaching career. At Temple, he led the Owls to back-to-back ten-win seasons for the first time in school history (2015-16). Rhule then moved to Baylor and brought the Bears back from the depths following the controversy-filled Art Briles era. After turning down the New York Jets job in 2019, Rhule led the Bears to a 11-2 record this, taking the team to the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Following the game, Rhule vacationed with his family, albeit shortly, as he’s set to interview with the Carolina Panthers on Monday, and the Giants on Tuesday.
Rhule is viewed as the heavy favorite to win the job. Taking into account that he served as a Giants assistant offensive line coach in 2012 to rave reviews, and his ability to lead a team on-and-off the field, reports are saying the New York job is “Rhule’s job to lose.”
The New York Giants are a troubled franchise, and a guy like Matt Rhule at the helm can help lead them out of the shadows and back to the playoffs. But, it all depends on Rhule’s demands and how much power Gettleman is willing to surrender to the potential head coach, if that’s the case.
Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots offensive coordinator (this Week):
Josh McDaniels is an unknown in the Giants coaching search. The team interviewed him in 2018, but didn’t get into contract negotiations. Instead, McDaniels chose the Indianapolis Colts gig, which he bolted on at the very last second to return to his offensive coordinator job with the New England Patriots.
Even though the Patriots granted the Giants to interview McDaniels this past Thursday, it’s unknown if he’ll even want the job.
According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, McDaniels is looking for the same personnel power he had with the Denver Broncos (2009-10) and Bill Belichick currently has with the Patriots. It’s considered highly doubtful that Giants brass would be willing to fulfill such a demand.
McDaniels could very well be doing his due diligence, but he seems more destined to coach the Cleveland Browns or Carolina Panthers than the Giants.
Joe Judge, New England Patriots special teams coordinator (this Week):
Joe Judge is an intriguing name of New York’s potential options. Judge has spent the past eight seasons as the New England Patriots coaching staff. Originally starting off as a special teams assistant in 2012, Judge was promoted to coordinator in 2015 and thrived. Hey, three Lombardi Trophies in that span is nothing to blink at.
Not only has Judge worked with a football genius in Bill Belichick, but also with Nick Saban in Alabama. Judge worked as a special teams assistant in Tuscaloosa from 2009 to 2011, and won two BCS National Championships.
While you scoff at the idea of a special teams coach getting a head coaching gig, don’t forget that John Harbaugh went from Philadelphia Eagles special teams coordinator to Baltimore Ravens head coach.
It’s certainly possible Judge gets a shot as a head coach down the line, but don’t expect that chance to come with the Giants.
Every football fan is aware of the confusion down in Dallas. After days of being left in silence, reports indicate that the Cowboys are moving on from head coach Jason Garrett, but won’t fire him out of respect from owner Jerry Jones. Yet, a report from ESPN’s Ed Werder on Saturday revealed that Garrett “has been campaigning” to keep his job.
The Cowboys love to make a show out of everything. It can end in two ways. Either Garrett keeps his job, or he’s on the open market on Jan. 14.
If the latter is the case, let’s not forget the report from Ian Rapoport nearly a month or so ago indicating the Giants had strong interest in Garrett as a potential head coach, due to his previous stint with the team as a backup quarterback.
Look, the Giants struggled under Pat Shurmur, so why on Earth would they replace him with Garrett, who underperformed with a more talented roster in Dallas? The decision would make no sense. In fact, Garrett’s hiring would increase fan unhappiness.
We can’t rule out a potential interview, but it would be the worst decision the Giants could make.
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