Ben McAdoo, currently quarterbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers, is scheduled to interview Saturday with the New York Giants for the offensive coordinator position. Unless any new candidates emerge following this weekend's playoff action that could conclude the search for Kevin Gilbride's replacement.
Who do you want to see whispering (hopefully) sweet play calls into the ear of quarterback Eli Manning next season. Vote in the poll below and let us know. Here are your candidates:
Sullivan is Mr. Obvious -- at least as far as coaches who have to be considered and interviewed -- in the hunt for the heir to KG's play-calling throne. Sullivan is, basically, a Gilbride protege. He worked for the Giants from 2004-2011, serving as wide receivers coach for six seasons and quarterbacks coach for the final two. A coach with a defensive background, he learned offense at Gilbride's feet and took his knowledge to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as offensive coordinator in 2012.
Sullivan had one great season with the Bucs and one awful one, before he -- and everyone else on the Bucs' coaching staff -- got the boot.
The 46-year-old Sullivan has the endorsement of Giants' offensive players and Gilbride. That is because veteran Giants know Sullivan, have had success while he has been on the staff, and they know he would be implementing a nearly identical system to the one they have run under Gilbride. That system is, after all, the only one Sullivan is truly versed in.
When asked about Sullivan in his season-ending press conference co-owner John Mara said "We obviously think very highly of him."
Do Mara, head coach Tom Coughlin and general manager Jerry Reese think highly enough of him to give him the job? We will find out soon enough.
Status: Leader in the clubhouse
The 33-year-old Loggains is the youngest candidate in the field at 33. He was offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans for part of 2012 and all of 2013 before head coach Mike Munchak and his entire staff were sent packing. Loggains' only NFL experience has been six season in Tennessee, where he was offensive quality control coach and then quarterbacks coach before becoming offensive coordinator.
Loggains carries the endorsement of SB Nation's Tennessee Titans blogger Jimmy Morris, who writes for Music City Miracles. He is also being sought after for other positions, so he carries a solid reputation around the league.
Loggains has worked with former Giants quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer, along with offensive coaches like Sean Payton, Norm Chow and Mike Heimerdinger.
Loggains reportedly interviewed on Wednesday.
Status: The 'X' Factor
The former head coach of the UCLA Bruins and most recently quarterbacks coach of the Houston Texans, Dorrell is set to interview Friday for the job. Dorrell, 50 spent two seasons coaching Matt Schaub and Case Keenum under Gary Kubiak in Houston before getting the ax from new head coach Bill O'Brien.
Previously, Dorrell coached with the Miami Dolphins from 2008-2011, spending three years as wide receivers coach and one as quarterbacks coach.
Dorrell spent five years at the helm of UCLA, accumulating a 35-27 mark and leading the Bruins to a bowl appearance each year from 2003-07.
Status: The long shot
McAdoo is the candidate who seems to generate the most excitement. He interviews on Saturday, and that could well conclude the search.
The following report on McAdoo is from a post written earlier in the when his interview became public knowledge:
McAdoo, 36, has been with the Packers for eight seasons. He coached tight ends for six seasons and quarterbacks for the past two. McAdoo, who has never been a coordinator, interviewed recently for the Cleveland Browns head-coaching job. McAdoo carries the Aaron Rodgers' seal of approval. Here is what Rodgers said when he heard McAdoo was getting the interview in Cleveland:
I sent Ben a text and said to make sure you use me as a reference. He's a guy I really trust. I've needed a guy who can get me prepared every week. He wants to learn and takes things to heart I say and the things he hears from Tom (Clements). He understands the scheme. He's a very prepared coach. I'm happy he's getting this opportunity.
Here is some added insight into McAdoo from Evan 'Tex Western' of SB Nation's Packers web site, Acme Packing Company:
McAdoo was the Packers' tight ends coach for a few years before taking over as QB coach when Tom Clements was promoted to offensive coordinator. The Packers really like to try to cross-train their coaches at different positions - for example, former Green Bay running back Edgar Bennett coached the backs for a while, but is now the team's wide receivers coach. McAdoo's interview for the Browns' head coaching vacancy was a bit of a surprise, since he's never been a coordinator, but that would follow the path Andy Reid set forth in the late '90's (also the Packers' TE and QB coach and never a coordinator before the Eagles hired him).
Rodgers certainly had nothing but positive things to say about McAdoo, stressing his ability to get the QBs prepared with the game plan. I can't really speak to his Xs and Os abilities or playcalling, since he doesn't handle that in Green Bay, but at least in working with QBs he's been a very positive influence, and I certainly think he could help Eli overcome the issues he's had this year. In any case, the Packers seem very prepared to move on without McAdoo - from all accounts, it's not because they want to, but because there isn't an opportunity for a promotion in Green Bay and they think he's ready for the next step.
Status: The contender
For the Giants' brass, this really does come down to a decision between something old and comfortable (Sullivan) vs. something brave, new and exciting -- fill-in-the-blank with any other candidate. There are several other factors at play.
One, certainly, is Coughlin. Don't care call him the old ball-coach to his face, but by ball-coaching standards 68 is pretty doggone old -- and that is how old Coughlin will be when the 2014 season begins. The Giants are sticking with Coughlin, even though they have not yet extended his contract.
Is Coughlin willing to bend from the offensive philosophy he has always employed? Is the old dog willing to learn some new tricks as he nears the end of a terrific coaching career?
The other thing at play with Coughlin is that -- while Mara has been loathe to say the Giants have to consider a succession strategy for the coach -- is that the Giants have to consider a succession strategy for the coach. That means they have to believe that whoever they hire to run their offense could potentially become head coach when Coughlin finally departs.
The other factor is Eli Manning. Mara said at the end of the season that the Giants' offense is 'broken.' Well, the quarterback is the leader of that group and he should also be considered 'broken.' By season's end Manning did not resemble a two-time Super Bowl MVP. He resembled a bewildered quarterback who had been hit so many times and burned so many times by mistakes from his intended targets that he didn't trust anything around him. His fundamentals, and thus his accuracy, had vanished and his decision-making had been compromised.
The Giants have to fix Manning, thus they have to trust that whoever they hire can put Humpty Dumpty back together again. That is likely why each candidate has experience coaching quarterbacks.
My guess? Sullivan would still have to be considered the betting favorite, although if he was a lock the Giants would have just given him the job already. Watch out for McAdoo. He comes with the huge endorsement of Rodgers and a reputation as a rising star in the coaching ranks. If he wows the Giants when he interviews on Saturday he could end up with the job.
What is your guess, Giants' fans? Vote in the poll and let us know.