If Tom Coughlin either retires from the job or is replace as head coach of the New York Giants at the end of the season, the organization will be looking for a head coach for the first time since the end of the 2003 season. Could New England Patriots' offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels be among the short list of candidates if the job is indeed open.
Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports on Monday mentioned the Giants as a landing spot that "would be particularly appealing" to McDaniels, who flopped in an earlier stint as head coach with the Denver Broncos. Don Banks of SI also recently connected the 39-year-old McDaniels to the Giants. Banks wrote that the Giants might be the "perfect fit" for McDaniels and that "the Giants strike me as the one job McDaniels would really want this year."
McDaniels went 11-17 in a two-year stint with the Broncos, and was fired 12 games into the 2010 season with the Broncos at just 3-9. He was just 33 when he got the Denver job, an opportunity that perhaps came too soon.
LaCanfora reported earlier this month that McDaniels, back in New England since the 2011-2012 playoffs, would be "open to speaking to teams this offseason" and would "strongly consider a position" if the right one came along.
Is McDaniels ready to take another stab at being the boss? Here is what Richard Hill of SB Nation's Patriots web site, Pats Pulpit, said about that:
Josh McDaniels is ready to be a head coach again, but he's going to wait for the best opportunity. He had a chance to take a job each of the last two off seasons, but he didn't like how team management interfered with the football operations (Browns in 2014, 49ers in 2015), so he passed. He knows that he'll have to do a great job with his next gig, or else he might never be a head coach again.
McDaniels failed in Denver because he approached the job like he was the next Bill Belichick. He hadn't earned the right to call the shots, and to ship away the team's best quarterbacks and wide receiver. He lost the respect of the team and it was all over. Since his fall from grace,McDaniels has been able to self reflect and he understands where he went wrong.
"[I learned] the people that you work with and for are so important to you," McDaniels said to the crowd at the Super Bowl media day. "Your ability to not only to set the path, but to also be a great listener - I've said that numerous times now. That's an important part of being a leader, listening to the people that are around you.
"I think, sometimes, when you're young, you don't really understand that the same as when you go through experience like that. It was a great learning experience for me. I think I'm a better person, a better father and a better coach because of all the adversities and all the challenges that I've gone through and I hope I can continue to get better in all those roles going forward."
If McDaniels is true to his words and has become a better manager, he'll be a great option at head coach. He's regarded around the league as the best coordinator on either side of the football and he just put together one of the greatest postseason runs in NFL history. He's flexible with his game calling, he's shown an ability to adjust on the fly, and he understands how to maximize the value of each one of his players.
Hopefully that skill set will transfer when he has control of a full roster.
McDaniels wouldn't get full control of the roster in New York. The Giants don't do things that way. They never gave it to Coughlin or Bill Parcells, they wouldn't give it to McDaniels, Nick Saban or anyone else. Even if the Giants replace GM JerryReese -- which remains extremely unlikely -- a new head coach won't hand pick his GM. Ownership will do that.
McDaniels has one thing the Giants tend to covet, which is prior head-coaching experience. He doesn't have a direct connection to the Giants, but his boss -- Bill Belichick -- does, and that would also count for something if the Giants are searching for a new head coach.
How the Giants feel about current offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo complicates the idea of bringing in an offensive-minded coach like McDaniels, but the possibility certainly shouldn't be discounted.
Thoughts on McDaniels, Giants fans?