clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Who should the next New York Giants' coach be?

New, comments

Big Blue View staff members weigh in.

Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott
Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants and head coach Tom Coughlin have not parted ways yet. It seems like they probably will after Sunday's season finale vs. the Philadelphia, but maybe they won't. If they need a new coach, though, everyone has an idea who that should be. So, let's sample your Big Blue View staff writers to see who our writers think the next coach -- if needed -- should be.

Alex Sinclair

I know my choice is unlikely, but it's the one I would genuinely pick if given the choice; Jon Gruden. He's a proven winner who has been linked to several coaching jobs over the past few years but turned down each one because they were teams with dysfunctional power schemes or untalented rosters. Those situations presented too much of a challenge to be deemed enjoyable. New York is different. There are enough pieces in place for Gruden to do a 1-year rebuild. One big off-season and a strong scheme-oriented draft and this team could be competitive right off the bat.

Additionally, his system is compatible with Ben McAdoo's offense, so it's possible that there's a place on Gruden's staff for the young coordinator, and even if there isn't, there wouldn't be a huge amount of learning to transition to the new way of thinking. I can only imagine how beneficial a modified composite of both their schemes would be for this team, and I I truly believe this would be the least disruptive choice in terms of staff turnover.

Sure, Gruden would attract media attention, but he would also bring a refreshing energy unseen during the Coughlin administration. Love him or hate him as a commentator, Gruden was a solid head coach. His rocky finish in Oakland was not uncommon for anyone familiar with Al Davis, and the salary cap issues and missing draft picks were his downfalls in Tampa Bay, yet he still finished his tenure with back-to-back winning seasons.

I doubt I'm going to convince anyone he's the answer. He's not as interesting as a mysterious college coach or up-and-coming coordinator, but come January, he will likely the most entertaining, most experienced, and most successful coach on the open market.

Stephen Milewski

This is a really great question, and it's tough to choose just one candidate, but after looking at a bunch of different coaches and weighing experience, success and player development, the one name I keep coming back to is Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. The 41-year-old is young, but he has 17 years of coaching experience, with the last six being as a defensive coordinator. He was a part of the Philadelphia Eagles staff for 12 years, including serving as the team's defensive coordinator from 2009-10. In 2011, McDermott's first season as Carolina's DC, the Panthers finished with the 28th ranked defense in the NFL. In every year since, Carolina has finished in the NFL's top 10 defenses, and this year, they are projected to finish in the NFL's top five.

Carolina also runs a 4-3 scheme on defense, so the Giants won't have to worry about a scheme change if McDermott was the choice as the head coach. McDermott is a big believer in discipline, and he preaches consistency from his players to ensure their and the team's success. This season, the Panthers have four defensive players selected to the Pro Bowl, including first-time selections Thomas Davis, Josh Norman and Kawann Short. And that doesn't include free safety Kurt Coleman, who is third on the team with 90 tackles and leads the team with seven interceptions (tied for third in the NFL).

The Giants are statistically one of the worst defenses in the NFL this year, that's a fact. While some of that can be attributed to injuries and personnel, the defense is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed this offseason if the Giants want to win the NFC East next year. McDermott has proven that he could turn defenses around and build them into consistent forces. He thrives at making in-game decisions and checks the boxes of experience, success and player development. He's never been a head coach, but he's about as ready as any other assistant coach in the NFL to take the next step up. If Tom Coughlin is fired, I believe Sean McDermott is the best candidate to be the next Giants head coach.

Keane Macadaeg

The perfect coach of football would be a version of Nick Saban who wouldn't be a commanding dictator. Yes, I already hear the groans of his "failed " stint as an NFL coach. But if we use that logic then no team should ever have given Pete Carroll a second shot at the NFL.

Saban is a defensive genius, a man who can outthink an opponent in a Belichick sort of way. Even the biggest haters of Saban attest to his football acumen despite being in disgust of the person himself. Saban is still being contacted by every NFL team who have job openings and for good reason - he's one of the top football minds alive. His scheming and strategizing is not only elite but his vision in constructing a roster has been shown to be top notch as Alabama has been a perennial college powerhouse since he took the reigns. A type of vision that the Giants sorely need, especially on the defensive end.

Saban would matchup with the Giants perfectly. The biggest concern with a regime change is the unwillingness to make Eli Manning learn another system, especially since it has been posting top numbers for the franchise QB. Saban can focus on rebuilding a broken defense as that is his specialty. The problem with an offensive coach like Sean Payton is that it renders McAdoo's system moot.

In a perfect world, Saban's biggest warts would be mitigated after being humbled during his stint with the Miami Dolphins. If he can learn to coach the people within the players, instead of treating them as soldiers as he is infamous for, Saban would be a great hire.

Chris Pflum

If, and this is a big "if", he was a free agent, Sean Payton would get my official seal of approval. He knows the organization, he knows the division, he knows the market, and he knows how to win with an aging quarterback. I think Eli could thrive in Payton's blend of the West Coast and Air Coryell offenses, and the Giants' offensive personnel are an intriguing fit for what he wants to do. Also, the Saints' dominance over the Giants would mean that he knows the Giants' weaknesses, so he can strengthen them.

But he isn't my pick. I'm not even going to come close to advocating that the Giants trade valuable draft picks for a coach, and that's what it sounds like it will take to get him.

But of the available coaches, my preference is -- and I'm surprising myself by saying this -- Josh McDaniels. Before reading about the lessons he learned from his failure in Denver, I didn't want him anywhere near the Giants. Anyone who could royally screw up a team that quickly scares me. But, if he has learned to work with, and listen to, the people around him, that makes me feel better because he really is a tremendous coach. Few people in the NFL know offensive football as well as McDaniels. He has helped to install and call two of the most prolific offenses in NFL history; the Patriots in 2007, and then their run since his return in 2012. Even more impressive is the flexibility of those offenses. In 2007 it was a shotgun, spread offense built on Wes Welker and Randy Moss, now it is a TE/H-Back offense, and that mental flexibility and willingness to innovate is something I prize.

I'm not fond of asking Eli Manning to learn another offense, but McDaniels' experience and flexibility might allow the Giants to keep Ben McAdoo to limit the offense's learning curve. I would also hope that the would keep Steve Spagnuolo on as well. I'm and admitted fan of Spags, and I do believe that he can be the architect of a great defense with the right tools and investments.

For the record, my second choice (by a small margin) is Cincinnati OC Hue Jackson.

Valentine's View

Quite honestly, I have a difficult time with these "pie in the sky" or "wish list" kind of things. And no, this is not me being unable to make a choice because I think Coughlin should stay. We are doing this based on the idea that there will be a new coach. This is me honestly not knowing what the right direction for the Giants is at the moment. We are assuming here that Jerry Reese remains the general manager and that the Giants will try to retool rather than blow up the whole thing and start over. With a 35-year-old Eli Manning entrenched as the franchise quarterback what else can they really do?

Thus, the hiring of a head coach comes down to the simple question of what gives the Giants the best chance of winning with Manning during whatever period of time he has remaining as a championship-caliber quarterback?

For that reason, I'm not sure I would go the route of a college coach. For me, the short list includes a lot of the guys already mentioned, with Payton and McDaniels at the top. In thinking about what is best for Manning, you have to think about McAdoo and whether or not the Giants are on the right path with his offense. That makes both McAdoo and Steve Spagnuolo candidates.

In the end, what would I do? Darned if I really know. It comes down to McDaniels, McAdoo, and Spagnuolo for me. Spags is a tough sell after this season and I have serious reservations about McAdoo being able to handle the spotlight that comes with New York. Thus, I guess I'm left with McDaniels. Even if it doesn't thrill me.