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New York Giants coaching search: Building the perfect candidate

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If we could build the perfect head coach for the New York Giants, what traits might he have?

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants already have the first five candidates of their head coaching search. John Mara has confirmed that the Giants will be interviewing Ben McAdoo and Steve Spagnuolo for the job. There have also been reports that the Giants have requested permission to interview Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase, as well as Doug Marrone and Sean McDermott.

While we wait on news of more interviews, let's take a look at what boxes John Mara and Jerry Reese might want their next head coach to check off.

  1. Integrity - There are things the Giants will want to change about their head coaching situation, but the one thing they absolutely do not want to change is the integrity with which Tom Coughlin conducted himself. Coughlin is a man who defended his players to the last, never throwing them under the bus nor ever allowed himself to be put above the team. Coughlin created a locker room culture that meshes perfectly with the culture of class created by Wellington Mara and maintained by John Mara. The Giants cannot allow that to be degraded.
  2. Adaptability - In my estimation a coach's greatest ability is adaptability. What has made Bill Belichick such an enduring and capable coach isn't his genius in acquiring personnel or his X's and O's brilliance. Belichick is certainly good at bringing in talent, and his ability to scheme is beyond repute, but his great coach is his adaptability. The ideal head coach is one who will be able to adapt to the changing nature of the NFL. Ideally, a head coach won't be tied to any one scheme, and would be able to adapt his coaching to the strengths and weakness of the players he has available. He would also be able to reach and teach players in a variety of ways -- Not everybody responds the same to the same methods.
  3. Management Ability - One of the faults that coaches who lean exclusively to either offense or defense are prone to is the occasional tendency to ignore the other side of the ball. Buddy Ryan believed that the purpose of an offense is to score enough points to win, then don't lose the game for his defense. The perfect head coach would be able to balance the demands of both sides of the ball, and balance the flow of the game.
  4. Personality - The head coach of any team is one of the faces of the franchise. They all have to deal with the media, however not every coach has to deal with the New York media on a daily basis. While other areas of the country decry the reach and weight of the New York media machine, there are few markets where the relationship is as tenuous. The ideal head coach will need to build a good rapport with the media, without giving anything away to them. The ideal coach will also have to have the personality to relate with the Giants' locker room, to be able to win them over, know how best to coach them, and keep them together -- and motivated -- in times of adversity.
  5. Comfort - I'll use the same word that John Mara used when talking about the Giants' next head coach, and that is that the "Right Man" for the job is somebody that they are comfortable with. Who are "they"? Well, obviously two of "they" are John Mara and Steve Tisch. But whoever the head coach will be is coming into a fairly unique circumstance of having a franchise quarterback and veteran general manager in place. Most times, when a team hires a new head coach, they are also either in the market for a general manager or a new quarterback -- or both. The Giants ideal candidate is somebody who is able to work with Eli Manning, able to communicate with his quarterback and earn his respect. Manning and Coughlin have a special relationship, and while that can't be replaced, he ideal head coach will need to be able to build a relationship and work with Manning as the franchise quarterback he is. The ideal head coach will also need to see the NFL and the future of the Giants in a similar way as Jerry Reese. The two will have to be comfortable working together in the draft as well as identifying and signing free agents. They'll need to be able to agree on the types of players they want and the type of team they want to build.

Alex Sinclair's List

  1. Honesty - Coughlin was always about "winning the right way".
  2. Humor - You won't survive NY media without it.
  3. Humility - Accept the blame because you're the boss.
  4. Adaptability - You're screwed if you pin yourself to one characteristic. See: Kelly, Chip and Schiano, Greg.

Ed Valentine's List

  1. Head-coaching experience -- If we're building the perfect coach I'd want one who has already made his rookie mistakes.
  2. An NFL coach -- Not a college guy with no NFL roots.
  3. Media friendly -- The NY media will swallow someone who can't handle them.
  4. A CEO -- Not a "one side of the ball" coach
  5. Integrity -- Following Tom Coughlin, that is important. A guy who will represent the franchise with class.