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Thoughts as the Giants’ coaching search continues its winding path

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It’s getting closer to decision time for John Mara, Steve Tisch

NFL: New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals
John Mara
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It is time for today’s episode of “As the New York Giants Head-Coaching Search Turns,” the greatest soap opera in New York sports since Phil Jackson left the New York Knicks.

Here are some thoughts as we wait for the puff of blue smoke to emanate from 1925 Giants Drive, letting us know the great coaching hunt of 2018 has finally come to a conclusion.

And then there were 2

As of now, this seems to be a two-horse race between Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and New England Patriots’ defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

Since Wednesday, the New York Daily News has been all over the idea that Patricia is now the likely choice. Thursday morning, the DN’s Pat Leonard wrote that “A rocket scientist has blasted his way into the lead to be the Giants’ next head coach.”

Big Blue View was told Wednesday that a “big change” in thinking has pushed Patricia to the front of the pack. There was also a report by Peter King that Patricia “favors the Giants” over the Detroit Lions, a job that has been said to be his if he wants it.

The tell-tale sign that Patricia to the Giants is not a slam dunk, though, is that there has been no movement on the coaching front by the Lions. Houston Texans’ defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel, who also has connections to Detroit GM Bob Quinn from their days in New England, is available and though to be next on Detroit’s list. If Patricia was off the table, Vrabel might have the Lions’ job already.

There are reports that Shurmur is the favorite for the Arizona Cardinals’ job. As many different names as we have heard as the front-runner for the Giants’ job, let’s take a “believe it when a hiring is announced” stance on that one.

Shurmur has head-coaching experience. He has the pedigree that shows he can succeed offensively with a variety of quarterbacks. He’s an offensive mind for a team has a broken offense that has gone two seasons without scoring 30 points. He would be a logical choice for New York, if the Giants and Shurmur can agree on a quarterback plan.

Split ownership

I mentioned this when the Giants were looking to fill the GM vacancy. John Mara and Steve Tisch are equal partners. Tisch isn’t around nearly as much as Mara, but he has just as much of a financial stake and just as much of a voice in major decisions. If there is a difference of opinion, how will the co-owners solve it? It would make sense to let the GM they just hired cast the tie-breaking vote, but we don’t know how that would play out. If, that is, Mara and Tisch have different ideas.

Whither Wilks?

It seems that apparent media trying to assess the coaching search, yours truly included, may have over-emphasized the importance of Wilks’ Carolina connection to Gettleman. That got him in front of Giants’ brass, but perhaps his lack of head-coaching experience and the fact that he has only been a coordinator for a year turned the Giants off. There is also the question of how Wilks would fix the offense. It’s always possible the Giants could circle back to him, but if he had wowed them there would already be a press conference scheduled.

Offense or defense?

Podcast co-host Pat Traina is banging the drum over at Inside Football for an offensive-minded head coach, basically for Shurmur at this point. She writes that “what the Giants should do at head coach is hire an offensive minded coach and not look back.”

Meh.

In my view, an offensive- or defensive-minded head coach makes no difference. Yes, the offense is broken. But, the defense wasn’t very good, either. More importantly, the locker room was broken.

A defensive-minded coach can fix the offense with the right coaching hires and draft picks. An offensive-minded coach can have a quality defense.

What the Giants need is someone who can coach THE TEAM. They don’t need someone who is solely focused on one side of the ball and has little to no real contact with players on the other side. They need someone who can command a room, who players on both sides will respect and play for.

Whoever the Giants believe that guy is should be the next coach.