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Giants’ coaching search: What happens if they strike out?

If there is a mystery candidate, who might it be?

Liberty v Baylor
Baylor coach Matt Rhule
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The New York Giants reportedly have narrowed their list of head-coaching candidates to three — New England Patriots’ coordinators Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels, and Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

What happens if — like the Mighty Casey — the Giants strike out? Like it or not, there is a distinct possibility the Giants could go 0-for-3 with their primary targets.

  • Patricia, considered in some quarters to be the No. 1 candidate for the job, is also considered a strong candidate for the Detroit Lions’ job. Former Patriots’ personnel man Bob Quinn is GM there. Patricia could decide he prefers that job, or simply get tired of waiting for the Giants to make a decision and take the Detroit opportunity before it vanishes.
  • Shurmur is considered by some to be the leading candidate to replace Bruce Arians with the Arizona Cardinals. That job might appeal to Shurmur because bringing quarterback Case Keenum with him from Minnesota would appear to be an easier sell in Arizona than in New York.
  • McDaniels could also turn the Giants down. There are some who aren’t sure McDaniels would want to work with a strong GM like Dave Gettleman with whom he is unfamiliar. McDaniels could also end up as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Finally, he could simply choose — again — to stay in New England as the heir apparent to Bill Belichick.

What then?

The Giants wouldn’t necessarily be back to square one. They could circle back to Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks — provided he hasn’t accepted one of the other jobs currently available.

Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, once thought to be a front-runner, doesn’t seem to be in the picture.

Who else could the Giants turn to?

Newsday mentioned Friday afternoon that there could be a fourth “sleeper” candidate for the job.

Looking back at our original list of potential candidates for the Giants’ job, I’m going to take a shot in the dark at who that “sleeper” candidate might be.

I will go out on a limb and say that “if” a sleeper candidate exists it could be Baylor coach Matt Rhule. Yes, the Matt Rhule who coached Baylor to a 1-11 record in 2017.

Rhule has a connection to the Giants, having been on Tom Coughlin’s coaching staff in 2012. In four years at Temple, he turned that program around. After a 2-12 first season, he went 20-7 with two conference titles over his final two years. He took over the scandal-ridden Baylor program prior to the 2017 season.

Rhule interviewed this week for the Colts’ head-coaching vacancy, but then reportedly informed the Colts he did not want to be considered for the job.