Eric Studesville is a surprising, perhaps outside the box, candidate to become head coach of the New York Giants. When his name surfaced on Monday I reached out to SB Nation’s Denver Broncos web site, Mile High Report for thoughts on Studesville, running backs coach in Denver from 2010 until being let go Monday.
Tim Lynch of MHR enthusiastically said he would not only offer us insight, but said “I'll do more than that. I'll write a recommendation.” He basically wrote Studesville a love letter. Here it is:
Eric Studesville is an outstanding coach. He has survived not one, not two, not three, but four head coaching changes since 2010. He served as a capable interim head coach for the Denver Broncos in 2010 after a disastrous 18 months under Josh McDaniels. Despite coaching the final four games of a team that finish 4-12 in 2010, his team was far more competitive than it was under McDaniels - even winning a game with Tim Tebow at quarterback.
Many guys would have bristled at moving back to an assistant's role, but he slid right back into that role and focused on winning Championships first under John Fox and then finally getting it coaching for Gary Kubiak. His running back squads did it successfully in so many different ways that even I am surprised by it. First, the power run scheme under McDaniels that produced a middle of the road running game, then the whatever it was they ran with Tebow at quarterback that led the league in rushing, then a 1,000 yard rusher in Knowshon Moreno the year Peyton Manning broke the record books with 5,500 yards passing and 55 touchdown passes, and finally with C.J. Anderson who snagged his first career 1,000 yard season during a year when no opposing defense feared the arm of whatever quarterback was slinging it for the Broncos in 2017.
If Studesville hadn't been an interim for the Broncos in 2010, I wouldn't be able to tell you if I thought for sure he would make a solid head coach. However, for him to come into that toxic situation and immediately right the ship and put forth a competitive football team for a month after all that had happened that season is a testament to the guys leadership ability. Hopefully the New York Giants interest in Studesville is genuine and he gets some serious consideration for the job. He certainly wasn't the reason the Broncos failed in 2017 or even part of the reason. The organization just wanted to shake things up and targeted a lot of the assistants who have stuck around through multiple head coaching changes over the last several years.
Studesville is an interesting candidate. He is 50, and has never been a head coach except for those four games after McDaniels was fired in 2010. He has been an NFL running backs coach since 1997 (Chicago Bears, Giants, Buffalo Bills, Broncos). He was assistant head coach in Denver. Before moving to the NFL, he was a collegiate defensive coordinator (Wingate, Kent State). He has a connection to the Giants and to GM Dave Gettleman, having been Giants’ running backs coach from 2001-2003.
Right now, who the next coach will be is anyone’s guess. Studesville is the first candidate who would qualify as a surprise. Can he actually get the job? We’ll see.