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Giants coaching search: Ranking the candidates

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This is just a guess at the order of preference

New England Patriots v Detroit Lions

As the New York Giants’ search for a head coach rolls on, how should we rank the candidates? Here is an education guess.

1. Josh McDaniels

He’s the guy the majority of people voting in our poll want. He’s the guy everyone with an opening — except the Oakland Grudens, err Raiders — wants. He’s the big fish in the candidate pool. Can the Giants reel him in? McDaniels will have plenty of options, including staying right where he is.

2. Steve Wilks

He has never been a head coach. This, in fact, was his first season as a defensive coordinator. His connection to Dave Gettleman with the Carolina Panthers, though, can’t be ignored.

3. Pat Shurmur

He checks the experience box, having been head coach with the Cleveland Browns for two years. His work with Case Keenum in Minnesota this year is remarkable. He got a Pro Bowl year out of Nick Foles with the Eagles in 2013. If McDaniels goes elsewhere or stays in New England, Shurmur offers some similarities. Without, of course the New England connection or the Tom Brady seal of approval.

4. Matt Patricia

If this were my list of preferred candidates I would have Patricia higher. It’s not, though. This is how I see the field in terms of who actually has the best chance at getting the job. Patricia is intriguing, but he has never been a head coach. There is also the whole, “how much control of the defense does Bill Belichick have” question.

5. Jim Schwartz

I’ve been told a number of times that Schwartz, with five years of head-coaching experience, several successful stints as a defensive coordinator, and a no-nonsense reputation, is at or near the top of the Giants’ list of candidates.

I can’t put him higher on this list right now, though, after the news that he won’t interview for the job this weekend. I’m reading between the lines here, but you wonder if the Giants want Schwartz but he doesn’t want the Giants.

6. Eric Studesville

Easily the most surprising name on the list of candidates who will receive interviews. Has ties to the Giants, and by all accounts is a terrific coach. He has never been a coordinator, though, so it’s hard to see the Giants giving him the head-coaching job.

7. Steve Spagnuolo

As I have written before, Spagnuolo is easy to root for. He did the best he could as interim head coach after being thrown into a difficult situation. He has a lot of the qualities the Giants seem to want. I just think he has little shot at the job, especially after the Giants’ defense was 27th in points allowed and 31st in yards allowed.