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Valentine’s Views: Is this what an “extensive” coaching search looks like?

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That and more thoughts for a wild-card Sunday

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

New York Giants co-owner John Mara promised an “extensive” search for the team’s next head coach.

So, here’s my question one week into that search.

Matt Rhule, Mike McCarthy, Don ‘Wink’ Martindale, Eric Bieniemy, Josh McDaniels, Joe Judge, Kris Richard.

Is this it?

Seriously, no offense intended to any of the seven candidates on the Giants’ current list, but is that all they’ve got?

There are some intriguing, impressive candidates on that list. Maybe Jason Garrett gets added to the list if the Dallas Cowboys ever actually decide to officially cut him loose.

Still, where is San Francisco’s highly-thought of defensive coordinator Robert Saleh? Ravens’ offensive coordinator Greg Roman, the guy who is running the Lamar Jackson-led offense that is the envy of the league right now? Minnesota offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski? A couple of the other guys on this list from SB Nation? How is it that ownership couldn’t have moved quickly enough to even get an audience with Ron Rivera before he signed on with the Washington Redskins?

Rhule remains the guy I have endorsed for this job and the one I hope ultimately ends up with it. I know he only has one year of NFL experience, but the work he has done in rebuilding the Temple and Baylor programs shows an ability to do the kind of thing he would have to do with the Giants.

I continue to feel like he is the home run swing on the current list of candidates. He might fail spectacularly, but he might also be the next Parcells or Coughlin for a franchise that could desperately use one.

I’m just not sure why the list isn’t more extensive.

What’s the deal with Jason Garrett?

Since he is already interviewing replacements it is pretty apparent that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is moving on from head coach Jason Garrett. Still, Jones hasn’t fired Garrett yet.

What gives?

Well, Garrett’s five-year contract expires Jan. 14. It’s pretty likely Garrett would be on the Giants’ list of coaching candidates if he were available, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that while Jones might not want Garrett he probably doesn’t want him in New York, either.

So, the more he lets Garrett twist in the wind the more difficult it becomes for the Giants to wait for Garrett — if that is something they want to do, which I’m not at all sure of.

Spags drawing praise in Kansas City

Don’t look now, but two-time Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is drawing praise after an “extreme defensive makeover” has the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense in top form heading into the playoffs.

In his first year in Kansas City, Spagnuolo has transformed the Kansas City defense. Over the past six games, the Chiefs have given up 20 points only once and are allowing an average of 11.5 points per game.

Here’s a tidbit from James Palmer of NFL.com:

“Back in the spring, we didn’t know who to cover,” [Tyrann] Mathieu told me last week. “It was ugly sometimes.”

It might not have been pretty, but what Spagnuolo did was take his time with actually teaching his scheme. He also understood it was going to take exactly that -- time -- to get his group to where he envisioned it could be.

”The coaches have done a really good job of taking their time with us and hit every detail,” Mathieu said. “That’s why I think a lot of dudes like playing for Spags, because they can see that in him. He didn’t just jump into it. He really took his time with us and really taught us his defense.”

What Spags is doing in KC this year actually reminds me of what he did with the Giants in 2007. I fully understood why the Giants, looking for a complete fresh start, moved on from Spagnuolo after the 2017 season.

Still, I’ve always felt he was a really good coach who, when given talent knew what to do with it. It’s hard not to wonder what he might have been able to accomplish with the Giants over the past couple of seasons.