The New York Giants have completed their first round of interviews of candidates to succeed Ben McAdoo as head coach.
The frontrunners are New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. The Giants also interviewed current defensive coordinator/interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, former Denver Broncos assistant coach Eric Studesville, and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.
Patricia is considered the favorite to become the 18th head coach in franchise history. He also interviewed with the Detroit Lions for their head coaching vacancy. Patricia has a history with Lions general manager Bob Quinn. Quinn was a former Patriots executive before becoming the Lions’ general manager in 2016. The MMQB reported that Patricia prefers the Giants to the Lions.
Wilks has history with Giants general manager Dave Gettleman. He was on the Panthers coaching staff when Gettleman was installed as general manager in 2013. Wilks impressed the Giants’ owners despite not having a ton of experience as a coordinator or head coach (This season is Wilks’ first as defensive coordinator).
Shurmur, like Patricia, is a highly sought-after commodity. He also interviewed with the Lions, Arizona Cardinals, and Chicago Bears. McDaniels is rumored to be at the top of the Indianapolis Colts’ wish list while Spagnuolo and Studesville are considered long shots.
The Giants plan on taking their time with this coaching search, unlike what they did when they hired McAdoo to succeed Tom Coughlin. McAdoo planned a second interview with the Philadelphia Eagles before being hired by the Giants in a rushed manner.
The Giants may be forced to push up their timetable if one of the teams who needs a head coach makes an offer to one of their favorite candidates. Matt Nagy, former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator, was hired as Bears head coach earlier this week. Jon Gruden is back for his second tenure with the Oakland Raiders which leaves four vacancies: Cardinals, Colts, Giants, and Lions
The decision on the next head coach will ultimately be made by co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch though Gettleman and assistant general manager Kevin Abrams will provide input. It is unknown if the team plans to bring back their most favored candidates for a second interview. They wouldn’t be able to bring Patricia, McDaniels, or Shurmur back in until after their respective teams are eliminated from the postseason or the week between the conference championships and Super Bowl LII, whichever comes first.