It’s taking longer than anticipated for the New York Giants to fill their coaching staff.
The Giants were denied the opportunity to interview (and potentially hire) Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski for their vacant offensive coordinator position.
Stefanski is still under contract with the Vikings. The Vikings, therefore, can decide whether or not to allow Stefanski permission to interview with another team. The fact that the offensive coordinator position would be a promotion for Stefanski is irrelevant.
Giants head coach Pat Shurmur was the Vikings’ offensive coordinator before being hired to succeed Ben McAdoo. Shurmur and Stefanski had a wonderful working relationship in Minnesota. Stefanski interviewed with the Vikings for their vacant offensive coordinator position but was passed over in favor of John DeFilippo, former quarterbacks coach of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
The offensive coordinator position is of the utmost importance despite the expectation that Shurmur will call plays during games. The head coach doesn’t have the time during the week to devise full game plans, a responsibility that generally falls on the coordinator and assistant coaches.
At this point on the calendar, many qualified candidates have already been taken off the market. This doesn’t mean the Giants are without qualified candidates to choose from.
The name at the top of the list appears to be former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Bevell fits ownership’s mandate of an experienced coach who previously worked with quarterbacks. He’s spent 12 seasons as an offensive coordinator (with the Vikings from 2006-10 and the Seahawks from 2011-17). Bevell is also linked to the Indianapolis Colts’ vacant offensive coordinator position.
Harold Goodwin spent the past four seasons as the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive coordinator. Goodwin’s specialty is the offensive line and the Giants had a patchwork o-line in 2017 because of injury and shoddy play. He would be an intriguing candidate despite having no experience working with quarterbacks.
Two potential candidates have a connection to general manager Dave Gettleman from his days with the Carolina Panthers: Mike Shula and Ken Dorsey. Shula was the Panthers’ offensive coordinator while Dorsey was the quarterbacks coach. Dorsey, a former NFL and CFL quarterback, is also in the running for the Giants’ vacant quarterbacks coach position.
There are also the longshot candidates like Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley.
Staley knows Shurmur from his time with the Eagles both as a player and a coach. He doesn’t have an extensive coaching resume (six years) and has no experience working with quarterbacks. Staley is also reportedly still under contract with the Eagles. It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the Eagles allow Staley to interview with a division rival, especially after losing DeFilippo and offensive coordinator Frank Reich (who was named Colts head coach).
Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich is considered one of football’s best young offensive minds. He could be persuaded to make to the jump to the NFL after spending five seasons with the Cowboys. At the same time, Yurcich may not be inclined to leave the collegiate ranks at this time.
The Giants still have options at the offensive coordinator position, though these aren’t the sexy names that were getting jobs a month ago. They should not hire an offensive coordinator just to fill the position. The next coordinator has to know what he is doing. The Giants have gotten in trouble for inserting the wrong man in the wrong job.