If Bill O’Brien shakes loose from the Texans, he would seem to fit the profile the Giants are seeking for their next head coach.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Giants Way isn’t exactly shoving all the chips into the middle of the table — a risky move that has a wide range of results.
The Giants Way is hiring Dave Gettleman, a safe and familiar name with a solid résumé. It is hard to argue. For most of the past three decades, this approach has worked, resulting in the four Super Bowl trophies that sit in the Quest Diagnostics Training Center lobby.
The Giants Way would be hiring Bill O’Brien or John Fox (if they became available) or landing Josh McDaniels or Jim Schwartz, the former head coaches seemingly next in line for another shot.
The New York Giants coaching search is expected to include many of the “usual suspects,” according to a person familiar with their thinking. They are not likely to go outside the box or stray far from their comfort zone after what unfolded with Ben McAdoo over the past year.
It isn’t for a lack of options. The Giants, despite their 2-13 record and a long list of current dysfunction, have a coveted coaching job. Outside-the-box candidates such as Kansas City Chiefs special-teams coordinator Dave Toub, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham (among others) are names that have surfaced in recent days and would likely be at least willing to talk.
But these are the Giants, the usually loyal and stable organization that is trying to rebuild. Their splash is more of the traditional variety.
The candidates — most of whom will come to light this week — will primarily come from the list the NFL’s Career Development Advisory Panel distributed earlier this month. The rest might be a result of whoever is fired by their current teams.
New England Patriots offensive coordinator McDaniels remains a viable candidate even without Nick Casserio or Louis Riddick as the general manager. So does his fellow assistant Matt Patricia, who runs Bill Belichick’s defense.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith all fit the specifications laid out by co-owner John Mara on Friday.
“It has to be somebody who has either had head coaching experience or at least has been a coordinator for a significant period of time because I think if you don’t have that, the odds are really stacked against you,” Mara said. “It’s not impossible for you to succeed without that, but I think the more experience that that individual has as either a head coach or as a coordinator on either side of the ball, I think is very important.”
O’Brien and Fox, the current head coaches of the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears, obviously meet the specifications. If they’re available, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Giants bite. O’Brien is highly regarded and perhaps the perfect coach to grow with a young quarterback (either Davis Webb or the No. 2 overall pick). Fox is a familiar face with strong ties to the organization.
The lone outsider in this mix of likely Giants candidates is Steve Wilks. He’s the current defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers and is known to be well regarded by Gettleman. He is also expected to land an interview.
This is, however, Wilks’ first season as a coordinator. That might work against him, even if he spent the previous two seasons as Ron Rivera’s assistant head coach. Wilks might be the riskiest of the bunch, even though he’s highly regarded.
Much like the bulk of the candidates, he isn’t a glitz or glamour option. That appears to be the way the Giants like them.