Giants GM Joe Schoen isn’t wasting any time in lining up interviews for the Head Coach candidates on his wish list. And with the Buffalo Bills heartbreaking loss last night, the interviews can move forward at light speed. If you watched that game, you were an eyewitness to the talents and play-calling of two of the candidates for the Giants Head Coach position. Personally, I think the “Brian(s)” are the favorites.
New GM Joe Schoen gets to work right away
Within seven hours of being named the new General Manager of the New York Football Giants on Friday, January 21, 2022, Joe Schoen was interviewing his first candidate for head coach, Bills Offensive Coordinator, Brian Daboll. The next day, he interviewed Bills Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier. On Sunday, it was Bengals Defensive Coordinator (and former Giants Secondary Coach) Lou Anarumo. Getting these first interviews done quickly was key to being able to conduct second interviews in between games this week if the Bills and Bengals were still playing football on Championship Sunday. Alas, the Bills’ season is over. But the Bengals are still in it. The Bills’ loss may have changed the schedule for several candidates.
Before “GM Joe” was named to the position, the Giants had placed requests to interview a handful of coaches:
- Brian Daboll, Bills OC
- Leslie Frazier, Bills Asst HC/DC
- Brian Flores, former Dolphins HC
- Dan Quinn, Cowboys DC
- Lou Anarumo, Bengals DC
- Patrick Graham, Giants Asst HC/DC
Three of the candidates have prior head coach experience: Frazier, Flores, and Quinn. Five of the candidates can be branded as defensive-minded coaches with Daboll the only offensive-minded coach. All six have more than ten years of NFL coaching experience with Frazier, Daboll, and Quinn having at least 20 years each. Flores, Daboll, and Graham all have Patriots roots. This is obviously not a hurdle even with Joe Judge’s ties to the same group. After all, we did hear Giants owner John Mara state he believes Joe Judge will be a good coach in the NFL some time down the road.
Dan Quinn interviewed today with the Giants in person at Quest. Quinn took the Atlanta Falcons to Super Bowl LI in his second season as head coach. He led the Falcons for five seasons before an 0-5 start to the 2020 season ended his tenure. You may remember that Super Bowl as the most lopsided collapse against the Patriots after running out to a big 28-3 lead. Quinn is a defensive-minded coach that gets credit for a Cowboys resurgence on defense this season. Quinn is a New Jersey native and has some New York roots as a former defensive coach at Hofstra in Long Island. Quinn is also a top candidate for the vacant Broncos position.
I’m happy Patrick Graham is getting an interview. As rough as the last two seasons have been for the Giants, the defense was consistently improving under Graham. The rankings might have dropped in 2021 versus 2020, but that’s more due to the ineptness of the offense leading to opponents having great field position to start drives. It was reported today that Graham would consider staying on as defensive coordinator if offered the position instead of head coach. This could work, especially if Daboll becomes the head coach. But that has to be Daboll’s call. We don’t want to handcuff another head coach like Mara did to Judge by insisting Jason Garrett be part of the staff.
Leslie Frazier spent parts of four seasons as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings from 2010 to 2013 with one winning season and a wild card appearance in 2012. He’s been the Bills DC since 2017. This season, they were the top defense in the NFL based on points allowed. But that prowess evaporated in yesterday’s effort where the Chiefs scored 42 points and gained over 500 yards.
Battle of the “Brian(s)”
Brian Flores was fired after this season by the Miami Dolphins despite posting his second consecutive winning season out of three. Granted, the season started roughly at 1-7. But, the Dolphins won 8 of 9 to finish above .500 for the year. Dolphins ownership sited a communication gap for the reason to part with Flores. But his success instantly made him a top target for any open head coach position. Flores grew up in New York City. Flores is rumored to have a keen interest in the Giants coaching job. There is no information on when Brian comes in for his interview. But both Mara and Schoen have spoken to him as of last week.
This brings us back to Brian Daboll. The Bills moved the ball at will the last two seasons. They scored 36 points yesterday and 47 points against the Patriots in the Wild Card round. Daboll had the weapons in Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, and Devin Singletary. And his play calling is aggressive, something Giants fans are clamoring for next year. Can he turn the Giants’ offense around? The word is Daboll did well in his first interview on Friday. With the Bills’ loss, Daboll instantly becomes available for his second interview. And it looks like the Giants will meet with him in person Tuesday, January 25th. He is the first candidate to get a second interview, this even before the Giants have met with Flores.
This week could bring news of a new Giants Head Coach…maybe even as early as tomorrow. Stay tuned! If you’re a Monty Python fan, you’ll understand the photo. As a “Brian” myself, I could not resist.