The best way to conclude a search in the preferred destination is to set the parameters of the process accordingly. And if the Giants have predetermined that Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will be the next head coach of the team, the best way to get there is to make it known that the Giants want to hire a coach with experience.
That’s precisely what they’ve done. Via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, co-owner John Mara said Friday that the team is looking for a coach who has been a head coach in the past. At a minimum, the Giants want someone who “has been a coordinator for a significant period of time.”
Schwartz fits both bills, thriving as a defensive coordinator in Tennessee, Buffalo, and Philadelphia. And then there’s the fact that he coached the Lions for five years. Sure, the team went 29-52 on his watch. But he inherited an 0-16 squad that had few bright spots on it.
Vacchiano lists other potential candidate who fit the parameters, from Texans coach Bill O’Brien (if he doesn’t stay in Houston) to Patriots offensive coordinator/former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels (the thinking in league circles is that he won’t take the job if it’s offered to him) to Buccaneers defensive coordinator/former Falcons coach Mike Smith to Steelers offensive coordinator/former Chiefs coach Todd Haley (who for whatever reason can’t generate interest in a second stint) to Vikings offensive coordinator/former Browns coach Pat Shurmur (whose 9-23 record in Cleveland suddenly looks pretty damn good) to pipe-dream candidates like Jim Harbaugh and Nick Saban.
The hiring of Gettleman on Thursday means that interviews can commence as of Monday with Schwartz, McDaniels, Haley, and (if the Vikings secure the No. 2 seed in the NFC) Shurmur. Which suggests that the Giants hired Gettleman on Thursday so that they could get a jump on talking to one or more of those four. Which continues to point the compass in the stock toward Schwartz.
Of course, it’s no surprise that the Giants want a coach with experience. Most teams who have just fired a coach typically look for a replacement who is in one or more ways the opposite of the guy who just got dumped. Ben McAdoo was not previously a head coach, and he’d spent only a couple of years as a coordinator before getting the promotion.