The Giants faced the Eagles in a meaningless game on Sunday. Now they are squaring off in a competition with much higher stakes.
It’s a McAduel.
As the two NFC East rivals try to fill their open head coach positions, overlapping in the pool of candidates, Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo is the first to meet both with both sides about the job. McAdoo was the first candidate the Giants interviewed on Tuesday and he is scheduled to meet with the Eagles on Thursday. He is not considered a favorite for the Eagles job, but the fact that the team from down the Jersey Turnpike is poking around a guy the Giants believe will be a successful head coach at some point — and whom Eli Manning has endorsed — could nudge them toward promoting McAdoo. Imagine facing McAdoo twice a year after letting him slip away.
“I think our offense certainly improved,” Giants co-owner John Mara said in praise of McAdoo on Tuesday. “I think he’s proven himself to be a very good teacher, has a very good handle on our offense. I think he communicates very well. I think he shows some leadership skills. I think he has some good qualities.”
McAdoo isn’t the only candidate the two teams will be courting simultaneously. The Giants are scheduled to interview Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase on Friday, a day before he reportedly will have a second interview with the Eagles. One of the reasons the Eagles parted ways with Chip Kelly last week was to get a jump on finding his successor.
Both teams also have requested permission to speak with Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, a Philadelphia native who told a Philly radio station this week that he’s “always interested” in a return to that city and would “love to see the Eagles recapture the magic, so to speak.”
One coach the Giants won’t be going after any longer is Sean Payton, their former offensive coordinator, who announced on Wednesday that he will return to the Saints. Payton has one year remaining on his current contract and said on Wednesday that Saints GM Mickey Loomis was “looking and researching” into compensation from other teams in possible exchange for Payton. Mara said on Tuesday that he would not rule out using draft picks to hire the right coach. The Eagles were said to be monitoring Payton’s availability as well.
With only seven head coach openings in the NFL, a rush to meet with assistants on playoff-participating teams, and the geographic proximity of the Giants and Eagles, it’s understandable why they would cross paths during the search process.
Neither the Giants nor the Eagles had any interviews on Wednesday as the owners were in Manhattan for league meetings regarding the potential movement of franchises to Los Angeles. The Giants will return to the interview circuit on Thursday when they meet with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Then, after Gase on Friday, the Giants are scheduled to meet with former Bills head coach and current Jaguars assistant Doug Marrone. Marrone, a Bronx native, was a strong consideration for the Jets opening last year.
Notes & quotes: While the Giants determine what changes they will make to their personnel department, some members of the staff could wind up elsewhere as general managers. The team’s vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross is reportedly interviewing for the Titans general manager job while Giants assistant general manager Kevin Abrams reportedly is interviewing for the Lions general manager spot. Abrams has been with the Giants since 1999. Former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi is consulting the Lions in their search.