The Giants took down Joe Judge, sacking the coach after just two seasons. New York only went 10-23 with the former Patriots special teams coach at the helm and decided to change quickly.
The team will be looking for their 22nd head coach in their long franchise history. Since two-time Super Bowl leader Tom Coughlin finished his tenure in 2015, the Giants have gone through Ben McAdoo, Steve Spagnuolo, Pat Shurmur and Judge in just six seasons.
There’s no doubt the Giants will be looking for another long-term goalie again for the touchdown. Here are the top nine candidates to target for owners John Mara and Steve Tisch:
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Jim Harbaugh, Michigan head coach (58)
It is obvious. If the Raiders can’t make it work, the Bears are going in a different direction, and the Dolphins really aren’t interested, Big Blue has to go after the man in charge of Big Blue. Harbaugh will be successful wherever he returns in the NFL, but it has to be a draw with a chance to win big ASAP. The Giants fit that bill and former quarterback Harbaugh should be confident he can help Daniel Jones become a star quarterback.
Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs offensive coordinator (52)
With seven openings, this must be the year for Andy Reid’s right-hand man and key mentor to Patrick Mahomes, right? The Giants are late for a minority coach and Bieniemy would be the perfect candidate considering Jones’ improvement as well. He also has an affable personality, which is an essential part of surviving the toughest media market in the NFL.
Dan Quinn, Cowboys defensive coordinator (51)
There seems to be more of a blizzard around DQ’s return to his head coaching duties, a year after his time in Atlanta (which included a run to Super Bowl 51). Quinn did a terrific job straightening out the Dallas defense. And he’ll also be inactive when it comes to getting more offensive juice around Jones.
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Kellen Moore, Cowboys offensive coordinator (33)
Moore was also keen on the other side of the ball for Mike McCarthy. He was deemed too young for many teams during last year’s hiring cycle, but he’s much stronger in play after getting a healthy Dak Prescott back on track in an explosive attack. Youth is not a concern as the former Boise State star quarterback has proven he is mature beyond his years.
Brian Flores, former Dolphins head coach (40)
Hiring Tree Bill Belichick didn’t work with Judge. But Flores was doing a good job of helping a rebuilding Miami team to surpass the past two seasons. The Giants can take advantage of the Dolphins’ short-term mistake and strengthen Flores. He would continue to add to their defensive momentum, but also put the right staff in place to boost Jones in the right way.
Doug Pederson, former Eagles head coach (53)
The Giants should stop thinking about themselves and think more about the successes of division rivals. The current Cowboys are good targets, as is Pederson, a year away from his tenure as Super Bowl 52 winner in Philadelphia. Chances are he is this year’s McCarthy.
Brian Daboll, Bills offensive coordinator (46)
Daboll has done a great job with Josh Allen and is getting closer to his luck. He would make the most of Jones’ arm and mobility and make sure the Giants upgrade whatever they need around him.
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Mike McDaniel, 49ers offensive coordinator (38)
McDaniel is a shining star who shines under Kyle Shanahan. The Yale graduate is smart and pedigree, also working under Quinn in Atlanta. He also has an NFC East tie, also helping Mike Shanahan in Washington. Here’s another strong candidate with Jones in mind.
Kevin O’Connell, Rams offensive coordinator (36)
Follow Jones’ theme? Hiring Sean McVay’s assistants also works, folks. (See Zac Taylor, Matt LaFleur and – even with the Chargers’ disappointing ending – Brandon Staley). The Giants have a big decision to make after Judgment: another new face, or with some with great experience of winning.