The Giants coaching job isn’t nearly as good as everyone thinks | Politi
In the end, we shouldn’t be surprised. Matt Patricia has picked a team that narrowly missed the playoffs, one with an elite quarterback in the middle of his prime and a general manager he knows well, instead of the dysfunctional mess in the Meadowlands.
That doesn’t make this sting any less for the Giants, however. The Patriots defensive coordinator, according to ESPN’s newshound Adam Schefter, is choosing the Detroit Lions — a franchise with zero Super Bowl appearances in its tortured history — over a team that is supposed to be one of the flagship franchises in professional football.
Giants co-owner John Mara was reportedly ready to toss him the keys to this Cadillac, but Patricia looked at a leaky transmission and a rusting chassis and headed straight to the Motor City.
The reality is that the Giants job isn’t nearly as good as the Giants think it is. Patricia was smart to pick the Lions, where he has a 29-year-old Matt Stafford, a GM in Bob Quinn that he knows from their shared time in New England, and an offense that ranked seventh in the league in points per game.
Contrast that to the Giants, where Patricia would have had to deal with uncertainty at quarterback — whether GM Dave Gettleman decides to stick with Eli Manning or draft his replacement — plus a defense that was ranked near the bottom in most statistical categories.
Losing Patricia isn’t the end of the world. How many Patriots coordinators, after all, flame out as head coaches when removed from the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick stratosphere? But there is a real possibility that the next two “finalists” might take a look at their options and head elsewhere, too, and that would be a major embarrassment to Mara and his new GM.
Josh McDaniels is linked with the vacancy in Indianapolis, where he’d have a franchise quarterback in Andrew Luck, assuming the former No. 1 pick can get healthy. The Patriots offensive coordinator might have a second better option in Tennessee if the Titans do an about-face and fire Mike Mularkey, the head coach who hasn’t tapped the potential of dynamic dual-threat quarterback Marcus Mariota.
That would leave Pat Shurmur, a qualified offensive coach who salvaged the Minnesota Vikings’ season with castoff Case Keenum. But even he might have another opportunity in Arizona, where the Cardinals seemed convinced that he’s the best fit to take over their broken offense, too. They have one of the best running backs in the game in David Johnson.
Is it any wonder that sudden leaks of a Giants “mystery candidate” started to surface late last week?
Look: The search is not over yet. Shurmur may not win the press conference, but his skill set might fit a team with a broken offense. If Mara has to refuel his private jet and start interviewing new candidates, the shaky process will be forgotten as long as the new hire starts winning.
But all the tradition and those four shiny Lombardi Trophies in the Giants lobby haven’t left stars in the eyes of the first batch of candidates. Given the problems here and their options elsewhere, can you blame them?