Ben McAdoo and Steve Spagnuolo to interview for Head Coach position

Posted Jan 5, 2016

Team President John Mara spoke Tuesday about the future of the Giants

Twelve years ago, co-owner John Mara and then-general manager Ernie Accorsi sat down with Tom Coughlin at the Newark Airport Marriott Hotel.

The former Jaguars head coach started with a monologue on what was wrong with the Giants, the NFL, and the world as a whole. Mara and Accorsi looked at each other and thought, “This is just not going to work.”

But not surprisingly, the session improved from there.

Two Super Bowl titles and 110 total victories later, the Giants’ top decision-makers will go through the same process after Coughlin stepped down as head coach on Monday. Speaking the day after, Mara would not get into specifics about candidates -- or hotels -- but he did provide some details on the search, which will include interviews with Ben McAdoo and Steve Spagnuolo, Coughlin’s most recent offense and defensive coordinators.

“The search will be extensive,” Mara said Tuesday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.  “I’m not going to talk about specific candidates other than to say that both our coordinators, both Ben and Steve Spagnuolo, will be interviewed. But there will be a number of other candidates, as well. And, again, I don’t want to get into speculating about who they might be.”

Added Mara: “There’s no specific timetable. Obviously you want to do it sooner rather than later because staffs get filled. There are other teams out there looking for coaches. So we need to get moving on it, and that starts right away.”

Mara went on to say that he and general manager Jerry Reese will conduct the initial interviews with candidates, and then at some point co-owner Steve Tisch and possibly other members of the Tisch family will meet the final candidates.

“We’ll do it pretty much the same way that Ernie and I did it in ’04,” Mara said, referring to Reese and himself. “We’ll go out and do the initial interviews and then come back with a recommendation.”

Here are 10 things we learned about the search from Mara:  

1. On what Mara has seen from McAdoo, who just completed his second season as the Giants’ offensive coordinator and play-caller:
“I think our offense certainly improved. 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, so he’s got some good qualities.”

2. On the job Spagnuolo did in his first season back with the team:
“I think he did the best he could with what he had, but I want to hear from him, what he felt about how we performed there and what improvements he would make going forward. And he’ll have that opportunity to explain that.”

3. On how much changing the offense again factors into the head-coaching decision:
“It’s a factor. It’s certainly a factor, but at the end of the day, you have to get the right man for the job. And that can’t be the overriding determination.”

4. On bringing someone in from the outside:
“All coaches have their own philosophies. There’s not one philosophy that’s the correct one. There are a lot of different ways you can win. Certainly we were comfortable with Tom’s style and his philosophy, but does the next guy have to be exactly the same? No, he does not [have to] be. He just has to be somebody we’re comfortable with and we think we can win with.”

5. On if the new coach needs to have Giants ties:
“It’s a factor, but that’s not necessarily a requirement going forward. We’re certainly willing to look at somebody on the outside.”

6. On if he would be open to a coach who wants more say in personnel:
“This head coach [Coughlin] had as much say as any head coach we’ve ever had. I honestly cannot think of any personnel decisions that we’ve made in the last 12 years that Tom was against. He did not have any players forced upon him.”

7. On if he would consider a college coach:
“Of course.”

8. On if he would be open to trading a draft pick for a coach:
“We haven’t really had that discussion yet, but I wouldn’t completely rule that out. But there are a lot of good candidates out there.”

9. On if he would encourage the coach to retain McAdoo:
“We would certainly make certain recommendations to him, but at the end of the day, you have to let the head coach determine who’s going to be on his staff.”

10. On the attractiveness of the job:
“I think people will recognize that with the Tisch family and my family that we have stable ownership here that is patient. We have a franchise quarterback [Eli Manning] sitting right here in the second row. There are not a lot of organizations that can say that.”