Giants interview Steve Spagnuolo and Ben McAdoo for Head Coach position

Posted Jan 7, 2016

The Giants coaching search is underway as Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo interviewed for the position

The Giants’ first two head coaching candidates didn’t have to travel far for their interviews.

Steve Spagnuolo, the Giants’ defensive coordinator in 2015, met this morning with team president John Mara and general manager Jerry Reese for a formal interview as he seeks to become the team’s head coach in 2016. On Tuesday, Ben McAdoo, the team’s offensive coordinator, was the first candidate to interview for the position when he met with Mara and Reese.

Spagnuolo and McAdoo are among several coaches Mara and Reese will speak with as they seek to identify the man who will follow Tom Coughlin, who stepped down on Monday after 12 seasons as the Giants’ coach.

The 2015 season marked Spagnuolo’s return as defensive coordinator. He also held the position in 2007-08 when the Giants ranked seventh and fifth, respectively, in total defense. Spagnuolo also devised the game plan and made the in-game adjustments to help the Giants defeat the previously-undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

The Giants’ defense struggled throughout the just-completed season. But Mara said the responsibility cannot rest solely with Spagnuolo, saying the roster, “was lacking in some talent, especially at 6-10. We have some holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball, no question about that.

"I think he did the best he could with what he had. I want to hear from him what he felt about how we performed there, what improvements he would make going forward. He'll have that opportunity to explain that.”

Spagnuolo, 56, was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams from 2009-11. He was 10-38, but inherited a 2-14 team and had them within one game of the playoffs in his second season.

McAdoo joined the Giants in 2014, soon after a season in which the Giants finished 28th in the NFL in total offense. In his two seasons, the offense has ranked 10th and eighth. Quarterback Eli Manning has had what are arguably his two most productive seasons under McAdoo. In 2015, Manning established career highs for attempts (618), completions (387) and touchdown passes (33). He threw for 4,436 yards, the second-highest total of his career.

“I think our offense certainly improved (under McAdoo),” Mara said.

“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.”

Prior to joining the Giants, McAdoo, 38, spent eight years as an assistant coach with the Green Bay Packers, the first six as the team’s tight ends coach and the final two as the quarterbacks coach.