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Steve Spagnuolo, Kevin Abrams to take over on interim basis

Posted Dec 5, 2017

Steve Spagnuolo will be the Giants interim head coach, and Kevin Abrams will be the interim GM as part of Monday's changes:


Following the dismissal of general manager Jerry Reese and head coach Ben McAdoo on Monday, Kevin Abrams and Steve Spagnuolo were named interims at their respective positions in the Giants’ hierarchy.

Team president John Mara said both will be considered candidates for the full-time roles, if they so choose, as the search begins with four weeks left in the season. In all likelihood, Mara said, the general manager will be hired first, long before April’s draft, where the Giants will hold a high draft pick.  At 2-10, they are currently tied with San Francisco, which defeated Big Blue in Week 10, for the second-worst record in the NFL.

“I don’t think there was any one final straw,” Mara said Monday afternoon in the auditorium at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. “I just think that where we are as a franchise right now, you know, we’re 2-10. We’ve kind of been spiraling out of control. I just felt like we needed a complete overhaul. I don’t think there was any one event or one final act to precipitate that.”

Here is a closer look at Abrams and Spagnuolo as well as what we know about the search that is just getting underway:

KEVIN ABRAMS

Most recent role: Assistant General Manager
Seasons with Giants: 19

Mara is bringing in former Giants general manager and 2016 Ring of Honor inductee Ernie Accorsi as a consultant in the search. Accorsi, who was instrumental in the hiring of Tom Coughlin as head coach and orchestrated the draft-day acquisition of quarterback Eli Manning in 2004, goes way back with Abrams, who was hired by Accorsi in July 1999 to fill the newly-created position of salary cap analyst. Three years later, he was named assistant general manager.

Among Abrams’ responsibilities are:
  • Team’s primary negotiator for player contracts
  • Managing the salary cap
  • Working with college and pro personnel departments to evaluate players in preparation for the NFL Draft and free agency
  • Football data analysis
  • Related strategic planning for football operations
  • Coordinating the organization’s compliance with the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement

Abrams originally came to the Giants from the NFL Management Council, where he helped to monitor the league-wide salary cap and analyzed all new player contracts. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario, and earned his master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University, where he is currently a member of the Sports Administration Advisory Board.

STEVE SPAGNUOLO

Most recent role: Defensive Coordinator
Seasons with Giants: 5 (two stints)

Spagnuolo is in the third season of his second stint as defensive coordinator of the Giants. Among his accomplishments are:
  • A 36-year coaching veteran, including 19 in the NFL
  • Coached for teams that made nine playoff appearances, won six division titles, played in five conference championship games, earned two conference titles and won a Super Bowl
  • In Super Bowl XLII, Spagnuolo’s defense shut down the undefeated Patriots, who had what was then the highest-scoring offense in NFL history.
  • Spagnuolo left the Giants in 2009 to become the head coach in St. Louis, where he served for three seasons.
  • In 2016, the Giants had NFL’s most-improved defense that allowed the fewest offensive touchdowns.

THE SEARCH

Following are Mara’s responses to questions about the search for both general manager and head coach.

On whether there needs to be a total overhaul in the front office or if the new general manager can keep the staff:
“Well, I think that’s going to be largely up to the new GM. And we did go through this, back in ’07 when Jerry was hired. We kept most of the people and I’m not anticipating there being wholesale changes, but again, that’s largely going to be up to the new general manager.”

On if he expects to hire a new general manager before the end of the season:
“That’s possible. If the right candidate comes along, that’s possible. Obviously if we want to talk to somebody who’s currently employed, we would have to wait.”

On if he has names in mind:
“We have names in mind, but I’m not going to go into the names right now.”

On if the new head coach needs prior head coaching experience:
“Not necessarily, it just depends on the candidate. I mean, there are a number of new head coaches that are very successful in this league this year, so you can’t shy away from that. If you think you have the right guy, you have to go for it.”

On the draft process:
“We will have the GM in long before the draft. Our scouts and Marc Ross, our head of scouting, it’s business as usual for them. They’re going to keep doing what they’re doing. But that GM will be in place long before the draft.”

On if personnel and coaching can cross over in the new regime:
“My very strong preference is to maintain that traditional separation, but again, I would never say never if the right candidate was there.”