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Cover 4: Player who would make a great coach or GM someday


In the wake of Kayvon Thibodeaux's recent comments about maybe being a general manager or analyst down the road, that got us thinking on Which current player would make the best GM someday? What about head coach?

We discuss in this week's edition of Cover 4:

John Schmeelk: This was a really tough question, and I took a lot of the individual part of OTAs thinking about it. If we were talking about last year's roster, I would have immediately selected Davis Webb for the future head coach and Julian Love as the future general manager and felt great about.

I don't think there are obvious answers on this year's team. I am going to go with Daniel Jones as the general manager. Jones is also very good at not giving away any secrets in his media availability, which is critical. As a quarterback he is forced to understand every aspect of the game. This might be a reach, but so be it.

For head coach, I am going to go with Bobby Okereke. Middle linebackers always make good coaches with their responsibility to run and call a defense, and the necessity of understanding run defense, pass coverage and blitzes. He is smart, a good communicator, and a leader. Think DeMeco Ryans here. I look forward to this young veteran taking on a leadership role in the middle of Wink Martindale's defense.

Dan Salomone: I'll pick up where Schmeelk left off about Okereke, but not for the head coach job. He could be a heck of a general manager. First, he graduated from Stanford with a degree in Management, Science and Engineering. His concentration was on Finance and Decision, which "focuses on the design and analysis of financial and strategic plans." Let's look at the rest of his resume:

  • Summer Assistant, Office of Dr. Condoleezza Rice at The Hoover Institution, Stanford University
  • Eagle Scout
  • Performed in Carnegie Hall with high school choir

Oh, and there is a long list of football accolades if somehow that didn't impress you.

Now to pick a future head coach… How about Daniel Bellinger? And not just because there is already a former Giants tight end named Dan serving as a head coach in the NFL. He seems to embody Brian Daboll's "smart, tough, dependable" mantra, and those are three traits that would translate to being a successful head coach.

See all the action from OTA practice No. 6 at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Lance Medow: Let's start with the head coaching position. When you look across the NFL landscape, it's no coincidence that several former quarterbacks have smoothly made the transition to the top spot, especially those that weren't necessarily consistent starters throughout their careers. I think that's a product of them having a great grasp of the game, preparing for all different situations given they never know when they may enter a contest and seeing things through a unique lens compared to other positions. A few individuals that come to mind: Doug Pederson, Gary Kubiak, Frank Reich and Jason Garrett. The first two each won Super Bowls. That's why I'm going with Tyrod Taylor. He's a seasoned pro with a wealth of experience as a starter and backup, who has operated within a variety of schemes. He's also helped mentor young quarterbacks including Baker Mayfield, Justin Herbert and Davis Mills. You can easily envision Taylor running a team as he's consistently earned the respect of his teammates across six organizations.

The general manager position is a bit trickier as it's not all about Xs and Os but also delegating responsibilities, valuing the opinions of others and having an involvement in various departments within a franchise. Darius Slayton seems like an intriguing candidate, especially when you think about how he handled himself in 2022. He went from a player that was a spectator early in the season to a key contributor down the stretch. The ego can be a dangerous facet that gets in the way of other elements, but Slayton took everything in stride last season and his patience and hard work paid off. That's the type of temperament that's necessary for a GM to be successful and navigate the difficulties of life in the NFL. You can't get overly emotional regardless of the circumstances. Slayton is also an observant player, especially when you listen to him discussing his teammates. Scouting talent is a huge part of being a general manager and Slayton has already displayed some of those characteristics.

Matt Citak: As soon as I read the first part of this question, my mind immediately went to Sterling Shepard. While recovering from a torn ACL last season, Shepard put his leadership skills on full display. Unlike some injured players who spend time away from the team while rehabbing, the veteran wide receiver embraced the situation and essentially became another assistant coach for the Giants. Shepard continued to attend practices and games after his injury and helped in any way he could. Shepard could eventually make a great head coach if he decides he wants to get into coaching whenever his playing career is over.

"I think he helps everybody," head coach Brian Daboll said about Shepard during the postseason. "He helps the defensive guys, the receivers, the offensive guys. He's all over in practice. Walkthrough, he's talking to those guys. He's played a lot of football. I think the guys have a lot of respect for him. He's just been a really good teammate for us."

As for the general manager part of the question, that one was a little more difficult. However, one player that came to mind was outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux. While only entering his second season in the NFL, it's evident when he speaks to the media that Thibodeaux has a high football IQ. He admitted just last week that he doesn't see himself pursuing a career in the front office when he's done playing, but the 22-year-old did make some intriguing comments to reporters.

"Since I've been here, I told myself I want to be something like a GM one day, so I started to look at the team's needs and whatever the case is…" Thibodeaux said during OTAs. "For me even being on a team trying to figure out what components does a team need to succeed. Just kind of looking at it from a 360 point of view."

View photos of the team on the golf course at The Giants Foundation Charity Golf Classic.



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