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John Mara: Giants coaching search to begin immediately


*Giants President John Mara discussed the team's plans for seeking out the new head coach: *

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants will waste no time beginning their search for a new head coach.

"Expect us on Monday to start sending out the consent forms and start making contact," team president John Mara said today. "We want to get going on this right away."

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The Giants will be permitted to speak with candidates from teams that do not make the playoffs, and those that have first-round byes.

"You can request permission and the team that they currently work for can tell you what day and where," Mara said, "but you can start asking for permission on Monday."

The Giants, who conclude their season Sunday at home against Washington, this morning introduced their first major hire, new general manager Dave Gettleman. Mara initially thought the search for a GM might extend into next month. But having Gettleman on board gives the Giants a head start in what will certainly be a competitive process to hire a new head coach.

"We just had a conviction that this was the right guy for us," Mara said. "I'm also conscious of the fact that come Monday or Tuesday, there are going to be a number of head coaches that get fired, and there are going to be a lot of teams out there competing for the quality candidates that are out there. So being ready to do that starting Monday morning was something that we wanted to do. But I think once we reached the conviction about Dave, we felt like it was the right thing to do, make the decision now and then be ready to hit the road on Monday."

With a 2-13 record, the Giants have set a franchise single-season record for defeats. While Gettleman must improve the roster, the new coach will be charged with changing the culture.

"You're looking for someone who has intelligence, but leadership qualities, too," Mara said. "Somebody that's going to be able to command the room when he stands up there in front of that team. And we don't have any preconceived notion about whether it has to be an offensive or a defensive coach. Ideally, it will be somebody with previous head coaching experience, but that doesn't have to be the case, either."

Both Mara and Gettleman said interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo is a candidate for the permanent position – "permanent" being a relative term in the coaching profession, of course.

"He will have a shot," Mara said. "I told him that when we made him the interim head coach, and he will have a shot."

Mara is also in agreement with Gettleman, who said he intends for Eli Manning to be the Giants' starting quarterback in 2018.

"He had given me that answer in the interview as well, and I think that's fine," Mara said. "Obviously, he has to sit down and look at the tape and we're going to hire a coach, and it's going to be a discussion going forward.

"I think he can still play. I think he can still play at a high level, but at the end of the day, that's going to be a discussion among Dave, the new head coach and myself."

Odell Beckham, Jr. has been both a brilliant player and a controversial figure in his four Giants season. He was limited to five games this year because of a fractured ankle suffered on Oct. 8.

"I still want him to be a part of this team in the future," Mara said. "But I think I have to sit with Dave and the new head coach and figure out exactly what is going to happen there. But let's face it, players with his ability don't come along very often so yes, I want him to be a part of this team's future. As to when we actually do the contract, I think that's up for discussion."

Mara is similarly open-minded about another former first-round draft choice, cornerback Eli Apple, who was suspended this week for conduct detrimental to the team.

"I think Dave said it well, you don't want to quit on talent," Mara said. "I think that's a discussion we'll have to have in the offseason. He's a young guy, I happen to like him personally. I'm obviously disturbed with what's happened this year. I thought he had a terrific training camp, and I was really excited about him as a player coming into this season. So I think we have to figure out what's going on with him. But I'd like at the end of the day for him to be a part of this team's future, but I think that's going to have to be a discussion with whoever the next head coach is, and with Dave as well."

Although the coach's identity is not yet known, and extensive changes are coming, Mara is confident the team's new football leadership can ignite a quick turnaround.

"I expect us to be a good team in 2018," Mara said. "You go from last to first or first to last, teams do that every year. And we do have some talent on this roster. We obviously have a lot of holes to fill as well. But I don't see any reason why we can't have a successful team next year."

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