Tom Coughlin saw the writing on the wall. Even though his Giants lost eight games by a total of 26 points and many of those games in the last few seconds, there was just no defense to another 6-10 record and he decided to move on.
And now the New York Giants – the symbol of stability in New York Sports – are now in the position they were during the first George W. Bush administration. They are looking for a head coach.
The process is just beginning and the Giants are looking to make a decision on a coach sooner rather than later. They will only confirm that their two coordinators, Ben McAdoo and Steve Spagnuolo, will get interviews, but they will also look outside the organization and to some college coaches.
More importantly, Giants owner John Mara didn’t rule out possibly trading a draft pick for an experienced coach under contract. We are talking about the Saints Sean Payton, who is reportedly on the market to whoever wants to hire him.
With over $50 million in cap space open to fill some of the Giant holes, it may make sense to make that move. Payton fits all the Giant criteria, as they want someone with experience and with a connection to the organization – he was the offensive coordinator under Jim Fassel – and proven winner with a Super Bowl under his belt and, of course, something to prove. After winning the Super Bowl XLIV, he was embarrassed with Bountygate and the last few years were less than par in the Big Easy.
And just as important, after Fassel took away Payton’s play calling of the offense, he didn’t criticize the organization, something Mara definitely remembers.
Of course teams like Philadelphia and San Francisco are also interested and the Giants don’t want to get bidding war for his services, but it would make total sense for Big Blue to at least kick the tires there. It has been reported that the Saints want a second round pick for Payton, but that could drop down to a forth. Think of it as a starting point.
Even though he’s still the Saints coach, it looks like he won’t be back next year anyway, so this could be a good marriage.
No matter who the Giants sign as a coach, he will have some big shoes to fill. The last time a Hall of Fame coach resigned on them, the organization was stuck with because Bill Parcells did it in June with Bill Belichick already off to Cleveland and Coughlin signed to coach Boston College.
That left the Giants with Ray Handley, who was a disaster in his two seasons.
But now the team has time, both Mara and Reese, who are leading the search committee, are ahead of the curve here. They need a coach with a thick skin, who is used to the spotlight. Although Spagnuolo has head coaching experience with the Rams, McAdoo does not and if they went with promoting from within, wouldn’t that continue the same culture the Giants have been festering the past three seasons?
It’s time to take some decisive action. It’s time for Big Blue to focus and grab Sean Payton.