Bill Belichick suddenly has captured the Giants’ coaching spotlight.
Granted, he would be the unequivocal choice to coach the team, but the Giants would have to wait a few weeks to hire him.
If the rift in New England is real and the Patriots collapse next week, the Giants need to act quickly.
But don’t hold your breath on this one. Belichick likely will stay and there would be a power struggle between him and new GM Dave Gettleman.
Instead, John Mara and Steve Tisch likely will look for a new coach in the Belichick-Bill Parcells-Tom Coughlin mold.
Gettleman fits the cast.
The question is.. do any of the prime candidates do?
Ironically, the Giants were in New England to interview Belichick’s top two lieutenants.
They believe either offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel or defensive coordinator Matt Patricia can restore respectability, responsibility, and functionality to the locker room.
There also is defensive coordinators Jim Schwartz in Philadelphia and Steve Wilks in Carolina.
Wilks became an overnight hot quantity due to Gettleman’s former ties to him.
All of them appear to have the qualities Mara and Tisch want to reinstall.
Still, none of them appears to be a slam dunk choice. Besides Belichick, there really isn’t anyone out there who is an instant hire.
Remember the Bill Cowher rumors? He would be one.
Jon Gruden? It will be interesting to see how his return in Oakland plays out. He likely will be one overpaid and overrated savior for the franchise.
Don’t count out former Atlanta coach and current Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Mike Smith, who did a nice job with the Falcons and lost his job due to an ultimatum to reach the next level from his owner.
Or even Mike Shula on the offensive side in Carolina. Shula had a brief, but somewhat successful (26-23) at Alabama before Nick Saban arrived. Pat Shurmur, the Vikings’ offensive coordinator, also is in the mix. He had a 9-23 stint in purgatory in Cleveland and will be active on the coaching vacancy carousal.
McDaniels lasted two seasons in Denver and couldn’t keep the Broncos on top. He also was involved in a video-tapping episode, similar to the Patriots’ spy-gate debacle. Since then, he has regained respect under Belichick.
Schwartz has a five-year run in Detroit where he compiled an overall 29-52 record. His later years were marked with poor sportsmanship, bad penalties, and squandered leads.
Again, like McDaniels, he repaired his reputation with a good run with the Bills and his current stay with the Eagles.
The wildcard here is Patricia. He has been the architect of the Patriots’ stout defense over the years – dismissing this year’s.
Patricia is a highly intelligent man and reportedly has the Belichick mentality of no-nonsense and little tolerance for ineptitude or attitude.
It’s a mixed bag without a five-star candidate. By most indications, Wilks, McDaniels, Patricia, and Schwartz appear to be the short list.
One is likely to emerge unless Belichick decides to write another note on a cocktail napkin like he did 17 years ago when he abruptly left the Jets.