Joe Vasile | Featured Columnist
There has been much written and discussed that Tom Coughlin is on the hot seat with the Giants off to a 3-8 start this season. But who could be the men who ultimately replace him? Here’s a few names to keep an eye on, in no particular order:
1. Adam Gase
Current Job: Offensive Coordinator, Denver Broncos
At the ripe young age of 36, Gase would be an interesting hire. After starting with the Broncos as the Wide Receivers Coach in 2009, he rose to the role of Offensive Coordinator before the 2013 season. He has spent the last two years as the architect of one of the top offenses in the National Football League and has had the luxury of coaching Peyton Manning. If the Giants are looking to secure an offensive-minded head coach and don’t mind someone perhaps lacking in years of experience, Gase could be a good fit.
2. Todd Bowles
Current Job: Defensive Coordinator, Arizona Cardinals
If the Giants decide that maybe a defensive-minded head coach is the way to go, Bowles is someone they should take a long look at. Bowles played seven seasons as a Safety in the NFL for Washington and San Francisco in the late-80s and early 90s and has coached in the NFL and collegiate ranks steadily since 1995. He served as the interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2011 after the firing of Tony Sporano and guided the team to a 2-1 finish to the season. Coaching the Giants might seem alluring to Bowles, as he was born and raised in North Jersey and attended Temple University. With the terrific season Arizona’s defense is having, if the Giants don’t hire Bowles, somebody else is likely to.
3. Jack Del Rio
Current Job: Defensive Coordinator, Denver Broncos
Yes, the Broncos coordinators are getting a lot of love on this list, but Del Rio makes the list for a slightly different reason than Gase. Del Rio is a foreseeable, if uninspiring option for the Giants to explore as their next head coach. It is also an interesting choice because Del Rio replaced Coughlin as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, guiding them to two playoff berths in eight-plus seasons, compiling a 68-71 record from 2003 to 2011. Del Rio also likes to wear a suit on the sideline, which is a plus in my book. I wouldn’t think that Del Rio is in any rush to get out of Denver, though.
4. Steve Spagnuolo
Current Job: Secondary Coach, Baltimore Ravens
Ever since Spags graced the Giants sidelines in 2007 I have loved him as a coach. I have wanted the Giants to hire him back at every opportunity they have gotten. Yes, his stint as head coach of the St. Louis Rams was less than spectacular, with a 15-loss and 14-loss season mixed into three years. Yes, when he returned to the defensive coordinator role with the New Orleans Saints in 2012 the defense gave up the most yards in NFL history (even though Spags for some reason didn’t run his blitz-heavy scheme there). I don’t care. I want him back on the sidelines for Big Blue. Give him a chance to be a head coach with a decent roster. He is the leader in my emotional clubhouse.
5. Someone who is currently a Head Coach
Current Job: Head Coach, Some NFL team
Likely guys to no longer be in their positions include Rex Ryan (who I actually think will stay with the Jets), Mike Smith (Atlanta), Marc Trestman (Bears), Joe Philbin (Dolphins), Jim Harbaugh (49ers), Jay Gruden (Washington).
6. Jon Gruden
Current Job: Broadcaster, ESPN
The negatives to hiring Gruden other than losing his banter with Mike Tirico on Monday Night Football and the end of Gruden’s QB Camp on SportsCenter during the offseason, would be that opposing defenses would constantly be looking for the Giants to run the Spider 2 Y Banana. Positives include him being a really good coach. Good luck trying to pry him away from the booth.
Anybody else you think should be on this list?