Giants’ coaching search down to three


-New York Post

The next head coach of the New York Giants will reportedly come from a group of three NFL assistants with teams in the playoffs: New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

All three remain in the mix with no surprise candidate looming, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reported.

There were multiple reports this week that Patricia was the likely choice to become the Giants’ next head coach.

The Giants have interviewed three other candidates — interim head coach and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and recently fired Denver Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville. The team also asked for permission to interview Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, but an interview has not been scheduled.

Wilks did not make the cut after the first round of interviews, a team source told the New York Post, and neither did Spagnuolo and Studesville.

Giants co-owner John Mara, new general manager Dave Gettleman and assistant GM Kevin Abrams interviewed all six candidates. Co-owner Steve Tisch attended only the interview with Wilks, according to the newspaper.

Shurmur is reportedly the front-runner to replace the retired Bruce Arians as the Arizona Cardinals’ head coach.

Shurmur was hired by the Vikings as tight ends coach in 2016 but was promoted to interim offensive coordinator midseason when Norv Turner resigned after a 5-2 start. In Shurmur’s first full season running the offense, the unit finished 11th in yards per game (356.9) and 10th in points (23.9) while quarterback Case Keenum posted a 98.3 passer rating, easily the best of his career.

Patricia has been a member of the New England coaching staff since 2004 and the team’s defensive coordinator for the last six seasons. He has been with the Patriots for three of their five Super Bowl victories, as well as their losses to the Giants in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.

This season, the Patriots’ defense ranked 29th in the NFL in yards allowed (366.0), but a much more impressive fifth in scoring defense (18.5 points per game). Only one of the Patriots’ final 12 opponents scored more than 24 points. For the second consecutive season, New England allowed just six rushing touchdowns, the league’s second-lowest total. Patricia’s 2016 defense finished as the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL by allowing only 15.6 points per game.

Patricia joined the Patriots as a coaching assistant and the next season served as assistant offensive line coach. In 2006, Patricia shifted to the Patriots’ defensive staff, spending five seasons as the linebackers coach and one year coaching the safeties.

McDaniels has coached under Bill Belichick with the Patriots for 14 of the last 17 seasons. The 2017 season was his sixth in his second stint as New England’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. McDaniels previously held those dual positions from 2006-08.

The Patriots led the NFL in total yards (394.2 a game) in 2017 and were second in passing yards (276.1) and scoring (28.6). It was the seventh time McDaniels’ offense finished with a top-10 ranking. -REUTER