Two longtime NFC East rivals find themselves in the same predicament for the first time decades. Both the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants are looking to hire a head coach at the same time since 1991, when both Buddy Ryan and Bill Parcells ended their tenures.
They were replaced by Rich Kotite and Ray Handley, respectively, and well, you know the rest. Both teams are hopeful they do better this time around. The usually stable Eagles are looking for their third coach in five years and the Giants are in the coaching search business for only the third time in 23 years.
The Eagles and Giants are chasing each other's tails after firing their powerful coaches (Chip Kelly and Tom Coughlin) and are intervewing from the same pool of candidates. There are no favotites for either job at the moment, leaving the coaching carousel spinning at high speed.
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton will hold a press conference on Wednesday to announce his future plans. If he declares himself in play, he changes the dynamic of the entire process. No telling if a team is willing to part with a second round pick and pay him in the upwards of $8 million per year. Payton is said to be interested in both job openings.
Philadelphia's goal will be to find a coach that is solid strategically but can relate to the players and managemnt. A team player. Chip Kelly divided the organization and they need a healer. They have interviewed, RB coach Duce Staley, interim head coach Pat Shurmur and Chicago Bears' OC Adam Gase.
They plan on interviewing a slew of others according to reports but they could be the team Payton may be hoping bids for him. It is rumored that Panthers' DC Sean McDermott is also interested but no interview has been set.
The Giants job is the most coveted and they have already interviewed both of their coordinators, Ben McAdoo and Steve Spagnuolo, and plan to speak to Gase and McDermott as well as former Syracuse/Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone, aho has spent the past season as an assistant in Jacksonville. All five could do the job tomorrow.
Hue Jackson, the offensive coordinator of the Bengals, could also be brought in for an interview but he is currently still coaching. Cincinnati is hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend in the AFC Wild Card round. McDermott is still working as well, but the Panthers have a bye this week, so is allowed to interview.
CEO John Mara didn't rule out the Giants would trading for a coach, so they will include Payton on their list just in case.
Marrone has the background the Giants like but his demeanor is in question. He's a very good coach and will likely interview well. Gase is an up-and-comer and the Giants don't want to hire a coach withount taking his temperature. McDermott and Jackson are ready for the next step and would both fit well.
Payton is a double-negative if the Giants keep Ben McAdoo on. Two offensive philosophies clashing will create just more dysfunction.
What I see happening...
The Giants need to get back to the tenets that won them championships: getting after the passer, winning in the trenches and running the football with authority.
They can do that with any of the coaching candidates mentioned above. Out of the in-house candidates, I would prefer McAdoo to stay put as the OC and either Spagnuolo, McDermott or Marrone assume the head coaching position.
If they hire Payton, Gase or Jackson, McAdoo would likely be gone, either released or hired elsewhere, and the offense would have to start from scratch.