Matt Rhule might have been the Jets coach last season if they had given him a little more freedom in choosing his own assistant coaches.
That doesn't figure to be an issue with the Giants.
The Giants' plan to give the 44-year-old Rhule plenty of leeway to assemble his staff, as they usually do with coaches they hire, according to a team source. There will be suggestions made and questions asked, of course, and the Giants want to be sure he has a staff with NFL experience.
But no one on either side expects that to be a stumbling block if the Giants, as expected, offer him their head coaching job.
In fact, it appears the two coaches believed to be Rhule's top choices for coordinators will both meet with the Giants' approval, an NFL source said. Rhule is expected to hire Lions quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan as his offensive coordinator wherever he goes, and it is believed he'll bring Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Snow along to coach the defense.
Ryan, 47, seems like a slam-dunk hire for the Giants, considering he was a well-regarded assistant on their staff from 2007-15 - including two years in the important role of quarterbacks coach (2012-13). Rhule reportedly wanted to bring Ryan with him if he had taken the Jets job a year ago, but then-Jets GM Mike Maccagnan objected.
The 64-year-old Snow has been Rhule's defensive coordinator since his days at Temple. And though he's mostly coached in the college ranks, he did spend four years as a Detroit Lions assistant from 2005-08. It's unclear if Rhule tried to bring Snow with him to the Jets, but according to a source the Jets had targeted Gregg Williams to be their defensive coordinator regardless of whom they hired as head coach.
The Giants don't operate that way, though. They have a long history of letting their head coach pick his own staff, though often with at least some input from above. The failure of Shurmur's staff could lead to more input than usual, of course. Shurmur's bosses were not happy with the entire defensive staff, a source said, which they felt did not develop their young players well. They also had issues with the game-day coaching of defensive coordinator James Bettcher and the performance of offensive line coach Hal Hunter.
Still, they are not expected to be heavy-handed at the start with whomever they hire. As long as they are convinced Rhule is hiring quality coaches and has NFL experience on his staff, the source said, they aren't likely to make any specific objections.