sources – The Denver Post

Several league sources believe Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is the favorite to be the Miami Dolphins’ next head coach.

If Daboll takes that job, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and ex-Dolphins head coach Brian Flores emerge as the leading contenders to be the Giants’ next head coach.

There are other contenders, too.

Giants defensive coordinator Pat Graham interviewed Wednesday. Flores will interview Thursday at the facility. Leslie Frazier has his second interview in person on Friday.

Then it could be decision time.

“If we’ve got our guy and we come to a consensus, it could be as early as Saturday morning,” GM Joe Schoen said.

Co-owner John Mara separately echoed a similar timeline: “I would hope that by the beginning of next week we will have made a decision on this.”

Mara said on Jan. 12 that the Giants needed to give their next general manager “the flexibility to bring in the head coach that he wants.” On Wednesday, he called the hiring process a “collaboration” and said everyone will have to reach a consensus before they make their pick.

“Listen, he’s not going to hire anybody that we do not want and we’re certainly not going to hire anybody that he does not want,” Mara insisted. “But ownership always has the final approval over any decision like that. That’s just not going to change. ”

Asked if Schoen has more say than previous GMs in the head coaching hire, Mara said Schoen does not.

“No, I do not think so,” he said. “Our system has always been the same. We rely on the general manager. We rely on his advice, but at the end of the day, ownership has to approve it. ”

Schoen was asked if he has full autonomy to make the head coaching hire.

“Ultimately, it’s going to be a collaborative effort between John, Steve [Tisch], myself, ”he said. “We’re going to come together, we’re going to talk about the candidates. If we’s different in certain areas, we’ll continue to do our research, we’ll continue to make our calls. Ultimately, it’s going to be a collaborative effort between ownership and myself. ”

Mara, co-owner Tisch and VP of player personnel Chris Mara all qualify as owners who have participated in the in-person head coaching interviews. Mara said Schoen leads the interviews and others weigh in as they see fit.

Mara and the Giants reached out to both Quinn and Flores last week even before hiring Schoen. Mara confirmed his contact with Flores on Wednesday and explained why.

“I reached out to him because he was on… all the candidates that we interviewed for general manager, he was on each of their lists,” Mara said. “He’s been interviewing elsewhere, I just wanted to let him know that before you make a decision, just know that we have interest in you.

“[I told him] make whatever decision you feel like you need to make for you and your family, but just know that we do have interest in you, ”Mara added. “Once I get the general manager search done, we will be back to you, so that was the purpose of that call.”

Interestingly, when Schoen was asked a question about Daboll and the GM’s preference for his next coach’s experience level, Schoen referenced Quinn and Flores unprompted.

“Brian Daboll I’ve worked with. I know Dan Quinn, I’ve got a lot of respect for him. Brian Flores is coming in, ”Schoen said. “I know a lot of people in Miami, and I’ve got a lot of respect for him.” re going to be aligned in our vision as we build a football team. ”

The team has done significant work on both Quinn and Flores, as the Daily News has previously reported, from requesting a defensive coordinator interview with Cowboys assistant Joe Whitt Jr. to contact several Dolphins support staff and assistant coaches on Flores.

Daboll has been an intriguing candidate. He worked with Schoen in Buffalo and was the first to interview twice for the Giants’ job.

But he coached Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa before at Alabama and has been in high demand given his work with Josh Allen and the Bills’ high-powered offense.

One source said Daboll intended to hire recently fired Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale as his DC if he got the Giants job, which ESPN’s Jordan Raanan first reported on the Breaking Big Blue podcast. But in Miami, Daboll would inherit the Dolphins’ existing defensive staff.

If Daboll is out of the Giants’ picture, Schoen could theoretically find true alignment in Frazier, due to their time together in Buffalo, or in Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, a former Dolphins colleague.

But the Giants would have to wait until Monday at the earliest after the AFC Championship Game to interview Anarumo in person if they wished.

Mara did say he’s keenly aware that the NFL has only one active black head coach, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, and that the Giants have never had one.

“It’s certainly something I’m aware of,” Mara said. “At the end of the day, we want to get the right person, and I think we have a good, diverse group of candidates right now. We’ll make a decision based on who we think is going to be the best person to lead us in the future. It was very important that we have a diverse group of candidates. ”

Mara and Schoen both oddly said they would not rule out other candidates possibly entering the mix if they remain undecided Saturday, but they clearly have people they like in this group.

Schoen’s preferred qualities in a head coach started with “leadership” and “a good staff” with “coaches that have coached in the NFL that have a proven track record.”

“I think you’ve got to be able to develop players,” Schoen said. “The willingness to play young players. I think intelligence is important. I think being progressive in your approach to coaching, whether it’s with analytics, when to go, when not to go, when to punt. I think you’ve got to be open to all that stuff [and] to sports performance, strength and conditioning. You’ve got to listen to the experts in their field. ”

Stressing that the Giants’ next coach needs to “listen to the experts in their field” seemed like an allusion to something the Giants are claiming went wrong with previous regimes. Regardless, Schoen is looking for someone who shares his vision – and whose ownership prefers, too.

“The relationship between myself and the next head coach will be integral,” Schoen said. “We will be aligned in our plan and vision in how to build the organization and the franchise and build a winning team. We will build a strong foundation, which will allow us to sustain success over time. ”

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