Several league sources believe Bill’s offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is the favorite to become the Miami Dolphins’ next head coach.
If Daboll takes that job, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores will emerge as the leading candidates to become the Giants’ next head coach.
There are other candidates as well.
Giants defensive coordinator Pat Graham interviewed Wednesday. Flores will interview Thursday at the facility. Leslie Frazier has her second interview in person on Friday.
Then it may be decision time.
“If we have our guy and we come to an agreement, it could be as early as Saturday morning,” said GM Joe Schoen.
Co-owner John Mara separately reiterated a similar timeline: “I hope we will have made a decision on this by the beginning of next week.”
Mara said on January 12 that the Giants needed to give their next general manager “the flexibility to pick up the head coach he wants.” On Wednesday, he called the recruitment process a “collaboration” and said everyone will have to reach an agreement before making their choices.
“Listen, he will not hire anyone we do not want, and we will certainly not hire anyone he does not want,” Mara insisted. “But ownership always has the final approval of any decision like that. It just is not going to change.”
Asked if Schoen has more to say than previous GMs in hiring head coaches, Mara said Schoen does not.
“No, I do not think so,” he said. “Our system has always been the same. We trust the day-to-day manager. We trust his advice, but ultimately the ownership must approve it. ”
Schoen was asked if he has full autonomy to hire the head coach.
“Ultimately, it will be a collaboration between John, Steve [Tisch], myself, ”he said. “We have to meet, we have to talk about the candidates. If we are different in certain areas, we will continue to do our research, we will continue to make our calls. Ultimately, it will be a collaboration between ownership and myself. . ”
Mara, co-owner Tisch and VP of player staff Chris Mara all qualify as owners who have participated in the personal head coach interviews. Mara said Schoen leads the interviews and that others weigh in as they see fit.
The Mara and the Giants reached out to both Quinn and Flores last week, even before hiring Schoen. Mara confirmed her 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 to conversation elsewhere, I just wanted to tell him that before you make a decision, just know that we’re interested in you.
“[I told him] make the decision you feel you have to make for you and your family, but just know that we have an interest in you, ”Mara added. “Once I’ve done the search for the CEO, we’ll get back to you, so that was the purpose of that call.”
Interestingly, when Schoen was asked a question about Daboll and GM’s preference for his next coach’s experience level, Schoen unsolicitedly referred to Quinn and Flores.
“Brian Daboll, I have been working with. I know Dan Quinn, I have a lot of respect for him. Brian Flores comes in, ”said Schoen. “I know a lot of people in Miami, and I have a lot of respect for him … It becomes imperative that there is someone who is in lockdown with me that I can work with, we can have constant communication, and we” we want to be in line with our vision when 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 at Flores.
Dabøll has been an exciting candidate. He worked with Schoen in Buffalo and was the first to interview twice for the Giants’ job.
But he coached the Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa before in Alabama and has been in high demand due to his work with Josh Allen and Bills’ powerful offensive.
A source said Daboll intended to hire newly fired Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale as his DC if he got the Giants job, as 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 real alignment in Frazier, because of 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 wanted to.
Mara said he is very aware that the NFL only has one active black head coach, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, and that the Giants have never had one.
“It’s definitely something I’m aware of,” Mara said. “Ultimately, we want the right person, and I think we have a good, diverse group of candidates right now. We make a decision based on who we think will 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 said oddly enough that they would not rule out other candidates possibly joining the mix if they remain undecided on Saturday, but they clearly have people they like in this group.
Schoen’s preferred qualities in a head coach started with “leadership” and “good staff” with “coaches who have trained in the NFL who have a proven track record.”
“I think you have to be able to develop players,” Schoen said. “The willingness to play young players. I think intelligence is important. I think you’re progressive in your approach to coaching, whether it’s with analyzes, when to go, when not to go, when to I bet you need to be open to all that [and] for sports performance, strength and fitness. You have to listen to the experts in their field. ”
Emphasizing that the Giants’ next coach should “listen to the experts in their field” seemed like an allusion to something the Giants claim went wrong with previous regimes. Either way, Schoen is looking for someone who shares his vision – and who also prefers ownership.
“The relationship between myself and the next head coach will be integrated,” Schoen said. “We want to be in line with our plan and vision in how we build the organization and the franchise and build a winning team. We want to build a strong foundation that will enable us to maintain success over time.”