New York Giants: Comparing HC Candidates Mike McCarthy and Matt Rhule

Will the New York Giants consider Mike McCarthy as their next head coach?

The New York Giants are conducting interviews this week for their vacant head coach position. After going 9-23 over the past two seasons, the Giants fired head coach Pat Shurmur. There are plenty of strong candidates this time around, and the Giants will be conducting a complete and thorough head coach search to ensure they hire the right guy this time.

So far, the Giants’ top two candidates are Matt Rhule and Mike McCarthy. The two are very different. McCarthy has tons of NFL experience and is a well-renown offensive play-caller. Matt Rhule is a college head coach that has experience coaching both sides of the ball. Both candidates have definite pros and cons.

Comparing Experience:

Mike McCarthy

As far as NFL head coaching experience goes, the Giants are not going to find a candidate with more pro experience than Mike McCarthy. Mike McCarthy has been coaching in the NFL since 1993 and served as head coach of the Green Bay packers from 2006 to 2018.

McCarthy has an impressive career record, too. His regular-season head coaching record stands at 125–77–2 (.618). On top of that, the offensive guru has a 10–8 (.556) playoff record along with a Super Bowl XLV victory. If the Giants want a proven, experienced head coach, Mike McCarthy is the best candidate.

Matt Rhule

However, Matt Rhule has plenty of coaching experience at the collegiate level and appears ready to make the jump to the pros. Matt Rhule began his coaching career in 1998 and worked his way up to a job in the NFL in 2012 as the New York Giants’ assistant offensive line coach.

Rhule then received a promotion to the head coaching level by Temple. Matt Rhule’s tenure with Temple lasted from 2013 to 2016 before he left to take the head coaching job at Baylor in 2017. Baylor has been led under Matt Rhule’s command since then, though that might change this offseason as he has garnered plenty of interest from NFL franchises.

Matt Rhule has a career head coaching record of 47-42. But, to be fair, Rhule has had to coach some disaster-programs in college. He took over a weak Temple football team in 2013 and went 2-10. By 2015, Rhule had led Temple to 10 wins and did so again in 2016. Rhule’s tenure at Baylor has a similar story. Baylor went 1-11 in 2017, improved to 7-6 in 2018, then 11-3 in 2019. Rhule has proven that he can quickly turn around lousy football teams.

Making the jump from college to the NFL is not always pretty. It is an arduous task for head coaches, but many believe that Rhule has proven himself ready for the pro game. Either way, the edge in this category easily goes to McCarthy. Mike McCarthy coached the Green Bay Packers in over 200 games and won a Super Bowl. His pedigree is hard to beat amongst coach candidates.

Comparing Their Different Coaching Styles:

Mike McCarthy’s New Offensive Approach:

As stated earlier, these coaches have very different coaching styles. Mike McCarthy is an offensive-coordinator turned head coach. He called plays for the Green Bay Packers offense through his twelve years with the organization. Unfortunately, McCarthy’s offense and coaching style, in general, got “stale” towards the end of his time in Green Bay, which led to his eventual firing in 2018.

Over the past year, Mike McCarthy has taken the time to reinvent himself as a head coach. He has remade his offensive system and placed a great emphasis on embracing analytics. Additionally, the former Packers coach has enacted a plan termed “The McCarthy Project.” ESPN described this project as McCarthy “and several of his former colleagues — including former Saints head coach Jim Haslett, former Packers quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti and former Packers linebackers coach Scott McCurley — have done extensive and high-tech studies on both their own previous experiences and on what happened from week to week around the NFL.”

While Mike McCarthy will still be an offensive-minded head coach that calls plays, his scheme might look a lot different in 2020. If all the reports hold true, Mike McCarthy has remade his playbook and will shift towards a more modern approach in his next head coaching stint.

Matt Rhule’s Versatility:

One significant advantage that Matt Rhule has in his coaching resume is the fact that he has experience coaching both sides of the ball. Rhule has coached defensive lines, linebackers, quarterbacks, offensive lines, and more positions before becoming a head coach.

Rhule does not call plays like Mike McCarthy, but he oversees the entire team’s operations. He has a knowledge of offense and defense, which gives Rhule the ability to progress talent all over the field that other coaches do not possess. Rhule is also an excellent leader that is well respected by his players and peers. With holes all over both sides of the Giants’ roster, Matt Rhule is an excellent choice as a head coach who will fix both sides of the ball.