The New York Giants haven’t found their long term coach.
Of course, there’s still some time for a miracle turnaround from Pat Shurmur, but at this point, the odds of Shurmur staying around for the offseason and next season seem slim to none – if the Giants don’t get rid of Shurmur as soon as this season is over, the long term outlook for him is still bleak unless there’s a massive turnaround that sees the team go from bottom of the barrel to contending for the division once again.
However, once the team ownership is looking for a coach again, there’s a chance that they don’t find their long term man on this hire either unless they change one major thing with their policies.
That’s the issue of control. The Giants don’t give full control over the roster to their head coaches, and that’s limited the number of candidates that they can sign for the position.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, it was control that was the reason the Giants cancelled an interview with Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who at the time was a rival of Pat Shurmur for the head coaching job. Of course, the Giants ended up going with Shurmur instead, a decision that hasn’t panned out the way most hoped it would when the decision was first made.
But Schwartz has been a harder sell. He was set to meet with the New York Giants two offseasons ago, but the interview was canceled because the Giants came to learn that he would want some personnel authority, two NFL sources said.
The structure of having a General Manager and a head coach with different roles has worked for the Giants in the past, but the current era with Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur has largely proved to be a disaster – the team has only been sliding further downhill since their last playoff appearance, and Gettleman and Shurmur look further from getting the Giants back to the playoffs than they looked in the last year of the Reese regime.
That’s not to say that the Giants should have stuck with Jerry Reese, but that the current front office hasn’t performed much better.
The failure of the current regime to turn the team around could possibly serve as an awakening call that it’s time to make some adjustments to the hiring policies and maybe think about giving more control to a head coach for once. Having a dedicated GM with full control over the roster hasn’t helped the Giants so far after all, and other teams have had more success trying out different systems.
New England, for example, would never have gotten to where they are now without giving a great amount of control to head coach Bill Belichick to shape his own roster according to his preferred strategies. If Belichick were to somehow become available, would the Giants turn down a chance to sign the coach because they’d prefer to have a General Manager running the roster instead? Based on their last coaching search, it seems like the answer may be yes.
Fans can only hope that the team has learned from that, and that if they end up with another coaching search on their hands soon, they come into it with a more open mind and don’t turn down a potentially long term option for head coach just because they may have to stray from their traditional front office structure.