The Giants defeated Joe Judge and fired the coach after just two seasons. New York was 10-23 with the former Patriots special teams coach at the helm and decided to make a quick change.
The team will be looking for its 22nd head coach in its long franchise history. Since two-time Super Bowl leader Tom Coughlin ended his tenure in 2015, the Giants have been through Ben McAdoo, Steve Spagnuolo, Pat Shurmur and Judge in just six seasons.
There’s no question that the Giants will again be looking for another long-term goalkeeper for the bench. Here are the top nine candidates for owners John Mara and Steve Tisch:
Giants Joe Judge replacement rankings
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Head Coach (Age: 58)
This is obvious. If the Raiders can’t make it work, the Bears are going in a different direction, and the Dolphins aren’t really interested, Big Blue needs to go after the man in charge of Big Blue. Harbaugh will be successful wherever he returns in the NFL, but he has to be a huge draw with a chance to win big sooner rather than later. The Giants meet that requirement, and former quarterback Harbaugh should feel confident that he can help Daniel Jones become a star quarterback.
Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs offensive coordinator (age 52)
With seven starts, this has to be the year for Andy Reid’s right-hand man and Patrick Mahomes’ key mentor, right? The Giants are behind for a minority coach and Bieniemy would be the ideal candidate with Jones’ improvement in mind as well. He also has a personable personality, which is critical to surviving in the NFL’s most challenging media market.
Dan Quinn, Cowboys defensive coordinator (age: 51)
There appears to be more blizzard surrounding DQ’s return to head coaching duties a year after his time in Atlanta (which included a Super Bowl 51 run). Quinn has done a great job changing Dallas’ defense. And he’ll also be on the sidelines when it comes to getting more offensive juice around Jones.
Kellen Moore, Cowboys offensive coordinator (age: 33)
Moore has also been strong on the other side of the ball for Mike McCarthy. He was considered too young for many teams in last year’s recruiting cycle, but he is much stronger in the game after a healthy Dak Prescott returned to normal in an explosive attack. Youth is not a concern as the former Boise State star quarterback has shown that he is mature beyond his age.
Brian Flores, former Dolphins head coach (age: 40)
Bill Belichick’s tree hiring didn’t work out for Judge. But Flores was doing a good job helping a rebuilding Miami team excel the past two seasons. The Giants can take advantage of the Dolphins’ short-side error and empower Flores. He would continue to build up his defensive momentum, but he would also put in the right personnel to propel Jones the right way.
Doug Pederson, former Eagles head coach (age: 53)
The Giants should stop thinking about themselves and think more about the successes of their division rivals. The current Cowboys are good targets, but so is Pederson, a year after winning Super Bowl 52 in Philadelphia. There’s a good chance he could be this year’s McCarthy.
Brian Daboll, Bills offensive coordinator (age 46)
Daboll has done a great job with Josh Allen and is getting closer to getting his precious opportunity. He would make the most of Jones’ arm and mobility and make sure the Giants improved everything they needed around him.
Mike McDaniel, 49ers offensive coordinator (age: 38)
McDaniel is a bright star that shines under Kyle Shanahan. The Yale graduate is smart and pedigreed, and he also works with Quinn in Atlanta. He also has a draw in the NFC East, helping Mike Shanahan in Washington as well. Here’s another strong candidate with Jones in mind.
Kevin O’Connell, Rams offensive coordinator (age: 36)
Keeping up with the Joneses? Hiring Sean McVay’s assistants is working too, folks. (See Zac Taylor, Matt LaFleur and, even with the disappointing end of the Chargers, Brandon Staley.) The Giants have a big decision to make after Judge: another new face, or go with some with great winning experience.