Wunderkind offensive coordinator Adam Gase, one of the hottest names on the head-coach circuit through this early offseason for non-playoff teams, met with the Giants on Friday. Former Bills head coach Doug Marrone is scheduled to meet with the team on Saturday as the first week of the post-Tom Coughlin era comes to a close.
Gase, 37, spent the 2015 season as the offensive coordinator of the Bears. For two seasons before that, he worked with Peyton Manning as the offensive coordinator of the Broncos.
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The Giants already have interviewed their own offensive coordinator, Ben McAdoo, for the head-coach opening and Eli Manning has stated a preference for McAdoo to stay with the Giants as the offensive coordinator or head coach. Perhaps some advice from his big brother could warm Manning to the possibility of Gase — who is two years older than Eli and two years younger than Peyton — as his next head coach. Marrone is expected to tell the Giants that he plans on keeping McAdoo on staff if he gets the job.
The Giants know plenty of people who can vouch for Gase besides Peyton Manning. Former Giants defensive coordinator John Fox, who is well respected by the club, has been Gase’s head coach for the past five seasons with the Broncos and Bears.
In case the Giants are looking for another reference on Gase’s resume, their former safety, Antrel Rolle, offered one this week in an interview on WFAN.
“I think he’s a mastermind of a coach,” said Rolle, who played for the Bears in 2015. “He’s very, very smart. He has that grit, that fire that you need, but he definitely has the balance. I’ve seen him get fired up a couple of times, but a lot of times he’s very calm and relaxed. He’s a thinker. He definitely thinks outside the box. I’m sure he’ll make a great head coach in this league.”
And he’s already been groomed by a Manning.
“When I first signed with the [Bears],” Rolle said, “I picked [Gase’s] brain a whole lot, asking him what it was like to work with Peyton. He was like, ‘Man, I had to stay on top of everything so much because Peyton was always on top of me.’ So I think he’s a guy who knows how to prepare. He knows how to develop and work with great quarterbacks.”
Gase has been interviewing for just about every opening in the NFL this week. The Eagles reportedly are close to having him back for a second interview. The Giants might feel as if they have their own version of Gase in McAdoo, though, and therefore might pass over the hot commodity in favor of one they already have seen in action for two seasons.
The Broncos were an offensive power during his three years as their coordinator, and Gase gets a lot of credit for Jay Cutler’s turnaround in 2015. But the Bears finished 6-10 and their offense was ranked 21st (the Giants, also 6-10, had the eighth-ranked offense).
Either way, Gase seems destined to become a head coach at some point. Maybe even this weekend. The Dolphins reportedly have scheduled a second interview with him for Saturday.
“Let’s put it this way,” Rolle said, “I would hate to see that guy leave. He’s a first-class guy all the way. I would not be surprised if he’s not back with the Chicago Bears next year.”