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Ben McAdoo, Steve Spagnuolo first on Giants’ interview list

New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo coaches

New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo coaches against the offense during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J., on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Photo Credit: Brad Penner

John Mara fessed up to having only two candidates currently scheduled for interviews. And they are two he knows very well.

Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will both be given an opportunity to present their case for why he should be the next head coach of the Giants.

McAdoo is the most intriguing candidate, especially since Eli Manning has been stumping for him and his system to return in 2016.

“I think our offense certainly improved,” Mara said in praise of McAdoo. “I think he’s proven himself to be a very good teacher, has a very good handle on our offense. I think he communicates very well. I think he shows some leadership skills. I think he has some good qualities.”

Spagnuolo is a tougher sell, coming off a season in which he led the 32nd-ranked defense. And the last time he was in charge of a defense before this past season was when the 2012 Saints were the worst defense in NFL history. But he does have three seasons of head coaching experience, something McAdoo does not. And he also has a bit of an excuse.

“I think he did the best he could with what he had,” Mara said of Spagnuolo in 2015, a reference to the injuries and thin depth chart that plagued the unit. “I want to hear from him what he felt about how we performed there, what improvements he would make going forward. He’ll have that opportunity to explain that.”

New York Sports