Are you ready for some Daboll?
The Giants are.
They hired Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as their new head coach on Friday, ending a week-long search.
It began with a hastily constructed video conference with him just hours after Joe Schoen was named general manager last Friday and ended with Schoen and Daboll, two of the key players in the Buffalo Football Renaissance, reunited in New Jersey.
"Over the last four years, I have observed firsthand Brian’s strengths as a leader," Schoen said in the team’s announcement on Friday night. "He is an excellent communicator, intelligent, innovative and hard-working. Brian’s genuine and engaging personality is refreshing. He fosters relationships with the players and coaches around him. He is progressive in his vision and values collaboration, two of the attributes we think are essential. I am thrilled to partner with Brian and welcome him and his family to this side of the state."
They’re putting the New York back in the Giants.
A lot has happened since that first interview. The Giants went on to meet with a number of other options, interviewing former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores on Thursday and Buffalo defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on Friday. And the Bills? They lost a heartbreakingly epic overtime divisional playoff game to Kansas City.
The one thing that never changed during that week was Daboll remaining not only the favorite for the job but, in the minds of the Giants’ decision-makers, the standard.
"Brian was the first candidate we met with when we began our search, and as we continued our conversations, it was clear that his approach to coaching and team-building was what we are looking for moving forward with our team," co-owner John Mara said. "Brian has had tremendous experience in the NFL and has been part of multiple championship teams. It is clear he used that experience to grow and develop into a dynamic leader, one that we are confident is the right fit as our head coach."
Daboll, 46, will be a first-time head coach after four years of orchestrating the Bills’ offense and developing quarterback Josh Allen into a star player. The Giants hope Schoen and Daboll can do for them and Daniel Jones what they did in Buffalo: turn a team in the midst of a long postseason drought into title contenders.
This is the first pairing of a new general manager and head coach from another organization in Giants history, and the hope is that it streamlines communication and philosophy throughout the entire building.
At the end of the regular season, when the two most important positions in the organization were vacant, Mara said he was not looking for a "package deal." In the end, that’s exactly what the Giants wound up with.
"Joe and Brian are the perfect complement to each other," co-owner Steve Tisch said. "We will do everything we can to support their process as they build toward the 2022 season and well after that."
It may be an even bigger package deal if the Giants can bring Ken Dorsey from Buffalo to be their new offensive coordinator, but he is a strong candidate to replace Daboll with the Bills.
Defensively, Daboll and the Giants have plenty of options, including current coordinator Patrick Graham, who remains under contract and is interviewing for the Vikings’ head-coaching job, or recently fired Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale.
Schoen was asked at his introductory news conference this week what he is looking for from a head coach. Among the qualities he touched on were leadership ("You’ve got to be able to lead the team"), building a staff ("It’s imperative that you have coaches that have coached in the NFL that have a proven track record"), developing players ("We have nine draft picks and it’s going to be important that some of those young players may have to be major contributors for us in 2022, so the willingness to play young players") and being progressive ("Whether it’s with analytics, when to go, when not to go, when to punt, I think you’ve got be open to all that stuff").
If the Giants find all of that in Daboll, they might be able to snap their current string of head- coaching hires that don’t last more than two seasons. None of the last three to take the job has lasted into a third season.
"It is an honor and a privilege to be named head coach of the New York Giants," Daboll said. "I have a pretty good idea where our fan base’s feelings are right now, and I get it. I promise we will work our tails off to put a team on the field that you will be proud to support and give us the results we all want."
Hometown: West Seneca, NY
Most recently: Offensive coordinator of Bills (2018-present)
AP NFL Assistant Coach of the Year (2020)
Offensive coordinator for national champion Alabama (2017)
Five-time Super Bowl champion with Patriots (defensive assistant in 2001; wide receivers coach in 2003 and 2004; tight ends coach in 2014 and 2015).