Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia probably have lots of competitions between the players they coach during training camp. They’re the offensive and defensive coordinators of the Patriots, respectively, and those practices often have them going head-to-head on the field.
They went head-to-head in a different way Friday. The Giants interviewed both men for their head-coaching vacancy, the team announced. They met with Patricia and then McDaniels, who also met with the Bears on Friday and interviewed with the Colts on Thursday.
They were the second and third candidates to meet with the trio of Giants executives who are handling the search for the next head coach: co-owner John Mara, general manager Dave Gettleman and assistant general manager Kevin Abrams. Co-owner Steve Tisch will participate once the list of candidates has been whittled to second interviews.
Although he lacks the head-coaching experience that both Mara and Gettleman have said they prefer, Patricia is an intriguing candidate. The shaggy, bearded, T-shirt-wearing, backwards cap-donning 43-year-old has been the Patriots’ defensive coordinator since 2012 and on their staff since 2004. A 1996 graduate of RPI, he worked for two years as an aeronautical engineer before returning to coaching in 1999.
McDaniels, 41, is the more in-demand candidate, as his long dance card of interviews this weekend indicates. He does have experience as a head coach, for the Broncos from 2009-10, and is regarded as a big reason for Tom Brady’s status as the NFL’s top quarterback.
Brady, 40, led the NFL with 4,577 passing yards and threw 32 touchdown passes against only eight interceptions this season. He was elected to his ninth Pro Bowl in his 10 seasons with McDaniels serving as his position coach or coordinator.
If the Giants were enamored of either of the coaches, they now must wait until the Patriots are either eliminated from the postseason or until the bye week before the Super Bowl to meet with them a second time.
In the meantime, the search will continue. Giants brass is scheduled to meet with Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur in Minneapolis on Saturday. They also have requested and received permission to interview Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, but scheduling conflicts have prevented that interview from being arranged. The window to meet with Schwartz ends Sunday night. After that, they cannot interview him until either the Eagles are eliminated or the bye week.
Next week, the Giants are expected to interview former Bron cos associate head coach Eric Studesville, whose meeting Thursday was postponed because of the snowstorm, as well as Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, who will coach in Saturday’s wild-card game in New Orleans.