Matt Rhule is one of the hottest names in this cycle of head-coaching candidates. Giants safety Sean Chandler understands why.
Chandler played under Rhule at Temple, a perennial bottom-dweller of a program that was turned into a contender under Rhule’s guidance before he left to do roughly the same at Baylor.
“He makes you want to play for him because you know he’ll back you up each and every day,” Chandler said. “Coach Rhule, he’s definitely a lion at heart, so I feel like he’ll [succeed] wherever he goes.”
That wherever may well wind up being with the Giants. Rhule does have a past with the organization, having worked as an assistant offensive line coach under Tom Coughlin. Although the Giants typically avoid hiring from the college ranks, they typically shy away from bringing in total outsiders as head coaches, too, and their familiarity with Rhule might be enough to sway them.
Rhule also would seem to check a lot of boxes in the early list of characteristics the Giants are looking for, chief among them being a leader. Steve Tisch said he wants a head coach with “a strong point of view.”
Chandler said he believes Rhule would be able to make it the jump from college to the NFL. “I feel like he would be great,” he said. “He’s a good coach, he’s able to connect with all his players and I feel like he’ll [succeed] in this league.”
Chandler isn’t alone in that thinking. Jets receiver Robby Anderson also played for Rhule at Temple and spoke glowingly about him on Monday.
“I texted him not too long ago, I was just like thanking him,” he said. “There were a lot of things that he did, put me through when I was in college, that I used to get mad about. But now it’s like I really understand why he was doing those things, because he didn’t want me to just rely on the fact that I was talented.
“He taught me work ethic. I always said when I got here, in practice, this is kind of like easy compared to what he had us doing there.”
Anderson also said he was grateful for Rhule having his back when he was “kicked out” of the school.
“He got them to like change the rules of the school and everything,” he said. “If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have gotten my foot into the door into the NFL. I was about to go to a Division II school, but he fought and believed in me and put his name and put himself on the line to make me get that second chance and get right.
“There were a lot of times we didn’t see eye-to-eye about a lot of things, because when I was young, I was stubborn and things like that, but he always had my best interests at heart.
“He’s a hell of a coach,” Anderson added. “He’s a great man, too . . . I think whoever gets him, he’ll do a good job.”
With Neil Best