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John Mara: Next Giants coach will have say on personnel

New York Giants owner John Mara arrives

New York Giants owner John Mara arrives for an NFL owners meeting in Irving, Texas, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Brandon Wade

There seems to be no shortage of head coaching candidates who not only want a say in the action on the field, but in the draft and free agency war rooms as well. Particularly when moving from the college ranks, where they get to hand-select and recruit the players they will be coaching, the words “power” and “control” come up a lot.

That would seemingly eliminate the Giants from consideration for anyone who is looking to run the entire organization the way a Bill Belichick does in New England or, on a less successful scale, the way Chip Kelly did until recently in Philadelphia. But despite the bicameral system the Giants have long held dear — a personnel staff and a coaching staff clearly separated in title and influence — John Mara said the next head coach of the team will have plenty of input about the roster. Just like the last one did.

“This coach had as much of a say as any head coach we ever had,” Mara said of Tom Coughlin. “I cannot think of any personnel decisions that we made in the last 12 years that Tom was against. He did not have any players forced upon him at all.”

That could open the door to coaches such as Brian Kelly of Notre Dame, David Shaw of Stanford, or even Nick Saban of Alabama, who was very nearly hired to be the Giants’ head coach 12 years ago.

Instead, the job went to Coughlin, who worked for two seasons with Ernie Accorsi and then the past 10 with Jerry Reese.

“They worked together very, very well,” Mara said of the Reese-Coughlin pairing. “They had a great respect. There was a mutual respect there. I mean, it was very, very rare they had any disagreements about personnel.”

Reese, who will have a lot to say about the next coach and will join Mara in the preliminary interviews, agreed that a coach’s relationship with the front office is very significant.

“The next guy that comes in here, utmost, I said this already, is the GM and the coach’s relationship,” Reese said. “It’s hard to win in this league, period. If your head coach and GM are not on the same page, I think you forget about winning in this league.”

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