It’s Ben McAdoo. It was always Ben McAdoo.
The offensive coordinator Eli Manning wanted to keep, the first candidate the Giants interviewed for their head-coaching vacancy, and the man many thought eventually would replace Tom Coughlin when McAdoo was hired two years ago, will become the 18th head coach in franchise history.
Multiple sources told Newsday the team is expected to make an official announcement Thursday morning. The two sides were working on finalizing a deal Wednesday night.
McAdoo, 38, also interviewed for the Eagles job, and their interest in him may have pushed the Giants toward making a decision when they did. McAdoo, according to a source, “wanted the New York job from the beginning.” And it’s not as if he wasn’t a strong candidate prior to the possibility of leaving for an NFC East rival.
“I think our offense certainly improved,” co-owner John Mara said in praise of McAdoo last week. “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.”
His players were more effusive.
“I think we’ve done good things and I feel very comfortable,” Manning said last week while stumping for McAdoo to remain with the team. “I think we work well.”
According to one source, McAdoo will bring former Dolphins coach Joe Philbin to the Giants staff, possibly as offensive coordinator. Philbin and McAdoo worked together as assistants in Green Bay. He also is expected to retain defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who interviewed for the head-coach job as well.
The Giants interviewed four candidates besides McAdoo and Spagnuolo: former Bills coach Doug Marrone, former Falcons coach Mike Smith, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and Adam Gase, the former Bears offensive coordinator who was hired as the Dolphins’ coach. The team was scheduled to interview Hue Jackson on Thursday, but he was hired by the Browns on Wednesday.
McAdoo was the first interview, and it took place before the echoes of Coughlin’s fiery farewell address had finished rattling through the team’s headquarters last Tuesday.
McAdoo was hired to fix a “broken” offense two years ago, and with the help of Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. he seemed to do that. Despite two 6-10 seasons that led to the departure of Coughlin, McAdoo’s offense finished 2014 ranked 10th and was eighth in 2015. The Giants scored 420 points this season, the fifth-highest total in franchise history.
McAdoo, born and raised in Homer City, Pennsylvania, attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His first coaching job was at Michigan State in 2001 and his first NFL job was with the Saints in 2004. He was with the Packers from 2006-13, first as a tight ends coach and then as quarterbacks coach, before he was hired by the Giants as offensive coordinator.
“Ben is the ultimate preparation individual,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said this past weekend. “He’s prepared for this opportunity for a long time. He’s paid his dues. He’s earned his stripes. I’m real excited for the opportunities in front of him.”