NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Giants are in the market for a new head coach following the firing of Ben McAdoo on Monday.
The Giants job is considered one of the most prized in sports, let alone the NFL, so expect the list of candidates to be long and filled with big names.
Steve Spagnuolo, New York’s current defensive coordinator, has reportedly been named interim head coach for the final four games of the 2017 regular season. If Spagnuolo can show something over the next month and has interest in the full-time job, he could end up on the list of candidates the Giants will eventually interview.
Keep in mind the Giants also fired general manager Jerry Reese on Monday for his role in this debacle of a 2-10 season, so it remains to be seen how Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch will approach the hiring process.
That said, here’s a list of potential candidates to be Big Blue’s 18th head coach:
Mike Smith: The 58-year-old former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons is currently the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was on the short list when the Giants were looking to replace Tom Coughlin back in January 2016. Smith led Atlanta to the postseason in four of his first five years, but finished a combined 10-22 in 2013 and ’14.
Teryl Austin: Like Smith, Austin interviewed last time the Giants had an opening. The 52-year-old is currently the defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions. Austin won a Super Bowl ring as the Baltimore Ravens’ secondary coach back in 2011.
Josh McDaniels: The former head coach of the Denver Broncos and current offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots is mentioned as a solid candidate every time there is an opening in the NFL. Though very particular, McDaniels, 41, might be intrigued by the allure of the Giants job.
Jon Gruden: Gruden went 38-26 in his first four seasons as head coach of the Oakland Raiders before he was traded to Tampa Bay. All he did in his first season with the Buccaneers was lead them to the only Super Bowl championship in franchise history. Owner of five division titles during his time with Oakland and Tampa, Gruden is 95-81 in the regular season. He has been out of the NFL since 2008 and is currently an analyst for ESPN.
Bill Cowher: Ever since Cowher left the Pittsburgh Steelers at the end of the 2006 season he has been linked to the Giants, mostly because he reportedly has always been fascinated by the job. Now 60 and a fixture on CBS’ “The NFL Today,” the former Super Bowl champion coach and his 161-99-1 record, including the playoffs, will almost certainly be rumored to be in the mix to replace McAdoo. The question is, does he still covet the job? He didn’t exactly jump at the opportunity after Coughlin left two years ago.
Nick Saban: Regarded by some as the greatest college football coach of all time, Saban has won five national championships in the last 11 years. He’s also got Alabama back in the national semifinals this year. The 66-year-old is probably a pie-in-the-sky candidate to make a return to the NFL — he went 15-17 with the Miami Dolphins from 2005-06 — but there are worse ideas than uniting college royalty with one of the NFL’s most historic franchises. Saban reportedly expressed interest in the Giants job in 2016 before his wife nixed the idea.
Jim Harbaugh: Ever since leaving the San Francisco 49ers following the 2014 season for the University of Michigan, Harbaugh’s name has been mentioned for NFL jobs. The 54-year-old former quarterback went 44-19 with the Niners, including one trip to the Super Bowl and three NFC Championship game appearances from 2011-13. Since taking over at Michigan, Harbaugh is 28-10, including 8-4 this season.
David Shaw: Stanford University’s 45-year-old head coach served as the school’s offensive coordinator before taking over the program when Harbaugh defected to the NFL in 2011. Shaw is 73-20 since, including 49-14 in Pac-12 play. A former assistant with the Raiders, Ravens and Chargers, Shaw has long been of interest to NFL teams but has continuously rebuffed all advances.
Matt Patricia: One of Bill Belichick’s trusted lieutenants, Patricia knows NFL defense as well as anyone. He interviewed for the Browns, Rams and Chargers openings over the past two years. And with the Patriots having fixed their early defensive problems this season, expect Patricia’s name to be on the list of hot assistants looking to take the next step.