Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Giants coaching search: Bills OC Brian Daboll first finalist; Dan Quinn visits team in NJ

Giants coaching search: Bills OC Brian Daboll first finalist;  Dan Quinn visits team in NJ

Brian Daboll was already the frontrunner to fill the Giants’ head coaching vacancy. Now he’s the first known finalist for the job.

Daboll, the Buffalo Bills’ offensive coordinator, will be the first candidate to conduct a second interview with the Giants. He will interview in person on Tuesday at the team’s facility in East Rutherford, NJ, according to sources.

Daboll is getting a second interview before the Giants hold a first with candidates Brian Flores, the ex-Miami Dolphins head coach, and Pat Graham, the Giants’ incumbent defensive coordinator. Flores and Graham are expected to interview later this week.

The Daboll derby is heating up because the Bills’ devastating Sunday playoff loss to the Chiefs means Daboll is eligible to be hired as a head coach immediately.

New GM Joe Schoen is leading the search, and the urgency in bringing Daboll to New Jersey reinforces what many league sources believe: that Daboll is Schoen’s top candidate.

The Miami Dolphins are considered the Giants’ strongest competition for him. Daboll coached Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama, served as the Fins’ offensive coordinator in 2011, and already interviewed for the job.

Daboll won’t be the first candidate to interview with the Giants in person, though.

That was Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, of Morristown, NJ, who visited the Giants’ facility Monday for his first interview with the team.

The Giants said Quinn met with co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch, VP of player personnel Chris Mara, and new GM Joe Schoen.

And take this for what it’s worth, but a source told the Daily News that the Giants also have requested an interview for their defensive coordinator position with the Dallas Cowboys’ Joe Whitt Jr..

Whitt Jr., 43, is the Cowboys’ defensive passing game coordinator/secondary coach. He has worked under Quinn the last two years in Atlanta (2020) and Dallas (2021). And he spent time in Green Bay with Graham (2018) and Giants linebacker Blake Martinez (2016-18).

The Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks also have requested DC interviews with Whitt Jr.

Graham is still the Giants’ incumbent defensive coordinator with a head coach interview on deck, but the Pittsburgh Steelers have requested an interview with Graham for their DC opening, as well. Pittsburgh’s Keith Butler just retired after seven seasons in that post.

Quinn is the hottest head coaching candidate league-wide this cycle. He is reportedly on the short lists of both the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears after their first rounds of interviews.

The Giants actually made Quinn aware of their interest in him last week, prior to hiring Schoen, so they could talk to him before he was hired elsewhere. Sources say Quinn was on Schoen’s list of candidates, too.

Schoen, the Bills’ former assistant GM, was hired as the Giants’ new GM last Friday. He promptly interviewed the first three head coaching candidates during the weekend: Daboll (Friday), Bills DC Leslie Frazier (Saturday) and Bengals DC Lou Anarumo (Sunday).

Quinn became the fourth on Monday.

Schoen’s introductory press conference is scheduled for 11:45 am Wednesday. The team is not expected to hire a coach before then.

The Giants by rule aren’t allowed to hire a coach until they interview at least one external minority candidate in person, which they haven’t done yet.

Plus, if they want a second interview with Anarumo, whose Bengals are still playing, by rule the Giants will have to wait until after the AFC Championship Game to reconnect.

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