Monday, January 6, 2014
Big Blue Morning: More staff changes?
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
Good morning and welcome to Week 2 of the New York Giants' offseason. Here's a look at some of the things we'll be monitoring this week:
The Giants are on the hunt for a new offensive coordinator following the resignation last week of Kevin Gilbride, but they also could be looking for a new defensive coordinator. Perry Fewell is interviewing Monday for the vacant head coaching position of the Washington Redskins. The Redskins are casting a wide net and looking at a lot of current NFL assistants, but I'd caution against assuming that Fewell is a Rooney-Rule token interview candidate. He's well regarded and well liked, and his defense performed very well against two different Redskins quarterbacks in 2013. Also, Fewell's been through that wringer before and likely wouldn't be bothered if he weren't convinced he was being taken seriously. I still think it's going to be tough for defensive coaches on the current market (Lovie Smith to Tampa notwithstanding), given the emphasis on offense and the 2013 success of fresh-offensive-idea rookie coaches like Chip Kelly in Philadelphia and Mike McCoy in San Diego. And anyone who's going to hire Fewell as a head coach is going to want to know (and be impressed with) his choice for offensive coordinator ahead of time. But there's no reason to think Fewell, who has a bit of head coaching experience from his time in Buffalo, isn't a real candidate in Washington. Could leave Tom Coughlin searching for two new top lieutenants.
At the end of last week, word around the Giants was that we shouldn't assume Gilbride would end up being the only coach to leave. Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn would seem to be in at least some trouble, given the way his unit performed this year. Coughlin has expressed support for his staff, but that didn't save Gilbride, and this week should offer a better sense of what other coaches may end up needing to be replaced.
While focus is on the coaching staff right now, the Giants can negotiate with their own free agents in advance of the start of the new league year. Part of the point of the organizational meetings they're having is to decide how to proceed with those free agents -- set priorities and desired prices, etc. My sense is that wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, defensive tackle Linval Joseph and cornerback Terrell Thomas will want to test the open market while Justin Tuck likely just wants a deal that keeps him in New York. But we should have a better idea about those situations within the coming weeks as well.