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Giants Coaching Update: Smith In, Gase Out, Jackson On the Radar, Coughlin & Eagles?

It’s been nearly a week since Tom Coughlin resigned as head coach of the New York Giants, and the team is still on the hunt for his replacement. Here’s the latest on the Giants’ coaching search.

Smith to Enter Fray

The Giants have added a new name to their interview list, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports former Falcons coach Mike Smith has scheduled a meeting with Big Blue. Smith spent seven years coaching the Falcons, compiling a 66-46 record.

Smith is a “name”, but the Giants can probably do better. Smith started off hot in Atlanta, finishing over .500 in each of his first five seasons and reaching the playoffs in four of them. Still, Smith only managed to win one playoff game in five chances, despite fielding two 13-win teams.

The Giants have reportedly scheduled an interview with former Falcons coach Mike Smith (Photo: Getty Images).

The Giants have reportedly scheduled an interview with former Falcons coach Mike Smith (Photo: Getty Images).

His final two years in Atlanta were rough, to say the least. The Falcons took a major step back in 2013, going from a 13-3 record in 2012 to a 4-12 record the following year. Things didn’t get much better in 2014, as the Falcons again missed the playoffs at 6-10.

A defensive mind, Smith also saw his Falcons defenses fall off in his last three seasons. In 2012, Atlanta ranked 24th in the league in total defense. The following year, they dropped to 27th in total defense, and in his final season in Atlanta, the Falcons ranked dead last in total defense.

This isn’t the first time Smith has been linked to the Giants. After being fired the Falcons, Smith was rumored to be a candidate for the Giants’ defensive coordinator vacancy. Obviously, that never happened and the Giants brought back Steve Spagnuolo to replace Perry Fewell.

Smith interviewed with Miami before the Dolphins decided to go in another direction, and he has also been linked to the Bucs’ opening.

Gase to Miami

Former Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase interviewed with the Giants on Friday, but a marriage was not meant to be. The Miami Dolphins aggressively pursued Gase and brought him in for a second interview on Saturday. During that meeting, pen hit paper and Gase agreed to a five-year deal with the Fins, making him the youngest coach in the NFL at 37.

Bears OC Adam Gase speaks with his players (Photo: Chicago Tribune).

Bears OC Adam Gase speaks with his players (Photo: Chicago Tribune).

Gase always seemed like a longshot for the Giants, and not just because of the Dolphins putting him in their sights. If the Giants are serious about hiring a young offensive mind as head coach, they already have one in house in the form of Ben McAdoo. As impressive as Gase has been as a coordinator with Denver and Chicago, it would be easier to keep McAdoo’s successful Giants offense than implement a new one, so Gase not ending up with the Giants is hardly a surprise.

Jackson Next?

Jordan Raanan of reported on Sunday that Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson could be on the Giants’ radar.

Jackson is best remembered for his one-year stint as Raiders head coach in 2011. Despite starting the season 7-4, Oakland would miss the playoffs after winning just one of their last five games, finishing with an 8-8 record. He was fired after the season.

He resurfaced with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he had previously spent three seasons as an assistant. In 2013, he became the Bengals running backs coach, where he oversaw rookie Giovani Bernard. In 2014, he was promoted to offensive coordinator. Jackson’s offenses have ranked 15th in the league in both of his seasons with Cincinnati.

Bengals OC Hue Jackson is rumored to be on the Giants' radar (Photo: USA Today).

Bengals OC Hue Jackson is rumored to be on the Giants’ radar (Photo: USA Today).

Despite his struggles with Oakland, Jackson is well thought of around the league and has attracted a lot of interest from teams looking for a head coach. Jackson was set to meet with the Dolphins before they decided on Adam Gase, and has already interviewed with the Browns.

There is a chance he may never interview with the Giants, however. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network suggested that if Jackson’s interview with the 49ers goes well on Sunday, he could be named head coach later in the day.

Die A Hero or Live Long Enough to See Yourself Become the Villain

Finally, we’ll wrap things up with a story that actually doesn’t have to do with the Giants’ coaching search, but everything to do with a former Giants coach.

Tom Coughlin raised some eyebrows during his final press conference with the Giants last week when he insisted he isn’t retiring, and suggested he’d be interested in coaching again. Things got even more interesting when rumors surfaced that the Eagles had some interest in the two-time Super Bowl-winning Giants coach.

Since Coughlin resigned from his position, the Giants technically own his rights for another year, so interested teams would need to be granted permission to speak with Coughlin. And that’s precisely what happened on Saturday when the Giants granted the Eagles permission to interview Coughlin for their head coaching vacancy.

Former Giants coach Tom Coughlin will interview with the Eagles on Monday (Photo: New York Daily News).

Former Giants coach Tom Coughlin will interview with the Eagles on Monday (Photo: New York Daily News).

Rapoport reports the meeting is “more of a feeling-out” than an interview, so let’s not push the panic button just yet. Coughlin is 69 years old and coming off a few rough seasons with the Giants, so it’s unclear just how interested the Eagles are in bringing him aboard. Not to mention Coughlin was vocally surprised by the Eagles firing Chip Kelly after just three seasons, so he might be wary to join a team with a quick trigger finger.

Some Giants fans would surely be outraged by the thought of Coughlin on the sidelines in Eagles green. But after Bill Parcells joined just about every Giants rival (Patriots, Jets and Cowboys) after his departure from Big Blue and is still beloved by the fanbase, Coughlin’s legacy probably wouldn’t be diminished if he joined the Eagles.

To be clear, I’m hoping Coughlin doesn’t end up in Philly. And I don’t think he will, either.

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