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Report: McAdoo & Marrone Early Favorites for Giants Job

McAdoo, Marrone early favorites to replace Coughlin.

In the search for Tom Coughlin’s replacement, the Giants have reached out to six candidates. But a report from the New York Daily News suggests two lead the pack right now: offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and former Bills coach Doug Marrone.

McAdoo, who just finished his second year with New York, has always been viewed as a logical candidate to succeed Coughlin. In just one year, he turned a Giants offense that ranked 28th in the league under Kevin Gilbride into the 10th ranked offense in the league. Despite a struggling running game and the absence of WR Victor Cruz, McAdoo’s offense improved to eighth in the league in his second year on the job.

The West Coast offense that McAdoo brought with him from Green Bay has done wonders for Big Blue, and the franchise quarterback expressed his desire to stick with the McAdoo offense. Eli Manning acknowledged “it would be difficult” to learn a new offense under a new coaching staff, and said he thinks McAoo taking over is a possibility.

Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

It’s hard to argue with the numbers. McAdoo’s West Coast offense has worked despite the Giants lacking a consistent receiving threat outside of Odell Beckham Jr. If the Giants get Victor Cruz back and/or add another elite receiver through free agency or the draft, we could see the Giants offense look more like the prolific offenses McAdoo worked with during his Packers days.

Green Bay has thrived in the West Coast offense not just because of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but also because of their bevy of playmaking receivers like Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Randall Cobb.

McAdoo would be a bit of a risky hire, as he has no head coaching experience and has only been a coordinator for two seasons. But he’s also an exciting possibility after seeing him turn around the Giants offense, and he would be the second youngest head coach in the NFL, just behind new Dolphins coach Adam Gase.

In addition to the Giants, the Eagles are also considering McAdoo for their head coaching vacancy, as Philadelphia interviewed him last week.

The news that Marrone is considered a favorite is somewhat surprising.

Marrone spent 2015 as the offensive line coach for the Jaguars, where his unit struggled, allowing 51 sacks, fourth in the NFL.

Marrone is best known for his two-year stint as head coach of the Bills. After a 6-10 record and last place finish in his first year, Marrone righted the ship in 2014, finishing with a 9-7 record, though they fell just short of a playoff berth.

Perhaps more than his actual coaching, Marrone’s Bills tenure was best defined by his exit. He famously opted out of his contract with Buffalo following the 2014 season, supposedly in search of a better head coaching gig. Not only did he not find a head job, he also couldn’t land a coordinating job, instead settling for an assistant role with Jacksonville.



Several Bills players were reportedly unhappy with how Marrone seemed to quit on them, and were critical of how he went about leaving Buffalo. Just last week, a report surfaced that Browns players were concerned about the possibility of Marrone taking over in Cleveland. Often criticized for having a college mindset, Marrone is clearly not overly popular with players.

And yet, Marrone has been a very popular name on the coaching circuit over the past few weeks. He has either interviewed or is set to interview with the Giants, Browns, Titans and Dolphins.

This is likely because Marrone is one of the very few coaching candidates with prior head coaching experience. In addition to his two years in Buffalo, Marrone also spent four years as head coach at Syracuse.

The Giants have been rumored to be interested in their next head coach having prior experience, which is likely why the Giants are so enamored with Marrone. So far, Marrone and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo are the only coaches the Giants have interviewed with prior experience, though Spagnuolo is not believed to be a serious candidate. However, the Giants are set to interview former Falcons coach Mike Smith on Monday, so it will be interesting to hear how that goes.

The Giants aren’t expected to announce their next head coach this week, so we should be in for several more days of rumors and speculation before we finally have an answer.

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