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Two veteran NFL hands offer tips on Giants’ coach/GM search

NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly and former Packers Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf, the men who headed the search committee that found Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles for Woody Johnson, are convinced John Mara and Steve Tisch will have no problem attracting the best and the brightest general manager and head coach.

“The Giants have a marvelous tradition, and I think you can play on that tradition, and I’m sure they will play on that tradition,” Wolf told The Post. “Marvelous players that have played there, coaches that have coached there, going back to Steve Owen and all those guys.

That would be a huge selling point, the tradition of the New York Giants.

“Listen, if you’re a pro football fan, or a fan of the National Football League, there isn’t a better place than a franchise like the Giants. Within the league, I’m talking about. Because of the history, and because of what it means to the football fan. The New York Giants are it. They’re up there. Kinda like when I went to Green Bay. They were down for 24 years, but my God, what a glorious tradition — Lambeau, Lombardi, the magical names. And it’s the same place, the Giants.

“The Giants probably have more magical names.”

Casserly concurred.

“I think the Giants should be able to get a top-notch guy in both areas,” Casserly told The Post, “plus they’ve got, right now, the second pick in the draft. And this team is not the second-worst team in the NFL, nor are they the best team in the NFL. If they can hit some things right here, this thing can get back to respectability fast, and if they get a quarterback, they could be a Philadelphia Eagles in two years.”

Neither could or would provide a short-list of candidates, but a dynamic young tandem pairing Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, 41, and 35-year-old Packers assistant GM Eliot Wolf — Ron Wolf’s son — would certainly pique the older Wolf’s interest.

On McDaniels: “I think he’s demonstrated he’s certainly a guy you have to take into consideration. Look at what he’s accomplished up there. It’s remarkable.”

On Eliot Wolf: “Is he ready? They’ve had a tremendous run since he’s been there. And if it’s about winning and losing, which we know it is, then I think you would look into him. That’s a father speaking, OK?”

A more experienced duo would be Dave Gettleman, who worked under Jerry Reese, and Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith, who lost out when the Giants hired Ben McAdoo but coached the Falcons and has something to prove. Vikings assistant GM George Paton is also held in high regard.

Casserly identified his criteria for the GM and head coach.

Head coach: “The guy’s got to be able to lead the room. You have to be able to communicate at multiple levels — communicate to the players, to the owner, to your coaches, communicate within the building, communicate to the fans in multiple ways there. Character: Can I count on the guy? Judgment: The single most important thing you will do is hire a staff. Management: You’ve got to manage people, you’ve got to manage personalities.”

GM: “Leadership. This guy’s got to be able to stand in front of a group and inspire confidence. There’s different ways to lead, but the ultimate thing in leadership is communication and accountability and stability. I want a guy that can go look at the tape and tell me, if I’m the owner, ‘Are we sound? Are we using our personnel properly?’ And I want a guy that can evaluate players.”

Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf think Nick Saban would be a good choice to coach the Giants.Getty Images

Wolf was asked if Mara should call Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.

“I don’t think it ever hurts anybody to scour the landscape,” Wolf said. “I would do that in the event I don’t have a guy already in mind. Or a group of guys already in mind within the National Football League.”

Casserly would call Harbaugh as well.

“He would be on my list, he’s a proven winner, we just have to see if it would be a [power and control] fit,” Casserly said.

Harbaugh isn’t the only former NFL coach now in college who Wolf and Casserly would be interested in.

“Nick Saban could do it, there’s absolutely no question about that,” Wolf said. “He’s completely dismantled the best conference in college football. He could certainly do that, but again you’re coming back to a situation, he would have to rely on a very strong general manager who had an understanding of who the coaches are and the personnel is, because he doesn’t know that. He would grasp that, but by the same token, if I’m Nick Saban, I would want to be in charge.”

Said Casserly of Saban: “The guy to me is a proven winner, he knows the NFL. I don’t believe the head coach should have complete say on all football matters, unless it’s Bill Belichick, who’s proven he can do it.”

Casserly and Wolf favor hiring the GM first.

“Someone’s got to be in charge,” Wolf said. “And it’s got to be someone that you as an owner — only the owner makes this call — is comfortable with. You can have every search committee you want. It comes down to compatibility between the owner and the person he’s gonna hire as his general manager.

“I would think they would go for, first of all, a guy who comes from a winning tradition or winning background, I think that’s very important. Once you get in the interview, you’ll find who the real candidates are, and who the pretenders are. They separate themselves so easily that way.”

Other highly regarded head-coaching candidates include Frank Reich and John DeFilippo (Eagles); Steve Wilks (Panthers); Teryl Austin (Lions); Matt Patricia (Patriots) and David Shaw (Stanford).

“I personally would go within the National Football League. Because it’s too hard to teach those other guys what it’s like to be in the NFL,” Wolf said. “They don’t have an understanding first of all, the personnel within the league, and the coaches that are available to them to enable them to be successful. To me, that’s a huge thing.

“If you’re a strong personality, you’ve got most of those guys lined up in your mind as to where you would go. For example, if I’m gonna be the head coach, and I’ve been through an interview and they say, ‘Who am I gonna hire as my offensive and defensive coordinator?’ That question right there makes or breaks a guy.”

Source: https://nypost.com/2017/12/06/two-veteran-nfl-hands-offer-tips-on-giants-coach-gm-search/

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