Who will Giants hire to replace Dave Gettleman, Joe Judge? Here are our picks for John Mara’s next GM, coach


The Giants need a new general manager and head coach after forcing Dave Gettleman into retirement and then firing Joe Judge.

So who will fill those seats?

The Giants are currently going through their GM search. They have nine known candidates. Then they’ll let the new GM lead the search for the new coach. Maybe they’ll pursue a package deal — though that doesn’t actually happen very often.

The quicker the Giants hire a general manager, the sooner they’ll be able to start their head coaching search. One will impact the other which makes this situation more unique than most other openings.

Here are our picks (not predictions) for who those people should be — not who they will be:

ZACK ROSENBLATT

General manager: Ryan Poles, Chiefs executive director of player personnel

Poles has been in Kansas City for 12 years, learning from the likes of Andy Reid, Scott Pioli, John Dorsey and current GM Brett Veach. Reid-run organizations (a.k.a the Eagles and Chiefs) have always focused on putting quarterbacks in position to succeed and building their roster through the offensive/defensive lines first. Dave Gettleman tried, and failed, at the latter point — but Poles, only 36, should be better suited to fix the Giants’ weakest offensive unit. It doesn’t hurt that Poles played offensive line at Boston College either.

He has a reputation as one of the top talent evaluators and he was a surprise finalist for the Panthers job last year. He’s also in the running for other GM gigs too. In 2020, Poles said in an interview with Buffalo Plus that most of his “heavy lifting” for his job revolved around the draft and evaluating players before passing that info along to Reid and Veach.

The Giants already did their initial interview with Poles and don’t be surprised if he’s a finalist that gets a second, in-person interview sometime next week. The Giants are not going to be players in free agency. They need a GM capable of coming in and winning his first NFL Draft.

Head coach: Nathaniel Hackett, Packers offensive coordinator

Hackett, 42, has a stamp of approval from Aaron Rodgers who doesn’t exactly have a reputation for playing well with others. Matt LaFleur calls plays for Green Bay, but Hackett is still heavily involved with game-planning and often speaks to the entire team, according to NFL.com, which described him as “creative, thoughtful, extremely high-energy and a little quirky in a way that helps connect with and inspire this generation of players.” He also apparently creates “tip sheets” for players on the game plan every day to simplify the scheme.

The Giants ultimately should be trying to find and offensive-minded coach that can fix what has arguably been the worst offense in the NFL the last two years. It seems like his personality might inject some life into the offensive operation, which had grown boring and stale. He’s a hot commodity too and has interviews scheduled with the Bears, Broncos and Jaguars.

DARRYL SLATER

General manager: Ryan Poles, Chiefs executive director of player personnel

Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen might be considered the early favorite, and for good reason. But don’t forget about Poles, who has helped build a consistent winner in Kansas City. Plus, the Bears are also interested in Schoen for their GM job. (And the Vikings are also interested in Poles.) Poles was a finalist for the Panthers’ GM job last year.

Poles he has worked under a wide range of GMs (and personalities) in Kansas City — Scott Pioli, John Dorsey, and Brett Veach. Poles is in Year 13 with the Chiefs, so he has been a part of their rise from losing organization to Super Bowl champions.

Poles, 36, is on the younger side. But it’s not like Schoen is much older, at 42. And the Giants need a fresh outside voice and perspective, after four years of Gettleman’s old-school nonsense. Young GMs can do just fine in today’s NFL. Jon Robinson was just 40 when the Titans made him their GM in 2016, and he has turned them into a thriving team.

Poles oversees the Chiefs’ college scouting — which is the foundation for how they’ve become such a great team. And the NFL Draft also happens to be the likeliest and most reliable path for the Giants to become a competent franchise again. Poles has been involved with college scouting ever since he started with the Chiefs in 2009.

Head coach: Brian Daboll, Bills offensive coordinator

OK, so if the Giants hire Poles, the obvious head coach pairing is Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. But despite getting a whole bunch of head coaching interviews the past three years — including with the Giants in 2020, before they hired Judge — Bieniemy has yet to land a big whistle job. And he hasn’t received any known interest yet this offseason.

Poles obviously will be well aware of Bieniemy’s strengths and weaknesses. And Poles — or whoever the new GM is — will essentially get to make the call on the new coach, though Giants ownership retains final approval rights.

Poles and Daboll — who helped mold quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills over the past four seasons — have some shared background, since Daboll was the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in 2012, a year before Andy Reid arrived.

And while Daboll is 10 years older than Poles, they grew up an hour and a half apart, both in small-town Western New York — Poles in Canandaigua (near Rochester) and Daboll in Athol Springs (near Buffalo). Daboll played at the University of Rochester.

Football-wise, the Giants clearly could use a strong, offensive-minded coach like Daboll to fix their biggest weakness — the offense.

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Darryl Slater may be reached at dslater@njadvancemedia.com.



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