New Giants GM Joe Schoen surprisingly weighed in Wednesday on whether head coach Brian Daboll should call the Giants’ offensive plays.
Schoen said he prefers that Daboll doesn’t.
“I’m not gonna rule that out if he is or isn’t right now,” Schoen said. “We don’t have an offensive coordinator. I mean, if for some reason he had to— ideally he doesn’t. I would prefer he manages the game. But as we’re interviewing offensive coordinator candidates, we’re gonna wait and see how that plays out.
“Ideally the offensive coordinator calls the plays,” Schoen added. “But I’m not gonna say that’s set in stone, ‘cause we’re gonna let Brian make that decision.”
Schoen’s willingness to wade into coaching decisions is a jarringly drastic difference from the Giants’ typical separation of church and state between the front office and head coach.
Not in a million years would Dave Gettleman have had the authority to tell Pat Shurmur or Joe Judge whether they could call plays or how to manage their staff on a game day. He wouldn’t have even known what to tell them.
But Giants co-owner John Mara has said his new coaching staff reports to Schoen, and Wednesday that meant Schoen felt comfortable weighing in on who will call the plays on offense, even if he’s leaving the final decision to Daboll to decide.
Schoen’s comment was especially interesting because Daboll had just straddled the fence on the play-calling question in his introductory press conference and called it “a work in progress.” Minutes later, the GM publicly revealed he had a definite answer in mind.
After Schoen spoke, Daboll did one more 10-minute session with reporters and was told about Schoen’s comments. Daboll was agreeable to the idea he might not call plays, saying he’d do whatever is in the best interest of the team.
“If [the new OC] can call the plays and we feel comfortable with that, I’m fine with that,” Daboll said.
Minutes later, however, Daboll offered up this rhetorical question: “I think the two head coaches in the Super Bowl right now are calling plays, is that correct?”
The Rams’ Sean McVay and the Bengals’ Zac Taylor call the offensive plays from the sideline as head coaches. Yes, Brian, that is correct.
Daboll added that the Giants have interviewed several candidates for their offensive coordinator position. It’s possible the play-calling decision could be contingent upon whom they hire.
It’s a bit surprising, honestly, that the Giants hired Daboll for his offensive and quarterback acumen and that the GM already is saying his preference is that Daboll doesn’t call plays.
But it’s more interesting that Schoen had a preference and voiced it publicly in the first place.
Daboll’s willingness to collaborate even on coaching decisions could be one example of why Schoen felt he could work better with his former Bills colleague than a candidate such as ex-Dolphins head coach Brian Flores.
“I think the fact [Daboll] and Joe are so comfortable together, have similar philosophies, I think that’s probably what set him apart,” Mara said.
DID QUINN HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN?
Is it possible the Giants would have hired Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn if he hadn’t pulled out of the running last Thursday? It’s impossible to rule that out.
Mara was asked if the Giants were disappointed when they found out Quinn had bowed out.
“It was disappointing, because he was a serious candidate,” Mara said. “But at the end of the day I’m very happy with Brian Daboll.”
Jerry Jones gave Quinn an extension to stay with the Cowboys, but it raises an eyebrow that Quinn told the Giants no thanks while being considered seriously as their next head coach.
Schoen even admitted that he was looking for “previous head coaching experience” when he started the coaching search.
“That was very attractive to me initially,” Schoen said Wednesday. “As a first time GM, somebody that’s been through it, had experience, they know the pitfalls, they’ve already made mistakes, so you avoid some of that. We cast a wide net, we were interested in all those candidates, and at end of the day we felt as a group that Brian Daboll was the best candidate.”
Schoen mentioned “Dan Quinn, Leslie Frazier and Brian Flores” as the candidates with head coaching experience under strong consideration. He also said he believes Giants defensive coordinator Pat Graham and Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo – who both interviewed for the job – will be head coaches in the league soon.
Anarumo’s defense just held Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs to three points in the second half and overtime of an AFC Championship Bengals upset win at Arrowhead.
Graham, for his part, is expected to remain as the Giants’ defensive coordinator under Daboll unless he gets the Vikings job. But he’s still a strong candidate in Minnesota, so that remains to be seen.
Mara, meanwhile, said the Giants never called the New Orleans Saints about recently retired coach Sean Payton because “he’s under contract with another team.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“There will be a free Pepsi for you on your way out. And it’ll be a large!” — Mara, to members of the media, in a nod to the team’s widely-panned 2021 Fan Appreciation Day giveaway of one medium Pepsi per ticket account.