Former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy is emerging as one of the favorites to be the New York Giants’ next head coach.
So far, the Giants have interviewed Cowboys defensive passing game coordinator Kris Richard, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale and former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. The latter coached Green Bay from 2006 until he was let go 12 games into the 2018 campaign.
Ownership plans to interview other candidates, including Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, who’s apparently high on the Giants’ list.
But of the mentioned candidates, the 56-year-old McCarthy is the only one that has NFL head-coaching experience. This trait makes him the best option. The Giants have gone 12-36 over the last three seasons. Thus, they need to hire someone who’s had proven success in the NFL as opposed to someone who might have success.
McCarthy guided the Packers to nine playoff appearances during his tenure. In 2010, he led them to a Super Bowl 45 victory over the Steelers. Overall, he possesses a 125-77-2 record in the regular season and a 10-8 mark in the postseason.
His 135 combined victories are the 28th-most in NFL history. That total places him one win behind Hall of Fame coach Hank Stram and two behind Sean Payton, whose New Orleans Saints host an NFC Wild Card game on Sunday.
But it’s not just his coaching accolades that are impressive. There are a few additional reasons as to why he’s the right fit to lead this organization.
He knows what it’s like to coach a marquee NFL franchise
The Giants and Packers are two of the six teams that have won the Super Bowl at least four times. Only the Patriots (six), Steelers (six), Cowboys (five) and 49ers (five) have won more titles.
Therefore, McCarthy is familiar with the demand and expectations of what it’s like to coach one of the marquee pro-football franchises.
Coaching in the New York-New Jersey area is vastly different and scrutinized harder than in Green Bay. But McCarthy shouldn’t feel overwhelmed coaching the Giants, which is something that many felt plagued Pat Shurmur.
Experience developing a young quarterback who’s following the footsteps of a legend
For the first time since the 2003 season, Eli Manning will not be on the Giants roster. Daniel Jones enters 2020 in a full-time starting role. Jones had a great rookie season, setting several rookie franchise records. More will be expected of him in year No. 2, though, as he tries to live up to the legacy that Manning left.
McCarthy knows what it’s like coaching a young quarterback that’s following the footsteps of a future Hall of Famer. Weeks after the Giants defeated the Packers in the 2007 NFC Championship, Brett Favre retired. This gave Aaron Rodgers the opportunity to lead the Packers in 2008 and beyond.
Favre would then unretire later that summer and wanted to return to the Packers. McCarthy and Packers general manager Ted Thompson were committed to starting Rodgers, though. This led to them shipping Favre to the then-struggling New York Jets.
At the time, this was unpopular amongst many Packers fans. Favre was beloved by them, having not only won Super Bowl 31, but three league MVPs as well. He also set numerous all-time NFL records.
With the help of McCarthy’s playcalling and guidance, Rodgers would lead the Packers to a Super Bowl 45 victory in his third full year as a starter. His efforts also earned him his first NFL MVP Award the following season.
This is not to say Jones will have similar success to Rodgers, who’s arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Nevertheless, McCarthy knows how to deal with a young, developing quarterback surrounded by the pressure of replacing a beloved future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Brings instant credibility
The Giants have missed the playoffs seven out of the last eight seasons. Thus, they’ve essentially lost their credibility as a franchise.
McCarthy’s proven track record of being a Super Bowl-winning head coach would be the first step in solving this problem. Not to mention, he’s the safest option of the candidates.
It’s imperative that Big Blue hires the right man for the job. They desperately need to end the cycle they’re on in searching for a new coach every two years.
All of the candidates the Giants have interviewed or will interview are all viable options. But the man with the best resume and the man who’s the best option to turn the franchise’s fortunes around is McCarthy.