Just-hired Giants general manager Dave Gettleman thinks highly of Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks as a top candidate for New York's head coaching opening, according to league sources, but ownership may prize past head-coaching experience after a failed experience with Ben McAdoo.
Wilks is well-regarded around the league and will be positioned to interview for many jobs; the Giants are a destination franchise and their history of stability and loyalty makes this still a coveted job. Owner John Mara will play a pivotal role in this hire, with the organization at a low point, in line for the second-overall pick and dealing with one crisis after the next in the locker room. Given the issues between players, and between players and coaches, that have festered there, landing someone who has previously done the job could be a best-case scenario for ownership.
Several NFL executives have mentioned former Titans coach Mike Munchak as a darkhorse candidate for the job. Munchak has not received as much hype as other current assistant coaches with head-coaching experience -- Josh McDaniels, Jim Schwartz, Pat Shurmur -- but he has several attributes that position him well for the job. Owner John Mara is close with the Rooney family, and Munchak, the Steelers' offensive line coach, is highly regarded by the Rooneys. His expertise in fixing the offensive line is precisely what the Giants need. He played the game at a very high level, has a strong leadership presence and wouldn't present any issues dealing with the New York media, either.
The Giants were focused on getting their GM search done well before the competition for head-coaching candidates began -- hence the hiring of Gettleman on Thursday -- to be able to start lining up interviews as soon as possible next week and arrange time with the most-coveted candidates. They will likely cut a wide swath in their search, but with the organization preparing to draft a quarterback with a top-five pick, identifying someone who a strong quarterbacking pedigree on any staff will be of the utmost importance, whether that person is the head coach himself or not.