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Here’s what we know about the Giants, Lions, Matt Patricia, and Josh McDaniels

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There’s been a lot of smoke this week. Here are the facts.

NFL: OCT 15 Patriots at Jets Photo by Alan Schaefer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New York Giants are wrapping up their interviews today with former Denver Broncos assistant head coach and running backs coach Eric Studesville and we should hear about their final decision in the coming days, even if nothing is official since coaches still in the postseason cannot be officially hired.

This hiring is important for the Patriots because the Giants are holding up a bunch of other head coaching decisions that affect offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

We’ve heard for a while that Patricia is the favorite to get the head coaching job with the Detroit Lions and McDaniels is in the running for both the Giants and Indianapolis Colts positions. But there was also a Wednesday morning report that Patricia is now the favorite for the Giants job, too.

So what’s actually going on?

  • Patricia is the favorite for the Detroit Lions position. He has not been offered the Giants job, yet, but is waiting to hear back from New York because that is his preferred landing spot. He wants to be close to his wife’s family in Massachusetts and New York already has the pieces for an elite defense in place.
  • According to former Patriots exec Mike Lombardi, the Giants would rather hire an offensive-minded coach and have a favorite, but are unsure if they will be able to hire him.

“I think they would ideally like to hire an offensive coach,” Lombardi said on his GM Street podcast. “I think Josh McDaniels would be high on their list if they could get him. I don’t think they can because the structure doesn’t fit Josh very well.”

  • Studesville and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur join McDaniels as the offensive-minded coaches the Giants have hired.
  • Studesville was with the Giants from 2001-03 as the running backs coach where he helped Tiki Barber establish himself as one of the top running backs in the NFL. The Giants are the only team showing interest in Studesville, who was fired by the Denver Broncos. There’s no reason why the Giants couldn’t get him if they wanted to.
  • Shurmur interviewed with the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and Giants. The Lions want a defensive-minded coach and the Bears already hired former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy. That leaves the Cardinals and Giants as options, or for Shurmur to return to the Vikings.
  • So, in Lombardi’s eyes, the Giants are hoping to land either Shurmur or McDaniels to help groom the quarterback New York is sure to draft to be the eventual heir to Eli Manning. McDaniels might not be a good fit because “the structure” isn’t a good fit, with general manager Dave Gettleman the one making the hiring decision. McDaniels would want to have a more symbiotic relationship with the general manager where both come to the team together, instead of one picking the other.
  • McDaniels is still in the running for the Indianapolis Colts job, too, with a better chance of getting what he wants. Colts general manager Chris Ballard worked with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, where Reid had that final say over the roster and I would expect McDaniels to want a similar arrangement. The big question is whether he can trust that quarterback Andrew Luck will ever return to full health and capabilities. Perhaps McDaniels would rather just wait another year alongside Tom Brady for another opening because his value isn’t going to decrease.
  • The Lions are just waiting for Patricia to hear back from the Giants. Patricia would prefer the Giants job to the Lions job. The fact the Lions haven’t moved on to sign Mike Vrabel as their head coach means that Patricia has not commit to the Giants, or at the very least hasn’t told his friend Bob Quinn what he is planning on doing. Detroit very much believes they’re still in the running for Patricia.
  • Theory: I think the Giants want to hire McDaniels, but they’re unsure if they can land him. I would expect McDaniels to ask for control of the roster over Gettleman and for the Giants to think long and hard about that request. If that is the case, then Patricia could get his chance to sign with the Giants. I would expect the Giants job to be a decision of Shurmur, Patricia, and Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. I think Shurmur gets it because of his work with Case Keenum.

In the end, even though I believe all of the smoke between Patricia and the Giants, I still expect Patricia to end up with the Lions. I think McDaniels is going to be back with the Patriots in 2018 because I still think Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub is going to emerge from the woodwork as the Colts head coach.